Recording through a headset


Hey guys, I am new to audacity, and recording software in general, so be gentle :wink:

I am recording a podcast with a friend of mine using audacity and having trouble setting it up to record his incoming through my headset. I don’t have speakers with my PC as just use my headset. Can i get audacity to pick up what’s coming through the headset in any way? As right now all it records is what I say, sounds like I am having a natter to myself! lol

Appreciate the help



There’s a lot of different Windows. Which one?

Is the request really to record both sides?

Skype? Chat?

Communications and conferencing programs are best recorded using special software intended to do that.


Sorry not the best the technical stuff, Ill try my best to answer this!

Using Windows XP

I want to record what I am saying, plus my friends audio thats coming through my headset.

Its using Skype as hes on the other side of the globe to me

That link is a suggested programme to record with?

Thanks for the info


There are certainly people out there recording both sides of a Skype conversation with Audacity.

But they are digital celebrities. Most people fail.

I did it in hardware.

Skype on the right and Audacity with recording and music playback on the left.

That’s how many people do it. This is the Pando Podcast.

Pamela Professional allows recording you and the guest on separate tracks of a very high quality (WAV) stereo sound file. This allows mixing and sound corrections in post production before combining into one completed podcast.

The other applications may be valuable. You should avoid programs which insist on making one single sound file instead of split and also avoid applications which save directly to MP3. Never do production in MP3.


Hey Mark. As far as I know, there is no way to record your mic as well as your speakers, at the same time using Audacity, with one machine. I have made this short screen cast to show why this is not possible as far as I know. Please forgive the quality of the screen cast as I am just learning how to use it. You can view it here.

It’s easy with a professional interface like a Focusrite 18i20 or RME Fireface 400. These have a large number of internal busses and these allow to do zero-latency playthrough in hardware, either to a real output or to a virtual output.

Since it is handled by the internal DSP of the interface, you can mix or patch a lot of channels without running into distortion, clipping or latency problems.

Of course, it’s expensive gear. But I know some people who own a pile of lesser gear and have spent a lot more and still suffer from noise and latency problems.

And if you like experimenting, it can also be done with Jack or Soundflower. These allow internal software routing from almost everything to everything. I had a working setup that routed output from Skype and from a browser to inputs on the audio interface I had then. It wasn’t always stable, though. You’d always needed half an hour to test before doing any work.

It wasn’t always stable, though.

Exactly correct. Skype is vicious about managing its sound services. That’s the secret of its success. No matter how badly you mess up your sound channels, Skype always works. The down side is trying to get other sound programs to work in tandem with Skype.

There are ways to fight back and they were published on the forum. They gave you a good, reliable, bi-directional recording but screwed up Skype.

“How come I hear my own voice echo? It’s really annoying. Make it stop!”


Yeah, Koz, as a network guy I probably hate Skype more than anything else, including Outlook :smiley: . It’ll drill out of any network and blocking it, if you have to, is a work in progress.

But Skype’s audio is still a normal in and out, just like any other program. It needs to talk to your audio hardware. And once YOUR audio hardware is under control, it’s easy. Unfortunately, most low-end gear has no controls, as these steep the price. Gain is only analog, which is OK, and there’s no routing. Once you can route and/or mix, you can do as you please, as Skype has absolutely no control over that. It’s not even happening inside the computer.

And you might have to redo all your settings if there’s a Skype update between setting up and going live. Happened to me several times. I need an hour for setup, which usually is done in 15 mins. The rest is for stuff like Skype, suddenly dead gear, missing cables and all the other cute stuff that local recording seems to attract from time to time. :neutral_face:

We may have to flip a coin on hating Skype! :sunglasses: 80% of the e-mails I get weekly are divided into two groups. 1. How can I make money Podcasting? 2. How can I recover my audio interview using Skype? I love Skype if I want to talk to friends or family half way around this world, I despise Skype for recording interviews. There are just way to many variables, out of the users control. Below is an excerpt from a article I wrote concerning Skype or any VOIP system.

"Now, lets talk about how and why this can effect your recording and keep in mind that there is VERY LITTLE and most of the time, NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. The following circumstances can and will effect your audio quality & unless every single one of the factors line up 100% below, you will have a hit and miss situation concerning audio quality, using VOIP. Every example below, is required by BOTH people, while on a VOIP call.

  1. How many people are on YOUR service provider, during your call? This does not refer to a conference call, we are talking about how many people, World Wide, are using your service provider as the more people who are signed on, the more burden put on the server. (Comcast, Cox Cable, ie: Internet Service Providers)

  2. What is the speed of your server / router / computer?

  3. Are you using Dial Up or Cable?

  4. Are you hooked directly into your router or are you connected wireless?

  5. How many people are using Skype World Wide at the same time you are?

  6. Are you using the latest software for Skype?

  7. How much ram and memory does your computer have?

  8. Are you on a Satellite Service Provider? (Satellite TV)

This article goes against the grain in the “Podcasting World” but you can not avoid the facts. In till a better mouse trap is built for using VOIP systems, there is very little a consumer can do. Even when you, as a consumer does everything right, you are still at the mercy of the www and “server load”. This does not even take into account for computer / software crashes, power failure or Internet Providers going off line, half way through your interview.

As with everything else I write, this is truly just my opinion.


For free.

Given your Skype is properly updated and works correctly (see above list), Pamela (paid software) should do a terrific job. We had one (1) complaint about Pamela and that was from someone who hadn’t read the instructions.

I need an hour for setup, which usually is done in 15 mins.

I don’t think you need an hour to set up Pamela. At your option, Pamela will give you split WAV tracks for high quality editing in post production.

The hardware route (two computers) works amazingly well, too. All the recording and processing is divorced from the Skype computer. It thinks it’s carrying on a simple conversation between two people (or many given a conference). No struggles, no conflicts.


Ya, it is free and it will still leave you stranded. Paid software will crash just as fast as free software. As far as having your software updated, that is just one of many factors. When I discuss Podcasting Equipment with new Podcasters, recording into any software on you machine is a strict no no. Here again, way to many things that will leave you stranded with your recording. It is not a matter of “If” it happens but “When” it happens. I recommend items I own and use on a consistence basis.

As far as basic recording hardware goes. I use a Tascam DR-40 Linear PCM Recorder and any entry / mid level mic I want. I can record remotely, at the house, plug my iPhone 6 into it and record a three way conversation. No worries about power failure, internet provider going off line, computer or software crash, VOIP audio fade, Skype dropping calls ect.

Take the 24 bit 44.1 wave file from the Tascam and import it into Audacity. Master the file and let er eat. Everything else is really just fluff. Total budget around $220.00 if you know a little about how to work your hardware as well as software.

I need an hour on the rider, when starting on location, with their Skype computer. If their Skype works, I need 15 mins to set up my gear. If their Skype doesn’t work, I fall back to my Mac, which has Skype installed, but I’ll need their login and network. In that case I might need an hour to find out if I can have their login on my computer :mrgreen:

The hardware route (two computers) works amazingly well, too. All the recording and processing is divorced from the Skype computer. It thinks it’s carrying on a simple conversation between two people (or many given a conference). No struggles, no conflicts.

That’s my preferred setup too, but for different reasons: I’d rather not have their Skype login on my Mac… :ugeek: