Capturing Audio for Video on Vacation with MV88

No matter how much you may enjoy your job, everybody needs a vacation every now and then. I love getting up each morning and heading to Shure HQ, but after a particularly long and brutal winter, it was time to get away. So my husband, parents, close family friends and I hopped a plane to Puerto Rico for a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean.

Since vacations for me are so few and far between and my memory is so poor, I wanted to make sure I documented as much as possible from our week in paradise. I didn’t want to be weighed down by a lot of equipment, and all of my cameras are so outdated that, frankly, my phone takes better pictures and video. But the audio quality of my phone was not going to cut it for capturing the relaxing sound of waves rolling over my toes on a white sand beach.

MV88 to the rescue!

The MOTIV MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone connects directly to any iOS device with a Lightning® connector. I was fortunate enough to borrow one from our product development team here to bring along on my island getaway. (MV88 is not yet available for purchase, but you should be able to buy one this summer.) I threw the small case into my carry-on along with sunscreen and flip-flops and was off to paradise.

After a little A-B testing between audio from the MV88 and my iPhone’s internal mic, I knew that I would be able to catch every crashing wave with perfect clarity.

The MV88 certainly made all the difference in my vacation videos, but I also learned some important lessons along the way.

Best Practices

Rule #1: Put your phone in airplane mode.

We’ve all heard it before: that weird electronic pulse that happens sometimes when your phone is next to a speaker. When your mobile device transmits and receives data, it can create RF interference. Any mic you attach to your phone will be susceptible to this interference and will create audible artifacts in your recordings. If you put your phone in airplane mode before you record, then you will avoid this completely.

Rule #2: Make sure you have the correct wind protection.

The MV88 comes standard with a ball windscreen, and the ShurePlus MOTIV app has a wind reduction setting, but if you are going to be recording in an area susceptible to a lot of wind (like, say, the deck of a cruise ship or the highest point on a tropical island), you should consider investing in a Rycote® Windjammer®. This furry little accessory is made by the same people responsible for windscreens used by many professional filmmakers and will block any gusts from your recording. I forgot to grab one before I left and was forced to scrap several breathtaking videos because they were just too noisy.

Rule #3: Make sure your case is compatible. 

The MV88 clips directly onto the base of your phone. Many cases will not accommodate it. I simply removed my phone from my case and had no issues, but if you’re obsessive about keeping your phone protected, then make sure you find one that will allow enough room for the MV88 to connect.

Rule #4: Have a great time! 

If you’re so busy trying to document what a great time you’re having that you forget to actually have any fun, you’ve wasted your time! The MV88 is easy to use, so you won’t be spending a lot of time trying to figure it out instead of enjoying yourself.

Roll the Tape!

And now, without further ado, my vacation video. Disclaimer: I’m not a filmmaker. I’m just a person who wanted to document an awesome vacation. The good news is that you don’t have to be a filmmaker to get great footage with high-quality sound of your vacations and important life events when you have an iPhone and and MV88. Here’s proof.

Special thanks to The Las Vegas Tenors and the UVM Top Cats for allowing me to include their performances in my footage.

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Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl is a Media Relations Specialist at Shure with previous experience in the customer service department. She is also a professional singer involved in several tribute, cover, and original bands in the Chicago metro area. In what little spare time she has between work and music, she can be found reading or hanging out with her parrot. Cheryl’s favorite mic is the KSM8 and her Twitter handle is @TheUnsungDiva.

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7 Comments

  • Anthony Tortoriello says:

    Every review seems to be presumptuous in thinking the average person has a clue what settings is best to set up for certain situations and environments. The presets are very limited and have no clue about mic gains…especially since when using with mic on in landscape mode to record movies which is why I purchased this mic I can’t see the levels…only see levels when in portrait mode so what gives Shure!

    • Cheryl Jennison DaProza Cheryl Jennison DaProza says:

      We’re sorry that you’re having difficulty figuring out the proper settings. Our applications team can talk you through the finer points and help you figure out best options depending on your environment. Drop them a line at support@shure.com.

  • Anthony Tortoriello says:

    Please let me know what you had mic set to for recording Ocean and waves…so confused on what to set it to! Thanks

  • Sherm Clow says:

    How do you get the audio from your iPhone into your computer for further processing in your DAW? Where is the audio stored in the iPhone? Thanks for your help.

  • Dan says:

    Couldn’t listen more that a minute or so. High end is way too harsh. Sorry. Eq needs work.

    • Cheryl Jennison DaProza Cheryl Jennison DaProza says:

      Thank you for your input, Dan. To show how simple the MV88 is to use, I did not do any audio editing at all but it could easily be fixed by someone with a touch more mastery than me.

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