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Thread: OTG: Hooking a mic up to your smartphone

  1. #1
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    Default OTG: Hooking a mic up to your smartphone

    The video quality (13-18mps) of smartphone are getting better and
    better but sometimes the video is let down by the quality of the audio.
    Here I explain to to use a OTG (on the go) module to allow you to
    connect an external mike to the USB port of you Smartphone and use
    it to record better audio using the free app Open Camera.
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    Brilliant idea, Rob!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Brilliant idea, Rob!
    Well I have put it to the test and I do believe the audio quality is very much better
    than the audio you get from the phone's mike.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks Rob. I have an OTG adaptor and a USB microphone. I couldn't get them to work last time I tried, but that was with my previous phone and then I hadn't heard of Open Camera. I'll give it a go.

    (later) It works great thanks Rob!
    Last edited by jimavery; 11-02-2017 at 11:32 AM. Reason: later

  5. #5
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    Thanks for finding and sharing this one Rob.

    Android is somewhat different from Apple's iOS, in that Android does not have good support for USB Audio, nor Class-Compliant USB Audio built-in like iOS does.

    Therefore, the app you want to use needs to have proper drivers built-in to the app itself. Most of these Android apps that are geared for multitrack recording similar to Garageband on iOS, but for Android, require an in-app purchase of ~$20 to enable the external mic/audio-interface function, and this price is a barrier for lots of folks.

    So this app, Open Camera is a great find for those wanting to make videos on Android with better audio quality, such as for Seasons videos.

    The only down-side, which is also present on iOS is that the battery in your phone or tablet is also being used to power the USB Mic, and some mics want too much power and will be non-functional (usually you get an error message like 'This device requires too much power and will be disabled', but the Samson Go-Mic in your video above is a great choice for this as it is low power, and likely has a larger mic element than what is built-in to many phone and tablet devices. Also having an external mic lets you place the mic where you want it, and not be forced to be too close to the phone in order to isolate yourself from background noise (air conditioner, fan noise, dog barking, etc)

    Here is the official web site for the app, with lots of details:

    http://opencamera.sourceforge.net/

    I plan to grab this and try it out as well. Good stuff, and thanks again Rob!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimavery View Post
    Thanks Rob. I have an OTG adaptor and a USB microphone. I couldn't get them to work last time I tried, but that was with my previous phone and then I hadn't heard of Open Camera. I'll give it a go.

    (later) It works great thanks Rob!
    Great that it worked for you.... that is nice to hear.
    Some phones are not OTG compliant and this might
    not work for them. The little light flashing on the mike
    is a good indicator that you have made a good connection.
    I also stuck a flash drive onto the OTG and it booted up
    quite nicely and then using ES explorer on the phone I was
    able to see all the files on the flash drive. So it has other
    applications as well not only recording.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post

    So this app, Open Camera is a great find for those wanting to make videos on Android with better audio quality, such as for Seasons videos. I plan to grab this and try it out as well. Good stuff, and thanks again Rob!
    I have also tried it with the CameraMX app and it works without setting up for an
    external mike. CameraMX has the advantage that it will give you a number of
    video filters to work with is you want to artsy video like one colour selection.
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  8. #8
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    I wanted to thank you for the heads up on the OTG adapter. I am using it for a different function other than recording video.

    In the past I was able to plug in my Zoom H2n handi-recorder into my Samsung phone via the headphone jack to do just audio recordings. Well that stopped working over a month ago, even after buying 2 different TTR cables that you are suppose to use.

    I then bought the OTG cable and tried recording with the different audio recording apps I had on the phone but nothing worked. I then remember Booli saying apps needed the built in drivers to function. Long story short the free app "Rec Forge Lite" works great. I can once again use my Zoom H2n as a high quality external mic. Fortunately this has it's own battery power. Those that don't use the power from the phone and it might not be sufficient, then you get the "bad" message.

    I just wanted to say thanks and let other android users know that Rec Forge Lite allows the use of a USB connected mic.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 11-30-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Interesting thread. I've often wished I could record outside and "on the go", but have always had to stick to computers indoors to do it well.

    What would I have to spend for a smartphone with good video, if I were only to use it for that? (Well, maybe that and carrying around my photo album, like everyone else seems to these days, and taking advantage of free wi-fi)). I've never even priced them, as a "dumb phone" has been way more than adequate for my telephonic needs (witness the 5000+ minutes on the thing, because I have to buy some every year to keep it active, whether I talk or not). . I suspect there would be a learning curve for a while.

    Any recommended good deals on phones? Or ones to avoid? I suppose I missed my chance with all the Black Friday week stuff now ended. But it's something to think about till another big sale comes around...

    I must sound like a bigger cheapskate than the OP. (LOL, because I probably am one....)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    Interesting thread. I've often wished I could record outside and "on the go", but have always had to stick to computers indoors to do it well.

    What would I have to spend for a smartphone with good video, if I were only to use it for that? (Well, maybe that and carrying around my photo album, like everyone else seems to these days, and taking advantage of free wi-fi)). I've never even priced them, as a "dumb phone" has been way more than adequate for my telephonic needs (witness the 5000+ minutes on the thing, because I have to buy some every year to keep it active, whether I talk or not). . I suspect there would be a learning curve for a while.

    Any recommended good deals on phones? Or ones to avoid? I suppose I missed my chance with all the Black Friday week stuff now ended. But it's something to think about till another big sale comes around...

    I must sound like a bigger cheapskate than the OP. (LOL, because I probably am one....)

    bratsche
    To be honest you may be better off looking for a second hand GoPro camera (or any pocket sized camera that takes video and has a mic in) and getting an external mic for it vs getting a smart phone in the long run. You will pretty much be forced into a data package with a smart phone (not sure if you currently have data), so your cost over time will be more if you dont really want or need data.

    But going this route it would be something extra you had to carry around.

    Edit--You could also consider a wifi only tablet that would work with the set up discussed in this post, and have the ability to do basic editing and upload straight to the internet over wifi.
    Last edited by ShadowWalker; 12-02-2017 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Another idea

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