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How to record your gigs/rehearsals with high quality video and audio using your smartphone.

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Chances are you already use your phone to record your gigs and rehearsals, but are you getting the most out of it? Do you want to upgrade the quality of your videos that you post on social media? Or maybe you just want to have good quality video/audio to listen back to and critique.

I'd like to share my set up and how I maximize the quality of both the audio and video using my phone and a handheld recorder.

It's super easy, portable, and around $100.


Reach into your pocket and you have the first piece of gear you need: your smartphone. Its a really powerful tool and with some tweaking of settings you can get a good quality recording using only your phone. However, if you want to get better audio I recommend using a handheld recorder which is the second piece of gear you need. I use a Zoom H1n which is a recorder with X/Y microphones and records high quality stereo audio. Therefore, I use my phone for video and the handheld recorder for audio. The other pieces of gear I use include a tripod, a phone mount with cold shoe, a cold shoe mount with 1/4" screw, and a USB c to micro USB cable.

In summary:


Handheld recorder (Zoom H1n)- $80

Tripod- $15

Phone mount with cold shoe- $15

Cold shoe mount with 1/4" screw - $12

USB c to micro USB cable - $5

Setting it up

As you can see in the picture, I attach the phone mount to the tripod, the cold shoe mount to the phone mount, and plug the phone into the recorder using the USB cable. That's it! Everything is together and in one place. It is also nice because besides the tripod, everything is small so it's not a lot to pack.

What I also like about my setup is that everything is so adjustable. Using the tripod I can adjust the height and angle of my phone camera. The cold shoe mount for the recorder can also be adjusted to change the position of the recorder.


I recommend these specs in your phone's camera settings:


  • FHD60-(1920x1080)

Aspect Ratio:

  • 9:16 for social media (portrait)

  • 16:9 for Youtube(landscape)

P.S. You can upload videos in 1:1 to Instagram but it won't fill up the whole screen like 9:16 does. If you upload a horizontal video in 16:9 to Instagram it will just show up with black borders. Also try out Ultra Wide shots to get more of an area in your video.

Audio: Connect your recorder to your phone using the USB cable. Your phone should recognize the recorder as a USB mic and will use the recorder instead of the built in phone microphones (see picture below). On the recorder you can have it use bus power so that the phone is essentially giving the recorder power.

I also choose to save in HEVC which saves storage space and maintains quality. You can find that setting in your phone too.


Here is an example of how I use my set up. This video was for Instagram reels and uses 9:16 and FHD. I used an ultra wide shot to make sure everything was in frame.

(by the way it looks better on Instagram haha)

Final Thoughts

It takes some experimenting and learning, but as you can see getting better quality videos is easily attainable and budget friendly. Nowadays its so important to be involved and post on social media and you want to make sure that the quality of the recording matches the quality of your performance. I still have a lot to learn with this stuff myself, but I'm happy with the results so far.

I found that having this set up created a habit to record my gigs more frequently. Therefore, I had more content that I could analyze and critique my playing of, or post to social media.

If you have any specific questions about this do not hesitate to contact me!

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