Mix microphone with computer playback

Hi all, I have read “Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Linux” and it works beautifully. However, I would like to put my microphone in the mix, and I am not able to find how. It looks like Audacity can only record 1 source at a time, and Pulse Audio Volume Control doesn’t seem to have the option either. It’s weird because in OBS it’s just so easy (add a “Audio Output Capture” source + an “Audio Capture Device” source, and that’s it), but OBS is not designed for audio-only capture.

Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon, Audacity 2.4.2.

Audacity can only record 1 source at a time

Correct. This is from the heritage of computers only having one stereo record and one stereo playback, full stop. If you need more than that, or you want to mix, or manage them, it’s extra software, drivers, managers, etc.

There is a program called VoiceMeeter, for example, which builds devices, pathways, and directions as needed. That’s what you need.


The trick, of course, is do it all without causing feedback, distortion, or instabilities. It’s strongly recommended you wear headphones for these exercises. If you listen to speakers and start getting feedback…eeeeeeEEEEEEEE, it’s almost impossible to sort where it’s coming from or how to stop it.

And then, because you haven’t tempted fate enough today, start a Zoom call. Zoom assumes supervisory control of your sound system.


PulseAudio has the option, but requires configuring through the command line interface, or configuring a “virtual device”. Neither option is simple, and both options require careful reading of the PulseAudio documentation to figure out how to do it. (I did manage to get it working in the past, but too long ago to remember the details).

A slightly simpler way is to use “Jack Audio System”, but note that this is still an “advanced” topic. “Jackd” (Jack Audio) supports channel mapping - that is, routing signals from “sources” to “sinks”. The routing can be done through the “QjackCtl” application. The potentially difficult part of this is getting Jackd running reliably on the computer. If you want to try this, try doing a Google search for “Jackd” and the name / version of your Linux distribution.

Thanks both for your answers. Too bad VoiceMeeter seems to be Windows-only. I’ll give PulseAudio a closer inspection, and consider using Jackd as well.