A friend of mine is about to start recording a podcast using Audacity. He has a 2 input audio interface with a mic plugged into each input. One mic is recording his voice and the other recording his co-host’s. So far, so good. However, while he is recording the two he wants to be able to play audio clips (either from his computer or phone) and record them in real time along with the two voices.
Is this something that is possible with his setup? If so, how would it be achieved. If not, what would he need to be able to achieve it?
He’s on Windows 10, fully updated and using Audacity 2.4.1.
He can get a mixer. There are USB mixers that double as interfaces or the mixer can be plugged-into the interface.
(either from his computer or phone)
A phone is “safer”. It’s best to avoid (or at least minimize) multitasking while recording).
Definitely a small sound mixer. Your show has three things in it, two live microphones and a music source. You can probably get an interface cable to allow you to plug the phone into the mixer. That got harder when the 1/8" headphone connection went away.
I have done it where the computer playback is from a music system such as Windows Media and have Audacity record the show at the same time on the same machine. Playback and Record are different computer services. If you like to record internet music, that depends on both Play and Record running on the same show at the same time, so those settings will need to change for this show.
While you’re mixer shopping you will also need a way for both people to listen to the music without the music being picked up by the microphones—and then hear each other. So that’s headphones for two. The easiest way to do that is a simple “Y” cable, but that means both people have to be comfortable at the same headphone volume at the same time.
A caution here, you can’t listen to the mixed show on the computer in real time—because it’s not in real time. Audacity “playthrough” is going to be one computer late and the echo will drive everyone nuts. Plus that pathways vanishes if you use the computer to play the music.
After you get all that working, a need will be found to connect someone by Zoom, Skype or other chat service. That’s where you get into serious studio configuration.
That’s what these people are doing.
Let’s count the computers. The one on the stand in front is the show recorder and possibly the music playback. The one on the far right is the Zoom/Skype computer and the two little ones remaining are research/script computers. Trying to combine those jobs any more than that would be a nightmare or a one-off. “We got one show out the door once and now I can’t make it work any more.”
Post back with the config they ended up using.