Record Mic and Computer Sound Simultaneously

Hello all. I am sure there are other topics like this, but I can’t find one exactly like my issue. Please don’t leave! I promise I have been working very hard to research how to do this, but I am new at all of this, and I just cant figure it out. (all specs with be at the bottom)

My objective: To be able to record my voice (for a podcast) AND my computers audio at the same time. This is so that I may play sound effect, music, or whatever is happening on my computer, on the fly while recording.

I know how to record my voice. I know how to record whats on my computer (with Stereo Mix). I don’t know how to record them at once.

I tried without ay external hardware and couldn’t get it to work with a USB Mic.

So I borrowed my friends M-audio Fast Track Pro. It’s plugged in via USB, and I have an mic plugged into line one via XLR. I can record from this mic fine. I can get volume from the headset that I have plugged into the Fast Track Pro. I can record either source through this device, but again, I can’t do both at once. Now, there are a lot of inputs I am probably not using that might be the deal. The only way it is connected to my computer is through USB. It has S/PDIF in and out on the back. However, my computer does not have a port that it will fit into. My sound card is intergated with my motherboard. It is the VIA HD Audio deck. Again, I can still record through stereo mix while using the Fast Track Pro, but I can’t do both at once.

Sorry for being a newbie. I know the Fast Track Pro isn’t ideal, but its what I am working with. I am very open to all ideas, even if they don’t have anything to do with the Fast Track Pro, and even if they cost a little money. (Like, buying a little mixer on Amazon). I have other programs like Adobe audition, but I get the same result. I have heard of software mixers but I am not sure about those either. I know this can be done because I hear it on podcasts all the time.

Here’s the relevant specs:

Windows 7 64bit
M-audio Fast Track Pro (connected only through USB)
Some random Nady XLR Mic
Audio is integrated into motheboard Gigabyte D3. Has VIA HD audio deck that supports “Stereo Mix”. There is no RCA type port, but there is an optical S/PDIF port.

If anyone can help at all, you have no idea how much I would appreciate it. I have seriously spent countless hours trying to figure this out. I would be SO THANKFUL for anyones help. I may even send you a nice package of cheese or chocolate, lol. Please help guys, thanks so much!

Audacity just makes do with the existing sound pathways. You need a program that makes new ones like Krystal Audio Engine.


It’s not the best way to do it. You lose quality on the background music and you cannot edit the voice and background music separately. Your cough gets recorded into the music.

Assuming your background is a music file, import it into Audacity, turn on Transport > Overdub if it isn’t already, then record your voice while Audacity plays the file to you. See .

If you were playing a CD, extract the tracks to WAV thus: .

If you must record music and background at the same time, right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”. Right-click over the FastTrack then choose “Properties”. Then click the “Listen” tab and send the FastTrack (mic) to your built-in sound device. Then stereo mix will record your voice and the music mixed together.

Note that the mic will inevitably record about 1/10 th of a second or more after you speak into it because you have to wait for Windows to route the input to the built in playback device. That’s another reason not to do this.

If you had another cable and you don’t mind the music being mono you could also (I think) run a cable from audio out (green) of your computer to the instrument input of the FastTrack, then simply record both voice and music from FastTrack.

If I were you I would overdub :wink:


hey Koz, I will try Kristal when I get home. Thank you!

Thanks for the response Gale.

Any long stretches of music won’t be recorded this way. I’'ll be doing the intro, outro, etc music the way you suggested.

The reason I want it is to just play little clips of sounds. Most would probably no longer than a few seconds, so having the best quality isn’t that big of a deal. I will try running a cable from the green input of my computer to the fast track and see how that goes.

Is there a better way to do this with some different hardware? Like with an actual mixer rather than the fast track? And would I need an actual sound card for my PC? I am open to suggestions. I know its possible. The Podcast I listen to has multiple guests through skype, intro and outro music, a plethora of soundbytes throughout, plays whatever is on the guys computer, and his guests on skype can hear everything he can hear. So I know theres a way!

On a side note, I downloaded a virtual mixer, and it allows me to record multiple channels at once. The only problem with it is, the fast track pro on records in one ear, and thats annoying. (I can probably fix this with a little studying and perservearance, or an actual mixer rather the the fast track pro).

All the help so far is very appreciated, thanks guys!

The Podcast I listen to has multiple guests through skype, intro and outro music, a plethora of soundbytes throughout, plays whatever is on the guys computer, and his guests on skype can hear everything he can hear. So I know theres a way!

What is this terrific podcast?

Did you write to them and ask how they did it?

