Im brand new to the podcast word and along with my mate, we are planning on recording our first podcast this weekend. Its a talkshow style show where 2 of us will feature every episode and we have a 3rd mic for the occassional guest. We have 3 XLR microphones and I have just gone out and purchased XLR to USB adapters only to find out that in order to record multi track we also need an audio interface? (Got a bit excited and didn’t research enough before walking into Maplins…Hiding the receipts from the missus LOL).
Anyhow, all the interfaces I have seen online have quarter inch inputs but I was hoping for something that was a mix between a USB hub and interface, so that I could plug all three USB mics into the hub and run from this into my laptop?
My question is please can someone advise me on the a decent interface that I can pick up for quite cheap that I can plug the USB mics straight into OR would it be better/cheaper for me to ditch the USB adapters and use an interface that i plug the standard quarter inch jacks into?
Thanks in advance guys ;o)
You can force a computer to manage two USB microphones badly, but not three. Your description of the show practically demands a small sound mixer.
Before I dig in, please know that if you go this way, you will record a Mixed Show. All the voices on one sound file. There is no going back later to spruce up one of the three voices. Audacity can’t split a mixed performance into the original performers.
This is how I do it. That’s a small, four-microphone sound mixer, but it’s entirely analog. I use a small Analog/USB adapter to get into the computer. That’s the little box in the middle. On a Mac, I don’t need the adapter because my Mac has the digital adapter built-in.
The mixer is about $120 USD. I’ve shot some very good stuff that way. This is a broadcast radio show I shot. The microphone is different, but everything else is the same.
In fact, you can get an entirely self-contained USB mixer. I think Behringer makes nice ones. I have no hands-on with those. No judgement call. I just don’t know. I would personally stay away from “advanced” mixers that feature built-in special effects, filters and tools. Those are impossible to troubleshoot and once you burn a filter or effect into a voice, it’s usually permanent.
That’s describing a straight recording featuring multi-microphone, similar to, say, a TV news show. Turn his microphone off. Turn her microphone on. Turn them all on for “banter” between news segments.
You can get crazy. People make microphone mixers that present each microphone on is own isolated channel to Audacity. In that case you can repair or filter one microphone or voice isolated from all the others and mix down later into the finished show. Multi-track connections are notoriously difficult, and not all multi-track mixers work. You’re into Unicorn Audio territory.
Audacity stands ready to save a multi-track recording for production later. An Audacity Project will save many separate sound tracks just as you see them during the recording. But nobody else can play those. You still have to Export a real stereo or mono sound file for publication.
Let us know.