Using multiple microphones

I was wondering how I could use multiple microphones for audacity. My brother, sister, and I would like to record some audiobooks. However, it would be MUCH easier to have one microphone per person rather than crowd around 1 microphone. Is there a system out there we could use? I would like something that can accommodate at least 3 microphones but it would be nice to accommodate a few more in case we have a friend or someone to help with some character voices.

Did you see somewhere where they allow multiple voices on audiobooks? I’m pretty sure ACX doesn’t allow that. They don’t allow theatrical music, either. Bumper and interstitial music, but not behind the performer.

This isn’t radio theater.

Do you listen to audiobooks? You can get them free from the public library.

It would be much easier in a soundproof studio, yes. If you’re going to do it in your home, each microphone is going to pick up echoes and house noises in addition to the performer. And each other. There is no: “This is Janet’s Microphone.” It’s more like: “This microphone is mostly Janet plus the other two performers at lower volume and each of their room echoes.”

And down at the bottom of all that is Audacity, which is not a great multi-channel recorder. You can sometimes force it to work with some digital interfaces, but it’s not fun.
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You’re describing a multi-performer theatrical podcast. I’ll do the intro announcing. “This is Pepper Young’s Family. When we last saw Pepper, he was talking to Molly about the fire in the garage.”

Organ music up and under.

– Molly:
Pepp, have you seen the fire extinguishers?"

Etc. Nobody’s doing that. It’s a natural.

I have one of these.

Screen Shot 2024-06-09 at 1.01.25 PM

You can get your picture taken gathered around it holding your scripts. You might even use it. It’s working and it’s bidirectional. Front and back.

Koz

Of course, you’ll need a multi-channel audio interface,

There is some information in the Audacity manual about Multi-Channel Recording but a lot of people have trouble (I think it works better on a Mac than on Windows) and you may need a full multi-tracking DAW.

Another option is a USB Mixer. Note that most of these “little” USB mixers send the stereo (or mono) mix out to USB power. They don’t do multi-track recording,

Pepper Intro.

Koz

I think I confused “Pepper Young’s Family” with “Fibber McGee and Molly.” Fibber McGee was the comedy show. Once every episode, Fibber McGee would go to look for something in his closet. Molly would cry “Oh no, McGee, not the closet,” and then the show would have a full minute of trash falling out of the closet. Priceless.

Koz