Record dad's memories with the smartphone

Jefferson Graham offers tips for interviewing dad on smartphones for Father's Day. #TalkingTech.
SAN FRANCISCO - You can forget about checking out the killer Father’s Day sales and spending your good money.
I’ve got the best present of all, and it will last for years and years.
Sit down and talk to Dad this weekend, and record family memories on your smartphone.
What do we have in our short time together but our stories--it’s your job to document them and pass em down to future generations.
I’ve got some tips on how to do it, whether it be video or audio. I would push for the video interview--we want to see Dad’s face, but some of our father’s are shy. In that case, go for audio.
Either way, here’s my 5 tips:

--1. Your audio will always be way better better with a microphone. I like the $100 iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia that sells for $99, or the $49 iRig Lav mic, which fits into the headphone jack of the phone, and then can be placed on his lapel for the interview.
--2. If you don’t want to spring for the mic, fine, use the audio recorder on your phone. I like the third-party recorder apps that let you see the audio levels go up and down to confirm your recording. Voice Record Pro is great--you’ll get better sound, and your file will be easier to share.
--3. Now, this is very important, when recording, for either video or audio, bring dad to a really quiet area of the house to record him. Your smartphone mic picks up everything--get far away from moving feet, the TV, radio, etc. But in a quiet room, you'll have better luck. Have the recording device close--don't be shy. The further away, the poorer the sound.
--4. If it’s a video, make sure you have good lighting. Light dad by the window--that is with your back to the window. If he’s facing the other way, he’ll be blown out and appear as a silhouette.
--5. For the video, you can keep the camera steady by placing it against a book. You could buy a selfie stick, place it in there, and rest it against a ledge. Just don’t have it too far away--you want to be close enough to pick up the sound.
Bonus tips: for editing the video--cutting out the stops and starts, adding transitions, that sort of stuff, there are many great apps to edit right on the phone, like iPhone’s iMovie and GoPro’s Splice. If you’re lazy and want to hire someone else to do it, just ship the footage to the app VidMob--you can expect to pay around $75 for the finished production.
Finally, some questions you might want to ask Dad:
--Tell me what you remember about the family home you grew up in. Describe it.
-- What was dinner like with your parents? What did you talk about, eat — who all was at the table?
-- Dad, who taught you how to drive? What kind of car was it? What do you remember about that experience?
--What did you want to be do when you grew up, and how did you get there?
When you’re done, you’ll have a big audio file that won’t fit in an e-mail, so you’ll need to send it to a site like Dropbox or Google Drive to get it off your phone. You can share it from there, or post it the SoundCloud audio site to put onto Facebook. For video, you can share to YouTube or Facebook, but if you want to share privately from within the family, try Google Photos, Google Drive or Dropbox.
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