Recording music, concerts, jams with an Android phone

I used to record a lot of jams, concerts, guitar-lessons etc. with a minidisc-recorder I had back in the day. I haven’t used it in a long time, but when I bought a Sony Xperia Android-phone I suddenly discovered that I had an excellent recording device right in my hand. The built-in microphone is ok, but that wasn’t what I recently found out.

I realized that most Android phones can connect to most USB-devices if you buy a special cable called an USB OTG-cable. You can buy it most electronics stores and OTG stands for On The Go. It looks like a regular USB-cable you use for charging, except that the large USB-connection is a female connection instead of a male.


OTG Cable

OTG Cable

When you have this cable, you can connect most USB-microphones and USB-sound cards to your Android-phone. I tested first with a fine USB-microphone at work. There are many very good USB microphones on the market that doesn’t cost much. From 450 SEK (60 $) and up.

USB microphone

I also tested with an USB-sound card I had at home for recording guitar.


There are a few steps you have to do to make this work. First you connect the OTG cable to your Android phone and to the USB microphone or sound card. Next step is to go to settings on your phone.


Here you select device connection.


Next you select USB connection.


Now you select identify USB device. At this point it will take a few seconds and the light on the USB device will light up. Most USB-devices have some kind of light to show that it is on. At this point you can start to record. All you need is some kind of recording app for Android. I use a simple app from Sony.


That is all you need to do and the sound will be excellent, at least as good as the microphone can perform.


I also found that Android supports other kinds of microphones. I have a really nice Sony stereo microphone that I bought a long time ago for my minidisc-recorder. Since you can use head-sets with microphone, I thought I could give it a try. And it worked! Now, I’m ready to record concerts again!



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