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Author Topic: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android  (Read 4406 times)

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Offline dyneq

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USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« on: January 18, 2023, 11:08:33 AM »
First, some context: this thread was started to separate it from one started by doomed when they shared a link to an Android-compatible input cable here. That thread got me to start looking at some USB-C options (vs USB-A) and I wanted to share my experiences here. If interested in this approach, I recommend reading that thread for context and information.

I've long dreamed of a chain without a dedicated recording device on Android. After reading that thread, I began to do some online research on several USB-C to Female TRS/TRRS adapters. For the low prices, and the promise of an easy return, I decided to try some out for science.

I ordered 2 TRS adapters, the Saramonic SR-C2003 & MOVO UCMA-1 and 1 TRRS adapter, the MOVO UCMA-3 and bought the USB Audio Recorder Pro app for testing based on doomed's recommendation in that thread. I did try some other apps, but they were all pretty lame which isn't surprising since, to put it mildly, stereo recording is not a common workflow on Android.

I really wanted the TRRS to work since it has a right angle USB-C connector and is constructed with a thicker cable. Unfortunately, it was a bust. I would assume that if I used a TRRS > TRS adapter, it might work but who knows?

The other 2 are identical in appearance and construction, but only the MOVO worked. I recorded a track from the latest Obituary album on my stereo (CA-11 omni > UBB > UCMA-3 > Pixel 4a > USB Audio Recorder Pro) and uploaded a brief sample here.

I now have a mixture of excitement at the real possibility of greatly simplifying my chain combined with some lingering concerns:

Pros: removing recorder device from chain has multiple benefits, app records directly to FLAC.

Cons: the app has some limitations: 16 bit is the only option with this device, UI is frustrating (landscape orientation only, slider control is less useful to me than a simple +/- UI), unknown if the gain options will be useful in a high SPL environment (I'll test and follow up). Both the MOVO & Saramonic are constructed with a very thin cable that I would be concerned about damaging, especially if you aren't careful with your gear. I am fairly careful, but could see where rough handling could easily compromise the cable. I may look in to a tech flex solution or simply gaff tape a covering. Phone battery life with the app is an unknown, but I'm prepared to use Airplane mode if necessary (which the app developers recommend anyway).

Overall, I am encouraged that this could work for me. If I can nail the input gain level, the 16 bit limitation wouldn't concern me for the loud PA music I prefer to capture. While less than ideal, it would reduce my anxiety level while entering the venue which could be worth it to me. If the 16 bit limitation ends up being a problem, I'm only out a small amount of money and, in that case, I'll likely pick up the adapter in doomed's thread if they release a USB-C version.

As an aside, there are lightning versions of these cables, so they may also be an option for iOS with the right apps. If anyone else decides to try this approach, please share your experiences and ideas.

Offline dyneq

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Re: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2023, 12:12:29 PM »
Just received another low cost adapter that can do up to 192/24 with its embedded ADC, the Jstma DX-M02. It's made in China but I can't find any record of their existence on the Interwebs  :shrug:

Very different from the previous adapters in a good way. It's packaged in a premium box with a manual that has a full report of measured audio specs. It also includes a TRRS to TRS adapter, a TRS male to male cable, and two different right-angle USB-C adapters. Of the accessories, I will definitely use one of the right angles to reduce stress on the port. The main USB-C to female TRS cable is more stout than the others, with a coiled centerOverall, it's definitely a better value than any of the previous adapters mentioned.

Plays nice with the app, and works fine in my listening room. I plan to take it to a show soon where I don't care about archiving as I am still not sure about the available gain (specs list +23.278 dB) without a preamp in the chain. If there's any interest, I'm happy to upload another sample.

Offline capnhook

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Re: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2023, 11:02:40 AM »
link to the device. please
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Offline dyneq

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Re: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2023, 01:51:00 PM »

Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2023, 08:58:48 PM »
Definitely worth a shot. Thanks!
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Offline doomed

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Re: USB-C to TRS Adapters on Android
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2023, 11:00:05 PM »
Just a quick note, the android usb audio recorder pro software offers the control the usb audio device offers, nothing more, nothing less.

I totally agree re the annoyingly fiddly interface for the sliders, those are almost impossible to use live, I"m switching to using their double tap then type in value method, but that requires clearing the value first with back button, then typing new value, then accepting, then hitting enter. About 10 seconds give or take depending on how fast you do it. I totally agree that a simple plus/minus button would be very useful, but the problem lies in the fact that the software simply is giving you access to the device internal controls, which basically work the same as the software shows.

But this is really the only drawback.

You can't rely on the gain for devices offering enough range however to handle all sound pressure levels, so you have to get an inline attenuator/aka pad, ideally adjustable. That works well, and is a passive device. The andrea mic in only device has -7dB to I think +32dB range, but that will vary between every device, it also supports 48khz or 44.1, but only 16 bit, but if you actually read on the reality of 16 bit, that's plenty for basically all live recording situations due to the noise floor vs overall sound pressure level.

The headphone/mic andrea I have only supports 0db - 33db, no negative gain that is.

I also don't know how the gain in the device works, if it's a true input gain control, pre processing, or if it's post processing, which makes a huge deal, thus the benefit of dropping the voltage before it hits the device. Also a battery box I think is required, when I was checking recordings of my latest mics, I was lucky enough to get a recording done with a battery box and one without, and the one without sounded truly awful, I'd call it a reject recording, so I don't record without that ever, used to try with zoom h2, and found as soon as sound pressure level got above a certain point, the recording sucked, I never did anything with any of those recordings, they are useless as far as I'm concerned.

I'm also looking for the simplest chain that can handle very high sound pressure rock club sound pressure levels while being very discreet. and the results are pretty good so far I think, I'm pleased, recent recordings showed better quality with this setup than people were getting with $1000 plus setups, particularly obvious when I looked at the raw frequency graphs.

 

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