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Can You Record With 2 USB Microphones into 1 Computer?

Here's a question we get a lot: Can I record with 2 USB microphones at the same time?

It's a good one, too. Recording straight into your computer is a nice and easy way to run a podcast, and if you can get two co-hosts, recording on their own microphones, then the quality can be great.

But, USB mics tend to be a bit of a pain when it comes to doubling up. It's not quite as straightforward as it should be.

Have no fear, though, it is possible to record with 2 USB microphones at the same time. Let's take a look at how!

Recording Through VoiceMeeter

record with 2 usb microphones through voicemeeterA common way of recording two USB mics (eg. one of our favourites, the Samson Q2U), on the Windows platform, is with VoiceMeeter. This is a free virtual audio mixer that lets you set up a range of different input options.

Once downloaded, you can select and manage separate USB mics inside VoiceMeeter's control panel.

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Next, you'll create an Input and Output source called “VoiceMeeter”, which can then be selected inside Audacity. Now, you can record with both of your USB mics at the same time.

The slight catch is that it'll record both mics onto the same audio track (whether that's in mono or joint-stereo) inside Audacity.

Audacity recording USB mics onto both tracksYou can see how this appears in the image on the right. The left and right tracks are exactly the same, containing the input from both USB mics.

The ideal situation is that we can get one microphone on the left track, and the other on the right, but combining them in this way isn't a massive problem. It just means that you'll have a little less control over your audio in the post-production phase, since you can't edit and process each voice separately.

To be honest, though, in most cases we don't need to do that. Or, even more common, we don't have the time to if we want to keep our show consistent!

But… if you do want that level of control, let's look at how to record 2 USB mics on separate tracks.

Can You Record 2 USB Microphones Into Separate Tracks?

The short answer is yes. It's get a bit more complicated, though. There are a few things you'll need:

For this one, I thought it was worth a video on how to get up and running. In my demonstration I've used Adobe Audition, as well as the Blue Yeti and Shure MV5 USB mics.

Remember, if you need more help setting this up, we're happy to coach you through it inside the Podcast Host Academy.

Check out our Best USB microphones roundup, if you're still looking around for a good USB mic.

Transcription

Here's how to use audio recording and editing software, Adobe Audition, to run two different USB mics into the PC at the same time. I'm going to use the Shure MV5 and the Blue Yeti as my two USB mics. It's better to use two different models of mic here, as it might not work if you have two of the exact same. I'll also need to go to asio4all.com to download and install an audio driver called ASIO4ALL. ASIO stands for Audio Stream Input Output. And ASIO4ALL basically powers up your computer's sound card, giving it access to multiple inputs and outputs independently at the same time.

Next, when you open up Adobe Audition, go to File, then Preferences. Set your device class to ASIO and ASIO4All v2 as your device. Open up Settings to the right of device drop-down menu. Inside this control panel, you'll see a list titled WDM Device List, and you want to click and activate the little power buttons besides your USB mics. Come out of Settings after that and go to Audio Channel Mapping. Select both your USB mics as your left and right channels. Leave the Preferences section and start a new multi-track session. On track one and two, use the input drop-down menus titled Default Stereo Input to select both your USB mics. Hit the R on both tracks to arm each one to record. And when you hit record, that's you up and running with two USB mics at the same time.

In these setups we used the Blue Yeti, the Shure MV5 and the Samson Meteor.

And we're always available in The Academy if you need more help getting this set up, or want access to all of our equipment courses.

Discussion:

  1. Matt on 3rd February 2017 at 9:29 am

    Does the same apply if your using a Mac? Is it possible to use two USB mics wit a Mac and not just a PC?

    • Matthew McLean on 6th February 2017 at 9:48 am

      Hi Matt, I believe ASIO4ALL is a Windows-only program, so you might need to try something like CoreAudio to work a similar setup on your Mac.

