Using Hold to Speak
Why do we need Hold to Speak?
Hold to Speak is necessary because when an External Mic is plugged in, the iOS device (iPhone/iPad) registers the external mic as headphones and loses the ability to output audio through the built-in speaker.
How does Hold to Speak work?
When you start recording, the External Mic gets engaged, thus muting the iPhone speaker and preventing the Subject from hearing the Director speak to them during recording. The Hold to Speak feature allows the Subject to hear the Director, and for the Director to communicate with the Subject during the recording.
Once you have started a recording with the External Mic, you will need to utilize the Hold to Speak method. Think of “Hold to Speak” like a walkie talkie; hold down the button while talking and release the button to stop talking.
When you click the Hold to Speak button to activate the iPhone speaker and deactivate the External Mic, it will turn green and show "Speaking" so now you can speak directly to the Subject.
When you release the "Speaking" icon, it will revert back to show Hold to Speak, deactivating the speaker and reactivating the External Mic; you can no longer speak to the Subject.
To resume capturing the Subject’s audio through the External Microphone, you MUST release the green "Speaking". Once you see the Hold to Speak button again the phone’s speaker is deactivated and recording will resume as intended.
When to Use Hold to Speak
Hold to Speak can be used with one device feed to speak with one Subject at a time. If you are filming multiple Subjects utilizing External Mics and Hold to Speak, you will have to communicate with them individually, one at a time. To learn more about filming multiple iOS Subjects with external mics, please refer to Multiple Subjects with External Mics (iOS only).
You will only need to use Hold to Speak if:
- You're using an External Mic with an iOS device
- You need to speak to the Subject during recording to provide feedback or ask a question.
This feature is often used to facilitate Q&A interviews, question-based testimonials, and to create more of a conversational feel for your shoot.
You do not need to use Hold to Speak if:
- You're not using an External Mic with an iOS device
- You use the lightning-native Shure MV88* with an iOS device
- You use a USB mic with a Lightning-to-USB adapter
- Your Subject wears wired headphones with integrated mic connected to their iOS device
- You're filming on a computer or Android device (with or without external mics)
- You’re filming multiple subjects (regardless of device or mic setup
*The Shure MV88 has been discontinued. You may be able to still find this microphone for sale elsewhere but the manufacturer has stopped producing and selling the microphone. At this time, we are not aware of any other lightning-native microphones that will allow you to bypass the Hold to Speak feature
Avoid Hold to Speak with a USB Mic + Adapter
We understand that the Hold to Speak process can be less than ideal when capturing a free-flowing conversation during an interview, for example. An easy and cost-effective method to workaround the native iOS limitation and the need for Hold to Speak, you can use a USB mic with an Apple Lightning to USB adapter.
Your iOS Subject will use a USB-microphone connected to the iOS device with an Apple Lightning to USB Adapter allowing the Subjects to still hear the other participants through the built-in phone speakers while bypassing the need for Hold to Speak.
Note: the Lightning to USB adapter requires iOS 9.2 or newer.
- Subject will plug in the Lightning to USB adapter and the USB microphone
- Subject joins Remote Capture Session.
- Director toggles on Pro Audio for Subject, and selects the appropriate mic from the dropdown.
- Do a test recording.
Pro-tip: Have the Subject watch the volume of the iOS device’s speakers to avoid any audio leakage; they probably don’t need the volume turned up all the way. We recommend 75% or lower.
The USB microphone must be a mic that does not have an audio output. With no audio output, the mic will not appear as a speaker to the phone so iOS will continue to use the built-in phone speaker to output audio.
While there are hundreds of USB mics available on the market, we can not vouch for all of them. Please thoroughly test any equipment you buy before using it in a real shoot!
The following mics have been tested by our team and are known to be compatible with this workflow. We will continue to add mics to this list as we are able to test them.
- TONOR TC-2030 USB Microphone Kit
- FIFINE Gaming USB Condenser Microphone
- Logitech Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone