Gadgets & Gizmos

I realise this will be a little out of left field for many readers, but for those who are dabbling in the world of video, one of the biggest struggles we have is with audio. Many of my productions (such as they are) ignore location sound and I add music or narration later during post-production.

My approach works just fine for doing little arty pieces (like the recent one in Svalbard – you can see it on Youtube here:, but if I wanted to include people talking, or indeed me interviewing people, how do I do it? I have a wireless lavalier system, but I never seem to take it and setting the levels correctly is not something I’m yet good at!

One solution I’ve just been sent to review is the RØDE Mobile Interview Kit. It includes two smartLav+ lavalier microphones and an SC6-L connector for an iPhone or iPad. To use, plug one or both lavalier mics into the iPhone via the connector, attach the lavalier mics to the people you are filming, and launch the Rode Reporter app. Your iPhone or iPad records the sound and then you simply export it and drop it into your video editing software.

The smartLav+ is a 4.5mm miniature mic made with omni-directional condenser capsules and Kevlar reinforced cable, making it suitable for a wide range of film, television and broadcast applications. The SC6-L is a simple input/output breakout box with a Lightning connector to connect directly to iOS devices. With two TRRS inputs and one stereo headphone output, the SC6-L connects to any TRRS device, including the two supplied smartLav+ microphones. And with the Rode Reporter app, you can alter boost gain and choose between summed stereo and dual mono.

Rode is an impressive company, producing a range of products that are useful for photographers dabbling in the world of audio visuals and video productions. They also have a range of camera mounted mics that do a stellar job – and an even better job if you learn a little about sound recording before you use them! If only I took my own advice!

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