The grownups do it with large sound mixers, multiple computers, mix-minus sound systems and quiet rooms. That’s the way the broadcast people do it for real-time radio shows. You can do it on one computer in your kitchen if you’re willing to take a lot of time and trouble editing. You can totally do a Skype bi-directional conversation recording, just not in Audacity. Audacity doesn’t get along well with other programs such as Skype that like to dominate and totally control the sound channels.

There’s a lot of problems doing a show like that. One thing nobody thinks of is mix-minus. You can’t send Skype caller’s voice back to them. Can’t do it. It will arrive in the headphones late and very few people can hold a conversation like that without going mad. That means the caller needs to hear the whole show minus their own voice. That means you need a mixer just for that.

And so on. So forward a link or address.


It’s totally a terrific podcast! haha

It’s called The Morning Stream, here’s a link,

I have wrote into them but haven’t gotten a response yet. They might be too busy. I know for sure the main host, Scott Johnson, uses a Mac. But I also know he has a PC and a mixer. I just don’t know to what extent he uses each piece of equipment.

My thing is, if I get a mixer, is there actually a way to hook it up to my onboard audio without actually having a sound card? Let me get a link to my motherboard so you can see the inputs I am working with…

Thanks for all the help!

Is that giving you a recording with the microphone in one ear and computer sounds in the other ear? If it is then you can easily get what you want - just split the stereo recording into 2 mono tracks and you have one track microphone and one track computer sounds.

I’ll check on that ASAP, Steve

Koz, when I go to download the kristal software, it gives me a URL not found when I actually click on the download…weird.

Ok so the virtual mixer, called “Mixpad” can do what I want, sort of. I can simultaneously record both my computers sounds and my voice. The only problem is, I can’t hear one or the other.
In order for my virtual mixer to record the Stereo Mix, my default plaback device (in windows) has to be set to “speakers” If I plug my headset into the speaker port, I can hear my computer just fine, but I cant hear myself because my mic is running through the Fast Track Pro…

But if I plug my headset into the Fast Track Pro, I can hear myself, but not the Stereo Mix, because it’s set to speakers.

I see 2 solutions, I think

  1. Get a USB mic and forget about the Fast Track pro completely…Still not sure if I’d be able to monitor my voice this way… maybe not
  2. Find a way to hook up the Fast Track Pro to my computer in such a way that I can monitor the Stereo Mix THROUGH the Fast Track Pro. That way I can just have my headset plugged into the Fast Track Pro, and monitor my mic, as well as my Stereo Mix from that.
    a) a note on this: I only have the Fast Track Pro hooked up through USB right now. There are plenty of ports on the back. I tried tacking a 1/4 to 1/8 cable, plugging the small end into my speaker port on my PC, and the large end into the ports on the back of my FTP, but it doesn’t work. There are other outputs on the FTP,but they are all RCA shaped…my PC doesn’t have anything RCA, because I don’t have a soundcard. Maybe there is a cable that is RCA on one end and then 1/8 (I think its 1/8, whatever it is that plugs into the speaker port). I’m sure this cable exists, but would it allow me to hear whats in the Stereo Mix through my Fast Track Pro?

I feel like there are so many variables at play, its so difficult. It seriously makes my head hurt lol. This is harder than anything I did in college.

I guess I’ll stop typing here…my brain is fried. Thanks for the tips everyone

I’m wondering why you need to do the mixing live in real time from with sounds playing on the same computer.

How do you know that? Do you know the guys that make that podcast? It sounds heavily edited to me, more like it has been assembled from multiple recordings.

the main host, Scott Johnson, uses a Mac. But I also know he has a PC and a mixer.

I might be able to do most of that show with all of those machines and maybe a stand-alone recorder. Fill in the missing parts as needed in post production.

One of the computers just does Skype. It’s connected to the mixer so that the Pre-Fade-Mix goes back to Skype with Skype’s own voice missing. That solves the return echo problem and the caller will hear everything but their own voice. The second computer plays the stingers, bumpers, themes, interstitials and other music into the mixer. I think any DJ sound package will do that. Maybe just iTunes or Windows Media, suitably cued up like a playlist.

The Stand-Alone Recorder just sucks it all in and makes the sound file. I guess the second computer might also be the recorder, but that would be pushing it. You would have to be really careful not to press any common hot keys by accident. “STOP” in the music player [Spacebar] can’t also be “STOP” [Spacebar] in the recording software. So no, you would need a stand-alone recorder.

That’s 2-1/2 computers, a good comprehensive mixer, some way to distribute the headphones if you have more than one host, and obviously a Skype account, etc. I don’t think you can do that show live with less equipment than that.


This is good. I think this is the first time anybody told us of the actual podcast so we could rip it apart and see how they did it.

