Best Android Audio Tools for Ringtones & More
And then you go deeper. The songs are too slow, and you may wish to start your ringtone from a particular moment. Of course, you can edit it on your PC with a free editor like Audacity, but is there always time and access?
The further you go the more audio editing you need. When cutting a track, you will need to fade it in and out not to break into your ears violently with a crack. You may want to combine different tracks like a DJ mixing them up. Or you want to record yourself singing over a karaoke track using your phone or tablet only?
We have good news for you. Since modern mobile devices are on the current level, they support powerful audio editors. You can select a simple one or rather advanced. Of course, audio software is still far from studio standards (as it’s hard to imagine a smartphone with a studio-class DAC), but the existing apps are enough for your needs.
Of course, the detail-rich interface of such apps looks much better on tablets. But it’s far less loaded than one of similar PC or Mac software and much more touch-oriented. So phone users can enjoy mobile audio editing just as well.
We used the LG G Pad 8.3 tablet (2013 Verizon edition, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2 GB RAM, Adreno 320, 1920x1200) to test these apps. The results apply if you use a similar or more powerful device. But there may be issues with weaker phones or tablets.
Audio Editor for AndroidAbout: this editor with a simplest name ever is meant for cutting audio files and extracting audio tracks from video files. It also has a file manager and some extra features.
Functionality: 8/10. The app with analyzing your system and detecting necessary codecs. If they are missing the app redirects you to the Google Play page you need. Yes, the codecs are also free, you can forget about the time we needed to buy proprietary codecs separately.
When you select editing a file you open it as a waveform in fullscreen mode. Here are easy-to-use handles that allow setting the start and the end of the selection. You can zoom in and out with special button or with a two-finger gesture (like you do with pics). You can also edit start and end time manually with 0,01 sec precision.
The app automatically selects the folder to save your fragments, depending on its further usage. You can select from available folders and decide whether it’s the music to listen to, a ringtone sound, an alarm or a notification sound. If you save a sound as a ringtone, the app asks you whether you want to set this ringtone as a default one or to assign it to a certain contact.
You can also extract audio from video files and then do the selecting. There are rich options of output. You can select the codec, the framerate up to 48 KHz, the bitrate (up to 256 kbps in Pro version, up to 128 kbps in free version). It took about 6-7 minutes to extract the audio track out of a two-hour AVI file on our test tablet, though the estimated time promised a longer wait.
And there is also a small but powerful file manager with all file managing features like deleting, copying, multiple files selecting, and so on.
Unfortunately the app is poor in extra editing functions. You can’t even fade your selection in or out. Let alone effects and processing of sound, managing volume, balance, envelopes and other advanced features
Design: 9/10. The interface leaves no space for guessing how to play, to zoom, to select starting and ending moment. Everything is organized logically. There are no “material” tricks, the app rather resembles its PC analogs.
Stability: 10/10. We have encountered no issues while trying this app.
MP3 CutterAbout: as the name reveals, the app is meant first of all for trimming MP3 files into ringtones. Such apps are usually lightweight and easy. MP3 cutter makes no exception, it only takes about 3 MB and doesn’t overload your system.
Functionality: 6/10. The app doesn’t even display the waveform. All you have is a navigation slider similar to player apps. You need to enter the start and end moments of the song manually, with precision up to 0.001 sec.
There’s a more intuitive way of lining the selection with a red Record button. Play the track. Tap the button at the start and at the end of the fragment you need to select. After that you can play your selection, save it as an MP3 file or reset it. And yes, you can manually adjust start and end points.
You can also merge two or more songs with this app into a nonstop track. The app applies no DJ tricks; it just appends the tracks to each other, start-to-end. There’s even no automatic crossfade between fragments, so the transition moment can be marked with a hearable crack. But if you just want to make a ringtone out of several 3-5-second selections that will do.
Design: 6/10. If you have ever worked with pro audio editors, you would say there’s no design at all. All you see is a simple file manager, a record button, and two timers for entering starting and finishing moments of the song. All app screens are just as laconic.
Tablet users will have to hold the device vertically, as the app is phone-oriented and has no landscape mode.
Stability: 10/10. Again, we experienced no overloads, crashes, or other issues.
