How do I record audio from my phone to my mixer?

Recording audio directly from your smartphone into an external mixer can provide higher quality audio than just using your phone’s built-in microphone. The microphone in your phone is designed to be convenient, but has limitations in audio quality. By routing the audio from your smartphone into a mixing board and using the board’s EQ, compression, effects, and recording capabilities, you can capture audio with more depth and clarity. This allows you to get cleaner vocal, instrument, and other recordings than what is possible using just your phone.

Some key benefits of recording phone audio through a mixer include:

  • Better control over levels, EQ, compression, effects
  • Ability to monitor through headphones
  • Multitrack recording options
  • Higher overall audio quality

This guide will walk through the equipment needed, making connections, setting levels, monitoring, and other tips for getting the most out of recording audio from your smartphone into an external mixer.

What You’ll Need

To record audio from your smartphone into your mixer, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Smartphone – Any modern smartphone should be capable of recording high quality audio that can be fed into a mixer.

  • Audio cable or adapter – You’ll need a cable to connect your smartphone’s headphone jack or charging port to your mixer’s input. Common options are TS or TRS cables for the headphone jack, and USB-C adapters for phones without a headphone jack. (A guide to audio connectors and cable types)

  • Mixer with open channels – Your mixing console needs to have a free channel to accept the incoming audio from your phone. Make sure the channel is set up correctly to receive a line-level signal.

Having the right gear to connect your devices is essential for routing the audio properly into your mixer. Research the input/output ports on both your phone and mixer to select the appropriate adapter or cable for compatibility.

Connecting Your Devices

There are a few options for connecting your smartphone to an audio mixer, depending on the ports available on each device.

For smartphones with a 3.5mm headphone jack like older Android devices, you can use a 3.5mm TRS to dual 1/4″ TS cable to connect directly from the headphone jack on your phone to a stereo channel input on your mixer (source). This analog connection provides a simple wired method to get audio from your smartphone into your mixer.

For iPhones and newer smartphones without a headphone jack, you’ll need to use the charging port. For an iPhone with a Lightning port, use a Lightning to TRRS adapter or breakout cable that splits into left/right 1/4″ TS cables to connect to two mono inputs on your mixer (source). For Android phones with USB-C ports, use a USB-C to TRRS adapter to connect in a similar way.

These adapters allow you to tap into the audio output from your smartphone digitally over the charging port. From there, the analog breakout cables route the audio into your mixer. This ensures you can capture high quality audio from the latest smartphones without a headphone jack.

Configure Your Smartphone

Before you can record audio from your phone into your audio mixer, you need to configure your smartphone to route audio output to the appropriate port. Here are the steps to enable audio routing on an iPhone:

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations. Turn on “Headphone Accommodations”.

Tap “Custom Audio Setup” and follow the on-screen prompts to enable audio output to the headphone jack, USB port, or Lightning port, depending on how you are connecting to your mixer.

To switch the audio source from the default microphone to the headphone jack, USB, or Lightning port: Go to Settings > Camera > Microphone and select the appropriate output port rather than the default iPhone microphone.

Now audio from your smartphone will be routed to the proper output that connects to your mixer rather than coming from the built-in microphone.

Consult your smartphone manual for details if using a non-Apple device. Most Android devices have similar settings to enable audio output routing.

Setting Levels

When recording audio from your phone into your mixer, it’s important to properly set the levels to avoid noise and clipping. The key is to maximize the level coming from your phone, while controlling the final recording level with your mixer’s gain stage.

First, go into your phone’s settings and turn the volume all the way up. This ensures the phone is outputting the highest clean signal possible before it reaches your mixer. Leaving the phone volume lower means you’ll have to boost the gain later, potentially introducing unwanted background noise. Izotope recommends maximizing level from each source before attenuation.

With your phone at max volume, use your mixer’s gain knobs to set the ideal recording level. Watch your mixer’s input meters, keeping levels below clipping. Use the gain stage wisely here to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio. The general goal is to record at the highest level without distortion. Cymatics notes gain staging is key for achieving clean mixes.

Properly setting levels through gain staging ensures you record a strong phone signal while avoiding unwanted background noise in your mixer’s audio interface. Monitor your meters closely and adjust gain as needed for ideal recording results.

Recording and Monitoring

To record the audio from your phone into your DAW or recording software, you’ll need to route the channel your phone is connected to into a record output on your mixer. Most mixers have dedicated record outs or assignable outs that can be used for this.

