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How to record video with an external microphone on a Samsung S9+

How to record video with an external microphone on a Samsung S9+

How to record video with an external microphone on a Samsung S9+

I recently had to record a quick testimonial video and got a good Rode VideoMicro at my disposal. It also had a nice cable and worked perfectly on an iPhone, great combination, good results, I could see from previous work.

But I have no iPhone.

I have to admit I never bought an iPhone before, and I think I never will. That's free for everyone to chose, I'm happy with my uncle Sammy stuff - I bought 'm since they launched, and I was happy.
So I stuck to Android.

And to be honest: I love iPads, and MacBooks.
And I also love to use Windows 10.

I'm not into a "this is better than" discussion, it's a free world, you can do whatever you please. I love good tools and great software. So I use a lot of everything. 


I currently use a Samsung S9+, I think it's a very good phone, and it does great stuff when recording video.

For that testimonial I needed to shoot, I had about 4m of distance between my phone and the person.
"Use a microphone" was the first thing that came to mind.

I picked up the Rode VideoMicro (which is a great microphone, it really is).

Easy as pie you would guess: plug in the whole shebang and off you go:
Open camera, hit video and record. 
In short: That doesn't fly.

On a Samsung Galaxy S9+, things do work, but you have to take a couple of things into account to record video with an external microphone

First, the audio jack takes TRRS on a Samsung S9+ to record.
So make sure your Rode (or other microphone) has TRRS, there is an optional cable available.

Second, you have to tell your phone it has to select external audio from an external microphone.
And that’s the really tricky one: You can search in the standard Camera software... there is no option to do so.
No can do.

So how do you record video on a Samsung S9+ with an external microphone?

Solution:
 

1) Install the Open Camera app (it's free, no ads).

Look it up in the Play store, and select the right one ("Open Camera"... that simple).
 

2) Make sure you have an external microphone, and get a signal splitter.

UPDATED 04/15/2020:
As Mike H (Thank you for the feedback) put in the comments, you should get a signal splitter, as shown here below.
And to be on the safe side, check if the audio jack contact on your signal splitter has TRRS.


I bought a lavalier microphone recently (an audio-technica) to do some testing, and that comes with a sort of 'dongle' that also splits audio in and audio out. Using that practical dongle, you can connect audio in and out.

And you can also see the difference between TRRS and TRS clear on the picture. The signal splitter (above) has TRRS:

 

A TRRS audio jack and TRS audio jack

 

3) You need to fiddle around in Open Camera's settings to make sure you check these two options.

So, go to 'gear' and select 'Video Settings'.

First, you have to indicate to record audio when recording video. Don't forget that.



Make sure to indicate record audio when you record video so flip this toggle switch too in Open Camera

 

Second, tell Open Camera to use an external microphone if there is one present:



Tell Open Camera to select an external microphone to record audio
 

 

Now, that's all there is to it.

It’s no rocket science, it's pretty easy.
Since I didn't find any simple practical explanation online, other than video's telling you can do it (I know you can) I wrote things down as simple as possible how to do it.

This should help you to figure out how to record video with an external microphone on a Samsung S9+.

So that’s how you get things done when you need to record video with an external microphone on a Samsung S9+

Comments

jazz

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 16:46

I tried this method with my samsung galaxy s9+. Open camera or default camera, using an old sony ecm 909 stereo mike.
stereo seems to work, but volume is extremely low. Not sure if the mic, will get a lavalier soon. Talking 1 inch away no problem, but using for vlogging or ambient sound 1 or more meters away for example, very low volume. The phone's mics are 5x louder (and pretty good sound). Have you see a big drop in volume compared to phone mic if 50 cm or more from source of sound? or is it just my microphone or the effect of the cable? i will have a cheap lavalier soon with ttrs connector will see if any difference, maybe a high gain mic is needed, and gain is not adjustable anywhere.

Frederik

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:10

Yes, the Samsung galaxy s9+ mic is really pretty decent, truth be told. But I was looking for a "get-things-done" easy and cheap solution to capture audio from a person +2 meters away from the phone. Think of recording a video while you stand in front of a flipchart or screen. I put my phone on a tripod (see pic) and the lavalier mic has a pretty long cable (don't trip over the cable :). The phone mic doesn't capture audio too good from a that distance, that's why I came up with the idea of a lavalier mic. And got a bit stuck finding out how to get the audio from an external microphone recorded easily. Took me some time to figure out how to get it done. Hope this helps, keep me posted if all works fine.

jazz

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 16:28

I had much better volume without the splitter cable, using a $3 trrs lav mic. It also came with a mono trs-trrs adapter cable, and now my sony mike also works well (in mono), good volume like the lav, so problem solved i guess for $3.