AudioDroid: Audio Mix StudioAbout: maybe one of the most powerful editors. And it supports multitrack! And yes, it looks like a big one on a big PC!
Functionality: 10/10. It’s a real multitrack audio editor that works with several tracks at the same time. Each of them can be handled separately. You can load files into new tracks, adjust volume of each track, play them all simultaneously or independently.
There are tools for cutting and moving tracks along each other. When you have prepared the tracks you mix you can save the mixdown as an MP3 file and set it as your default ringtone. Or as an ordinary audio file if you intend to listen to it with a player app.
And there’s the most important thing. You can add your own voice recording with the mic and Rec button. Yes, just a handset with a mic can turn your phone or tablet into a mobile studio. We’re not sure your track will be an iTunes hit, but it’s quite enough for an MC to record a demo with a beat and a handset mic. You can record several sources (unfortunately there’s no built-in metronome). For example, three tracks are enough to mix up your beatbox, guitar, and vocals. If there’s a delay due to your device speed, you can make it right with a little track shift. And yes, using earphones is necessary, as the recorder catches the speaker sound very well, got that, emcees?
Design: 9/10. It looks pro, that’s all. Waveforms are displayed in details. Tool buttons are big and unmistakable. File browser works well. If you don’t need to work with a multitrack editor, you better select a different app.
The only thing that can spoil your impression is ads. No, ADS. A great lot of them! So if you use it for your pro needs, you may break down once and enter your credentials. Though you don’t have to, hehe.
Stability: 10/10. We have loaded two or three tracks into the app, played them simultaneously or one by one, mixed them down, moved and saved edited tracks separately, recorded voice and mixed it into the output track. This editor seems to be quite stable though its appetite is as grand as its functionality.
video audio cutterAbout: Just as the name unleashes, this app has audio and video editing functions.
Functionality: 6/10. The only thing this app is meant for is trimming audio and video files. Well, sometimes that’s just what you need to trim too long video fragment from your camera or to make a ringtone out of a song. If that’s all you require form such an app, OK, let it be.
The app is made as easy as it can be. There are sliding marks that indicate the start and the end of your selection. And then you tap one button to do the trimming. The resulting files are stored in the app’s folder sdcard/mp3cutter/trimmed and are easily found on the memory card.
Design: 6/10. That’s yet another app that seems to have no design at all. And it’s quite logical as it’s so limited in functions. Thank you, Mr. Designer, for putting the ad at the bottom where it doesn’t interfere with waveforms or videos.
The app is available in different languages. That wasn’t hard to do as the app has very little text at all. But anyway, it matters.
Stability: 10/10. The less features the app has, the harder it is to make something wrong.
Lexis Audio EditorAbout: Lexis seems to be the one of the most complex and advanced audio editors for Android. It may lack some multitrack features but it’s compensated by its richness in single track editing. It’s the perfect choice for making complicated recognizable ringtones or audio montages.
Functionality: 10/10. The app is quick to open and visualize audio files. The interface looks professional, that’s the right word. It even surprises us not to discover multitrack editor here, like in AudioDroid (or rather Adobe Audition!)
And yes, you can mix audio tracks with each other as well as with real-time recording. You can record your voice to make an individual ringtone. Unfortunately the “Rec into existing” button doesn’t let you record your voice over a playing track, it replaces the original track with your recording. But if you record your voice to the phonogram played in a third-party player, you can mix the two tracks with a special Mix/Import function available in the menu.
Trimming ringtones with this app is as easy as it gets. The effects include not only fade-in and fade-out other apps lack, but also pitch and tempo changing, noise reduction, compressing, normalizing, 10-band equalizer. Lexis seems the richest one track editor for Android. And yes, it allows making impressing audio montages on your tablet or even phone.
The only limitation of the free version is its impossibility to save files as .MP3s; this privilege is reserved for paid version. Still, we can use third-party converters for that though it’s not that convenient.
Design: 8/10. The app looks more professional than beautiful. The interface is great for tablets, but even on large smartphones it will seem too small-detailed, so editing will be not that convenient.
Stability: 10/10. Even heavy tasks were performed fast and didn’t hang or crush the system or even the app itself.