Podcaster wants to record 4 tracks with 4 mics

We’re recording a podcast and so far we’ve been using a digital voice recorder with 1 mic. Impossible to fix if someone is louder than the others and when people talk over each other.

I understand an acceptable step up would be to get a little mixer that can adjust line levels at record. Thats a good step up, but still doesn’t help us in post.

I’m looking for a solution to record 4 tracks from 4 separate mic inputs.

We’ve done this with two tracks on a digital recorder that had stereo inputs. One mic into Left, the other mic into Right. A stereo wav was brought over to Audacity and we split the R/L into two tracks. That recorder is on loan and we need to get our own. We figured we might as well go for 4 so we have that covered right now.

Now, I’m having an issue in that every 4-8 track digital recorder I’ve researched doesn’t seem to fit. One is 4 track, but two tracks are built in stereo mics and only takes 2 mics in. Another is 8 track, but only records two tracks at a time. Every mixer with 3+ mics in that I’ve seen doesn’t seem to record, just merges every track into a single signal to plug into a recorder/pc

I know this is possible. I don’t care if we have a surround sound recorder and plug mics into each mic, and it transfers over a file we can split into 5 tracks.

The one thought would work was plugging multiple Mics into PC, but audacity doesn’t like that. I’ve heard N-Track is fine. That may be the solution on a laptop, but I’d prefer a separate recorder.

Budget it likely to be the killer. Here’s some options:

Boss BR-1600
yamaha aw1600
Tascam 788
Fostex MR8-HD

(these are just Googled so you will need to check specifications)

hrm, yes, budget might be the killer. We can see about a 200ish range for a good recording mixer that fits our needs well and has some growth potential. Also need to pick up decent mics to use with it as well.

The Tascam 788 seems like the closest fit, just need to verify that it records more than 2 tracks at once. Tascam replaced this unit with the DP-008, which I nearly bought before I realized that while it was an 8 track recorder, it only recorded two tracks at once.

This 788 might fit our budget… and the others so long as we can get a good used deal.

We may have to face that for what we want, it’s just way out of budget. At that point, a laptop, usb hub and usb mics and N-Track might be the way to go seeing as we already have the laptop.

Thanks for the advice

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USB microphones and hubs usually don’t get along well. Microphones work in real time and hubs don’t. I’ve been known to use a wall-powered USB hub to cure microphone problems, but in that case the microphone is the only thing on the hub.

Audacity will only record from one sound device and each USB microphone counts as one device. There is a thing called Aggregate Microphone and that claims to be able to manage two microphones at once, but I don’t know anything about it and I don’t think it goes over two.

Two microphones and above usually pushes you into a small production sound board. We use and like this one.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PV6

That’s a PV6 and it’s around $80 to $100. It will handle four commercial microphones with or without phantom power. It has local headphones.

It seems they make a USB version now, too.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PV6USB

Koz