When many of us moved online during the initial 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns, and it was uncertain when we'd be having in-person music events again, I put together an iPad-based voice and instrument microphone audio pre-processing system for use with Zoom music events.
My goal with the system was to make my voice and instruments on music events on Zoom sound as good as possible, and to do it with minimal cost, leveraging an old iPad Air, microphones, and a Mackie mixing board I already owned.
I did buy a used Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for about $125 to use as the USB interface connecting the microphones to the iPad. I also gave myself a budget of $25.00 for purchase of iOS apps to support the effort.
I've received some good reviews from others on the quality of the sound produced by the system, so I'm sharing the full setup in case anyone wants to recreate it.
The system is designed to plug into the stereo audio input of a computer running Zoom to provide superior audio quality than a microphone alone and has nearly infinite flexibility.
This Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + iPad-based setup gives me much more flexibility and control of my sound processing during live streaming than my previous analog setup ever could. It will even run on older iPads. I am using an iPad Air from 2013 running iOS 12.4.5. When running the software, the iPad is put in Airplane mode to avoid any interference with the audio software by network activity.
In the setup, I'm using a Crown CM-310A differoid condenser as my voice/whistle microphone (with a small pop filter) and an Audio-Technica AT3035 condenser as a second instrument microphone.
The AT3035 is very sensitive with a wide cardioid pattern. It is able to pick up both sides of a concertina or accordion, or both the chanter and drones/regulators on my pipes.
I am also now bringing the audio output of my iPhone into my Mackie analog mixer for use in "Celtic Karaoke" play-along sets.
Here's my latest Audiobus 3 setup for a dual input system that has one processing chain for my voice/whistle microphone, and another for the pipes/accordion/concertina microphone:
The Crown CM-310A voice microphone effects chain:
AU3FX:Push - Compression
AU3FX:PeakQ - Equalization (primarily for voice)
AU3FX:Space - Reverb
The Audio-Technica AT3035 instrument microphone effects chain:
AU3FX:Push - Compression
Blamsoft Zero Reverb - Reverb
Please visit the Kymatica website for more information about all their AU3FX plugins: http://kymatica.com/apps/
Please visit the Blamsoft website for more information about all their audio unit plugins: https://blamsoft.com/audio-units/
Audiobus 3 and AU3FX Plug-in Settings
Audiobus 3 setup using a Scarlett 2i2 with voice microphone as the first input, instrument microphone as the second input:
Audiobus 3 mixer view of same setup:
AU3FX:Push (Compressor) setup for my voice microphone:
AU3FX:Peak (EQ) setup for my voice microphone:
AU3FX:Space (Reverb) setup for my voice microphone:
AU3FX:Push (Compressor) setup for my instrument microphone:
Blamsoft Zero Reverb setup for my instrument microphone:
If you have any questions, please email me at: