Android’s lack of USB audio support (#5) and high audio latency (#11) have been a couple of the platform’s most griped-about and longest-standing issues, starred by 4482 and 2329 users respectively at the time of writing.
USB Audio Recorder Pro is an app that represents a significant step toward addressing these issues, as the developers have written a USB audio driver from scratch in order to bypass Android’s audio system and allow devices to run in USB host mode. In simple language, that means you can use a USB microphone to record audio straight to your phone or tablet (running Android 3.1 or higher).
The app supports recording in 24 bit mono/stereo at sample rates of up to 192 kHz (providing your audio hardware supports it), and recordings can be saved as wav, flac and ogg files. In my testing there was no discernible difference in quality between audio recorded on my Nexus 7 and Audacity in Linux Mint.
The interface of the app is simple and clearly the work of an engineer rather than a designer, but what it lacks in form it makes up for in function. There is a timer, an indication of how much free space is available, buttons to play/stop/record and audio quality options on the right. An indicator/peak programme meter at the bottom of the screen shows the recording level, and this can be tested by pressing the (Mon)itor button in the lower right corner.
The other settings tabs give you access to a mixer where you can fine-tune the levels for each device, and there is a simple playlist function as well as a number of miscellaneous preferences which generally don’t need to be touched.
If you’re not sure whether your device/microphone combination will be supported by the app, check the full compatibility list on the developer’s website. There is also a trial version that allows you to test out your hardware before you commit to paying for the full app. From the app’s page on the Play Store: “Unfortunately, Samsung S1, S2 and Note 1 devices are NOT supported because Samsung either blocks audio devices or they took isochronous transfers out of the kernel. S3 and Note 2 work though.”
This is a fantastic app that does one thing and does it well. If you’re looking to get better recording results when you’re on the road, look no further than USB Audio Recorder Pro.
I really hope it’s only a matter of time before this functionality gets baked into stock Android.