There are several uses for having a dedicated voice recorder at your disposal. You can use these to record conversations or simply record ideas that you might have at any given time. However, it is no longer necessary to invest in an expensive voice recorder given that most Android phones come with the ability to record audio at will.
Voice recording is one of the basic functions of modern day smartphones. However, not every voice recording app is worth its salt.
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What are some of the key features that we look for in a voice recording app? Well, it has to record high quality audio, while some apps can also block out background noise to enhance the quality further. The app stores recordings as Mp3 files as soon as you hit the record button, with the ability to store it in the native storage or SD card storage depending on your convenience.
The app also offers the ability to upload your files automatically to cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox, thus assuring you of the safety of your recordings. You can also directly transfer the recordings to your computer using a Wi-Fi feature. The one caveat here is that the free version only allows you to record clips of up to 10 minutes.
You will need to purchase the Pro version of the app in order to record longer audio files unlimited duration. The free version has no ads or in-app purchases. This app is specifically designed to help you record lectures and notes from classes for later perusal. It can help both teachers and students to present notes or to record them as per their convenience. With that being said, it can also be used for presentations in several other setups, so its use case is not limited to the academia. In addition to capturing audio or video recordings, the app can also help you take down handwritten notes, basically turning it into a virtual notebook.
These notes can then be projected onto a bigger screen for presentations and lectures. Luckily, the developers also offer a free version of the app to let you try out its features. The app works with any device running Android 3. When you want an audio recording retrieved, you simply go to the app and get the recording from the past few minutes. These are the best options for audio recording on a mobile phone, without too many external accoutrements. It is all down to mic quality, I am sure, but mobile phones can give very good results. Geezer, Thanks for the feedback.
Likewise with the iPod — what app were you using? On Nokia the recording app comes with the phone and does 96Hz 16 bit. Ditto the Nokia , both times using internal mics, which are excellent. Stereo recording on Android devices is difficult. My Xperia E3 do have 2 microphones to record in stereo with field recorder, full frequency response, only downside is input level too low so normalizing is necesary at PC.
Thank you for the comment, Abner. The sound is quite good from just your phone! A downside is the narrowness of the stereo image — mics too close together. Have you tried using 2 phones and mixing them in post to get a better stereo image? The recording app I use is Field Recorder. The mics seem to be of good quality. I recorded some quite demanding percussive music from my hifi speakers and compared the recording with the STM10 with that of the Roland R The recording IS stereo, and the soundstage is actually very good.
I recorded a live album off the speakers and the live feeling really came across in the Z3 recording. Using the automatic microphone sensitivity setting leads to disaster, especially with dynamic sounds. The gain is adjusted so fast, that the recording becomes unlistenable. Using a fixed sensitivity works fine. I am very happy with the combination. First android setup I have come across to really be useable for field recording.
Jacob, Thank you for your detailed update on the STM That sounds pretty encouraging, and much better than the little video. It sounds like it works pretty good for loud sounds? Have you tried shooting video with it? Have you tried the Sony recorder app? Thanks for your comparison. I am curious whether this combo would be better than the iphone you looked at.
Thanks for the question. If this works as described, it could be a game changer. Any chance you could test it and report back? Thanks for bringing it to my attention. The Xperia Z3 has a proprietary 5 pin trrrs socket for headphones and microphones, enabling noise cancelling headphones and stereo mics. I have not found anything on the pinouts of this socket. I guess only Sony knows for sure.
There are several microphones made for TRRS ports that claim to be stereo, but are not, so I suppose that might be the case here too. I had a brief email exchange with an android developer and he also did not have any definitive information on the pinout. For compatibility reasons needs to work for normal headphones he seems to think that the pinout of the socket could be:.
My results are in this blog post: themobilepro. I also have a free ebook of 5 pro-quality set-ups, and a step-by-step video guide on how to set them all up. Not every computer interface is iOS-compliant, but most will work. Also, on iOS devices, it is possible to connect external USB audio devices and use them with video apps.
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I recommend FilMic Pro app for the most control. Anyway, thank you again for your work — so helpful! Shawn, thank you for the information! That fills a huge gap on the iOS side. Thanks, Christine! So glad you like the ebook — tons of work testing all this stuff, as you know! You can even use a splitter with it to get 2 dynamic mics for an interview i. SM58 mics. This is Bonus Set-Up 1 in the back of my ebook. For true 2 channel, discrete recording, you need to go thru the lightening connector. Again, thanks for your work! I hope Android will throw some attention at pro-audio with their OS.