So still playing around with it, but the breakout trrs-trs cable (headphone + mike) i bought lowers mike gain significantly. I guess i dont really need stereo , but would be cool for some uses.

Barry

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 13:09

Dear Frederik, Thanks for your suggestion. I've tried your info, but it doesn't seems to work. I've got also a S9+, combined with a lavier send over a FM (Kongin KM208 (alieexpress). This comes with a 6.3mm male output, so I've let someone make a cable/jack to 3.5mm (4 segments). Any suggestions to solve this or test what is wrong.
Sincerely, Barry

Frederik

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 14:41

Hi Barry,

Did you check if all parts work - the Kongin does what it's supposed to do - it works as designed (before you hooked it up to your phone)?

I would suggest to check all parts first, before we figure out why the "complete" solution doesn't work?
Just going step by step, to backtrack where the issue could be :)

Best regards,
Frederik

sandra

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 15:42

Hi, I'm trying to connect my bluetooth headset to my S9 to record a video. The headset seems to work perfectly for phone call but doesn't work to record a video.
Any suggestions?
Kind regards.
Sandra

Mike H

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 17:34

One other critical thing you show in the second pic above but didn't emphasize in the explanation is you need to buy a signal splitter! If you try to record simply using a single fm/m adapter, Androids don't pick up the signal and record - you get silence. The default is that the phone output jack is dedicated to headphone sound out. The two-piece splitter adapter that you show is also critical (these are cheap to buy) to enable your external mic to record! One side will always have the headphone icon, and the other a mic icon. Plug into the mic icon and you will get sound in (you can opt to put headphones in the other and listen to what you're recording, but you don't need to put anything into the headphone jack. I think iPhones don't need this signal splitter, but Androids do. Just wanted to mention this, can't vouch for the sound quality one gets but you will get the external mic sounds you're trying to record as the camera's rolling.

(Good call on the app though, it's a shame that more apps don't have this option. Most voice recording apps don't, they just assume you want to record audio only into your phone - you had to find a camera app to do this. This is one of the only apps I've seen on Android that allows you to select an external mic for use with the camera specifically. Maybe there are more, I just don't see them).

jojo

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 18:13

Please remember when I ask this question...there are no "dumb" questions. I have installed the Open Camera App. I selected External Mic. I will now also get the suggested splitter...glad I scrolled to look at the comments and revisited your picture. Okay here goes...When I am taking video, I am supposed to pull up Open Camera and then start my video? I am just about to try that, probably before I receive an answer back...but because I also need the splitter.... that may end up being the final necessary component to be off and running with taking my technical skills up a notch...woo hoo. Thank you in advance for sharing your awesome knowledge...jojo

jojo

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 18:24

Okay one more question. Would you please put a link to the splitter you show in the picture? My search on Amazon has not found what you are showing. Thank you so much.

jojo

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 18:29

Okay...it's jojo again...lol I may have found the splitter you recommend but I would still feel better if you include a link so that I know I am purchasing the correct equipment. Thank you for your patience.

Dominika

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 22:58

Thank you for your article. I have the same problem, I have the same external microphone and I have samsung galaxy note 8. Unfortunately on my smarpthone this method doesn't work. I read sth about adapter audio mini jack to usb C. Maybe it will figure out this case, maybe...

Frederik

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 08:04

Hi Dominika,

Hope you can get things to work, please keep me posted on "how", I'll gladly add a big remark on how to get audio recording to work when recording video on a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, so more people can enjoy that.
 

Dan

Sat, 04/25/2020 - 20:51

Hello,

I am a dj trying to connect to my phone. I have a pioneer ddjsx and I have rca to 3.5. I recently bought a trs to trrs adapter, I am plugging into my galaxy s9+ and I am getting no audio input. Is this possible to do? I know my friend is able to do with with an older iPhone. Thanks for any help!

Frederik

Sat, 04/25/2020 - 21:56

Hi Dan,

I haven't tried using the Samsung S9+ as a device to record "only" audio, as per my experience you'll need to find a way to solve both the hard- and software "barrier" that is in place. A bit of an odd experience for a device of that price range, you'd expect it to 'just do it' when it comes to recording audio.