      • Kevin Watson on 7th March 2017 at 1:28 am

        Hi Matt, It is possible to have multiple USB microphones on a Mac using ‘Aggregate devices.’ I am not very technical but searched youtube for using “multiple usb microphones in garageband” and found a relatively good solution that did not involve downloading any extra software.

        • Matthew McLean on 8th March 2017 at 11:59 am

          Hi Kevin, I believe it is pretty straightforward in Garageband on the Mac yeah, you shouldn’t need to download anything else to get that working. Not a DAW I ever use but I plan on adding a video in at some point!

  2. VARIZD on 5th August 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Asio4all not showing up on on sound recording devices.. I can open the control panel but still, on my windows 10 laptop with adobe audition opening, asio4all is not there as audio input option. Any solution?

  3. Jerry on 5th October 2017 at 6:36 pm

    does this work for 6 microphones work for this program? Can I use 5 at2020’s and 1 blue yeti?

  4. Kelocyde on 4th February 2018 at 1:48 am

    Why are audacity or voicemeter even mentioned if you’re using adobe audition?

    • alejandro Rubio on 2nd November 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Because some of us rather not support Adobe. I rather use Audacity since it’s open source and it’s as good as Adobe audition.

  5. jwrex on 24th February 2018 at 2:58 pm

    As an FYI, I asked Blue about this very topic, and they indicated that they can set up a second microphone to be recorded separately. They have a service called “Identity Modification” that they can do on Blue microphones so they show up as a separate track. This needs to be arranged through them directly, and I do not know if it can be applied to other brands’ microphones (I assume not).

    • Peter Johnson on 4th March 2018 at 1:56 pm

      I would think it may not be needed for some other companies microphones. From what i read elsewhere, USB devices have a device name and a device serial number, and the problem is that all the Blue Yetis have the same serial number, so cannot be individually identified by Apple.

      I have also read that Audio Hijack can tell them apart without modification, so you might want to try that. Its not particularly cheap, but ti does also allow you to record multiple streams at once.

  6. Thomas on 10th May 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Hi,

    If I want to use option 1 (same track), can I use 2 of the same mic? I have the ATR2100 and that works in my acoustic environment – it would be cool to be able to just get another one of those.

  7. Vanessa on 14th June 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Can the same process be done with three mic’s?

  8. Victoria on 16th November 2018 at 2:48 pm

    This was so helpful! I appreciate it. – Steel Mace Warrior Podcast

  9. DAVID on 6th February 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I’m looking to set up a podcast studio and I was wondering if through Reaper I could use two Maono AU-A04 USB Computer Cardioid Mics for my partner and I to record our show. I’ll include the Amazon link to the mics I’m checking out.

    Thanks!

    https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-MAONO-Condenser-Professional-Recording/dp/B07GQT8879/ref=sr_1_8?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463849&sr=1-8&keywords=usb+microphone+for+recording

  10. Lucas on 22nd February 2019 at 5:29 pm

    My friend and I are having major difficulties trying to record in audacity. We have an HP laptop but we plugged in 2 microphones from USB adapters. We have voicemeeter and the voices show up on there but when we choose the output as voicemeeter, audacity doesn’t pick up any voices. Please help

  11. I bought three blue yeti microphone would it be better to return them and buy three different types

    • wilwilliams on 11th March 2019 at 8:05 pm

      If you’re planning on using just USB mics, this might be your best bet. Be sure to see our USB Microphone Roundup if you want our recommendations!

  12. Jouros on 10th May 2019 at 1:41 am

    Will this work with Adobe audition 3? I know its old but its all i have to work with

  13. Pete on 31st May 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Hi, this is great thanks. The problem is with playback/monitoring. Unable to hear anything no matter what setting I have it on. Using Adobe Audition.

    Thanks

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Written by:

Matthew McLean

Matthew is an audio drama writer and producer who enjoys talking about podcasts. He makes the tea at The Podcast Host, and is a loyal servant of adopted house rabbits.

November 23rd 2016