Multi Track Recording

Hi,

First here is what I’m using:

Audacity 2.0.5
Behringer Xenyx 1202FX Mixer
Behringer U-Control UCA202 digital audio converter
2-4 Behringer mics

Okay now everything works and records, so that’s a plus. I was more curious if it’s possible to break it up so each microphone will record on it’s own track?

I’ve seen a few old posts of people asking about this and they tend to get varying answers, but I’ve never seen anyone mention using any digital converters.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I’m really just starting to learn all the ins and outs of audio recording.

Sure. Each microphone strip on the mixer (microphone connection on top and volume control on the bottom) has a Pan Control just above the volume control. Push the first microphone to the left and the second microphone to the right. From that point forward the two microphones will be completely separated in the show.

That may sound weird (two people talking) because normal sounds don’t work like that in real life, but if you’re after a special effect or other odd task, that’s the way to do it.

If your show is intended to be stereo, you mic it that way (more difficult), or you can hard mic sound events and then you can “make” realistic stereo in post production. For example if you put a microphone in front of a violin and one in front of a trumpet, then in post production you can gracefully “place” each instrument in its rightful location in the orchestra rather than having the violin only in your left ear.

The UCA-202 is a stereo converter, so you only get two.

Koz

As Koz said, pan one mic to the left and the other to the right and record as “2 channels (stereo)”.
More than 2 channels requires special “multi-channel” recording hardware (which may or may not work with Audacity - depending on the device drivers).

When you have your stereo track, “Split to Mono” http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/splitting_and_joining_stereo_tracks.html
You now have to independent mono tracks that you can work with separately. There will be some “spill-over” due to sounds intended for one mic being picked up by the other. Careful microphone placement can help to reduce that.

If you want your mono tracks to be panned left/right, use the “Pan” slider on the left end of the track. http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audio_tracks.html#pan
(Note: ensure that you “Split to Mono” and not just “Split Stereo Track”).

Thank you both for your answers.

I have one other question, and it may be that I just need to do more research and learn my equipment better. But while trying to pan the the first mic to the left and the second to the right Audacity is only recording the left. I’ve tried both mics in the left and center and right positions and center and left are all that records.

Basically myself and a few others are trying to do a podcast, so nothing crazy is getting done. If we have to record everything in a single track it’s not the end of the world I just thought it would be easier in the long run to have each person on a separate track.

Thanks again for your help!

That is probably due to a “quirk” in Windows.
By default Windows (usually) assumes that any USB audio device is mono. Go into the Windows Sound Control Panel and check the record settings for the USB device and ensure that it is set to record “2 channel stereo”.

For normal audio work, the “sample rate” should usually be set to 44100 Hz (the only sample rate used by normal audio CDs). For video work it should often be set to 48000 (standard for DVD).

For multitrack recording you need a muti-channel interface ([u]example[/u]).

However you can do record multiple tracks, one or two at a time, and then mix them down to stereo in software. This can be done with and audio editor like Audacity, but typically it’s done with [u]DAW software[/u].

Note that most USB mixers (like the Behringer Xenex 1204USB) are also stereo only on the USB port.

Note that most USB mixers (like the Behringer Xenex 1204USB) are also stereo only on the USB port.

It’s not stereo on the analog Main Out and Tape Out?
Koz