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Do you remember the days when your parents would hoist up the family camcorder to capture everything from birthdays to holidays and school events? Such precious, fleeting moments were recorded with unerring determination, often with a little time stamp at the bottom to mark the occasion. Eventually, when the film cassette was full, there would be the painstaking copying of footage across to VHS for viewing pleasure and years of reminiscing to come.
Fast-forward a few decades and home videos are increasingly being captured on smartphones in HD quality, synced across to computers and streamed on TV with ease. However, to get the most out of your crisp, vivid smartphone video, why not really bring the memories to life with full, punchy sound?
Here's how you can take your home video to the next level with the RØDE VideoMic Me.
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Keep the sound you like
If you are a smartphone owner, there is a strong chance you'll rely on its built-in camera for grabbing photos and footage on the go. Indeed, a recent survey by Pew Research showed that as many as 60 per cent of respondents use their smartphone for taking photos and videos.
While the iPhone's own microphone is sufficient for certain situations, it doesn't always showcase some of the most important sounds, such as the voices of your family and friends. In gathering the sounds of your environment, sounds such as wind, traffic or other ambient noise can sometimes compete with the sounds you actually want to capture.
If you've found yourself wishing you could hone your microphone to focus on one source, you'll be glad to hear the VideoMic Me can help. This tiny, yet powerful microphone is designed especially to work with a number of different devices, including some tablets.
As it is directional, your microphone picks up sound approaching head on, rather than that which is perpendicular to it. This is down to the microphone's figure of cardioid, heart-shape polar pattern, which rejects sound from behind the mic itself.
Like a RØDE shotgun mic, the VideoMic Me is sensitive to the source it is aimed at, picking up the sound of your subject's voice rather than the rush hour traffic behind them.
Your perfect companion on the go
While some recording equipment will be carted around by a production team, the VideoMic Me comes in at a featherweight 34 grams, making it highly portable. If your family has more than one smartphone model, the VideoMic Me comes included with a flexible mounting bracket that can be adjusted to fit a range of devices.
As it can plug directly into your smartphone's headphone port, there's no messing around with cables - simply clip it in and you're ready to go. In addition, as the mounting bracket can be easily adjusted, you can turn the mic around for the ultimate voice recording on forward-facing or 'selfie' shots.
To play back your videos, you can simply plug your headphones into the jack on the microphone itself. The same jack also allows you to listen to the audio as you record it (app dependent), meaning that you can monitor the sound throughout for the best results.
If you're shooting outdoors on your family holiday or the kids' sports match, the VideoMic Me comes with its own furry windshield, so you can keep things sounding great even when the weather is less than ideal.