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
A 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.
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.
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:
- Recording/editing software such as Adobe Audition or Reaper
- To download a driver called ASIO4ALL
- 2 different models of USB mic
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.
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.
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.