Lossless Recording in Voice Memos for iOS


Here’s a short post on how to create lossless audio recordings in iOS using the Voice Memos app. Changing one option in the settings menu allows for recording using the Apple Lossless (ALAC) codec that can capture audio data into a lossless format. This comes in handy for audio to accompany video, or for audio that requires heavy processing in postproduction. Best of all, the Voice Memos’ easy to use interface works in seconds, requires almost no special skills or training, and eliminates the need for any speciality apps. In some cases, it can replace or serve or as a backup to a traditional standalone audio recorder.

The Apple Lossless (ALAC) format captures all audio data and compresses it to save space, compared to LPCM codecs like AIFF and WAV. Combined with a lightning audio interface or microphone, this offers a fast and easy to use recording solution for high-quality mobile audio recording. This method uses considerably more data than by default, so we recommend only using it when necessary.

Some caveats include imprecise metering and the inability to monitor incoming audio without an external recording interface. For music recording, we suggest using GarageBand instead, since it offers better visual indicators for metering. For longer recordings with a microphone, interface, or using a mixer feed, consider also using a 2-in-1 dual lighting adapter and splitter to charge the device while you record. To export recordings, either sync to another device, send to the cloud, send via iMessage, or share via AirDrop.

Step 1:

Open Settings in iOS. Scroll down and tap “Voice Memos”

Step 2:

In the Voice Memos, tap “Audio”. Then tap “Audio Quality”

Step 3:

Tap “Lossless”

These steps enable lossless audio recording in the Voice Memos app. Every iPhone and iPad comes equipped with audiophile grade hardware to convert analog audio signals to digital. Use an external USB audio interface to connect to a wide variety of audio connectors like XLR, 1/4” TRS, and RCA. Use an iPhone and Voice Memos as a backup or in place of a stand-alone audio recorder.

Photo Credit: Aleksander Vlad

CEO and Founder of Finewav. Instagram: @ErykThompson Vero: @ErykThompson

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