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wee_ginga_yin
11-01-2017, 10:16 AM
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQwxW5npbw0

hendulele
11-02-2017, 08:13 AM
Brilliant idea, Rob!

wee_ginga_yin
11-02-2017, 08:41 AM
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.

jimavery
11-02-2017, 10:12 AM
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!

Booli
11-02-2017, 12:21 PM
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! :)

wee_ginga_yin
11-02-2017, 07:38 PM
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.

wee_ginga_yin
11-03-2017, 05:30 AM
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.

DownUpDave
11-30-2017, 10:49 AM
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.

bratsche
11-30-2017, 04:15 PM
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

ShadowWalker
12-02-2017, 03:05 PM
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.

bratsche
12-02-2017, 04:07 PM
I wondered about the whole data thing... you can't just use a smartphone as a pocket-sized mini wifi tablet? I've got a bunch of old pocket digital cameras, but am not too impressed with the video on them, and they only take 2GB SD cards, which cost a fortune nowadays compared with the higher capacity ones. They are also a bit clunky by today's standards. I was thinking a smartphone with a bunch of onboard memory would be nicer, more portable, and make better video.... if it could work without any obligations attached, of course.

bratsche

flailingfingers
12-03-2017, 04:21 AM
An Apple iPod is basically a wi-fi only smart phone...sort of. No data fee.

DownUpDave
12-03-2017, 04:31 AM
An Apple iPod is basically a wi-fi only smart phone...sort of. No data fee.

On that note the Apple iPod touch is a wonderful wifi only device if you choice that model. Apple products are compatible with many more manufactures of microphones then Android. It will do email and you have access to the internet and all the great apps. You just can't make a phone call with it.

ShadowWalker
12-03-2017, 05:20 AM
I wondered about the whole data thing... you can't just use a smartphone as a pocket-sized mini wifi tablet? I've got a bunch of old pocket digital cameras, but am not too impressed with the video on them, and they only take 2GB SD cards, which cost a fortune nowadays compared with the higher capacity ones. They are also a bit clunky by today's standards. I was thinking a smartphone with a bunch of onboard memory would be nicer, more portable, and make better video.... if it could work without any obligations attached, of course.

bratsche
The key word you used is old:cool: Cameras have come a long way in the last few years. A 32 or 64 gb micro sd card can be had for $20 or less. I can store hours oc video (longer than the battery lasts) on a 64gb card on my gopro. This is quality video (1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120 fps).

Like others said, an Ipod touch is a smartphone without the phone. Maybe look for a used or refurbished one.

bratsche
12-03-2017, 06:49 AM
The key word you used is old:cool: Cameras have come a long way in the last few years. A 32 or 64 gb micro sd card can be had for $20 or less. I can store hours oc video (longer than the battery lasts) on a 64gb card on my gopro. This is quality video (1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120 fps).

Oh, I know, I was just talking about my pocket sized ones. I have one that takes bigger cards but I have to carry it in a separate bag (or around my neck).



Like others said, an Ipod touch is a smartphone without the phone. Maybe look for a used or refurbished one.

How is its photo and video quality?

bratsche

DownUpDave
12-03-2017, 07:00 AM
Oh, I know, I was just talking about my pocket sized ones. I have one that takes bigger cards but I have to carry it in a separate bag (or around my neck).




How is its photo and video quality?

bratsche

Photo and video quality are very good, I have one but dont use it much. Although I use my Android phone a lot to record practice sessions with the group I play in. It is invaluable because it is so quick and efficient. With a decent external mic the recording quality is great. A small portable blue tooth speaker gives decent playback quality. These are practice tools that really make a difference.

bonesigh
12-05-2017, 04:56 AM
Great thread Rob (:

Ziret
12-05-2017, 07:55 AM
I wondered about the whole data thing... you can't just use a smartphone as a pocket-sized mini wifi tablet? I've got a bunch of old pocket digital cameras, but am not too impressed with the video on them, and they only take 2GB SD cards, which cost a fortune nowadays compared with the higher capacity ones. They are also a bit clunky by today's standards. I was thinking a smartphone with a bunch of onboard memory would be nicer, more portable, and make better video.... if it could work without any obligations attached, of course.

bratsche

Sure you can do that. Any old Android phone will work for quite a bit less than any new i-thing.

