Back in 2015, I reviewed AirLinc, an iOS app that converts your iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) into a wireless microphone system, but immune to potential wireless interference. This is because AirLinc actually records locally on the iOS device, while providing remote monitoring, control and transfer of the file via wifi. Now, AirLinc has taken the quantum leap into the realm of multi-channel/multi-mic. Although I haven’t yet tested it, here are information and answers I asked the developer.
In this article
- Link to my original article from 2015
- Intriguing information from the developer
- My questions and answers to the developer
Link to my original 2015 article
My original 2015 article is: AirLinc, the iOS app that truly competes with wireless mic systems (illustrated above).
Intriguing information from the developer
We all know iPhones have become great devices for recording classy, 4K video. And the old adage still holds true that ‘the best camera is the one that’s with you’. So the pocket-sized iPhone has increasingly become the camera on the spot for many journalists, videographers and video bloggers.
And now, with great gimbal technology, quality add-on lenses and advanced in-camera editing and post-production video effects, iPhone videography is constantly reaching new levels of sophistication. But what about audio? Even with great add-on microphones, most iPhone audio is captured by the camera itself. And what if your speaking talent needs to be away from the camera? What if you have many people who need to record and you want to capture every word (but without room echo and extraneous noise)? What if you don’t want to see cables in your shot? These same situations are faced by iPhone, DSLR and high-end videographers alike. And without a wireless microphone solution, the result is mostly wide, echoey voice tracks where it’s hard to hear what the on-camera presenter or interviewee is saying.
By repurposing the smartphone and tablet as handy, accessible audio transmitters and receivers, AirLinc fills the gap with an elegant, professional, inexpensive multi-channel solution that solves the problem of recording multiple on-screen presenters in almost every audio environment.
The Journey to Multiple
AirLinc produced its first wireless microphone system for iPhone back in 2015. It’s been well accepted by the DSLR and iPhone video community, but was limited to one channel. Now, in response to user feedback, AirLinc has just released it’s multichannel version.
This version expands on all the great features AirLinc pioneered in single-channel. Features retained include:
- Live monitoring and level control
- Hotspot wifi support
- Fail-safe recording to the miked-up device
- Support for professional microphones, both digital Lightning and analog TRRS. (See article: TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic)
- 48khz, 24-bit audio
- Cloud and local device file sharing
- Battery and storage monitoring of miked-up device
Features we have added and enhanced:
- Support for 6 (or more) channels of audio (depending on device specification)
- Automatic file sync back to master device after recording stop
- Time, date, take and device file naming for easy identification of files in post
- Individual audio track monitoring in record and playback
- Enhanced control over microphones entering and leaving a session
How does AirLinc differ from current professional FM-based wireless systems?
Unlike current FM-based wireless microphone systems, where mandated transmission frequencies differ from country to country, AirLinc’s 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wifi transmission frequency is uniform and unrestricted across the globe. This makes AirLinc the ideal wireless microphone solution for travelling production crews, journalists and video bloggers.
With AirLinc multichannel, we’ve solved the problems of:
- Paying thousands of dollars per channel of wireless
- Tuning FM-based wireless transmitters to avoid frequency conflicts
- Having to check which channels are available for wireless mic’s to use in different locations
- Junking good wireless equipment when frequency spectrum is auctioned
- Having no back-up recording if wireless interference occurs
And because AirLinc is not dependent on a mobile phone signal for operation, AirLinc can also be used in remote locations where there is no mobile phone signal.
Why use multiple channels of wireless?
AirLinc multi channel opens up new horizons of creativity for both professional and amateur video makers alike. Never before has there been an affordable solution for recording multiple channels of wireless audio on location. Here are some of the production scenarios where AirLinc multichannel would be the ideal choice:
- Multi-person interviews
- Panel discussions with multiple participants
- Audience microphones for questions from the audience
- Action scenes where many actors are required to deliver lines to camera
With AirLinc, the number of channels you use from shoot to shoot is entirely fluid and limited only by the number of transmitter phones you have available at the time and the processor power of the device you are using as a receiver.
Made for professionals but affordable for all
AirLinc’s professional, dual-system workflow is standard across professional video production and film making worldwide, yet AirLinc is available as an app download from the Apple App Store for only US$15.95 for a 1 year license. This low price for a product stacked with features, makes AirLinc the ideal choice for professional and YouTube filmmakers alike.
So you can experience and fully assess AirLinc, the full multichannel version can be downloaded and used for up to 5 minutes a day totally free of charge. You will only need one paid-up master version of AirLinc to enjoy full multichannel functionality, as all miked-up versions are free of charge and unlimited. This allows you to quickly add channels as needed.
Download AirLinc from the Apple App store or read more about it at airlinc.io.
My questions to the developer, with answers
Tépper’s question 1: Is there a global command to set all remote recorders to begin recording simultaneously, at the same instant?
Response 1 from developer: Yes there is a global ‘begin recording’ command for all transmit devices that are included in the command group (you can put some devices on ‘hold’ so they don’t start/stop recording with the others but they are still connected)
Tépper’s question 2: Is there a global command to stop or pause all remote recorders recording simultaneously?
Response 2 from developer: As above, yes the global command works but not for ‘pause recording’ only for ‘stop recording’.
Tépper’s question 3: If the answer to questions 1 and 2 is yes, then is it reliable (for an audio-only production) to sync all of the WAV files in a multitrack audio editor based upon their beginning and end, or is there any issue with drift or different durations, possibly do to varying clocks in each iOS device?
Response 3 from developer: : There is some issue with slightly differing record start times on all devices and although it is minimal (50-100 milliseconds depending on network latency) it would require some minimal post-syncing. We are not aware of any drift over time between devices.
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