So a little while back I wrote an editorial on the state of audio recording on Android, and it got me thinking.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9) , would I be able to go on a trip, leave my laptop at home, and still record, edit, and send audio files? Would I still be able to do my VO?
If you read my first editorial, then we already know that Android does not support any kind of USB mic. They can be powered, but Android doesn't know what to do with them, so that's out.
Also, the DAC built into the Galaxy Tab is pretty crappy, so even in quiet environments, using the built in mics or the mic on a wired headset, you get a lot of hiss, so that's out.
However, I do have a Zoom H4n, which is perfectly capable of recording audio all on its own. The drawback to using the H4n is having to move the audio to a computer to edit and send.
If the Tablet can pull the files from the H4n then it's peanut butter jelly time.
Thankfully, the H4n records to SDHC cards which can be removed from the recorder and read by standard USB card readers. I also happen to have a card reader which works with the Galaxy Tab, so now we're back in business.
This would've been easier if I had the Samsung SD card adapter, but I was cheap and just got the USB host cable.
The Android operating system had no problems pulling audio files off the card and storing them locally. To read and edit the files, I prefer an app called TapeMachine, which features a fairly simple wave form layout and a few simple tools to cut/copy/paste, fade in/out, adjust gain, and normalize. Pretty much everything you'd need to knock out a dry voice VO audition.
TapeMachine had no problems reading 16bit/44K WAV files, and once edited you have the option to save as an MP3. From there you simply attach the MP3 to an email and send it off.
The recording process is a little more complicated than if you had an iPad since you can't record directly into the device (soon to be made even easier on iOS with mics like Blue's Spark Digital), but Android does handle file conversion and emailing a little better than iOS will.
Just a heads up that this workflow wont work with all Android devices, as not all Android phones and tablets support USB host to connect the card reader.
My equipment list for this review: Zoom H4n, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, SDHC memory card, USB card reader, USB Host adapter, Tapemachine App. If I were buying a tablet today I would probably pick the Asus Transformer Prime and its keyboard dock which provides a USB host port.