How to create professional looking video with an iPhone

A couple of questions I have been seeing a lot lately in my inbox are, “Nikki! What is your mic setup?!” and, “How can I make my videos look professional?” In this post, I’m going to give you the low down on my filming set up and editing process. 

Here’s what I use:

The Filming App:

First, I film everything on my iPhone using the Movie Pro App ($5.99). I don’t do anything special, just plug in the tech and open the app. The app also tells me if the microphone is plugged in. I prefer the quality of the videos and the convenience of knowing that my mic is connected, but it would probably work just fine if you skipped buying the app.  

The tech:

I use a Shure Brand Microphone ($330).

It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it also doesn’t cut out like some other bluetooth mics might (true story, I have a microphone graveyard). 

A couple of cons are that it makes you look like Madonna/ a 90’s pop singer (okay, that’s actually totally a pro!), but it will pick up ALL of your breathing so you sound like Darth Vader (possibly also a pro? JK!).

To make the mic work with your iPhone, you will also need an iRig adaptor ($40) and an XLR cable ($15).

To set it all up:

Here’s the steps you need to take to make all these pieces work together:

Step 1: Plug the Shure transmitter into the wall.

Step 2: Plug in the XLR cable into the iRig.

Step 3: Plug the iRig into the iPhone headphone port. (Note: If you have the new iPhone with no headphone port, you’ll need to get an adaptor so the iRig will work with your iPhone – it will just plug right into the charging port).

Step 4: Turn on the Shure transmitter, the iRig, and the Shure microphone.

Step 5: Test the audio by recording a quick clip where you talk into the mic to make sure the sound is coming through.

Pro Tips:

  • First off, make sure you turn everything on and test your audio! Otherwise, guess who doesn’t get audio (hint: you). Don’t ask how I know this (I’ve forgotten more times than I can count and nothing is worse that finishing a 20 minute video with no mistakes only to find you have to redo the entire thing). 
  • A mic belt ($17) comes in handy! This eliminates the risk of the mic pack falling (flying) off your pants. While this is hilarious and makes a great outtake, it’s less than ideal.
  • Soft box lights ($90) will make your videos look so much more professional! A fair warning, they’re a headache to assemble and you’ll probably want to look up a YouTube tutorial before attempting to set them up. I also do everything in my power to avoid taking them apart, because they’re impossible to fit back into the carrying case that they came with. 
  • For my YouTube videos, I use the ScreenFlow app by telestream on my MacBook Pro for editing.

End Note for Non-Apple Users:

For those who are not Apple users, I’m so sorry! I’m not sure if any of the technology will work for you, but I’m sure there are Android/PC users who have been able to successfully make a video using similar equipment. If you are reading this and you are not and Apple user, but have had success with this or some alternative, let me know and I’ll update this post! 

Final note. Gotta question? Drop it in the comments.

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