New to audacity, recording 2 people at the same time

Hello, I am new and I am looking for some help. I would like to start creating a podcast with a friend.

I have a laptop computer with windows 10. I have 2 headset’s with mics built in. 1 is plugged in using the USB and 1 is plugged in using a audio jack. I would like us both the be on our own track. (so far I can get 2 tracks started) I can’t seem to figure out how to see 2 different mic’s.

I can chose from 1 or the other but can’t attach 1 headset to 1 track. I would like to know if there is a way to use 1 headset on track 1 with level adjustments and the second headset on track 2 with level adjustments.

Thank you very much and if there is something I need to buy in order to do this please let me know.


Audacity only supports recording from one “device” at a time.

It is “possible” to create a “virtual device” using 3rd party software, that combines the inputs of two USB mics into one virtual device, and then set Audacity to record from the one virtual device. This can be quite tricky on Windows, and as I wrote, requires additional software such as “Virtual Audio Cable” or one of the “VB-Audio” products.

The preferred method is to use a 2 channel audio device (such as one of the many 2 channel USB audio interfaces), and two conventional microphones.

If you’re on a tight budget, you could sit either side of a single “omnidirectional” microphone, though you would need to be careful to both speak at a similar level, and the room would need to be very quiet.

Thank you for the info.
Is Skype a better option for 2 person recording?

Skype is horrible for recording. It’s much better to get everyone in the same place if possible.

You could split the difference. Gather around the kitchen table and you record your headset on your laptop and they record theirs on their laptop. Combine sound files in Audacity later. Yes, there are some serious problems with that, but it does work.

And just when you’re getting fluffy and comfortable with that idea, unless you’re recording in a studio, your voices are going to cross through room echo. There is no boosting the volume of one, or adding effects to one without affecting the other.

This crossing problem is far less of a problem with headsets as compared with conventional microphones, but still. It gets less. It doesn’t go away.

Try it before you record a two-hour podcast.


Normally a rotten idea, there are applications. If you’re both using Skype Services, you can sweet-talk Skype into recording the composite for you and let you download the result later. But. It will be bubbly, honky Skype Voice, not theater voice, and it will be a mix. You can’t make just one person louder or softer.

You should avoid one common New User problem. When you get done performing, Export both of your voices as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound files for protection. It’s a common mistake to Save the performance(s) as Audacity Projects and then edit your brains out until the final MP3 sound file.

What’s wrong with that? If anything happens to the Project, Audacity, the data system or the computer anywhere in the process, you may be back at the beginning with the microphones, speaking the show again. I’m not kidding. There was a recent post from someone who flushed two different voice performances into the mud because of no WAV file backups.

One last New User problem. Do not use MP3 anywhere in the production process. Use WAV and only create an MP3, if needed, at the end. Each time you make a new MP3, it increases the compression sound damage. You can’t stop it and it’s permanent.