Record multiple users on several computers

Hi everyone.

I’m new to audacity and the podcasting world in general. I just downloaded Audacity 2.0.5

So I’m planning on recording a 3-4 person podcast. The issue is that none of us are in the same location. I’m wondering what would be the best way to have us all recorded in a way that we can all be heard clearly. We would each be plugged in via our own computer and mic. Which service would you use to capture the audio and then import to audacity? Thank you for your help.

  • Pablo

Record each person on their own local Audacity and call each other on a cell conference call. The ratty phone voice is only used for coordination. Each person Exports and sends their own voice track to a central computer for integration into one complete, high-quality show.

You will end up with sync issues, particularly if you like to go on for hours, but you can do something clever for a sync mark before and after like pushing the cellphone up to the microphone and have one person yell “Sync Mark” and clap their hands.

Use the Audacity Time Shift Tool to line up the beginnings and Effect > Change Speed to line up the ends.

If you do it just right, it will sound like people sitting around the kitchen table having a nice chat, and there’s no limit to the number of people you can include.


Thank you. That certainly sounds feasible. In terms of voice recording for decent, doesn’t have to be incredible, quality - I know there are plenty of fancy mics and add-on software for mixing. What would you say is a reasonable first approach for mics price-range wise and would you expect that I need to add on any software for the mixing?

  • Pablo

Audacity out of the box should be able to do all these jobs with the exception of making an MP3. Audacity will not do that without adding the Lame software (copyright issues).

Microphones are always the sticking point. Cellphones use all sorts of fancy tricks to isolate your voice from your environment while you’re talking, but nobody would consider cellphone voice to be good audio unless you were reporting from a war zone.

Does everybody have gaming headsets? Sometimes you can get Audacity to record one of those, or at least the microphone part. Push the microphone boom a little way from your lips so you don’t get breathing pops and gasps.

The Radio Shack 3013 lavalier (tie tack) microphone is not awful for budget-free productions.

It has its own battery and so it’s not subject to computer soundcard problems. Plug it into the pink Mic-In of your computer. Almost all computers have them now.

Most computer soundcards have one benefit. You don’t have to buy one, but their noise and distortion performance can cause problems. For that, I use a tiny USB soundcard such as the Startech ICUSBAUDIO.

That’s one connected to my telephone recording microphone.

Other people certainly make them. That’s just the ones I have. Out of four, one arrived partially broken.

You do run the risk of the cellphone getting into the microphone. If your nearest cell tower is miles away, the phone will be at maximum power and you may get odd ghost sounds in your sound. Separate as much as possible the microphone and its cables and the cellphone.

You should do a “fake” show no matter what it sounds like just to get the coord and production swing down. This is very much like juggling cats and there’s no such thing as being late.

That’s a very close cousin to how this video was done.

I know it looks like a Skype juggling act, but it’s just four files shipped between cities. It could have been done through the mail.


And one other quick item. This is not a help desk, it’s a forum. I’m choosing to share all that with you and in turn, you might want to share how it went. Details are good. What’s the podcast address? That’s how we know what to tell the next poster. Koz