Smartphone Recording App Comparison

Okay, so let’s update on my mic experiments, shall we? I was debating most of the day on whether to keep or return the iGear clip on mic. For the price, it’s very suitable for your generic talking recordings, but was proving not really much use for music due to the low quality sound.

First, I fiddled with the sound settings in my phone, made several adjustments to test it, and there really wasn’t any significant difference. But, that’s not ALL that’s possible, right? Of course not. A different sound recording app could make all the difference; I should at least try a few and see.

Well, a good dozen apps later, I can say I am going to keep the clip on. With a different recording app, it should, theoretically, be suitable for it’s intended purpose.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t keep a log of all of the dozen apps I tried. I remember one called simply “recorder” that was nothing but a crash fest. There were two that had icons like cassette tapes and sounded way worse than any cassette I’ve ever heard (x1000, and I had my fair share of casettes. I actually only got rid of the last few last year when I located and retired my walkman in one of my mass clean-outs.)  There was one with the word “expert” in it, and another with the word “HD” – both which were laughable in context of their names.

At the end of the day I decided to compare the app you’re used to hearing me through to the two that survived the cut.

I’ve actually deleted smart voice recorder from my phone after this comparison because I find the quality difference so significant. Between Titanium Recorder and Sound Recorder, I’m leaning towards Sound Recorder, but have not entirely decided. Titanium Recorder produces a fuller sound, but with that grittiness that comes with it registering junk noise as a sort of background static. Sound Recorder has more clarity, but the side effect of that (which I also noticed on my samson meteorite) seems to be a thinner, wispier sort of tone.

I made the roomie use his ears to get another opinion on the matter, and just sort of asked him ‘which one of these two has better sound quality. Ignoring my own playing, just which one has a clearer sound?’ He agreed that it was probably Sound Recorder, but felt that they were quite close and wasn’t really 100% certain.  I personally don’t find them tonally close at all, but that’s not me saying ‘this one is absolutely the one to use and the other one is meh.’  I get the impression what you’re recording is going to make a big difference here. With an ukulele, you’re going to get a very different sound response than you would with a bass, for example, because those different instruments just inhabit different parts of the sound spectrum and so have different needs. I would have to test other instruments with both to really form a solid opinion about which app would be a better all-rounder.

I think for the purposes of the ukulele, Sound Recorder is likely my best bet. It’s got good clarity, it’s not picking up a lot of grit, and it gets the right sound balance (pulling the vocals forward so they aren’t overpowered by the instrument, which was the purpose of the clip on mic in the first place).

But, maybe I’m wrong. You tell me which of these apps you feel produces the best sound quality. I’ve long since learned not everyone’s ears hear things quite the same.

Until Next Time, finding the right balance to move forward with.

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