Please note that the lead actor sounds like he’s air broadcasting. He does not sound like he’s recording in a bathroom or a kitchen.

He either has a good soundproof room or is wearing a high quality headset/microphone. I’m going with the headset.

There is a portion of the show that had background music, both host voices and the Skype conversation running at the same time. While that’s not impossible to do on one computer, it’s very highly unlikely. Has to be multiple computers. I heard the announcer cue up and play several real time short sound clips. That’s the music computer and you can see him clicking on music clips one after the other. You can do that on an iPod or iPad, by the way. It doesn’t have to be a full-on computer to play the music.

But the thing that makes this enjoyable for me is the extreme high quality of the voices. That is so welcome.

I was thinking about actually producing a show in real time. Some provision must be made to “set up” the Skype call before it goes live. I wonder if that’s what the second announcer is doing while the first one does his patter. Remember, starting the call and setup can’t go through the mixer unless you have a really talented mixer.

Broadcast mixers have an “Off Cue” feature. Pull any fader down and the music goes all the way off. Pull it further and the fader clicks and puts the music into your own private studio sound system for cuing.

It’s possible that you can’t do that show with one person. It’s really the announcer (lead voice) doing his thing with the producer in the background setting everything up, arranging the callers, listing the music, getting coffee. Producer stuff.


I might actually have all the pieces here to do that show. An old Mac with the busted screen for the recorder (Audacity, of course). The new Mac with the Skype account. The Peavey PV6 has a Post Fade Effects Send. I have a good quality head mount microphone and good headphones.

I have an iPod for music production.

I think I can do whole thing on batteries in the back garden. Oh, wait. No I can’t. The Peavey mixer is wall powered. Shucks.

I borrowed a Zoom H4 from a friend while he’s in New York. That could be used for the recorder in place of one of the computers.


I know because the host might think of something off topic, and play a sound effect for it. The other host hears it and laughs. I know it’s all done through skype because I can hear him call people on it (complete the usual skype ring tone), and they sometimes get disconnected as well. It’s all legit and barely edited. If you had heard it you would know. But you’re right, hes a professional, so its probably all above my pay grade.

I was listening to:

Today, on this spicy black bean flavored episode of the morning stream, some healthy negative reinforcement, how bi-curiuos is your state, when killing a snake means burning your house down, having your kid pepper spray the help, reincarnated kids needed and …

which is full of edits:
Today, on this spicy black bean flavored episode of the morning stream, // some healthy negative reinforcement, // how bi-curiuos is your state, // when killing a snake means burning your house down,// having your kid pepper spray the help, // reincarnated kids needed and …

I’ve also watched Scott’s Cam.
Agreed this is unedited, but what we see here is a video cam or web cam, a computer that plays cued sounds, and a big Mac behind him (not used).

What I don’t see is Skype + Voice Recording + Music Clips all in real time on one computer. It’s not impossible to do that, but it is certainly not the easiest set up, particularly on Windows which has little built-in ability to route multiple audio streams.

That really is like one of the only parts that is edited. The rest of the show is really casual, they mess stuff up all the time. It’s a very comfortable environment, the podcast and the people who listen to it are like a family, so they don’t care much about editing and errors.

I do really appreciate you guys taking a listen to see what I am talking about.

Also, the second host is not controlling anything, and there is no producer. It’s all done by Scott, the main host. I know this from listening to it for so long. I listen to like 6 of his shows, so I get a pretty good idea of whats going on.

I figured how to do what I am talking about using Virtual Audio Cables, but obviously thats not ideal.

I hope that one day I can actually get through to Scott, and we can really see exactly how he does it. I think I may go make a post on their forums and see.

Thanks guys!

I’m tossing this around in the supervisory part of the forum. I think I can do their show – possibly better than they’re doing it – with this.

I’m arranging for someone to test Skype with me. One extension to this system is not have the second computer and use an iPod or iPad for music playback and a stand-alone recorder, in my case a borrowed Zoom H4. I can do some grownup shows with this setup, too. All in real time.

I’m going to see if I can make it through a full (30 second) unedited show with all the parts to illustrate the principal.

You don’t need to be a Deity to do it, either. The mixer is $100 (you do need to be careful which one you buy) and the other parts aren’t much over that. I’m writing the How-To as we go.

Steve did illustrate how to do this in Linux-Land with fewer parts but the operator would need to be locked up or sedated after the show.


hey again,

any luck with what you tried?

