Review: Blue FiRe (iOS App)

April 2, 2012 — 2 Comments

This post is part of the series: HDSLR Videographer’s Virtual Gear Bag.

Blue FiRe (free) by Blue Microphones is a field recorder app. You may not know this, but the iPhone is a very capable audio recorder. I’ve not performed any scientific testing to compare it to a dedicated field recorder like the Zoom HN4, but I have recorded very good voice audio and decent single instrument audio with the iPhone. I use two apps for this, depending on the situation, but Blue FiRe is definitely my favorite of the two. More after the break.

If you are going to use the iPhone for field recording, I suggest you check out my monitoring rig. This rig enables me to attach both an XLR mic and separate headphones to the iPhone’s single 1/8″ jack, so that I can monitor as I record. Spiffy!

Alternately, if you are fine with using the iPhone’s built-in microphone, you can plug in a standard set of headphones (without a mic) so that you can monitor while recording.

Using Blue FiRe is incredibly easy.

The initial screen is a listing of your recording sessions. If you select one of the rows, you can play it back. If you hit the blue arrow, you get access to one of the best things about this app: the ability to append to a previous recording sessions. Pressing the “+” button allows you to add a new recording session.

 

Another nice feature is the built-in web server for offloading your recordings. You access this by pressing the globe button on the main screen.

 

Here’s what it looks like in a browser. You can download in either AIFF, WAVE or CAF formats.

The capture screen (transport) is straightforward. You have a time readout, a level meter, a waveform window, and record/play buttons. One thing you may not have noticed, is that you can add markers as you record. You do this by simply tapping on the (moveable) reticule on the waveform view. It will add a green vertical line at the point you marked.

Pressing the “Markers” button brings up a listing of all your markers. If you press the little grey arrow, you get a screen where you can name the marker. Additionally you’ll be able to jump directly to that marker point for playback.

 

Another great feature is the ability to adjust the gain while recording. I know, I know, you ought to do a level check before-hand and get this setup before rolling. But, sometimes conditions change and you need to be able to react without stopping the recording session. You access this by selecting the little white knob at the top-right of the capture screen. You’ll be presented with a level slider that temporarily overlays the record/play buttons.

The app also has a robust settings panel as well as the ability to connect to an FTP server.

If you haven’t tried Blue Fire, I urge you to do so. Make a few test recordings – get real familiar with it. You never know when your primary sound capture device my get damaged. With Blue FiRe, you’ll have a backup plan.

 

herbhalstead

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Herb is the lead pastor at Thrive Church. Herb also does freelance web design, 3D architectural modeling, and works as an architectural designer.

2 responses to Review: Blue FiRe (iOS App)

  1. I am a performance analsyt for British Judo using Dartfish for match analysis and in-training support.This is the app that I have been looking for to make best use of the iPad2 with quality video capture and feedback this is the best video coaching app by far brilliant work.I also use Videopix and Excelade & would like to see a couple of tools from these apps in iCoachview ->ability to select video from video library & not just photo library>more drawing tools including angles and shapes circle & square/rectangle>text overlay to be able to place text in different colours anywhere on the video clipReally pleased that you have developed this app. I am recommending that all our coaching staff use it and will inform my performance analysis colleagues in England Cricket and other high performance sports to download and start using.Look forward to future updates.

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