I have recorded myself a few times playing classical guitar by using both the iPhone X selfie camera and the voice recording app with surprisingly descent results.

I have been thinking to look for ways to improve the quality without investing a lot in gear so I was looking at some microphones for smart phones on Amazon. There are quite several options and I am looking at a cardioid that comes with a handy tripod. The microphone sits on top of the phone in the tripod.

I've read that the best results are obtained when placing the mic somewhat close to the guitar in front of the sound whole or closer to the fretboard, in this case the mic would be on top of the "camera" between two and five feet away depending on the shot.

UPDATE: The purpose of these recordings is to upload videos to my YouTube channel. This does not pursue professional and/or promotion objectives. Just the enjoyment of "documenting" and bragging about my personal journey and improvements in my study and practice of classical guitar.

My question is, provided this mic does improve the quality of the recorded sound, is this something that would be worth it? I mean technically it would be the exact same setup so there should be an improvement but I'd love to have a more educated and technical answer.

I know I'm not supposed to ask about gear or equipment, but if the answer to this question is "not worth it at all" it would help to get a tip or two about how to improve the recorded sound quality with the phone.

Thank you.

  • Useful info. to research - the frequency range of the i-phone mic; the frequency range of any mic you are interested in. Bear in mind that a lot of decent mics need phantom power, which I guess the i-phone doesn't provide. – Tim Aug 19 '20 at 16:04

It’s not really possible to answer this question without knowing what the purpose of recording is. If the intention is to record your playing for release or a demo for distribution eg. to promoters, you’d be best to save up for a budget audio interface and either purchase or find an open source DAW.

If it’s for your own enjoyment you’ll need to spend quite a bit to better the iPhone microphone - most mics to recommend as set out above use phantom power which iphones obviously don’t provide.

Shure do a range of mics for smartphone use - I have not tested them for music but they are very suitable for professional field recordings for speech.

  • Fair points. I will update the question to reflect the objectives. For my purposes is to improve the sound quality of the videos I upload to my YouTube channel. – Sergio Romero Aug 23 '20 at 15:32
  • Thank you. For that purpose it’d probably be better to purchase an audio interface and entry level microphone - there are options for iPhones/mobiles but to get a good quality for guitar (and to future proof) probably better to go for the former. – Raagjazz Aug 23 '20 at 15:39

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