Recording Voice and Audio At Once

Sorry if this has been covered, I looked and didn’t find it. I’m trying to add audio clips for a podcast so while I’m talking I want to be able to play something without having to stop recording, add the audio clip, then record again. Is this possible, if so how?

Yes. Last time I did that, I used an external sound mixer.

Ignore the machine on the right.

I played back music from my music player into one channel of the mixer and my voice was in another channel. Mix as needed, stop and start the music. The output of the mixer goes to my headphones so I can tell what I’m doing and on to the input of the computer for recording in Audacity.

We had network problems, so Denise couldn’t always hear what I was doing, but the show music always worked.

I was using a computer with stereo playback and stereo record. If yours doesn’t have that, you’ll need something like a Behringer UCA-202 or equivalent. No, the Mic-In doesn’t work.

I don’t know of any good way to do all that mixing in the computer. Audacity does not like doing two different things at once, so you need a Music Player and Audacity for recording.

What kind of computer are you using, in detail? I think there’s a Windows App that allows some mixing.


The machine on the right was the Skype connection to Denise four time zones away. That didn’t work as well. My home network is nothing to get excited about, so my “up” connection never did everything it was supposed to.


Well I run Windows 8 and I have a Toshiba Satellite C855. I do own a mixer as well.

iTunes and Window Media will cheerfully play to a Stereo Out such as the headphone connection or the output side of a UCA-202. Connect that to one of the stereo channels (if applicable) of your mixer. In my system that’s RCA to 1/4" plugs.

That’s where you line up your playlist and get good at software management remembering you may not be able to use hotkeys. It’s almost certain both programs will be using the same keys.

You can hear me fumbling with the music selections in that clip. I have tons of sound experience, but I’ve never engineered a live podcast.

I use the mixer Tape-Out and adapt that to the Stereo In of the UCA-202. In my Skype thing, that also has to go to the Skype Transmit connection on the other machine. This is where the sound pathways start to make your brain bleed.

Set Audacity recording from “USB Audio CODEC” (that’s what the UCA-202 looks like to the system) with the Device Toolbar.

Warning: Plug everything up first and then start Audacity. Audacity checks for new arrivals or changes when it starts. You can also Transport > Rescan.

I don’t remember what I did with the Audacity Playback. I think I connected it to the analog, built-in headphone out. You can listen to that as a confirmation that the basic system is going well, but you can’t use it for the actual show because the sound is “one computer late.” It has a constant echo and you can’t stop it. So listening to the mixer is the only way.

Post back if you have troubles. Sometimes Windows will throw “corrections” and filters into the sound without telling you. Those are the most fun.

“Why does my audio sound like a cathedral?”

Because Windows thought you might enjoy “Cathedral Effects” on your music.


If you like to record You-Tube sound or other on-line content, those settings can be deadly when you try to record a podcast. You may NOT use Stereo-Mix, What-You-Hear or any of the other sound pathway fold-back programs while you’re doing a show.

If you find your mouth forming the words: “Why is my show recording twice with an echo?”, then you have one of these setup problems. There’s no sure cure. Just make sure what you’re recording from and playing to are real hardware devices and not fake services like Stereo-Mix.

That’s my silly joke. Do you remember all the fuss you went through so you could record YouTube Sound? Stop doing that.


Thanks I’ll give this a try and see how it goes.

Post back either way. It’s good that I’m not the only one with hand-on experience getting this stuff to work.


Sorry it took so long to get back, I had to get an extra cord and I didn’t get around to recording another episode till yesterday. Overall it went well. However, some of the clips of songs I play on YouTube sounds distorted, not all of them but some. Is there a reason for that or a setting I can change to fix it?

We never found out what your mixer is.

The music sounds distorted at the mixer during the show, or later when you played the show back from the Audacity capture?

It’s a little concerning you didn’t say you had to buy at least one UCA-202. How did you connect the mixer to the computer for recording? Line-Out or Tape-Out of the mixer is usually not a good match for Mic-In of a computer.

This computer has no Stereo Line-In.

It’s designed to connect a computer microphone or headset and not much else.


My mixer is a behringer xenyx q1202 usb. The cord I needed to buy was one that connects the mixer to the mic port on my laptop (sorry I don’t know the names of the cords). But I link the laptop to the mixer with a USC cord. The audio sounded weird when I was recording and after the fact.