HELP! How to record with multiple mics?

Is it possible to record in audacity with multiple mics? The research I’ve done is only yielding OLD results. I’m using Audacity 3.4.2 and can’t find anything recent (within the last year) on this topic. The YT videos I do find are saying that I need to download a 3rd party “VB Audio” in order to do this. Is that the only way?
Thanks

I’m a Windows guy but the Audacity Manual says it should work on the Mac.

Thank you for that…but HOW do I do it? I saw one YT video that showed you could select different audio input / solo track, but that was from 4 years ago.
Any ideas???

How are you connecting multiple mics to your Mac?

This seems to be going off in all directions because you haven’t told us enough.

Computers are basically single channel machines and Audacity is single channel software. So right out of the gate you can’t do what you want.

What do you want to end up with? Do you want one sound file for each microphone, or do you want to record a mix-down of all the microphones?

What’s the show? are you trying to record an orchestra?

How many microphones and what are their models and numbers?

This is actually a pretty simple job if you have one computer for each microphone. But that’s probably not what you want. I’m guessing now.

Koz

ok…thank you for the questions. I will try to bottom line it.
What I would like to do is record a podcast episode with 2 guests…so 3 microphones going to one iMac. I figure my backup is to scrounge around and get 3 computers…but not ideal.

I’ve watched some YT videos and they’re able to do what I want, but they go through a 3rd party to connect everything (VB Audio) - if that’s the only way, then I’ll do that, but if Audacity has the functionality, I’d like to know how to do it that way. Seems like my only options are the VB Audio route or 3 separate computers.

I hope that helps. :slight_smile:

There’s a couple of others. All three join in a Zoom call and tell Zoom to record the whole thing. I think that one is a button push. I haven’t found this option yet, but I’m assured that Zoom will give you three individual sound files if you ask nice.

There’s Pressure Zone Microphone Configuration. That’s lay your phone on the table in the middle.

I shot an interview that way in a restaurant with no background music.

We still don’t know what the microphones are.

Setting up a studio is not for the easily frightened. How quiet is the room? You can get away with super-simple microphones if they don’t have to compete with room echoes and metro-busses running outside. That’s background rumble and talking in a bathroom effect.

Or compete with each other. Each directional microphone needs to be aimed so its butt is pointed to the average of the other two. That’s so you have a fighting chance to edit the show later. If you don’t, each performer will have the other two voices leaking in.

If you go with the phone, the performers should be very close and away from the walls. If you go with separate microphones, the performers should be as far apart as possible.

I hope they’re lavalier or chest microphones. Are they?

Koz

I thought VB Audio and Voicemeeter would work on your home computer.

That’s another possibility, but I’ve had troubles with software like that. For one thing, the voices may drift out of sync during a long show. They may have fixed that.

Whatever you decide on, try it all the way to finished files before you launch the show.

Koz

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Oh and post back how you did it. This is a forum—users helping each other, not a Help Desk.

Koz

You want three microphones going into one iMac. Are all three people in the same room? Then all you need is a mixer.

This came up a bunch of times. If they’re USB microphones, then a mixer is a little rough.

Koz

So sorry…yes, USB mics.

I absolutely will!

Zoom is my backup option, but I really wanted to do it with all of us in the same room.
I may just have to record on 3 devices.

My other option is to just have each of us record on our phones…they can send me the audio files and I’ll edit in Audacity. The sound quality won’t be as good, but it’s an option.

Like this…

That’s iPhone Lossless Voice Memo with the phone in Pressure Zone Configuration (laying on the desk). It’s in my quiet, carpeted office. Transfer the voice file to Audacity, cut it to length, apply Audiobook Mastering and Noise Reduction of the Beast. It passes Audacity ACX-Check…

Screen Shot 2024-04-27 at 10.55.35 AM

…and the on-line ACX Audio Lab audiobook evaluation.

So no. It doesn’t have to be trash.

Obviously, you can’t pound on the desk when you do this.

I had trouble doing this in the weirdest place. I had trouble transferring the M4A Voice Memo file from the iPhone to my Mac. No, it didn’t “just work.” My iPhone is up to date, but I think my Mac was too old.

You might run into timing problems. The duration of the three performances could be different. You can count off at the beginning and end of the show and everybody claps.

Post back how it goes.

Koz

You understand when Zoom does this, they apply weapons-grade processing to your voice to filter out echoes, background noise, and conversations (if the user is speaking in open-air). It also takes over your machine which is one reason it got to be so successful.

It does it and you have nothing to say about it.

Koz

The Obsessive Engineer here would record a voice test on Zoom and see how it goes.

It’s good to have that in your back pocket.

One of you must have a non-free license, right?

Koz

There’s another home method.

Do you drive? A car is not a bad studio. One of the production people at work routinely turned in very good voice work and I knew his home wasn’t quiet at all. I asked him how he did it and he said, “My Toyota.”

Koz

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Hi…

I saw this thread this morning and just out of curiosity…

What did you end up doing?

Also, did you consider a USB audio device with three inputs?