Recording with Multiple USB Mics

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Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by vulcanis » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:23 pm

First off, is it possible?

For example, could I connect 4 USB mics to a USB hub connected to my Mac and then be able to record sound from all 4 simultaneously?

If I had enough money to buy a drum mic kit, pro tools and all that other jazz I would have by now.

If it helps, I'm using a first generation IBook G4.

* iBook G4 (October 22, 2003) – Major revision, processor switch
o 12-inch or 14-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
o G4 800/933 MHz/1 GHz
o 256 MB RAM
o 30/40/60 GB Hard Disk
o Slot-load Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM)
o USB 2.0, FireWire 400, Video Out, Ethernet 10/100
o AirPort Extreme (802.11g, optional)
o Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther"

But it is running the latest mac operating system.
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:34 am

<<<First off, is it possible?>>>


No. Audacity only deals with one Sound Device at any one time. Even if you put them all through a hub, each one individually has to negotiate with the computer to send (or receive) sound. The hub manages the negotiations.

It's a nightmare for the computer because even if each device is sending sound at 44100-16 bit, no device is perfect. Each one will be a little off--44101, 44099, etc. It would work if there was a little synchronizing cable cable that went to each microphone with a common sound clock signal. Expensive machines resample each microphone for combination into one bit stream. That's why they're not free.

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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by vulcanis » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:50 am

Okay, so what if I go with something entirely different.

Say the M-Audio Delta 44 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-Delta-44-Digital-Recording-System?sku=701346

Will audacity be able to record 4 simultaneous channels with this?
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:09 am

How are you planning on getting that into your iBook?

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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by vulcanis » Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:52 am

haha. obviously im not. i would use my PC, i just figured since this question was getting responses I would post it here instead of making a brand new post in the PC section.
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:56 am

<<<I would post it here instead of making a brand new post in the PC section.>>>

Fair enough. I'm tri-lingual.

<<<M-Audio Delta 44>>>

That device will mix four high-level (Line-Level) analog signals and push them down one digital signal pathway, and yes, Audacity will probably get along with that OK, but this is Windows, so it's always a crap shoot.

Where are you planning on plugging your four USB microphones? Not this box. In the event you really have four actual analog microphones, you need to amplify each one some 1000 times for the sound level to work with the Delta-44. That's where you use a MicPre, or Microphone Preamplifier--four in your case.

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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:01 am

kozikowski wrote:That's where you use a MicPre, or Microphone Preamplifier--four in your case.

Or 2 x 2-channel mic preamps, or a mixing desk with sufficient outputs (such as 4 sub-mix outputs, or Direct outs for each channel, or 2 main outs and 2 Aux outs).
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by vulcanis » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:30 pm

kozikowski wrote:That device will mix four high-level (Line-Level) analog signals and push them down one digital signal pathway


Really?

That sucks. I didn't realize it just pushes them all into one signal.

The problem is that I was spoiled three years ago when I got to use Pro Tools and had a channel per mic recorded.

I'm starting to get the impression that Audacity doesn't go along very well with the concept of simultaneous multiple source recording. But then again I'm probably just thinking incorrectly.

Let's say I just use two of these http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=241483V with 4 analog drum mics? Would that work with Audacity and yield 4 separate tracks?
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:59 pm

vulcanis wrote:That sucks. I didn't realize it just pushes them all into one signal.

"One digital signal" - that's not the same as mono - it is 4 mono channels in one device, so Audacity can access all 4 channels separately.

vulcanis wrote:I'm starting to get the impression that Audacity doesn't go along very well with the concept of simultaneous multiple source recording.
Audacity can record up to 16 separate channels simultaneously, providing those channels are supplied by a single device - it can only access one device driver at a time for recording.

vulcanis wrote:Let's say I just use two of these http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=241483V with 4 analog drum mics? Would that work with Audacity and yield 4 separate tracks?

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5322&p=20997#p20997
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Re: Recording with Multiple USB Mics

Permanent link to this post Posted by gmcke1 » Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Ok so after reading a few forums and coming up with nothing I think I might have found a loop hole in recording with multiple USB mics. This is how I did it:

1.) Plug all your mics into the USB ports on your computer.
2.) Open as many Audacity windows as you have mics.
3.) Set the different mics to each Audacity window.
4.) Press record on each window
5.) From there you just have to mix them down to mp3s or whatever you want to use and line them up so they match.

I couldn't get my different mics to work in one Audacity window, but this seems to be a loop hole around that. You can also do this in Acoustica Mixcraft. I still have yet to try this in Adobe Audition.

Hope this helped.

-Glenn
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