Phone for Audio, Laptop for Video

Paul Stevens

Well-known member
You'll get optimal footage if you have the right equipment, but sometimes you have to make do. If you're ever in a situation where you need to MacGyver a recording, just use your smartphone as the mic and laptop as your video camera. It makes sense if you think about it. Phones typically have the best mic since they were built for calls while a laptop has a more powerful processor, plus more ram and storage to handle recording video. No laptop? Another smartphone or tablet will work in a pinch, but other than Apple's, most tablets are horrendous at capturing photos and videos. The big takeaway point is to dedicate one device for recording the video and the other for recording sound. You can use Audacity, Logic Pro, and many other tools to piece it together and clean it up afterwards.
 

LifeCaptured

Well-known member
I appreciate the info, but I'm gonna need you to expand it just a little bit. I'm not the smartest MacGyver. Where does the phone go? Are they supposed to pass it back and forth like a mic? Won't it look like they're pretending to talk on the phone? That would be hard to hide, but funny to watch.
 

Paul Stevens

Well-known member
That's a funny visual. You could the phone out of range of the device that's recording the video and point the mic in their direction, but you'd need to be fairly close, and they'd need to feel comfortable having you there. Otherwise, you can place the phone in the center of the action like on a table they're all sitting at. In that instance, though, you can't change the phone settings while they're talking unless you stop the proceeding to retrieve your phone. The mic is usually in the back bottom of the phone and should be pointed in the general direction of the speakers. Another tip is to put your phone on airplane mode so calls don't come through and interrupt your recording.
 

Vid Syd

Well-known member
Does syncing devices to each other play into this as well? In other words, do both with the phone or laptop, then edit the sound from the phone to the laptop?
 

Beck

Well-known member
You might lose some audio quality if you do it that way Syd. Syncing data is one thing, syncing mechanics such as this can be quite another.
 

Portrait

Well-known member
You'll get optimal footage if you have the right equipment, but sometimes you have to make do. If you're ever in a situation where you need to MacGyver a recording, just use your smartphone as the mic and laptop as your video camera. It makes sense if you think about it. Phones typically have the best mic since they were built for calls while a laptop has a more powerful processor, plus more ram and storage to handle recording video. No laptop? Another smartphone or tablet will work in a pinch, but other than Apple's, most tablets are horrendous at capturing photos and videos. The big takeaway point is to dedicate one device for recording the video and the other for recording sound. You can use Audacity, Logic Pro, and many other tools to piece it together and clean it up afterwards.
I like the idea because I never imagined that such a thing was possible. At times it is not all about having the right equipment; you can make do with what you already have and get optimal footage.
 

Paul Stevens

Well-known member
It's not hard to sync it though. You are recording the audio and video of the same event at the same time. You aren't adding voice-overs in a foreign language or anything that's complicated like that. This isn't the ideal setup, but it will work in a pinch.
 

The Aire

Well-known member
It sounds confusing, but it also sounds like something that would be fun to try. I would do it just for the novelty of it, and I might learn something from it.
 

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