Again, glad I can point them to this article for some sound advice pardon the pun! Hi Christine, I know. Ktjing about recording. Not spying at all. Trying to get lound thumps and bangs. Any advice? Hi Dee, If you are trying to record the loudness of the sound, you need a sound meter. There are sound meter apps for smartphones, but if you need it for legal purposes, you will need a meter that can be calibrated which can be pricey. Does that help? Some months ago I measured my hearing loss at home — quite easy to do. I found the frequency at which an ear was the most sensitive and used that as a reference 0dB on the graph.
Everything else for that ear being so many dB below. If I had access to a calibrated sound source or calibrated microphone I could have corrected my reference and therefore readings to absolute values. If you could get a reading of a single very loud sound on a calibrated meter, with the meter located alongside the recording device while recording, and you can subsequently identify that measured sound on the recording, you can then derive absolute values for all the sounds.
You would have play the recording and read the amplitude of the recorded sounds on any meter with a dB scale connected to the audio out line , and write them down. It sounds more difficult than it is. Very interesting post, thanks to the writer, Good job done!! I have few questions for you. I would like to write a guitar tuning application using clip microphone.
Can it be achieve using TRRS port option? Which adapter you get depends on the age and model of your phone. Lavaliers are mono as is the TRRS port , so if you wanted stereo, you might want to try another method. Lavs are also pretty weak, and are better for recording your voice close up while rejecting surrounding sounds.
Probably not the best choice for an instrument. Internal signal manipulation in the phone depends on the particular model of the phone and the app used. Given the complexity of recording with an Android phone, you might want to consider a small recorder with built-in mics. Hope that helps! Pingback: External mic? Thanks for the links, Sami. For folks that like to shoot video with their phones, using onboard mics, this looks like a serious upgrade, especially with the high quality of the camera.
However, they are limited to mono for external mics, as they can only receive a signal via the TRRS jack or bluetooth. I did a search on phonearena, and none of the current Windows phones have a USB host, which would allow stereo external mics. Im still learning anyway. But you can always try for yourself for free whenever possible I suggest.
Most reports on recording with Bluetooth have been less than stellar — hopefully their app and hardware are a significant improvement. One red flag though is the 3. You also cannot usually pair audio recording with video recording on Android but you can on iOS. But it sound like they are using their own app for that? Are you going to get one? Thanks for sharing this. My recent tests recording with bluetooth are showing: 1 Hz resolution very poor 2 Mono only.
BUT Playing thru bluetooth is good but not as good and expensive compared to regular wired headphones Sony, Senheiser. I dont think thats going to change ever since newer usb tech toys are cheaper and available for any platform alesis, art, creative just to mention the cheap and worth ones. Hi Abner — what Bluetooth device were you using and what app? And what were you recording? So you think Bluetooth is NOT a good way to go? In recording settings there are no options rather than 8khz mono. The Hooke works in stereo with some cameras stereo line in, probably other stereo line in devices ,but not Android devices, at least for now.
The video showing musicians playing in the subway sounds ok but bass frequencies are lost, thats why they didnt shoot a band, my guess. Just be careful with some wanna be recording stereo microphones with headsets. I mean, If you put money and time on the equation you probably spend more trying to make things work in different ways than usual. And my eyes still need a 15 inch screen at least, my new 7 inch chinese tablet usb works but is a pain in my eyes, unless I use it to record one long session to edit on computer later.
Thanks Cristine. So Im still using my PC for most recordings until I get one of the mentioned compatible USB interfaces to do some field recordings in stereo. I miss my stolen SP…. Thanks for all the info. Is the 8k sampling limit a function of the mic, the transmitter, or the recording program? There is an app you can download for this, which has a free version for testing. You must be careful which adapter cable you buy. I was surprised at the quality. Much better than going into a GoPro direct. Thanks for asking him how he recorded stereo. He used the Neumann head, right? I have to say though, that it appears he likes collecting equipment.
As someone who is retired from a professional life in electronics, from d. Yes, it does seem like that. It would without doubt be more convenient. And if anyone should produce such a device which incorporates a camera and or a telephone, what shortcomings would be evident in the latter if the major function is the former. David — well said! I think in many cases, people with smartphones would save themselves time and money by just using a device designed for sound recording.
Most smartphones, with the possible exception of iPhones, are not there yet. I would love to see recorders, at least consumer varieties, include some smartphone features, like the ability to add apps so you can change some of the settings , and a built-in GPS. But, as you said, adding things like a camera and telephone would likely mean an undesirable compromise. Along these same lines, one obvious option not mentioned so far for shooting video with an external mic is to use two smartphones.
The person you are interviewing can hold the other phone just out of sight. Many of us now have an older phone sitting around the house that may not be great for video but is still fine as an audio recorder. This also works well where you are asking someone to show you something — their garden, art work or work environment. Have them hold the other phone to record their voice while they show you around and you shoot what they are talking about. Then edit in your b-roll.