First, solo the channel your phone is connected to so you only hear it in your headphones/monitors. Then locate an unused record out on your mixer and assign the phone channel to it (refer to your mixer manual if unsure of how to route channels to outputs). Make sure to also assign the phone channel to the main mix so you can hear it along with the rest of your audio sources.

Now route that record output from your mixer into an input on your audio interface that is enabled for recording in your DAW. You should see the levels of your phone audio responding when you test it. Make sure to set your gain staging properly and that you aren’t clipping the input.

To set up a monitor mix, create an auxiliary send on your mixer and route the phone channel to it. The aux send will function as a monitor mix that you can control separately from the main mix, allowing you to dial in the perfect headphone or monitor volume for the phone audio while recording.

Use the cue mix control on the phone channel strip to blend in just enough of the aux send monitor mix so you can hear the phone signal being recorded without it being too loud in the monitors. This will allow you to record the phone audio cleaned and without bleed from the monitor mix.

Mixing Phone Audio

When mixing audio from a phone into your mix, it’s important to use EQ and compression to enhance the phone audio and make it blend well with other sources. Phone recordings often sound thin and tinny compared to professional microphones, so using EQ to boost low frequencies around 80-120Hz can add warmth and body. Gently boosting high frequencies around 5-10kHz can add clarity and intelligibility. Be careful not to overdo the EQ and create an unnatural sound.

Applying light compression can also help phone audio sit better in a mix by controlling any erratic volume changes. Start with a low ratio of around 2:1 and set the threshold so that only louder peaks get compressed. Fast attack and release times will sound most natural. You may also want to use a de-esser if the phone audio has harsh sibilance.

When blending phone audio with other mics, panning the phone signal slightly can help separate it. Volume automation can also be useful for dipping the phone volume when other mics are present. If possible, record a sync tone on all devices to aid alignment in post-production. With careful EQ and dynamics processing, phone audio can be mixed to sound clear and balanced.


There are a few common issues that can occur when connecting a smartphone to an audio mixer. Here are some potential problems and solutions:

Low Signal Level

If the signal from your phone is too low when it reaches the mixer, there are a couple things you can try. First, maximize the volume output on your phone. Go into your phone’s settings and turn the media or music volume all the way up. You can also try using a headphone amp or preamp between the phone and mixer to boost the signal – just make sure not to overdrive the mixer inputs [1].


Distorted sound can occur if the signal from the phone is too loud entering the mixer. Try turning down the volume on your phone and/or the gain/trim knobs on the mixer channels. Make sure the mixer input meters aren’t clipping or lighting up red. Keep levels under -10 dB to avoid distortion.


Cell phones and other wireless devices can sometimes cause interference that gets picked up by audio equipment. Try enabling airplane mode on the phone when recording to disable cellular, wifi, and Bluetooth signals. If the mixer has unbalanced inputs, a DI box can help reduce noise by converting to a balanced signal [2].

Advanced Options

Using your phone as an audio interface for your mixer opens up more advanced options for routing and mixing audio. Here are a couple advanced ways to utilize your smartphone:

Using Phone as Audio Interface

With the proper cables and adapters, you can connect your phone to your mixer and use it as an audio interface. This allows you to route audio from your mixer into your phone which can be used for live streaming, recording, effects processing, and more through various audio apps.

For example, you could connect your mixer to your phone via USB and use an app like Roland Audio Studio ( to access effects and multitrack recording capabilities. The audio interface features of your smartphone open up many creative possibilities when paired with your mixer.

Streaming Phone Audio

Another great advanced option is streaming your phone’s audio over WiFi while connected to your mixer. Apps like Roland Wireless Connect allow you to stream audio from your iOS or Android device into your mixer over WiFi. This makes it easy to incorporate tracks, backing music, sound effects, and more into your mixes.

Streaming phone audio wirelessly eliminates cables and gives you free range of movement. Just connect to your mixer’s WiFi network, launch the app, and start streaming audio seamlessly. This takes your mobile DJ capabilities to the next level.


In this guide, we covered the main steps for routing audio from your smartphone into your mixer. This included connecting your devices with the right cables, configuring your phone’s audio settings, setting proper gain staging, recording and monitoring the levels, mixing the phone audio, and troubleshooting any issues.

Some key advantages of routing your phone’s audio through your mixer include:

  • Better control over the volume and EQ
  • Ability to add effects like reverb and delay
  • Separating the phone audio into its own channel for easier mixing
  • Improved audio quality by using the mixer’s preamps and A/D converters
  • More flexibility for monitoring and headphone mixes

With just a few cables and configuration steps, you can take advantage of your mixer’s capabilities and enhance the audio from your smartphone. This opens up more creative possibilities for using phone audio in your productions and live performances.

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