The Nokia 808 Garage Band Challenge

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What do you get when you're an 808-owning geek playing in a rock band with two other recording engineers? You get experimentation with the 808's Rich Recording, of course. In this case, two separate approaches to using the Nokia 808 to record both video and audio, as detailed below. As usual, the 808's microphone system handles the intense volume without breaking sweat. Some interesting comparisons and some serious indie rock below the break...

Here's what the Finnish rock band Humanwires had to say of the experiment, split into two videos, one for each song/technique:

When your band consists of two soon-to-be engineers and one wannabe-engineer experimentation with technology is inevitable.

We wanted to know how well the Nokia 808 Pureview can handle loud sounds in a not-so-friendly sound environment (also known as a garage), so we took one of our songs and recorded every instrument individually with the phone and compiled the audio tracks together. The result is yours to listen. The only processing we did to the audio tracks was compression and a low cut EQ to the vocal track which means that what you are hearing is pretty much as it was recorded by the phone.

We also put a short clip of the studio version of this song about half way through the video so you can hear what the original piece sounds like. It is, of course, quite a bit clearer since it was recorded in a controlled environment with professional studio gear.

All in all we think the result is pretty good considering the fact that it is recorded with a phone. Our curious minds would like to know what kind of results one could achieve in a professional studio environment with this thing. Maybe there is some brave studio engineer up for the task...

Humanwires say of the second video:

We also wanted to find out how well the Nokia 808 performs when the whole band is playing. This is, of course, a bit more challenging situation since there is a lot more happening and everything is recorded to the same audio track.

We think the phone handled all the sounds pretty well. We didn't hear any distortion in the original audio track and all the instruments can be distinguished from each other (although the drums dominate a bit but that's not the phone's fault). Compression was added to the audio track afterwards but nothing else.

Comments welcome. With the three guys all being recording engineers, it was perhaps inevitable that they'd tinker slightly with the audio (couldn't help themselves, etc.) - it would have been interesting to have had just the raw 808-shot video/audio combination.

Wish I'd had the 808 PureView around when I was in Shed Music...(!)

Source / Credit: Nokia 808 Recordings