Record to Android with an XLR microphone

recording with XLR microphone Android
Connecting an XLR mic to your Android device requires an adapter

Are you searching for a way to record songs with your XLR microphone with your Android smartphone?

Although the last years have seen many new microphones that have a direct USB connection being released on the market, you’ll still find that the most “serious” microphones have an XLR connector. The XLR connector has been around for decades and allows for extreme high quality while also being quite sturdy to work with and carry around in live gigs.

Android devices aren’t born with an XLR built-in connector, but luckily there are many solutions on the market to connect XLR mikes.

To record your voice with a microphone through a smartphone you’ll need:

  • An Android Smartphone
  • A DAW app (digital audio workstation), a music recording studio for your Android device
  • An XLR cable and a dynamic or condenser microphone (don’t know the difference between a dynamic and condenser mikes? Read this)
  • A XLR/3.5mm jack stereo converter

Which XLR converter for smartphone should I buy?

There are two kinds of solutions for different kinds of microphones (dynamic and condenser):

  • Dynamic microphones

    Dynamic microphones are the classic stage mikes, relatively cheap to purchase and can typically record only the audio that reaches the front of the microphone (audio coming sideways and from the back is for the most part ignored by the mic).
    Connecting a dynamic mic to an Android device only requires a simple analog adapter, i.e. an XLR microphone interface adapter without preamplifier, like the one in the photo below.

    microphone XLR cable smartphone
    The price is definitely lower than an active powered adapter, but you will have less control over the microphone input signal. For example check out 
    ProJive by CableJive 

  • Condenser microphones

    Condenser mikes allow for the greatest audio quality but typically require to record in a silent setting such as a studio, and are rarely used on stage.
    A condenser microphone is the best solution if you want to record vocals with your smartphone and need an high recording quality. In this case you must get an adapter that supports the 48v phantom power, required by condenser mikes, just like the one in this photo:
    IK Multimedia iRig pre microphone interfaceHere’s a couple of a adapters with 48v phantom power that we recommend:

  • iRig Pre
  • Saramonic SmartRig

To find out what are the best microphones for recording in Studio check out our guide to choose the perfect microphone to start recording your voice with your smartphone.

How can i record my songs with my Android smartphone? 

The vocal notes recording app that typically comes with your smartphone isn’t enough: you need a full blown multitrack recorder app!

What does multitrack mean? Multitrack recording software (DAW, digital audio workstation) allows you to record your music on multiple tracks separately (e.g. vocals, guitars, drums etc.).

We suggest you to download the free version of n-Track Studio 8, an app that turns your smartphone into a real music recording studio.

In this video you can see what is the potential of n-Track Studio with an Android phone.

Do you want to learn how to record with your smartphone using your microphone?
Follow this quick guide about how to record music on an Android phone

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