How about USB-C to the rescue? Did you try that: find an adapter from your pioneer out, and work towards the Samsung's USB-C and use that as an audio input?
I'm just curious if you did, I'm not saying you should. 

It might be something I'll put on my "to-tinker-around-with" list, just for the sake of giving it a try ;-)

Let me know what you've tried so far, I'm curious, and willing to help find out if you can get this done.

Good luck,

Frederik

Frederik

Sun, 06/14/2020 - 09:35

Hi Mark,


I guess it would work, as the replacement seems to have the same adapter (which I saw on the third product photo on the product detail page).

I'm not 100% sure, but that's how I came to my solution: I jumped in, used 'trial and error' to get the audio recording via an external microphone.

I haven't tried to plug in anything else than the microphone, that's a good one.
Will give it a try, you made me curious.

Frederik
 

Bob Coldwell

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 23:52

Why do you need a splitter? Is this so you can listen to playback through headphones? I'm looking into getting a Rode videomic me (not micro) to use with my Galaxy S10e.

Frederik

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 07:21

The splitter in this case seems to make sure the TRS and TRRS get the audio (from the mic) into the phone.
I never guessed this would work, but some "trial and error" made me find this working solution.

Would be nice to see if you get things to work too.
Test before you buy (if possible) :)

Good luck and happy recording!

Frederik

Jim Noecker

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 18:46

Frederik, have you had a chance to try this with a line level signal yet (I want to use a mixer output to plug in)?
Thanks!

Frederik

Sat, 07/11/2020 - 08:18

Hi Jim,


Not yet, we moved very recently and that was quite the experience. But most is sorted out, so I can get back to these nice tests. I call it MacGyvering. Will get back on this.

All your feedback is welcome too, it's good to share these kind of experiences, to help other people avoid bumping their heads.

Frederik

Babak Sadighim

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 08:33

Hello. I recently bought a Lavalier clip-on mic, and I downloaded open camera and selected the 2 settings that you say to select here. I have a moto G6 phone. This does not work. It continues to use the phone's internal camera. Any suggestions? Would be much appreciated.

Babak Sadighim

Sat, 07/25/2020 - 08:34

PS I AM using the TRRS (4-segment) jack.

Alistair

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 14:45

Hi,

Great article and I currently have the Rode VideoMic Me, which has a TRRS male pin.

It was working on my S9+ connected directly but then didn't anymore, even after trying several combinations of opening the app first then connecting the mic, and restarting phone with it connected etc.

Now I am looking at getting the splitter, maybe that is the issue, but the splitter, like the one in your pic, has the TRRS male connection which goes in the phone and that's fine, however were you connect the mic on the splitter, that seems to be a TRS female jack inside, or at least those are the splitters I have found.

Will the mic still work that way seeing that it has a TRRS male pin?

Crayfish

Mon, 09/07/2020 - 23:34

Hi, and thank you for sharing your knowledge.
A little bit like someone above I'm trying to record my mix on the samsung Galaxy s10e.
I used to be able to do that with Sony xperia very easily.
Using a RCA to Jack I go from my mixing table into a rode adapter SC4 (Jack trs female to Jack trrs Male). And I plug the adapter into my phone.
I did download the app camera you suggest and I followed your instructions for the setting of the app.
And guess what !
Still not working...
Its driving me nuts

(Sorry for my poor English)

Aria Astra Piano

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 07:09

Dear Sir,

I try to record video and audio directly from my ES100 digital piano to Android phone using Open Camera app. The problem with the app is that there is no audio recording level (rec level). The only volume setting I have is the piano master volume, which means, to set the rec level right, I have to play in a very low volume.

Do you have better solution for this? Is there any android app to record video with rec level setting?

Sincerely yours,

Aria Astra

Hugo

Sun, 09/27/2020 - 11:45

Hi,
Does this also work for screen recordings? I want to record gameplay on a Tab S7 and have my game chat recorded as well using my gaming headset (Steelseries Arctis pro). The setup I am thinking about is tablet <-> USDB-C to headset Jack adapter <-> Signal Splitter <-> Headset

Frederik

Sun, 09/27/2020 - 14:54

Hi Hugo,

Honestly I haven't tried this with screen recording. Interesting case, let me know of you succeed, can be very helpful for other people too. Would appreciate you sharing your experience here.

Frederik


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