I often find myself musing that when I went to college, we used a huge mainframe computer that occupied most of the space in a large building, and today… the “smart phone” that I carry around in my pocket is hundreds (if not thousands) of times more powerful than that mainframe ever could have hoped to have been. Heck, it’s even more powerful than the computers that NASA used to put a man in the moon.
Today, smart companies are figuring out new and innovative ways to adapt those powerful mini computers for their own uses.
Witness the ‘Square’ or ‘PayPal Here’ Credit Card Swipers. You basically attach the swiper to your smart phone, and it becomes a credit card reader and cash register all in one.
Now Røde, a company that’s synonymous with high quality audio devices, have figured out a way to use the computing power of an iOS device and turn it into a 24 bit, 96k audio recording solution called the “iXY.”
The Røde iXY is basically an XY microphone array, much like one that you’d find on top of a Zoom or Tascam portable HD audio recorder. The iXY array connects to your iPhone or iPad and then, via the iXY app, uses your device’s smarts as the hardware that becomes a portable HD audio recorder (see video demo below from endgadget – overview video above courtesy of PixelPlanet).
Although there seems to be a dramatic discrepancy in the audio quality between the iXY and the Røde Videomic Pro used below, it’s important to note that the VMP is pointed directly at the sound and when we hear the audio from the iXY, it’s often pointed away from the audio source and at least partially covered by the demonstrator’s hands. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one of these for some in depth testing.
At the present time, the Røde iXY is compatible with the older 30 PIN iPhone and iPad connector, but a lightning connector version is in the works. The jury is out as to whether or not this will work with a lightning adapter.