Guitar Effects Apps Finally Coming to Android!

If you’re an Android phone or tablet owner you’ve probably been frustrated seeing all the great virtual amp, effects, and cabinet simulator apps for iOS and wondered why they aren’t available on Android.

guitar effects for android

Related Feature:
Android Apps for Guitar

The problem isn’t with software developers, it’s actually Android itself which has caused the problem due to its inability to provide a reliable low latency signal path for audio. However, that problem is now being overcome…

USB On-The-Go

Often called USB OTG for short, this specification which is now being supported by some Android devices running version 4.0 or later, can enable your smart phone or tablet to act as a USB host.

In short, this means you can now plug USB Audio Interfaces directly into your device, and then plug your guitar into the interface, and get the sound working with relatively low latency.


So far this is the leading Android App to take advantage of the USB OTG specification. The developer, Githara Studios, calls it a “Virtual Amp App”, however it’s primarily an effects app at this stage because it doesn’t provide a range of amp simulations like many of the iOS apps.

Here’s a list of the main effects that usbEffect has:

  • Distortion
  • Flanger
  • Chorus
  • Harmonizer
  • Wah Wah
  • Tremolo
  • Digital Delay
  • Reverb

You can download the app from Google play.

Here’s a demonstration of the app being plugged into an Android phone via a USB cable:

The Gear You Need

1. USB OTG Adapter

Because you’ll be using your Android device as a USB host, you will need an adapter to plug in your audio interface. You can pick one up at your local electronics store or buy one at Amazon.

2. USB Audio Interface

As a USB host your Android device will only supply a limited amount of power – this means you will need an audio interface which either has it’s own power supply, or one which draws very little current.

Two options which work well for this purpose are the battery powered Peavey AmpKit, and the Behringer UCG102 which draws very little power from its USB host.

You can also find other options in Gearank’s guide to the Best Budget Audio Interfaces.

3. USB OTG Compatible Android Device

You will need at least Android 4.0, but preferably 4.2.2 or later as they ironed out a few bugs in the OS. It will also have to be compatible with the specification (not all Android device are compatible) – you can find out simply by trying the free version of usbEffect, or you can check your device against this list at which is reasonably up to date.

Another option is to install the USB Host Diagnostics App which will give you a complete rundown on your device’s capabilities.

If you have any questions please submit them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Related Articles:

Guitar Effects Software
Our Roundup of the Best Guitar Effects Software

guitar software
Here are our top Amp Modeling Software picks!

8 thoughts on “Guitar Effects Apps Finally Coming to Android!”

  1. Is this compatible with JamStack? Samsung S8?
    Geno Lamphiear /

    Is this compatible with JamStack? Samsung S8?

    Error message: “No USB Detected”

  2. Is ucg102 with galaxy note 10.1 N8000 (not 2014!) Possible?
    the 2014 model has samsung professional sound elements, the older one no…

  3. Connectors/Adapters for recording music on Android phone.

    Hello all,

    What type of connections/adapters would be needed to record instruments on an Android device? I see people online with all these things that they are using, I just wanted to know what would be safe to use.



  4. USB_Effects Problem

    First I have downloaded Lite version to test. I have Lenovo a1000l Tab. Im connecting my UCG 102 then blue led lights up. Everything is fine. Im opening program then I it let use my USB Device. When it says USB Ready, nothing happens! I have tried different settings. There is no sound from my earphones, speakers, just nothing… Help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *