Mar 22, 2013
By default, Android doesn’t have much in the way of support for USB audio devices, which pales in comparison to iOS, which does support them on the iPad via the “Camera Connection Kit” which comes with a USB adapter. Now, eXtream Software Development has a solution with USB Audio Recorder Pro, a recorder app that works with USB microphones on devices that support USB host capability. This is available on devices like the Nexus 7 by way of using a micro-USB to full-size USB female port, though some devices actually have a full-sized USB port, like tablets or some docks. I found the app and became curious if I could use it as a way to easily use my high-quality Blue Snowball mic while on the go.
And well, it does just that!
This officially makes my Nexus 7 a high-quality recording device; I can take my Blue Snowball with me and record audio when necessary while on the go, like going to record an interview somewhere. This surpasses the iPad, which has at times required low-power mics because Apple reduced the power output of the dock connector. At the default highest allowable settings, the audio quality was identical (to an untrained ear like my own) to a recording made on my Mac with Audacity. There’s different settings like audio frequency, audio channels (if you want to output a stereo recording, though my mic is mono), and others for audiophiles. For a basic user like me, it works well.
Now, the USB connection is a bit finnicky because the app is using its own drivers. I frequently had to unplug cables and re-insert them to try and get the app to recognize my mic. As well, if you have another USB app like Nexus Media Importer installed, then an issue will arise with the mic not being recognized until that app is uninstalled; I saw this on Android 4.2.2, it may not exist on other Android versions or with other Android devices.
Now, not all mics may work but most mics that support USB audio will probably work; the free demo version is invaluable for testing this support out. There’s a list of supported mics at this link. This is a great companion with Audio Evolution Mobile for editing audio on the go, especially for podcasters who don’t want to have a laptop with them. As well, the USB functionality of this app will soon become integrated with Audio Evolution Mobile in a month or two for recording directly from within that app. This app will remain on the store with its own recording functionality, and will also serve as the way to unlock the USB recording functionality in that app.