need help with equipment connections

I do karaoke & just went digital. We are running our music from the laptop and want to go to an external mixer, pick up the mics and then go back to the laptop to record the singers with the karaoke music. I bought an audio interface (Audiobox USB), and went from the laptop headphone jack to the mixer in, then mixer out to mic in on audiobox, then usb out of audiobox to usb laptop. It didn’t work and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any suggestions?

Audacity is not a “real time” production tool.
To make karaoke recordings with Audacity, you would either:

  1. Import the audio track into Audacity, then record a second track with your vocals (this procedure is described here: )

  2. Connect a CD/karaoke player and your microphones to the mixer, then record the output of the mixer in Audacity. In this case the procedure would be much like recording from a USB turntable:

We do kids bday parties and have to record real time. Our music originates from software on the laptop, so we don’t use a cd player. Can we have our music playing from the karaoke software, then go to the mixer, then through the audio interface (is that the same as USB turntable?), then back to the laptop to record music and kids picked up with mics at the mixer?

If so, I need help with hooking it up! Thanks!

I can see what you are wanting to do, but i doubt that it will work. I presume that your karaoke software is displaying the words as well as playing the music?
The main problem that you will have is that both programs are trying to stream a lot of data through the system at the same time. People generally have enough trouble getting one program to do this without stuttering or crashing - trying to do it with 2 programs at the same time is asking for trouble. It would be a much better idea to use something else to record on.

Depending on your budget it may be worth looking at the Zoom H2 - this is a very handy little portable recording device and the recording quality is excellent. You could play your karaoke disk on the laptop with the laptop connected to the mixer. Your microphones would also be connected to the mixer and the main output would go to your amplifier/speakers. The recording output from the mixer could then connect to the line input on the H2. For editing the recordings, the H2 can be connected to you laptop via USB and the recorded audio files transfered to the laptop for editing in Audacity.

Thanks for your help. We use a Tascam recorder now and it does a great job, we were just looking to eliminate a piece of equip. Guess not.

<<<It didn’t work and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any suggestions?>>>

I’m reading this again and again. That should have worked. That’s the same process as recording yourself with musical accompaniment playback from the same computer. Overdubbing, etc.

You might end up with control problems. The P key does one thing in Audacity and another thing in the karaoke software. All the successful processes for overdubbing involve the playback and the recording both in Audacity. So no, for that reason.


I agree that it should be possible to get this working, but it’s a bit like when people are trying to record shows that they are streaming to the internet - it can be fraught with problems.

We have no idea if the karaoke software is messing with the sound stream routing (as happens with Skype) and we have no idea how demanding the karaoke software is on computer resources. USB sound cards are dependent on the CPU, and if ever the CPU usage hits 100%, even for a moment, then at best there are glitches in the recording and at worst the whole thing crashes.

We also don’t know if the karaoke software caches data from the karaoke disk to the hdd before playing (which is quite possible) - if it does, then you have an aweful lot of disk access going on, and as most PC laptops have fairly slow hdd’s, even if it’s defragmented and totally error free it will be struggling.

On the other hand, recording to a second device (the Tascam) is simple, and most importantly works reliably. Editing can be done in Audacity after the show.
If karaoke4kids wants to put in the time and effort, we can work with this and try and get it going, but there’s no guarantee how reliable it will be, and I guess that reliability is a prime concern. Depending on the sound quality of the Tascam recorder it may or may not be worth the effort. Personally I’d use my Zoom H2 to record on.