Multi-Channel Podcast


I’m very new to recording so I apologize if this is an obvious question.

I would like to create a podcast with up to 4 speakers. I found the samson Q1U USB microphone and was curious if I can use 4 of these mics to record into separate tracks using audacity. My soundcard is the audigy2 ZS, I don’t believe that it supports multichannel.

I’m trying to find an entry level approach to this to see if I want to take it any further. Any suggestions on hardware or ways to approach this in audacity would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

You can’t have more than 1 usb mic connected to the same computer at the same time (technically it could be possible, but it’s calling for trouble).

Which operating system are you on? That can make a big difference too.

Have a look at this thread about multitrack recording:

My operating system is XP.

I’ve looked over that link, but it seems to be more about sound cards that allow for multi-tracking. I’m still unclear if thats my only hurdle. My goal is to record 4 people simultaneously on individual tracks to allow for editing if need be, what’s the easiest way to go about this?

Thanks for reading my post.

I’m afraid there’s no easy way to do what you want…

To record 4 mics into 4 separate tracks you need a sound card capable of multi-track recording. And the troubles don’t stop there… That’s the least of the problems. You then need drivers for it, and drivers that work with audacity. Audacity does not support ASIO out of the box (Audacity can be compiled with ASIO support but can’t be distributed with ASIO support because of legal issues). So you either need to compile Audacity by your own with ASIO support or you need a sound card with good working WDM drivers, which is known to be a problem too.

The best you can try to achieve is recording 2 simultaneous mics into a stereo track and have one mic on each channel (and you still need a sound card that allows you to connect 2 mics and pan each of them to opposite channels).

There have been quite a few threads about this subject in the past… Here are two examples (there are more if you search thouroughly through these forums you might find quite more):

Thanks for the response.

If I used a different interface (external hardware, plugged in via USB) would audacity allow for multi track recording?


Depends on the hardware and its driver… (see the topic about multi-track recording in my first post for hardware which has been reported to work with audacity and multi-track recording)

Very often when you see face to face interviews on TV, the camera looks over the shoulder of either the interviewer or interviewee at the person that is talking. How do they do that without getting the second cameraman in the shot? Answer- there is only one cameraman. They shoot the interviewee answering the questions, then they shoot the interviewer nodding and asking the questions, then they take the footage to the editing room and put the questions and answers into the right order. You can do the same with multi-person podcasts. Record each person separately and then edit the whole thing together. This is a common technique in professional production and has many technical advantages - it allows the “umms and errs” to be taken out, it allows the volume level of each voice to be carefully managed, it avoids one voice spilling over into someone else’s microphone, and fortunately for us it does not require any fancy hardware - the entire show can be recorded with one microphone. This is called “multi-tracking” and Audacity is really good at this sort of thing.