Thanks, Steve, excellent suggestion. You might be able to improve the sound some on the recording phone by adding a lavalier through the headset port. If you want narration or dialog, you will get better sound by having the mic as close as possible to the person speaking.
Is it possible to take a direct line cable i. The software is capable, but generally uses a connection to regular phone via RJ plug to record to Mac.
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Craig, could you provide more details about the specific devices? I found this today. In this video the guy is recording binaural sound into his GoPro. But the first comment on the youtube page he mentions getting great sound into android. The piano sound recording is too weak for an 8k Neumann microphone. Some cameras have stereo input, 48khz resolution, k FR, even internal stereo microphones like my Samsung MMC plus no audio inputs in this case.
The app is for controlling the camera via WIFI, for what I understood, nothing is recorded on the phone. I forgot. He mentions to record on his phone. Thank you. For a phone, you would need an OTG capable phone. For tablets, if they have a USB cable of attaching peripherals like a mouse or keyboard, they could power some USB mics directly. And probably the way the guy with the Neumann head did it. I think he said Android, without specifying phone or tablet. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. The Senn ME2 is meant to be used with a wireless transmitter.
I think the Rode SmartLav or Audio-technica mics are better options. If anyone else knows more about connecting a Senn ME2, maybe they will chime in. Any hint would be appreciated — THX! Hi, the phone was built in ? If so, it probably is Apple compatible. One way to check is find someone with an iPhone and see if their headphones and mic check both will work with your phone. Here the collected links for android bluetooth recording APPS i found on this and other sites. Burkhard — thank you for contributing!
Information has been sparse on the Bluetooth side, so I really appreciate the input. Thanks, Abner. You are looking for something more portable than your PC right, what are you thinking of for a mixer or pre-amp? An iRig Pre? I have a Samsung laptop Intel i5 and Tascam US requires external power so there is no way to record in the jungle to record outside my studio, no need for mixer with the Tascam, only microphones and cables. You can use any mixer or iRig pre if you want to use XLR mic.
Pros: can be used alone, no external mic needed for field recording. Only make sure it has OTG capabilities. Used ones are cheap but not as much as Chinese tablet. They are more resistant than other devices in case you drop them. Recommended software for Android 4. Coming soon at you nearest blog or facebook…. I know, sometimes you need to put a little more weight in your bags if you are planning to make professional recordings anywhere outside home or your studio.
Things are changing very fast so I might be wrong all the way thru. Abner — thanks for the detailed input! Zoom and the cheaper Tascams are a bit noisy for nature recording, better are Sony or Olympus at the lower end or Sony, Marantz, or Fostex mid or Sound Devices high end. Some of my other pages in the Equipment section discuss microphones and recorders for nature recording, which requires the quietest and most portable equipment. Keep us posted as you have the opportunity to test different equipment.
Yes, we are both almost right, every person, specially professionals, has its owns requirements and taste. Why not using SM58 for field recording? I dont know, you dont explain much but I understand your point. On last thing, we are dealing with a lot of situations here, specially financial for everyones interest not the best of the best money can buy, wich only Movie companies have that kind of resources or few rich people. My point is, let anyone do some decent recordings, we have the technology right now and is not always necesary to spend thousands of dollars in equipment, unless you want and you have it.
My humble opinion. Abner — I agree completely. Not everyone needs professional gear. Dynamic mics tend to be very sensitive to moisture, so are less suited to outside recording than condenser mics. The SM58 might be fine for a quick interview or even a short outdoor recording session. But I often leave my mics out all night long, which would not be good for a dynamic mic. Technique is very important, too. Id love trying rain resistant mic. Not my guitar. Just joking. Wow, thanks for the support and offering!
We can get in touch in facebook by my name Abner Chamate. BTW, last recording in video is in stereo and processed, the other two are monaural, but my two cents penny is using two devices at different position when stereo is required, assuming mono recording is frequency response decent something between hz and khz, that depends on microphone and mixer or preamp, someone recommended iRig pre wich a dont have. Thanks again and hope to be in touch.
Ooh, this could even make the picture more complicated if they are not consistent or transparent on what they are doing with audio. Abner, thanks for posting this. I will add a link in the page. What mic and set up are you using? Very impressive results! Thanks for the advice. Better than carrying the laptop into the field. Check for apps that will accept an external sound card and try it, or you might try it with GarageBand.
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Good article but some things are outdated even at this moment, few weeks after this article. Thank you for the information. I rely on readers to provide info on devices that I cannot test. Apparently, Google left audio up to the device manufacturers who seem to view it as a low priority, and have not developed any standards. I hope that changes, soon, with decent USB and bluetooth support, and the apps to go with them.
