Recording with 2 mics (newbie question)

hi all,

just got audacity today as part of the Pinnacle Podcast Factory set and am having great fun so far.

however, I have 1 mic which plugs into a tiny little mixer which then goes into the usb port, as well as a seprate Samson Q1U usb which which, rather obviously, plugs direct into my second usb port.

Is it possible to recored from these 2 seperate devices at the same time?

No. Audacity can only record from one device at a time. If you need more than one microphone you will need to use a mixer, then record from the mixer.

And most mixers are analog, not USB. This is one of the serious drawbacks of USB microphones. They’re aggressively non-expandable.

If you’re on a PC (laptop or deskside) you should find a mixer with nice analog inputs and USB out. If you have a Mac, you can do that or analog in via the Stereo Line-In or the Optical Digital sound input or FireWire.


I’ve been experimenting with recording from Line In and Mic in to record at the same time. (Which is quite related to this topic I think) I found an older topic and the reply was the same as here, using an external Mixer.

After some experimenting I found out that it is possible to record from two (or even more) devices at the same time, using Windows’ built in Mixer. (No need to pay and wait for a mixer! :slight_smile: ) It’s not a perfect aproach, but it works.

Here’s what I did (Using XP, also works on vista but in different dialogs) :

• In the playback pane (double click the sound icon in the system tray) - set to advanced view and displaying all possible channels - I unchecked “mute” for both “Line In” and “Microphone”, and I turned up the volumes.
• Then in audacity, I selected “Wave Out Mix” as the recording device (also possible by clicking File>>Options>>Recording in the sound mixer)

It works for me, at least. Some newer computers have multiple Line-In channels - they can be combined.

That’s a good point JSO, but it only works with some sound cards, and it is not suitable for two microphones as you cannot use most microphones directly with the Line-in socket (the signal level of a microphone is far too low). The other problem is that most consumer grade sound cards have terrible quality microphone inputs.

This reminds me of an old SoundBlaster card that I modified by adding a couple of leads to CD input and the Aux input so that I could have 6 line in sockets. Of course it only recorded to one stereo track, but as I didn’t have a mixer at the time it allowed me to plug in several keyboard instruments simultaneously, and by connecting them together via MIDI, generate some pretty awesome multi-layered sounds.