A simple guide to recording your USB microphone in social audio apps

A simple guide to recording your USB microphone in social audio apps

With all the buzz around social audio apps like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, there’s a lot of people looking to improve their audio quality on iOS. But if you’re not a professional podcaster, introducing XLR cables and audio interfaces to your setup might be a bridge too far. If you’re just starting out and want as little fussy hardware as possible, this guide is for you.

Getting Started

Before we jump in, there’s a few pre-requisites. You’ll need an iOS device, a Mac, a pair of headphones, and a USB microphone. I already owned an Elgato Wave:3 and a pair of Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones, but any USB mic and headphones will do.


The tricky part of this adventure was learning that iOS treats conversations and solo recording differently. Buying a mic with a Lightning jack like the Shure MV88 might sound better in the Voice Notes app, but if the iOS app doesn’t give you control to select a microphone, then chances are that a live audience is just hearing your device’s default microphone. The simplest solution involves a few more gadgets. You’ll need the following:


Next, we’ll need software to handle the role of a digital audio workspace. If you’re on a Mac, I recommend Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack. This will let us:

  • route the stage audio from your iOS device to your headphones
  • apply EQ and processing to your microphone before routing it to your iPhone
  • add any additional audio sources to the mix (browser audio, streaming music, or sound bites)
  • record your microphone and the stage separately
  • broadcast to an online radio server like Shoutcast
  • live stream to a RTMP server like YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook


  1. Plug the iRig 2 into your iOS device using the Lightning adapter.
  2. Plug the first TRS cable into the 1/4"  jack with the guitar icon on the iRig and the other end into the headphone jack in the sound adapter.
  3. Plug the second TRS cable into the the other 1/4"  jack with the amplifier icon on the iRig and the other end into the microphone jack in the sound adapter.
  4. Plug the sound adapter into your computer.
  5. Connect your headphones to your computer or directly into your microphone.
  6. Connect your USB microphone to your computer.
  7. Start your session in Audio Hijack. (⌘+R)
  8. Join the conversation on your iOS device.


That's it! Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of what it takes to upgrade your iOS audio setup.