Oops, I never meant stereo with one android device but two at almost same time with the same connections thru TRSS and combining both sources in PC editing program. Anyway my ZTE recording test sounded awful compared to Pocket Neo so one of the channels zte device would ruin a good recording. I still have to try more devices to experiment to couple with the Pocket. Almost everyone has.
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Next try is my Ipod touch 2G, already getting mic signal to tune my guitar with handsfree set, since that model does not even come with internal microphone. And another broken but working chinese tablet, will be put into test. Last try before condemed myself to my laptop is to buy another cheap tablet or maybe my wife gets rid of her Iphone 4 to buy Iphone 6? Thanks for so good information. Thank you for you input from testing. Very interesting that you got such different results with the different devices.
Tape Machine allows selecting a bluetooth mic as external.
If you have the option of obtaining a new tablet, I would be tempted to go with the iPad. A lightning to USB connector will work with either a USB mic or mixer, athough for some models you may need to add external power. Fewer concerns about kernels and chipsets. As far as Bluetooth, my understanding is that the connections are not stable, in addition to lack of stereo devices.
Good luck, and please keep us posted when you find something that works! Im thinking about using my android which support usb otg with usb sound card with mic input and Tascam TM-2X, will this configuration works? Will i record the stereo sound input? Pls reply. Erick, you are crossing into unknown territory here! You are still very limited on the USB apps to record with, though.
I would make sure that any equipment you buy is returnable, as it might not work or you might not like the results. If it does work, please let us know. Getting external stereo input into Android devices is quite a challenge. Just out of curiosity, which Android device are you using, and which USB sound card? That Diamond Sound Tube sounds like quite a device! One other thing to watch for is the impedance and power requirements of the mic. You could still use the Tascam with the TRRS port with an adapter , but the signal would be mono, so not worth it.
Anyway, theoretically this might work. Best of luck, and let me know how it goes. An interesting article. It might be of interest to some people if you mention it.
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Thanks for the comment, David. I did run across those figures at one time. I look again and try to post them. Without activating equalizer and limiter of Field Recorder I could notice only little difference in sound quality. But with these features I found a setting for my phone which is really close to my old Zoom H2.
Aditionally, I prefer the more classical user interface of Field Recorder which is quite close to a real hardware recorder. Thanks for the feedback, Stefan! I downloaded the app and it looks quite interesting. Have you tried it with external mics? Yes, I own a MicW i which is really nice. I also use it with my Nexus It has a cardioid directional pattern and you perfectly hear how it attenuates sound from from the side and back. Thank you for your great hints! A little more info for you from the Windows phone camp. I have had a series of them, going as far back as the original Samsung Windows Phone 7.
Now have a Lumia Windows phone 8. The app selection for recording is thin, but there are a couple of good ones. My two complaints about the setup are: 1. The is a really low end phone, and tends to drop samples when recording in stereo at I never record in stereo, but this still bothers me. See my a fore mentioned desire for the ICON. Getting your stuff off the phone either requires that you sync to cloud storage and then back down to your PC, or it requires a couple manual steps on both the phone and the computer. The TRRS is a mono jack stereo outputs but mono input.
I really need your help!!! It might be worth a try, though. My concern is that the 3. You might be able to replace the xlr to 3. Thank you very much!! A link to the adapter will be a HUGE favour and will save me a lot of time!!! Thank you once again kind petson!! Very nice text! It answers almost all my doubts! If it works fine I will tell you here about my experience. Do you have any information about using of midi keyboard controllers with Android? On their website, they only mention Apple products.
Hi, since TRRS only has one mic channel, the setup pictured for this product is pointless, right? I would like to use these mics, so I would need a micro-usb gadget for my Samsung Note1. I believe this angle is missing from your informative article. You list only mics with micro-usb interface, but I think i need just the interface… Have you heard of one? Not sure what the designers were thinking. If there is a micro-usb to usb adapter for the Note, then you can use something like the iMic or iLuv adapters pictured in the article , but both of those are mono signals extra port is for monitoring through headphones.
You can try something like a Behrenger UCA Audio Interface which has left and right channels separate , but I think it needs more power than your tablet can supply. Wow, I just learned something new my phone can do! I played with the voice activation on the camera app, and it does seem to be distance sensitive. Have you tried other voice activation apps? Have you checked the settings in the phone to see if you can increase the mic settings, perhaps turning noise reduction off or on might help? Would using the self-timer function on the camera app be a better option?
Please let me know if you find something that works. I will try soon with identical setup with ZTE v cellphone and get stereo recording when needed but requires some mixing on PC with Cubase or Vegas. Thanks for the input, Abner. But you should be able to get only MONO on TRSS no matter what you put in , as only one of the rings corresponds to mic input, and you would need two rings for stereo.