Can a Smartphone record audio like a professional recording studio? Frankly speaking, yes. But how? Well, it depends on how smart your phone is and how smart are you in using it. A phone can be the external audio recorders too but a recording is not a radical technology either. Nevertheless, recording with a Smartphone has not always been a walk in the park.
Since mobile devices have become our go-to choice every day, mobile manufacturers compete on making their masterpieces on top – smooth screens, gorgeous designs, amazing features and high-tech apps. And because people can’t live without music and entertainment, media plays an important part.
While recording wasn’t probably the purpose of buying the phone, it’s something worth considering. However, recording audio like a pro needs a few factors. Here is where I walk you through.
Tips for Recording Audio
When recording, get rid of any unnecessary sound around you such as talking radio, noisy TV or avoid on vehicle beeps for good. Also, you shouldn’t forget that it’s a multifunction device. Instant messaging beeps, keypad tones or even the smallest click sound on your phone may distract your recording. Make sure to turn off your phone and messaging tones as well as your notifications so you can go on a smooth-free recording process.
Distractions do not just happen on your phone alone, as said earlier; even the noises from vehicles and other things around you can make an impact as well. Take note of your surroundings and take a moment to listen to. Moreover, spend some time on taking a short recording in the room. This is to see what irregularities you need to cover up and see what arrangement you can make for obtaining the best spot for recording.
Make your Phone Ready
Some phones need to download audio recording applications especially those ones equipped with only a big record button. However, most simple recording applications only have a few settings to play with and that denotes hassle to the user’s end.
Phones already have a microphone housed in the device hence you can hear and talk to anyone using it and do a simple recording. Regardless of the mic, don’t lose data by over compressing the device. Additionally, make sure you have enough memory to crank up the recording quality.
Use an External Microphone
Although you already have a built-in mic, there’s always something more you can use for the better. Depending on the quality of result you wanted to achieve, plugging in an external microphone is great so your phone will not suffer. A lot of devices nowadays come with a microphone jack which you can use to connect an external mic for recording.
Purchase an external microphone to plug into your Smartphone to increase the quality of audio recording tenfold. Plugging in an external microphone will not just give clarity to the sound but will also allow you to control flexibility in chaotic rooms.
Good Recording Studio Apps for Smartphone
In a real recording studio, a computer always comes with digital audio workstation software in order to record, mix and master audio. Smartphone needs apps for recording too. Looking for portable additions to your studio tools is essential to increase the quality of your audio. There is a lot of great free and paid recording studio apps specially made for phones nowadays, some of them are as follows:
- My BeatBox
- Sonic Loops
- S Mixer
- S Multitrack
RoboVox and My BeatBox apps are essential in pitch-shifting your singing and turn it into a virtual rhythm machine. Sonic Loops are the ones help you make tunes and backgrounds from loops and samples of your track. S Mixer apps are capable of providing onscreen multitrack mixers. It accepts input from other apps too.
On the other hand, S Multitrack is known to be the full-fledged digital recorders that use interfaces. It provides drag-and-drop editing to make the most of the touchscreen capabilities. Since apps consume spaces a lot, upgrade your memory card before heading into the mobile gig.
Synths and Virtual Instruments
- Best Electric Guitar
- SPC-Music Sketchpad 2
- S Sequencer
- Dubstep Creator
- Best Composer
For synths and virtual instruments, you can use apps like Best Electric Guitar which draw sampled sounds of real instruments or you can opt to RD4-Groovebox that copy classic synths. It is also capable of creating new ones to help you build parts. Apps like SPC-Music Sketchpad works great on sampling and sequencing electronic music whereas the S Sequencer help you explore and develop new sounds.
Moreover, GrooveMixer and Dubstep Creator enable you to build drum and percussion parts. It will also help you create drum-machine sounds like famous beatboxes while anchoring tunes with a solid bottom end. Another app is called Best Composer to access a pad-style interface.
Sequencers, Music Notation and Others
- Guitar Chords and Tabs
- Dubstep Producer
- Music Riff Studio
- Live Touch XJ
- Plasma Sound HD
Apps like Guitar Chords and Tabs provide you chords and tabs from hit songs and that it will be easy for you to know guitar chords. On the other hand, Dubstep Producer and Music Riff Studio are kinds of sequencers that enable you to alter samples suiting your composition. It can also help in making songs thru the use of sonic patterns.
Other apps you may try is the Super Tuner. It takes advantage of your Smartphone’s portability and it keeps your stringed instruments at the correct pitch. You may also run real-time DJ mixing consoles like Live Touch XJ which accepts tunes from memory card or USB device or you may opt for Plasma Sound HD.
Smartphone apps play a big part in making a great mobile recording. They give you access to the musical notation you need the most in the studio. Whether you need to write guitar tablature or simply want to look up the chord progression, you need Smartphone apps to complete the job.
Going to Mobile Recording
Everyone can do the recording. What makes it a bit challenging is spicing it up. If you want to make it done great, don’t rely on the built-in microphone or on the included microphone preamp your phone typically have.
Audio in the Apple world is a bit complicated yet very much accessible. All the apps are available in the iTunes store where all are in control. Their products come with the new Thunderbolt connector which made it possible to develop add-ons for third parties. For a simpler approach, get a splitter cable for the audio jack. Notice the earbud plug on your device where you can see four connections instead of the common three.
Use a splitter cable by plugging it into the audio jack of the device; plug the headphones and a microphone. Since this is a mic input, it needs mic level audio signals. Once you’re done making adjustments, launch your audio recording apps and start recording.
Unlike Apple’s iron-fisted ecosystem, Android is far less compatibility. Android devices have no I/O connector making the audio jack limited for input and monitoring. Not all android has a TRRS connector as well. However, Android phones are commonly a safe bet just don’t forget to check the specifications for particular make and model of the phone. Go to the Google Play Store for the apps.
There are multiple ways to record audio in your Smartphone. But only a few of them show you ways how to do it best. The tips and guides above will open a room for Android and iOS users to experience what it feels to record audio like a studio. Got an idea how to record audio like a pro studio? Now go and try it yourself!