Saturday, 2 February 2013

Rode's iXY Stereo Microphone for the iPhone and iPad

Recently RODE released a great new product for the iPhone and the iPad. The iXY Stereo Microphone is a plugin audio interface that take's advantage of the multipin port on the iPhone and iPad. What makes this unique compared to some of the other iPhone's/iPad/s audio interfaces on the market is the versatility it provide's when paired with Rode's iPhone/iPad's App.

First however let's look at the interface itself. RODE has delivered a true stereo recording package with two mic's positioned in a 90 degrees XY coincident arrangement. These are 1/2 inch cardioid microphones.

This device has low handling noise and allows you to adjust input level via RODE's App. This App is downloadable from Apple's App store for $5.99 for full the version and is FREE for the Lite version.

Unlike other audio interface's for the iPhone/Ipad the iXY Stereo Microphone does not have built into it any 3.5mm mini jack input.

Rode has many different sample recordings done with this mic that you can listen to. These recordings were done in a variety of environments and give you a good sense of the quality. Overall it sounds very decent for a device that listed at $200 dollars US (it will be slightly more in Canada). Availability will be this March.

Here is a link to RODE's official write up on it:


Now on to the App. This is what I find really exciting. Rode has created a really great, easy to use recording App. At $5.99 it is easy to swallow and allows great options for sharing and editing.

Some of the key features of this App include:

High resolution 16-bit, 48kHz stereo/mono recording (up to 24-bit, 96kHz with RODE iXY microphone)

 EQ and dynamics: Compression, high/low-pass filter, and frequency cut/boost

Live input monitoring

Real-time waveform and one-touch markers

Non linear cut/copy/paste/crop

Waveform looping

Output in multiple formats including WAV, AIFF, AAC, Apple Lossless, FLAC and more

 Multiple formats via iTunes file Sharing

One touch publishing

Direct publish to SoundCloud and Dropbox

One of the nicest things about this App is it's ability to share with services like Drop Box and Sound Cloud Also having iTunes compatibility for easy backup via iCloud is great as well. This is where a lot of other iPhone recording App's fail. Another great feature about this App is the professional codecs you get with it. Having the ability to record WAV, FLAC and AIFF is great for those who want the highest quality. Editing is something that is very easy with this App. Being able to add complex fades and level adjustments to your audio waveform is much easier and faster than in GarageBand for iPhone.

Here is a link to RODE's website where you can find more information about the App:

Rode record App

Overall I really like this App from Rode and I think it will be great for a variety of purposes. From musicians who want a simple recording option for laying down ideas to university students who want to recorder lectures. Reporters in the field getting that quick sound bite or videographers who want another solution to recording sound will all benefit from this device. The greatest feature I think is the fact that it takes advantage of something a lot people already have, their iPhone. A trend I see more and more happening in the future.
Recorders like the Zoom H4n (which is a great product) but I see more and more people utilizing their smartphones to record audio. There are many reasons why I think this route will not so much replace the stand alone field recorders but at least fill a place for people who need to record audio and want to use their smart phones as a convienent way to do so. Just like how our smartphone's have replaced our organizers, calendars and phonebooks they will slowly eat away at stand alone recorders among other things as better and better Apps and interfaces are introduced. Their are other great products out there. One from Tascam in particular that I will review however the RODE offers some great features and flexibility at the right price.

The iXY is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), iPad2 & iPad.

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