Android: External Mic too quiet

I already searched the forum but didn’t find anything, and the Internet is also is not very helpful:

To make quick videos with decent sound, I attached my Rode NT-USB mic via OTG to my Android phone. I can then change the mic in the camera app to “wired mic” just fine. The problem is that the recorded sound is way too quiet and I have no idea how to increase the gain, if it is even possible. Any ideas? Recording on my laptop with Ardour works just fine, so it’s not the mic. Thanks!

My understanding is that you can’t usb into the camera app. You can into a DAW app that is designed for usb input. The “wired” mic wants to be in through the headphone plug.

1 Like

No no no, it works ok. If I go close enough to the mic, the loudness is decent enough. And no, I don’t accidentally use the phone mic, the quality from the external one is better so I’m not mixing them up.

I just can’t seem to find a way to increase the gain. I know I can use the Rode from a distance of about 50cm just fine because I can do it from my laptop. From Android (at least the camera app), it’s barely audible at the moment, which makes it kinda useless.

I’m on Android 12 by the way, on a Pixel 4a.


I had a similar problem some time ago using the default camera app on Android.
It does not appear to play nice at times with OTG connected mics.
Open Camera, a very popular, open source camara app solved this problem. It is also a far superior camera app in my experience.

Cheers, Shane

Thanks for the suggestion @sclay, it makes the audio at least a little bit louder. After a bit more research, I think what I ran into is a more generic problem: There doesn’t seem a way to easily manage microphone settings like gain in Android, it’s all done automatically.

I guess I will have to compare the internal mic versus the external with Open Camera to see which one I prefer. For quick recordings, it’ll have to do.