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How to record audio on Android
Every Android phone can record audio. The particular app might be stock, from your phone’s maker, or from the Google Play Store, but they all work similarly. They use the phone’s built-in microphone, so there is no need for other equipment to make a basic recording. For more professional-sounding results, you might want to consider an external mic that would plug into your headset jack or charging port. But for many uses, your built-in microphone will work just fine. The controls for each app are slightly different, but most of them are free, so it is easy to try out a couple and see which fits your needs the best.
Read more: 10 best audio recording apps for Android
To record audio on Android, you can use the built-in recorder on your phone or download any of a broad range of available recording apps. The controls are specific to each app, although many feature a large red button, or one with a microphone icon on it, to begin recording. Orient the mic of the phone (where you speak into when making a phone call) toward the source of the sound for the strongest, clearest signal
How to record audio on Android:
For social media posts
We have all seen social media posts featuring video with audio. But sometimes video is not an attractive option, or even possible. Displaying a static photo of yourself or your location while an audio narration plays underneath is an effective social media post format. Travel posts, field reportage, and reunions are situations where video is sometimes not practical or wanted. For this application, we would recommend the ASR Voice Recorder. It can record in MP3 format, saving your phone’s memory, it supports Bluetooth devices like a headset mic, and its big red recording button makes it easy to use. You export the audio from ASR by accessing the recordings menu and sharing the file.
For video production
If you are shooting video with your phone, the camera will capture the audio for you. There are a few situations where you would want to be recording audio separate from the camera. One is for backup audio, in case the camera’s audio doesn’t record, to avoid the need to reshoot. Another is if the camera’s position doesn’t allow for good audio recording (too close to a loud engine, for example). You can record dialogue from further away, and sync it with the video later. Journalists might want to record a crowd’s reaction as their camera points the other way. For all these applications, try the Dolby On app. Its built-in noise reduction, equalizer, and other audio tools can make your recordings sound their best before they leave your phone. You can export to your phone or to cloud services, which creates another backup.
For basic podcasts
Your podcast can feature just yourself or multiple speakers, although with more than one speaker we would recommend an external mic that can capture all speakers, or multiple mics and a mixer that can output the mix to your Android device. If you are on your own with your phone, the app we would suggest is MixPad. It will allow you to record another track after the first one. You can add another speaker, a music bed, or sound effects. Then you can edit and manipulate the audio and export a final product in a range of popular formats to a file location on your phone. Now you are ready to upload your podcast to your hosting service.
For recording music
Recording music on an Android device is greatly improved over what it once was. The problem was audio latency. This is the time it takes for a recording to go through the device’s circuits and actually come out of the speaker, or the time between pressing on a virtual key and hearing the corresponding note. Google has been working to reduce audio latency in Android devices since version 8. It has only recently brought it down to where multitrack recording apps are practical. The best music multitracker for Android right now is BandLab. It’s a complete package, with effects, a looper, and a tuner to complement its audio recording. It also features latency compensation for those recording on older Android devices. Export is to BandLab’s online storage, from where you can download your tracks.
For recording a speaker
Whether it’s a sales presentation, a professor giving a lecture, or a press conference, recording a speaker is easy. Normally, you would use the built-in recorder that came with your phone. But what if someone needs a written transcript? Transcribing a speaker’s words can be a time-consuming process. That’s why for this recording application we suggest Otter. Otter records your speaker, transcribes to text, and lets you share with others directly from the app. Export is to the cloud, and Otter does depend on web access to transcribe.
For recording evidence
Recording someone engaging in illegal or unethical behavior deserves its own article. But to just touch on the recording aspect, remember that overt and covert recording require different apps. If we can assume that you are trying to record audio without the person being recorded knowing about it, you need an app that features what is known as background recording. This simply means the recorder will still operate when you have the app minimized. Without this feature, you must have the app up on your screen to use it, and anyone who looks at your screen, inadvertently or on purpose, will know they are being recorded. For this reason, we recommend Smart Recorder for evidence-gathering. It features the crucial background recording, and recording to SD card as well. This will let you remove your recording from the phone for added security. Smart Recorder exports to your phone or its external SD card.
This is another application where your built-in voice recorder would do except for one missing feature. In this case, the feature is widget support. If you are going to use an app to record voice reminders all day, you don’t want to have to open the app each time. The widget support in the Easy Recorder app lets you hit a single button from your home screen and begin recording. This gives you more time to tend to what you were reminding yourself of, and not the reminder itself.
That depends greatly on whether you are in a public place, and on what state you are in. Recording in a public place is legal as long as you are not breaking any other law to get the recording (trespassing, harassment, etc.) and you do not try to publish the recording. Many states are one-party states, where anyone who is a party to a conversation can record it without the other person’s knowledge or consent. There are twelve states where a conversation cannot legally be recorded without the consent of everyone who is taking part in it. Those twelve states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
This would normally be OK, because they are in public. However, if the band is playing an original song to which they have the copyright, it becomes a very murky area of the law. In reality, most bands who are playing on the street would see being recorded as free publicity. But the copyright concerns remain, so don’t try to post it on a website or social media account you make money from without the band’s permission.