Mic splitting question.

I am currently working on setting up my computer to record a friends acoustic music. I had done with once with a single mic recording both guitar and vocals at the same time. The results were not bad, considering at the time I was using a 6 year old computer microphone. Now for the actual question. My current computer has the standard 3.5mm pink mono input. It also has a 3.5mm blue stereo input. I am wondering if it would be possible to buy a Y-splitter for either of these inputs that will allow me to hook up two microphones as I would like to put one to the guitar and then another for mainly vocals. I’m figuring with the closeness of the two, a foot/foot and half of distance, there will be some cross over sound from the guitar to the vocal mic/vocal to guitar. But would it be possible to just use a simple y splitting cable to do this without having to buy a mixer? At the moment my funds are drained and I’m looking for a cheap, CHEAP, option to do this. If no possible way I’ll probably go back to using a single microphone for both. If there is any cheap simple mixers (Cheap as in 20 dollar range), this being my only option to get the two mics to work, I’ll take suggestions.

I’m sure this has been asked before, but I could find a topic with it asked like I do.

In a straight answer: no!

The blue socket is a line input, it’s expecting a line level signal. The signal from the mic is a very tiny signal which needs a lot of amplification. Connecting a mic to a line-in will get you barely any sound…

Hooking two mics in the mic input will mix the signals from both mics into one mone signal, even if the mics are identically I’m not sure how this could mess the results… mic input is meant for one mic.

As for a mic preamp/mixer, the price is usually proportional to the quality… I don’t know of any in the $20 range, but I never looked out for one either… though my guess would be that the quality would be very good…
I own an ART USB Dual Pre (http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=91&cat=14&id=132) which has a very good quality for the price (currently $79 at amazon, which is a very good price, mine cost 100 euros in europe last year). That’s for the preamp… then you’ll need two mics on pair quality so you can take advantage of it… that will probably cost you the same amount for each mic hehe :slight_smile:

I also own a $30 usb mic preamp (for 1 single mic), it sucks compared to the ART.

Do you already have two mics? Which brand and model?

Another option you have is to record the guitar and the voice separately… First you tell your friend to play just the guitar part and record that, then you record the voice on a second track (using audacity with the overdub feature on and you put your friend listening to the recorded guitar on headphones while he sings).

Oh and BTW, you posted in the 1.2.x section of the forum, so if you’re really still using Audacity 1.2.x, I’d recommend upgrading to the latest 1.3.13, specially if you’re on Vista or 7. Despite being labelled as beta it has reached a quite mature state.

Official download site: http://audacityteam.org/download

Thanks for the quick reply. I do have both 1.2x and 1.3. I guess I didn’t catch what part of the forum I posted in as I actually wanted to post in 1.3.

Now as for other parts, I currently do not have any mics purchased either, as I was waiting for a response. I will probably go and just do the overdub as I don’t have money to purchase a decent preamp, though a friend might have a mixer I can try to hook up. I might swing by local music store for a mic tonight if I get time to do it. But we aren’t supposed to record until Wednesday, so I still have some time to figure this out. Though the pre you posted does seem nice, I may have to look at it when I get other money in. I am currently only going for low priced equipment as I’m not too serious about his recordings just yet. We don’t plan to do full recordings for a CD until later on. Giving me also some time to mess with settings to make the sound better.

This thread could also go in the Recording Equipment section, to where I think I’ll move it to.

Computer built-in soundcards are usually quite crappy when it comes to recording, specially because they lack proper (if any) shielding, which means you’ll get a lot of electromagnetic interference… The solution is to go digital outside the computer, for example, through usb.

So if you’re on a very tight budget the best solution might be an usb mic. There’s a logitech desktop usb mic for about $20 which has got good reviews. See if you can get one of those. I think it would be a good starting point. It’s cheap and it’s not money thrown out…

If you want to read a very long thread, here my quest for buying a mic to record my classical guitar: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/budget-usb-mic-for-classical-guitar-recording-needed/12367/1

And the shorter version: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/non-usb-mic-for-classical-guitar-rec-findings-conclusions/13464/1

Here’s a sample from Koz of how a guitar sounds on the logitech mic: http://www.kozco.com/tech/MicTests/LogitechMicTest/LogitechMicTest.wav

The step from one microphone to two is usually the magic place you graduate to a more expensive system, not just double the cost of one microphone.

Computers in general do not support two microphones – even digital USB mics. There is provision to force computers to accept two USB microphones, but the process is brittle and unreliable – not suitable for production.

I went for an illustration for this and I can’t find it. I gotta get organized one of these days…

This is also the place where you leave dirt cheap components in the dust. If you can work your production with one microphone, that’s the way to go.