Booli
12-05-2017, 08:34 AM
I wondered about the whole data thing... you can't just use a smartphone as a pocket-sized mini wifi tablet? I've got a bunch of old pocket digital cameras, but am not too impressed with the video on them, and they only take 2GB SD cards, which cost a fortune nowadays compared with the higher capacity ones. They are also a bit clunky by today's standards. I was thinking a smartphone with a bunch of onboard memory would be nicer, more portable, and make better video.... if it could work without any obligations attached, of course.

bratsche

nother option instead of a smartphone with an external mic, or a GoPro with an external mic, might be the ZoomQ2n, which came out last December 2016, and has been getting great reviews, and has the legendary Zoom mic system built-in with a nince 1080p HD video camera.

I am greatly fatigued by all the cable-wrangling etc when using my iPad to record videos for the UU seasons and was looking for a dedicated camera with great audio, and Zoom claims that this camera was 'made for musicians'...

B&H and Sweetwater had it listed for $169 last time I looked, and aside from recording to an internal/removable microSD card, it can also record to the computer/iOS device via USB.

Here is the link to the product on Zoom's web site:

https://www.zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/video-recording/zoom-q2n-handy-video-recorder

As you scroll down the page, you will see MANY close-up photos and a handful of video demos, and there are many more on Youtube if you search 'Zoom Q2n'.

I would have bought one of these already if I had enough disposable cash saved up over the past year, but it's been a bit tight money-wise and saving up that much at once, has not been possible yet.

The main benefit of using one of these things is that there is no worry about 'which' USB mic to add to your smartphone or tablet, because all of that is taken out of the equation - this is a hand-sized (about the size of a softball) all-in-one hi-fi hi-res video camera with removable batteries and removable storage cards, and easy to bring your recordings into the computer for anything you want to do with them after recording, like editing, etc, or putting on YouTube, or emailing to family, etc.

Using something like this would be MUCH simpler than wading thru the nearly thousand choices of video camera apps and external microphones for an iOS or Android device, as well as be MUCH cheaper, and would last a lot longer before becoming obsolete.

The obsolescence manifests as Apple devices no longer get security updates after about 2 yrs, and using them without updates puts you at great risk for your data to be exfiltrated or your phone to be hijacked be nefarious programs/web-sites.

Android devices are also often abandoned, and subject to the same risks, but the 'useful' lifespan of each device (as per it's maker) is defined by and based upon either the phone maker's private deprecation schedule and/or your wireless carrier which often both lag behind as well as orphan devices prematurely.

Both of these issues reduce the overall function of anything that connects to the internet. Why does a CAMERA have to connect to the internet????? It should not HAVE TO.

The Zoom Q2n and GoPro 'Music' models do NOT need internet nor special apps to work.

It may be in your best interest to take a look at something that does not ALSO function as a phone or wi-fi device.

This advice is coming from my 35 yrs experience working as an IT professional and seeing the internet, and anything attached to it get exploited by those with malicious intent, at every possible attack vector. I'd say to minimize the potential for exposure to such risks and maybe look at something that it's primary function is to be a hi-fi and hi-res video camera and nothing else.

LarryS
12-05-2017, 09:24 AM
Nice one. I have an Android phone and already have an OTG, i just need to find a decent mike! BTW Rob, the little hole at the top of your phone is a reset button. I had that phone previously.

LarryS
12-05-2017, 09:29 AM
I wondered about the whole data thing... you can't just use a smartphone as a pocket-sized mini wifi tablet? I've got a bunch of old pocket digital cameras, but am not too impressed with the video on them, and they only take 2GB SD cards, which cost a fortune nowadays compared with the higher capacity ones. They are also a bit clunky by today's standards. I was thinking a smartphone with a bunch of onboard memory would be nicer, more portable, and make better video.... if it could work without any obligations attached, of course.

bratsche

Yes, as long as you have wifi you can use a phone without a SIM card

Booli
12-05-2017, 09:41 AM
Nice one. I have an Android phone and already have an OTG, i just need to find a decent mike! BTW Rob, the little hole at the top of your phone is a reset button. I had that phone previously.

The link in my signature below will take you to a page that has links to several previous UU discussions on microphones and recording for both mobile and desktop platforms.

