iPads Mounts and Microphones

iPads are being used in more and more situations and being able to mount them for stability or hands free operation can increase their effectiveness and improve the product in relation to filming.

iPads can be mounted a number of ways. The most useful types are for mounts for microphone stands (on the top or on the stem) and mounts to attach to tripods. Mounts vary massively in price and can be for specific devices or universal.

For filming purposes you want to be able to pan easily so the tripod mounts or a microphone mount with an adaptor to work on both. We have tried some solid options that have proved to be trustworthy and worth the money and they are reviewed below but mounts can be from the super simple and cheap options like:
– Cheap full kit tripod option for $23 including postage!
microphone stand universal tablet mount for $10

There are also a number of other great posts and collation of options like  this great post by Mediacore with a whole heap of options.

Filming Mounts and Microphones:

Problem: The limitation with filming with an iPad is that it is hard to hold while filming and the microphone is not up to scratch.
Solution: You can have a quality end product with stable footage and clear audio that can easily be edited with great apps on your device. Get a mount and external microphone. There are a number of great solutions for iPad and iPhone mounts depending on your price range and what you want it for.
Our experiences: We have found the “Makayama” brand mount on a tripod to be great as it has “hot shoes” for the microphone and lights.  and external microphone/s. We have bought some expensive microphones as they can be used for other vocals and higher end recording. There are a number of other great cheaper options too.

Makayama Video Mounts

Maybe a bit of overkill but nevertheless well used!

Details of the setups we have used with links and info:
The Mounts: were purchased from Makayama
Makayama Mount for all sorts of iPads  (around $70 each)
or locally (AUS) through videoguys for ($90 on 4/6/14)

NOTE: we have just received 2 iPad air mounts (07/14)

Microphones: We have used a number of types of microphones for different purposes; video mics fit nicely onto the hotshoes of the mount. (as can lighting) Vocal mics like the Bombproof Shure SM58 are superb for looking like an interviewer but have the added advantage in that they are directional so you can actually record the audio from one person clearly in a loud room without having to find a quiet space! You need a microphone cord with female SLR to male 6.5mm jack.
The two options below are quite expensive now but they are Bombproof options!
Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone
Shure SM58 from Videoguys

Splitters: This is the secret and took a fair amount of research to initially find. Apple do their magic with the headphone socket to have microphone and headphone in the same jack with their own configuration of course! You need to have a splitter that separates the audio out from the microphone in. The splitters are also really cool in that they allow you to record from one Device to another also the Guitar adapter splitter allows instruments to be recorded into the iPad. Each splitter is a bit under $30.
– Splitter to headphones and 3.5mm external microphone
– Splitter to headphones and 1/4 inch “Guitar” plug
– Splitter to TWO 3.5mm ext. microphones (no headphones)

Lenses and UV filter: We bought wideangle lenses and UV filters to screw onto the mounts because we were able to source them so cheaply. we recommend getting something like the UV filter regardless as it protects the plastic thread of the mount and also it helps massively with recording outside.
– Sakar 37mm 0.5X Wide Angle Lens Filter Set (Cost $19)
– Premium UV Camera Lens Filter (37mm) (Cost $4)

Tripods: The tripod you choose is dependant on how much you want to spend. Whatever you choose make sure you have the option for simple panning. We chose quite good tripods with a nice panning feature.

Summary: Go for it. The simplicity that these rigs bring to creating clips is worth the effort and cost. Having the hot shoes is great if you have a light or video microphone.

Tips and Tricks:

Camera Tips: when filming on an iDevice double click the screen and you will see what you are actually recording!! It is much wider than you think! When recording you will see that a camera icon comes onto the screen. You can press it to take a photo while recording. Having the iPad on a tripod means you can lift it up and over the top when filming and completely change your point of view. MORE TIPS SOON ON A PAGE OF ITS OWN!


Check out this clip on learning through making movies also this example video below made by some year 7s with the iPad Mount, iPad and Microphone is a bit of fun.

Further options?

Please add a comment to this post if you have any feedback or other options worth exploring.

Page History:
4 July 2014
Created by Rolfe Kolbe @rolfek from earlier post