I bought a Behringer 802 mixer off craigslist. I figured out how to record everything I want to record…myself in XLR, my skype guest, and the computers sound all at once. The only issue, and I guess its a minor issue, is that its all in the same track. I wish my voice was separate from partners voice, but everything comes through the stereo mix, so it’s all or nothing. Which I guess as long as I get all the levels right an EQ’ed the best I can before hand, that won’t be so bad. I know its not the most professional thing in the world, but it will do for now.

I guess I just don’t understand exactly how mixers work. This is an analog mixer (no usb), but I can plug it into the “line in” port of my computer and it picks up everything and sounds good. But I know I have seen people record separate tracks at the same time. I have record with a band before (as a musician, definitely not as a sound engineer) and we had TONS of tracks recording at once. At first I was thinking I would run each channel of the mixer to my PC seperately, but even if I had an awesome sound card, I still couldn’t replicate what I’d seen in a studio. How do people get multiple instruments all at one time? (Or in my case, my voice in one channel, and my pc in the other).

I just figure it was like Computer------>Mixer(using just one cord to connect them) Then Mixer ------>multiple instruments and channels (using multiple cords). Then I thought they would all show up as separate tracks on the computer. But right now on the computer, all I have is Line in, or Stereo Mix. Both of these record my voice. Difference is Stereo Mix records my voice and my computers sound. So Even though I can technically record my voice seperate, when I am using Stereo Mix to record skype and PC sounds, its also going to record my voice by default, which defeats the whole process of having my voice recorded on its own track (through the line in port).

I know none of this makes sense. I literally sit here and do research and think about it all the time. It just seems like theres so many ways to configure things in this world with so many different computers and things, it’s hard for me to do research on. If anyone feels like taking a stab at what I said, please do. If not, at least I am at a point where I can record everything I needed to.

Thanks all!

any luck with what you tried?

No, and for some silly reasons. I couldn’t get Skype to behave on the transmit audio . The mixed, completed show sounded terrific in Los Angeles, but my guest said I sounded horribly distorted in New Jersey. You can’t do an interview that way, so I have to figure out what I did wrong. A couple of days later I discovered an additional microphone distortion problem, so one step backwards while I resolve that. Oddly, I was doing a voice/mix demonstration for another poster and no matter what I did it didn’t sound right. Then I listened to the voice alone and it sounded like dog poop. !@#$%. I’m no announcer/presenter, but I’m not that bad.

I took the afternoon to rip everything apart and Windex, vacuum and blow out the computers and drive systems. I know technically it’s not going to help, but I expect the “I just washed the car and it runs better now” effect.

I need to go through your post again. I want to know how you crammed everything into one machine. In particular, I wanted to know how you kept the guest from hearing show echoes in their headphones.

Or haven’t you actually tried that yet…

My goal is no post production. An On-Air radio show in a single sound file, one shot all the way through. If your podcast catches on, you will not have time or inclination to follow each show with a lot of editing/filtering. I accept come cutting. My test clip is going to need to cut off the beginning and the end. You may need to do a cut if somebody on a Skype uses a naughty word. But you need to know the common wisdom for editing is at least three times the length of the show. So you will be spending four hours producing a one hour podcast if you need to construct and edit each show from pieces. Complex shows can take longer.

I need to look up and see how your mixer works.


OK, your Behringer 802 is a tiny version of my mixer and it has an effects send (the red knobs).

I have record with a band before (as a musician, definitely not as a sound engineer) and we had TONS of tracks recording at once.

No doubt they were set up for multi-track recording, and by set up, I mean they had a multi-track sound card, drivers and the multi-track recording software to go with it. We wrote a thing about this. Audacity can record multiple tracks if you can get your computer to supply it.

All the mixer does is volume control all the inputs, six in my case and four in yours, and mixes them down to one stereo show. Plug the mixer output into a stereo recorder and press record. Only the super high-end studio mixers give you individual input copies so you can feed a multi-track recorder.

To do a good job with this, you have to create and manage four different sound feeds.

– The Mixed Show
– The Skype guest voice
– The show minus the guest that the guest hears. In broadcast this is called Mix Minus.
– The Music/Effects/Themes

Computers have two channels. Stereo Record and Stereo Playback. All Stereo Mix does is jam them together so you can record what’s playing.

Since you got all this to work, post a sample. Play music in the background, talk to a person on Skype. Ask them if they can hear the music OK. Fade down and change the music and fade it back up.

Stereo Mix tends to really screw up Skype, and if you feed Stereo Mix to the guest, they will get their own voice delayed and garbled in their headphones. You may get delay feedback, too, that pumping effect. I have a sample of the one I did, but it’s not on this computer and its too late to go find it. Rain Check.

Win7 has no provision to open up more than one sound channel, so I really wonder how you got music, your voice and Skype in the same show.