Can I record a mic whilst recording a Dj mix on 2 separate tracks for a radio show?

Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to Audacity, I’m not massively technical… Loving Audacity enjoying recording my Dj mixes and learning about some simple mastering techniques. I’m in the process of trying to get an online radio show together, I’ve got a mic and audio interface (Scarlett 4i4) which in theory should make separating the mic and audio possible, I just can seem to make this happen in Audacity, I’ve been told it’s not and that I’ll have to use something like Ableton… Can anyone out there tell me if I can record the mic (my voice) on 1 track (will have to be in mono I think?) whilst recording the DJ mix (my music) on a separate track (in stereo) Is this possible to do in Audacity? appreciate any advice on this… many thanks. Matt

I forgot to say that I’m on Mac running Big Sur 11.6.4 using Audacity 3.1.3

Audacity will only record from one “thing.” So you can record your voice on the left and a music mono-mix on the right of your Scarlett 4i4. Alternately, record your voice on your Phone and the stereo music on the 4i4. Mix later. Make sure you can make the phone file management work. That can be pretty entertaining on some phones.

Mechanically, that’s not as crazy as you think. Lay the phone on a flat surface with its butt (where the microphone normally is) pointed toward your face.

You can also use a second computer. A lot of these forum posting problems vanish if you have a second computer. This is my setup for recording a Skype interview.

This is a facility test and super badly edited, but it’s live including the music. Denise is three time zones away.


I’m a Windows guy and I’ve never done multi-track recording but I think it “works better” on a Mac (if you’re using Audacity).

Can anyone out there tell me if I can record the mic (my voice) on 1 track (will have to be in mono I think?) whilst recording the DJ mix (my music) on a separate track (in stereo).

There is a bit about multi-track recording [[u]here[/u]. Your interface is 4-channels, so try it!

You may have to pan the microphone to the center after recording. Most DAWs record multiple “mono” tracks that can be panned left & right. Sometimes in Audacity the first two tracks are left & right stereo and the following tracks are mono but Windows &Mac might be different, and in any case that can all be sorted-out in post-production.

and that I’ll have to use something like Ableton…

Other than the learning curve… A full-DAW will have some features & advantages. It will have separate meters & level controls & meters for each track as well as a master meter and level control. It will also have automation which allow you to fade-up and fade-down different parts and different tracks. (Audacity has something similar called the Envelope Tool but it’s not quite the same.)

Another option would be a USB mixer (an analog mixer with a USB port for recording). Most “little” USB mixers only send-out the stereo-mix so you can have many-multiple inputs but they don’t work for multitrack recording. Or I assume you already have a mixer? You can connect the Scarlett to your to the mixer to record your voice and the music. You can’t do as much post-processing that way but since the mixing is already done you can save lots of time. :wink:

Sometimes it’s useful to have a mixer for monitoring and a multi-channel interface or recording, but when your setup gets more complicated it’s better if the talent and the engineer are two (or more) different people…

You do have a four-track interface (4i4, right?) but the forum is rife with people trying to multi-track with one of those. Most normal interfaces and computers “like” stereo (or mono) and it’s necessary to add drivers or additional software to get multi-track to work. It’s not optional, like straight stereo or mono recording.

It is possible to play music to your mixer with one half of your computer and record the show with the other half. That’s how I got the music to work in my Skype interview. In each case, Audacity is only dealing with one “thing” in each direction.

There is one “legacy” problem you’re going to run into. My computers are old enough to have stereo line-in and stereo line-out. So they will plug directly into my mixer. Not so newer machines. In those cases you will need an analog interface such as the Behringer UCA-202.

I bet you were looking for a solution such as push these two buttons and go. A note on the UCA-202. It’s possible to buy insanely cheap USB computer interfaces that simply reproduce the sound connections you already have. Stereo headphones and a mono microphone. You can’t easily plug a mixer into the microphone connection for recording.

Home setups have built-in limits. That’s why they’re so cheap. Recording from a USB microphone isn’t that hard. Try recording from two…


DVDdoug wrote:

A full-DAW will have some features & advantages.

Very true.
Many people confuse Audacity with a DAW, which it’s not. it’s an audio editor.

It’s far better to record using a DAW that allows for more complicated setups, channel sends and real time recording effects,
then bring the individual tracks (or master mixed down track) into Audacity for some tweaks.
Audacity is great for that kind of thing, especially because of the Nyquist effects that are available for it of which there are no
equivalents for a DAW.

enjoying recording my Dj mixes

That’s from the top. Do you have one of those “dual-turntable” data controller things with a microphone as part of the mix?
Screen Shot 2022-04-28 at 12.45.43 PM.png
So the real question is how to record the microphone separately. You already have the music part down.

Or not. It’s not unusual for someone to post on the forum and fudge the time offsets. “I’m recording audiobooks” when it turns out they’re 2/3 of the way through their first one.

Do you regularly play to a dance floor with people on it?


Hi thanks for all the feedback, I have pioneer pro gear, I dj to people on dance floors… I now realise that to do what I want to do which is record a radio show in real time with minimal fuss is to use Ableton for the initial recording then put it into Audacity for further tweaking… thanks for all the comments and help much appreciated…

what I want to do … is record a radio show in real time with minimal fuss

I predict… You’re going to make it through one or two of those and then realize how much better a production it would be if you dropped an edit here and there… and then a few more… and then add an interview which almost never goes well in one pass. And before long you’ll have a popular show that takes you hours to edit together just like everybody else.

It takes pretty strong determination to post a show you know has errors in it.