Making Music with Android – Smartphone Survival Kit

Smartphone Survival Kit

You’re a musician and you love Android. You want to put together some tracks of your own, but shelling out for a new iOS device isn’t an option and that band you’re wanting to come together just isn’t happening either. So what’s one to do, we hear you ask?

Fear not – we’ve done the digging and we’ve got some Android answers for you.

Software

Creating sounds on your device doesn’t always require an instrument input. FL Studio Mobile, derived from Xewton’s Music Studio, brings the option to create beats purely on the handset itself. It’s completely self contained and offers users a set of predetermined sounds for looping and syncing.

FL studio 500

Although this is one of the more expensive apps available from Google’s Play Store at £12.95, it’s very comprehensible and offers an in depth approach to music production. Get the app here.

Hardware

Hang on, what if you did want to plug your guitar in? Enter, USB Guitar Effects which allows you to do just that, by jamming a ¼-inch jack into your Android device and use it as an amp. Although the app itself costs £1.99 you do still have to buy a few physical components to play directly into the device.

You’ll need an OTG USB cable to suit your device, like an SQdeal® Micro USB 2.0 B Male to A Female Adapter Converter OTG Cable for Google Nexus 7-inch tablet, and a USB guitar cable, like the Behringer UCG102 Guitar-to-USB Interface. See it all put together below.

USB 3

Okay, so it’s a bit of a round the houses way of getting it done, but until Android jump on the bandwagon, this is where we’re at. Get the app here.

How it works

It’s all quite simple once you have the components. Plug the necessary parts together, i.e. your guitar/bass> ¼-inch jack>USB adapter> OTG USB cable>Android device and you’re ready to go.

When you start playing, the app will pick up your instrument just as it would have done if you played into the microphone – only now that tiny delay will be gone because you’re playing directly into the device.

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