Recording from two mics using a mixer

I really hope someone can help me.

I have a Behringer Q1202 USB mixer, with two Shure Mics connected via XLR. The mixer is connected to my laptop which runs Windows 8.1. I’m using Audacity 2.1.1. I’m trying to record both mics on their own channel, more or less at the same time. My podcast involves me interviewing other people. As it stands right now, I can use both mics at the same time, but they are on the same channel. I did read that you can split the stereo channel into two, and have one mic recording on the left channel and the other on the right. Can anyone tell me how to do this please, or if there is another way to record each mic on their own channel.

Thanks in advance.


See the gray PAN controls? Push one all the way to L and the other all the way to R. When you talk, each microphone should make one of the two sound meters bounce.

Assuming everything is normal and your show appears in stereo in Audacity, use the drop-down menus to the left of the stereo track and Split Stereo to Mono.

That will give you two mono tracks, one with you and the other with the guest…mostly. Unless you’re recording in a studio, and even then, some of the guest voice will leak into your microphone and yours into theirs. You will never get a clean split between the two.

This messes up serious production (moving voices around), but it does make volume control and tone/effects management easier. If they have a low volume, hissy voice, this is where you make up for that.

Why did you want to do this instead of live-mixing a mono show with both of you? Once you start post production you fall into the 5:1 rule. It will take you five times longer to edit the show than the duration of the show. Before you recoil in horror, remember you need one pass to make sure where the edits need to be and one pass at the end to make sure you didn’t … anything out. That’s two right there and we’re not even editing yet. If you live mix it, you get to the end, cut off the trash at beginning and end and post it.


I’m assuming you’re connecting to your laptop by the USB and no other cables. If you’re connecting by an audio cable into the Mic-In of the laptop, this split thing isn’t going to work.


Kozikowski, thanks very much for your speedy speedy and helpful reply. I can’t thank you enough. My reason for doing it this was as you said, easier volume and tone control. I’m newto this, so I will give both ways a try and see how it goes. Thanks again.


give both ways a try

If you mean both the USB connection and the Mic-In connection. Don’t bother with the Mic-In connection. That socket is intended for microphones only and it’s specifically designed for computer microphones. It will damage and distort other connections.


Sorry, I meant live mixing and assigning each mic to the left and right channel.


There’s notes for that, too. You should probably record split for a while until you become the master of your craft and your equipment. When you start spending less and less time correcting the working in editing, you may decide to do one “live” with everything smashed together. Or you may not.

What happens if you make no corrections to your two tracks (the split way) and just smash them together in Audacity? Do you get a good show with just maybe overall volume changes…and out the door? Then you are ready, grasshopper.

If you have enough time to do post and you’re really good at it, and turn out a good quality show, then do post. If your goal is to dash off as many different podcasts as you can (that’s a scary thought, isn’t it?) then forget post and do everything live.


Then you are ready, grasshopper.

I will admit I can’t remember the TV show that came from. IMDb time.

There it is. Kung Fu. 1972. 63 episodes.

Thanks again Kozikowski, I appreciate your help.

BTW unfortunately not only do I remember the show Kung Fu, I was an avid watcher of the original series. Lol. This was Bruce Lee’s baby, but he didn’t get the role as it went to David Carridine.

Hi I am having the same exact problem. I bought the Q802USB mixer and I have 2 xlr mics into the mixer and mixer plugged into my PC via the usb. I click, edit > preferences > devices and under Recording I select "Microphone (4-USB Audio CODEC) then when I hit the drop down for channels: the only options are 1 (Mono) and 2 (Stereo).

How do I get it to where both mics are recognized on their own track? I am new to audio equipment.