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Rich Recording Phase 2 overview: control your stereo sound capture on Nokia Lumia 1020

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Rich Recording Phase 2 overview: control your stereo sound capture on Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia blew us away with the audio recording quality of its 808 PureView handset last year, as we'd never heard until then a phone that can be taken to a concert, and record it in full clarity, without being threatened neither by the deep bass, nor by the shrill voice of the lead singer, as it can grab sounds north of the 140 dB level without a hiccup.

The technology, in development since 2007, was called Rich Recording, made possible by the special mics that Nokia created alongside its partners, which could take a sound pressure up to four times stronger than your average phone microphone. 

They are called High-Amplitude Audio Capture (HAAC) mics, and solve the typical disadvantage that the tiny diaphragm of your run-of-the-mill handset microphone has - to avoid clipping the sound at high 120 dB levels, which introduces distortion, a high-pass filter gets applied, which makes the sound very thin, as the low frequencies become non-existent.

Rich Recording Phase 2 overview: control your stereo sound capture on Nokia Lumia 1020

Rich Recording Phase 2 overview: control your stereo sound capture on Nokia Lumia 1020
We are hearing this problem on almost every phone out there, so Nokia decided to do something about it, and introduced not one, but two pre-amps in its HAAC mic setup, as you see on the diagram above. This way the normal sound path goes through the typical 120 dB maximum range, and the other pre-amp is used for those sound that exceed the 120 dB level, and go to 140 dB and up, even if it's for a split second. 

The processing algorithms then combine the dual-channel input for a much fuller, rich-sounding audio. Not only that, but the algorithms kick in to reduce wind and other parasitic noise, level out the strength, and even eliminate camera elements noise, thus leaving you with the best sound ever produced from a smartphone, and in stereo at that, thanks to the placement of the mics around the 808 PureView.

Now with the Nokia Lumia 1020 we have what can be deemed Rich Recording Phase 2, as the new HAAC mics can now take six times the beating of your average phone unit, and never flinch at high sound pressure levels. This allows for distortion-free stereo recording in the whole range of human hearing, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with the microphones situated so that your handling of the handset doesn't get in the way.

Nokia's HAAC mics pack five years of research into a tiny footprint

Nokia's HAAC mics pack five years of research into a tiny footprint


In the Lumia 1020 Nokia said it improved on the Rich Recording technology even further on the software level, too, allowing the user to take control over the HAAC mics. In the new Nokia Pro Camera app you will now find not only an abundance of settings for pictures and video, but manual controls for the sound recording as well. Nokia introduced three modes that cover most situations with audio that can occur:

Default: This works especially well in loud environments, such as concerts, but this default option provides balanced and natural sound from almost any recording situation, no matter how big the bass.

Strong: This setting can be applied in situations where there is lots of low frequency noise, such as a strong wind or when you video your dog sticking its head out of the car window as you’re moving. While you may not notice it during the recording, these low sounds can be loud and dominant during playback. ‘Strong’ applies an effective filter to reduce the unwanted low-frequency noises.

Off: This setting can be used when there is a need to capture the entire sound spectrum from ca. 20Hz to 20kHz. Some may find this option convenient if they wish to edit the sound on a computer.

To cut a long story short, the sound captured with the Lumia 1020 is shaping up to be every bit as amazing for a phone, as is the case with the photography chops of the device. Nokia seems to have guarded off its Rich Recording invention with patents, judging from the kerfuffle with HTC about the high-amp HDR mics on the One, so for the time being the technology seems exclusive to the best Windows Phone handset around. Check out the video below to hear it in action, and take a wild guess who would these "Competitor A" and "Competitor S" personas be that Nokia is condescendingly referring to.


references: Nokia (1)(2)(3)

52 Comments
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posted on 19 Jul 2013, 09:19 23

1. Emily1985 (Posts: 123; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)


Nokia you are amazing!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 09:23 1

4. dickwyn (Posts: 586; Member since: 07 May 2012)


where's competitor H

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 09:29 6

5. tashreef (Posts: 476; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)


No wonder that nokia sued htc ? This article is enough to understand why they seeked ban on ONE ....... GREAT job nokia..

Well if you don't have a lumia, you don't have a lumia

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 09:45 5

9. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Sorry but I'd take the One over this lumia any day! You seem to forget that a great smartphone is not just about the camera. The HTC One is definitely a better smartphone than this!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 09:48 6

11. SakuroAkino (banned) (Posts: 141; Member since: 12 Jul 2013)


Actually these 15-20 users on Phonearena are a group of gangs
They are buying 2-3 million lumia's together
And helping nokia in sales

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 04:29

47. user996 (Posts: 181; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


with nokia's own HAAC mic tech LoL

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 07:12

49. SleepingOz (unregistered)


So what? How does it change the fact that it's a better smartphone than the lumia 1020?

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 11:26 4

33. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 847; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


Love the Rich Recording. My only issue with it is that it slightly drowns out the loudness and requires you to turn up your speakers more. Wish they could find a better balance in that respect.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 11:54 2

35. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


^ this(!!!) is how people should comment! No fuss, no puss...just raw point to the article.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 12:14 3

36. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Like you do on every Samsung articles, right?
Such a hypocrite!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 12:30 2

37. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Yeah, like you do on Nokia articles. Hypocrite right back at you.
Is your screw loose? Do you need check up?
I'm talking about him not me...if you were sane enough, you would've caught that. You just want to bite me.
I may say things, but not like you do.
Sorry, had to say it.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 12:46 2

38. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Like I do? Really? Do I troll nokia articles? Do I leave nonsensical BS comments on nokia articles? All I did on this one is to reply to someone who wanted to start a flame war, with valid arguement. I dare you to find one single nokia article where I did what you usually do on Samsung articles!

"I'm talking about him not me...if you were sane enough, you would've caught that."
I did get that and that's the main reason that makes you a hypocrite!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 13:07

40. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


O no...i'm not going to waste my time looking for what is and what is not!
I'm not justifying myself...i'm just saying the way he commented was fair and square with respect to the article, and that is how comments should be...(INCLUDING MINE)! Which part of 'people' didn't you understand?
Have you lost your mind man?

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 07:32

50. Damo579 (Posts: 170; Member since: 18 May 2013)


I totally agree hopefully generation 3 will fix this.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 23:48 2

44. persikon (Posts: 29; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Another reason to get the 1020! You get what you pay for!

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 06:28

48. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1121; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


*you get MORE what you pay for!

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 07:35

51. Damo579 (Posts: 170; Member since: 18 May 2013)


I hear that when the Nokia pro camera app is released for the Lumia 92x range it will enable stereo recording when we shoot video. They have the same microphones as the 1020. At the moment it's in mono.....

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 06:49

52. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2530; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Nokia you are the best.

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