iPad 2 - Mobile Audio/Video Recording + External Microphones

iPad 2Apple's announcement of the iPad 2 today left me speechless in many ways, but maybe the most promising and awesome announcement was not the iPad itself, but rather iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad.

One thing that I've constantly had to do for video production is lug around my Mac, a camera, cables, etc., just because there was nothing that was as easy as iMovie to quickly hash out a video, with voiceover, etc. The iPhone's iMovie app is just not good enough for me, though it's great for a quick YouTube edit.

Luckily for me, all the work I've done in testing microphones and audio input adapters for the iPhone 4 applies directly to the iPad 2's audio input. You'll still need an adapter to get the audio into the TRRS input jack on the iPad, but being able to record to 8 tracks using GarageBand is completely amazing.

Check out my guide of external microphones and audio input for the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and iPod Touch for more info (more updates coming in the next couple of weeks!).


Tried recording with my iPad 2 tonight with mixed success. I am trying to use a Logitech Pro 9000 webcam into a powered USB hub into the iPad 2 via the USB connector from the camera kit. Audio is breaking up, distorted about 8 out of 10 times. Not sure why. Thought I was overpowering the mic, but moved it back. Dont know if I am getting any feedback loops or if there are other issues. Worked to begin with and then the sound degraded to incomprehensible choppy audio out of sync with video...any thoughts? thanks - joe

maybe I should do a hard shutdown?

Using a webcam might not work that well. I've never tried getting audio out of the webcam into the iPad, but I would presume there will be problems since the device doesn't (likely) comply to USB audio standards very well...

Hey Jeff,

I have a question. I am looking to start video and audio recording, just my acoustic guitar with a mic. I would like to get an ipad 2. Do you know if you can simultaneously video record your playing while recording audio through a condenser mic just with the ipad2? It would really help me to know, cheers :)

You can definitely do this if you plug the mic in through the headset jack using the proper adapters (and a preamp if necessary), using FilMic Pro or the built-in Camera app. However, I haven't tested this using a Mic through the USB jack of the Camera Connection Kit (however, I would presume that would work as well, since the iPad's pretty good about selecting audio input sources automatically).

Hello! Well, i suppose, you can answer my question, possibly. I just want to record a video of me while singing with a background minus one music coming from youtube. Could it be possible on ipad 2? Coz everytime i open the video recorder, the music stops. Can you help me with that? Thanks!

You would need to have another device playing the video, and a mixer that you plug that device and a microphone into, and then you could record your voice with a video behind it. Otherwise, when you record, the iPad will turn off any other videos or songs that are playing.

Ohh I see. I think, i'll just use my pc for that. I dont have enough things to use, im just wondering, microsoft is so much different to apple and vice versa, :) well, thanks for your reply. :)

Yeah, using a computer would be a bit easier; so far there's no real easy way of routing audio from one app to another on any iOS devices. On the Mac, you could use something like SoundFlower (I think) to route audio from a web browser to a recording app, and it's a lot easier :)

I shoot video with my Ipad2 for what I call "Curtcast" of my radio shows. I need to have an external mic (preferably wireless) that will work on my Ipad so I can get a better quality sound; I have a Snowball - but the problem is that it works great for audio sessions (garage band, etc.) but what I need is a video version of garage band. Help me please! Thanks

If you use any of the solutions that plug in through the headset jack (using the proper adapter cable), then you'll have no problem recording with external mic audio in any of the normal camera apps (including the built in Camera app). Most USB mics work fine as well, with the USB connector found in the iPad camera connector kit. Just plug it in and try it out.

Jeff I have bought a Rode videomic which I have teamed with the Griffin iMic and the USB connector. I really want to capture some good audio when using iMovie. It works great in GarageBand but the volume levels are disappointingly quiet in iMovie. Even when I increase the volume in the VoiceOver or clip it is still too low. Any suggestions.

It seems like iMovie doesn't offer much in the way of audio level control, and, unfortunately, the VideoMic doesn't offer any different level settings. The best solution would be to record in GarageBand then send the audio over to iMovie somehow.

So far I haven't found any good video recording apps for iOS that also offer good audio level controls :(

With help from these replies, just figured out that iMovie for the iPad does not recognize my Logitech Bluetooth headset microphone. It defaults to the internal iPad mic. BUT! If you still have the ear buds with lapel microphone that came with your iPhone, just plug these into the jack on your iPad and it works perfectly! Automatically recognized, too. Much better voice recordings this way than with the internal mic due to room echos and ambient noise.

iMovie for iPad recognizes your lapel microphone from the ear buds that came with your iPhone.