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Recording multitrack to Android?


Aragorn
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Hi all.

  What are disadvantages of recording multitrack directly to a smartphone via an audio interface like RME Babyface instead of a dedicated recorders like Sound Devices or Zoom? 

 

I understand synchronization won't be an option as phones won't generate sync code. What about other aspects? Reliability etc? 

 

Has anyone done that as a sound mixer for film? 

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Technically no real issues (Garageband  and other apps for phones are not new), I think it boils down to "dedication" of the hardware. The processor in the phone vs a recorder is about the same, if not, better in the phone. But FPGAs and (arm) processors in dedicated devices/recorders are tailor made for doing specific tasks very good, whilst a phone has to reserve things for other tasks as well. 
Your phone is just a computer, so it comes down that the bottleneck the software/Operating system. TC could be solved with one audio input of an interface dedicated to LTC (and again, software that picks that up correctly, writes it to meta data, etc). 
Portable, silent and easy to use. Could this be your next studio?

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
On 12/17/2020 at 3:37 PM, Vincent R. said:

Technically no real issues (Garageband  and other apps for phones are not new), I think it boils down to "dedication" of the hardware. The processor in the phone vs a recorder is about the same, if not, better in the phone. But FPGAs and (arm) processors in dedicated devices/recorders are tailor made for doing specific tasks very good, whilst a phone has to reserve things for other tasks as well. 
Your phone is just a computer, so it comes down that the bottleneck the software/Operating system. TC could be solved with one audio input of an interface dedicated to LTC (and again, software that picks that up correctly, writes it to meta data, etc). 
 

 

I would avoid feeding any LTC into an analog stereo Mic Preamp especially if you are sending mic level signals in the other inputs.  LTC time code is around 1 V and is a lot of square waves that have a tendency to crosstalk into other high gain preamps.  For less than the price of even a cheap Android phone you can buy a dedicated Digital Recorder that has pretty good balanced input mic preamps and supports broadcast wave files and will not be interrupted by incoming phone calls or multitasking operations on your phone like checking email and acquiring and maintaining a  cell signal.  Plus removable media is important.  What do you do when your phone's memory is full?  You have to copy the files off over USB or wifi network and then erase the original before you can record again. Meaning you won't have backups unless you make 2 copies.

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17 hours ago, cmgoodin said:

I would avoid feeding any LTC into an analog stereo Mic Preamp especially if you are sending mic level signals in the other inputs.  LTC time code is around 1 V and is a lot of square waves that have a tendency to crosstalk into other high gain preamps.  For less than the price of even a cheap Android phone you can buy a dedicated Digital Recorder that has pretty good balanced input mic preamps and supports broadcast wave files and will not be interrupted by incoming phone calls or multitasking operations on your phone like checking email and acquiring and maintaining a  cell signal.  Plus removable media is important.  What do you do when your phone's memory is full?  You have to copy the files off over USB or wifi network and then erase the original before you can record again. Meaning you won't have backups unless you make 2 copies.

for sure. My post was from the --Yeah, it is possible, capable, from a technical point of view--. Is it ideal, desirable? Neh.

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