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MicSwap app review – A new microphone modeling app from Future Moments

The world of iOS music apps offers a little something for everyone. Synthesizers galore, drum machines, grooveboxes, guitar and amp sims, even exotic instruments like tablas and guzhengs. Additionally, there are loads of great vocal effects apps available, like iVoxel, VocaLive, Singaling, Voice Synth, and more. But, when it comes to microphone sims, I'm pretty sure that MicSwap from Future Moments is the first and only.

Much like apps like BIAS by Positive Grid or ToneStack by Yonac give you amp emulations, MicSwap allows you to choose from emulations of famous microphones. These mics are well-known to anyone who has recorded in "real life", and will be fairly easy to recognize from the images. There are 13 different microphones to choose from, including emulations of the Shure 58, Telefunken U47, and a Neumann U87, among others.

Each of the microphones offers their own tones, as you would expect from different microphones. Of course, you won't be getting a Cylon robot voice from one and a squirrel voice from another. You'll get some subtle differences in warmth and presence on the top end. You've got a nice selection of condenser mics and ribbon mics, as well as a sweet "old-timey radio" mic that gives you that classic sound.

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The operation of the app is very simple, and the interface is as minimal as can be. Swiping side to side will switch out the microphones, and this can be done on the fly. You have the option in the Settings to rearrange the order of the microphones, so you can stage these according to your needs. So, if you're using the app live, and wanted a different sound on the chorus, you could arrange these side-by-side in advance. Neat.

On the main interface is also the record button, for (wait for it) recording your performance. These recordings are stored within the app, and can be shared in a variety of ways, including Soundcloud, email, AudioCopy, among others.. A slider to control gain, a VU meter, and the recorded tracks list button round out the controls on the bottom of the screen. In the upper-left corner are your settings options.

In the aforementioned settings, you can switch between the main interface, your recordings, or you can switch the environments. These environments are different studio settings, which is another option for altering your sounds. Again, these appear to be pretty subtle, but another option for finding your sound. Within the settings is the option to re-order your mics, and an option to import audio.

If you've already recorded a track, you can bring that into MicSwap and apply the mic sounds after the fact. Options for importing include iCloud Drive, AudioCopy, or using the "Open In" function from other apps. As always, AudioShare by Kymatica is a proven winner here, and you can easily open your samples from there. I was quite surprised to find that this was an option in MicSwap, as I had assumed that it would only process live audio. Again, real nice.

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 A partial list of the available microphones in MicSwap

As has been mentioned in several of my previous reviews, I do not sing. At all. But that doesn't mean that I can't or won't use this app. Recording acoustic instruments, like an acoustic guitar or my old upright, would benefit from these microphone treatments.

Technical details time: The app is Universal, which is always nice, especially for recording some "on-the-go" vocals on your iPhone. It's not a big app either, at just over 80 MB. And, it's also good for both iOS 7 and iOS 8 (I'm so looking forward to iOS 8 getting fixed so I don't have to keep mentioning older iOS versions in my reviews). Here's the part of my reviews where I normally mention that the app is Audiobus and/or Inter-App Audio (IAA) compatible. Well, MicSwap is neither - yet. But the developer has told me that he's heard the pleas from users, and that both are coming very soon, possibly as soon as early January.

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Old-timey mic - and blue. So much blue.

So, here's my advice. There are two version of the app available, MicSwap and MicSwap Pro. MicSwap is free, and is a great way to try out the app. Seriously, just go download it right now. If you really need Audiobus or IAA, it's coming. If you like what you've heard, consider buying the Pro version. What the paid MicSwap Pro version offers is the ability to use an iOS-compatible plug-in microphone. The free version only allows you to use the built-in mic. I'm guessing that many of you, particularly the singers in the crowd, may have already purchased a nice mic for your iDevice. MicSwap Pro allows you to use that, to get the best possible clarity and sound.

We're all very fortunate in the current iOS environment to have access to these types of apps. I'm a guitarist, and would never be able to own a Marshall Stack, and an Orange, and Fender Bluesman, and a Mesa Boogie, and...well, you get my point. But with an app like BIAS, I can get the next best thing. And that's what you're getting here with MicSwap. It's unlikely that you're going to own all of these classic microphones in "real life". But here, you've got an app that's going to get you real close. If you're interested in improving the sound of your recorded vocals, give MicSwap a try.

If you're thinking about buying MicSwap Pro, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

[app 895157889] [app 935826909]

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