SURPRISE! - yes, this has been discussed before. :)

Maybe that info will help guide you thru the minefield of choices and help you get something that works well for you.

LarryS
12-05-2017, 10:35 AM
I reckon half of an old set of ear phones, wired to a USB would work

Booli
12-05-2017, 10:51 AM
I reckon half of an old set of ear phones, wired to a USB would work

Actually, most earphones have an impedance that is less than 50 ohms, and because of this you will have an impedance mismatch, which you would need a preamp to boost the gain, and even so, you would still have very weak volume as most preamps max out at about 85 db (decibels) of boost, and even at that much gain, you are going to hear lots of self-noise from the electronics that will manifest as 'hiss' and/or 'pop' noise.

Tried this myself a few times. If headphones are the best you can afford, the Apple Earpods ($29 from Apple) (not the wireless ones, but the wired ones) which use a MEMS mic element (as opposed to a traditional mini electret mic element), which is actually pretty good for both voice and music, but mic placement is a huge factor in getting proper sounds without distortion and without sounding thin and/or tinny. You would use the standard headset port on your device provided that it has a TRRS plug for both mic and headphones input. headphones only have TRS input and lack the ability to signal the device inside the 3.5mm jack because unless it is a TRRS plug, the TRS plug will short a connection which tells the device that there is NO mic attached to that plug.

This is an official EIA standard connection now in 2017 as both Android & iOS devices, and most Apple computer computers that have a single 'combo' audio jack will all conform to this wiring scheme in the audio plug and headset devices.

FYI: most dynamic microphones have an impedance between 200 ohms (ribbon mics and cheap dynamic mics) and 600 ohms (Shure SM-57/58, Electro-Voice N/D767a, AKG C400, Shure SM-1, Blue Encore, etc) and piezo pickups have impedance in the range of 1M ohms (1 million) and also need a preamp to correct the impedance mismatch the other way.

Lots of these issues are discussed in the threads found via the link in my signature below, whereby I've given as much technical detail as I can based upon personal experience working a second job, at different times as a DJ/sound engineer as well as in the recording studio in various roles.

LarryS
12-05-2017, 11:55 AM
So where about would be the input impedance of my phone?

Booli
12-06-2017, 02:57 AM
So where about would be the input impedance of my phone?

https://emojipedia-us.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/apple/118/shrug_1f937.png

LarryS
12-06-2017, 06:02 AM
What i mean is do i need a high or low impedance mike?

bratsche
12-06-2017, 06:49 AM
Love the idea of the ZoomQ2n, since I've been using my trusty H2 as a USB mic with my computers for recording and Skyping for years. This one seems about the same size as the H2. Amazing! However, my eyes aren't what they used to be, and I wish that option had been around back when I was using a small Toshiba stereo cassette recorder (no reasonable video available in those days, alas...!) I think that tiny screen would be impossible to read nowadays without putting on my closeup magnifiers!

But this is a good, informative thread, and it's great to know there are different options available. Some day I'll get something suitable for my present requirements.

bratsche

Booli
12-06-2017, 09:32 AM
What i mean is do i need a high or low impedance mike?

If you want a cheap mic to just plug in to the headset port and be able to monitor your recordings, you want one of these (all discussed previously here on UU at some length):

iRig Acoustic Mic: https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigacoustic/

iRig Lav Mic: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigmiclav/

OTOH, if you want to go into Android via OTG, or iOS via the Camera-Connection-Kit USB adapter, you can use this one which is MUCH better than the original iRig Acoustic Mic on account of the included preamp:

iRig Acoustic Stage: https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigacousticstage/


I have both the iRig Acoustic Mic, and the iRig Acoustic Stage system, and have written about them extensively and previously, and those threads can be found by searching the forum for 'irig' (without quotes). I'll not be re-typing those tomes of text again, but you can find them by searching UU.

I've also written about lots of other gear used for recording, mics and such which can be found via the link in my signature BELOW, which some folks seem to resist reading with a violent passion.

It's 2 clicks away for MANY answers to questions that are frequently asked, so I do not understand the resistance I've been seeing in many threads over the past 4 months or so.

Good Luck! :)

LarryS
12-10-2017, 09:13 PM
Hmm might have to look into prices for the iRig. I'm skint at the moment mind...