The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

Hands Off The Volume, iPhone

A quick little blurb in the latest issue of Tape Op caught my eye and finally brought some things together for me. The writer was having problems with Pro Tools meters being dragged down, and it turns out the culprit is the iPhone. Transmissions from the device were pulling down the meters, causing the mixes to go off. This isn't some app gone wrong - it's the normal functioning of the device that's doing it.

As I'm not an avid (bad pun, sorry) Pro Tools user, I didn't notice the effects there. Where I did encounter this phenomenon was on my older iPod. If the two were in close proximity (say, my pocket) and the older iPod was playing while the iPhone was connected to a network (it wouldn't happen while in airplane mode), the volume on my older iPod would jump around erratically. I can't remember if the data transmissions from my old phone did that as well, but it's definitely happening here.

Add that to the lovely interference AT&T's EDGE network can add to audio (I've had at least one video's audio track ruined by a rogue Blackberry), and it makes sense to leave phones off when you're recording anything, either remotely or in the studio. They're just to unpredictable, whether they're turning down audio or adding unwanted noise.

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  1. I read that too, but I’ve never experienced the issue.. the noises cutting into my landline are bad enough though.

    I wonder how this got by the FCC? aren’t there rules against devices interfering with other devices?
    hope the interference doesn’t cause problems with newer cars that have electronic throttle controls!

  2. I was under the impression that devices were not allowed to interfere, but this might just be a situation that wasn’t tested. Still, it needs to be remedied. Imagine losing the perfect mix because of a stray phone call.

  3. yeah. at work, to avoid the phone noises, i have been sticking the iphone inside an empty adaptec usb drive enclosure. it seems to do the trick, although many folks seem to like the aluminum foil method.

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