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Which gear do you use for video recording of your playing ?


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I would like to post new videos of my playing during weeks and months to come. Until now I used my old laptop integrated webcam and mic, or more recently my IPhone (without any accessory), but I would like to know what king of gear do you use (if you post some videos of course !). I think quality of image is somewhat important, but stereo sound seem to me very important with our "double sided" instrument.
Thank you in advance for your advices !

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I find that modern iPhones have a pretty decent video camera, but you can tell if the sound was recorded on the built in mic. Recently I've invested in this audio setup:


2 fairly good small diaphragm condenser mics (sE8, but there are cheaper options).

2 mic stands

2 XLR cables

A Steinberg UR22 MkII USB audio interface

An Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter (the bigger one with two connectors on it)

A two port USB charger

A USB A to micro USB B charger cable

A USB A to Lightning charger cable

A pair of headphones


Here's how I set it up:

Put the mics up on the stands so they are about 30 cm apart, facing the player from a distance of about 1m (you'll probably want to experiment with placement later but that should be an OK starting point).

Enable phantom power on the audio interface. Make sure Input 2 Hi-Z is switched off.

Plug the mics and headphones into the audio interface.

Connect power to the micro USB socket on the interface and set the power source switch to that input (this step is important - it won't work if you try to power it directly from the Apple camera adapter).

Plug the camera adapter into your iPhone, and the USB A-B cable from the camera adapter to the audio interface.

Optionally plug a lightning charger cable into the camera interface - this will avoid running the phone battery down while you're filming.

Twiddle the Input gain knobs to about 50%, the Mix knob all the way to Input, the Headphones knob fairly high, and you can ignore the Output knob.

You can now try playing the instrument while listening to the headphones, watching the "Peak" LEDs, and adjusting the gain knobs. You want to be able to clearly hear yourself in the headphones, without hearing crackly clipping noises or seeing the Peak LEDs flashing when you play at your highest volume.

When the gain seems OK you can take the headphones off, and use the phone's camera app to make a video recording. If everything is working correctly it will capture the sound from the external mics instead of the internal one.

To listen the playback through the headphones, you'll need to twiddle the Mix knob over to the DAW side (that means you're hearing the output of the player on the iPhone rather than the live input from the mics).


Here's a recording I made of @Little John a while ago using my iPhone's built in mic:


And here's a recent recording with the audio coming from my new setup instead. I did boost the gain in post, but I probably could have avoided that if I'd got the input gain knobs adjusted better in advance (I was being a bit paranoid about clipping).


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Currently I’m using Zoom iQ7 mic with iphone (I have been using Tascam im2 in a-b setup before). This is mid-side mic, so it gives a nice option to controll how much stereo/room reverb you want in your final recording. Depending on your iphone model you may need to use lightning extension cord due to interference with power supply. There are other such „field recorder” iphone mics, in a-b, x-y or mid-side configurations and with different price tag, so read some reviews/rankings first if you like such portable option.

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