My children play violin and cello. We sometimes make recordings for the grandparents or friends, often with piano accompaniment. These are just done in our living room with an iphone camera and the built-in microphone from about two meters away.

I would like to invest a little money in getting better sound quality for these recordings.

I read about the types of microphones, and I assume I want a ribbon mic somewhere between the instruments. I've read other answers1 2, but they seem to suggest fancy equipment that sounds more professional than I'm looking for.

Is it OK to just connect a microphone to my iphone through some kind of adapter?

The serious users seem to have a pre-amp and audio mixer. Is there any reason to get that route for my use case?

  • Ribbon mics are particularly esoteric, expensive & require specific hardware support. You can't just plug one into a computer, & absolutely not into any phone. What drew you to that conclusion? – Tetsujin Mar 24 at 17:57
  • Great to know. I guess I was reading articles for professionals and not ordinary people who just want home videos. So, what should I use? – Jeremy Stein Mar 24 at 21:15

I found this page most helpful: https://www.mediashi.com/articles/how-to-record-professional-audio-on-an-iphone-or-ipad-with-an-external-microphone

There are several suggestions on the page. I took the most complex one:

Pair of condensor mics → XLR to XLR microphone cables → audio mixer with Phantom Power turned on → RCA to 3.5mm TRS adapter connected to the main audio output of the audio mixer → TRS to TRRS adapter → Apple Lightning headphone adapter → iPhone

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