There was a time not long ago when a cell phone performed no function other than what its name implied; it placed phone calls.
Today, however, using a cell phone is less about the act of placing a phone call and more about using its other capabilities.
Whether you carry a Windows Mobile, RIM Blackberry, Google Android, or Palm webOS device, you’re carrying more raw functionality and processing power into the field than was once available in even the most powerful computer.
Thus, it’s not terribly surprising that software developers found the right development platform to leverage to create some amazing tools for Audio Engineers; enter the iPhone OS.
First announced by Apple, Inc. on January 7th of 2007, the mobile phone and computing industries were thrown into a tailspin from which they are only now beginning to recover.
Featuring an App Store, hardware accessories, and multiple hardware tiers, the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad have made available to the masses an amazing set of tools which are bound to make any engineers life easier.
How, you ask? From audio testing equipment to field guides, the App Store has dozens of Apps well suited for the task at hand. Whether you’re a seasoned touring engineer or a church volunteer, you’re bound to find Apps that suite your needs. For a comprehensive review of our favorites, read on!
Testing, 1, 2
Perhaps the most valuable use of iPhone OS based devices to an audio engineer is that of an audio testing platform. Though current hardware is best suited to this task given improvements in processing power, nearly all models are up to the task. There are two major players in audio testing Apps for the iPhone OS, Studio Six Digital and Faber Acoustical Services.
Studio Six Digital’s AudioTools is my preferred suite of testing Apps, which includes SPL and RTA and can be expanded via in app purchase to include FFT, ETC, and much more. (Editors Note: For more detailed information on Studio Six Digital, check out our recent article iSolutions For Audio Professionals)
Faber Acoustical makes an equally compelling set of Apps which includes SignalScope Pro, a suite which includes tools similar to those in AudioTools. Both applications are worthy of your use, and I’d recommend carefully weighing your needs before picking one or the other.