A recording question for us this week, all around separating your audio into two channels. This is useful if you are recording a conversation – either with a co-host or a guest – and you want to isolate each voice for easier editing.

Hey Colin. I love how helpful all of your stuff has proven to be, thanks again, as always.

So… quick question you may easily know the answer to. This week I held my first interview recording. I am using the 402VLZR mixer with 2 MXL mics plugged into it. I am running that straight into my laptop and recording with Garageband.

So, my interviewee, who is a musician, saw right off the bat: “Oh, you are running us both on one channel?” He told me he thought if I get a recorder, like a Zoom, I will be able to have it be multiple channels and make editing easier, etc.

I just ran that idea by someone else who has experience in the area and he said that is not true, that I would still be running that recorder into my laptop and only have one channel.

Do you know the truth?

I do indeed know the truth!

Your first friend is right – this it totally possible, and pretty common practice for people recording with a mixer. In fact, control over separate channels is one of the basic benefits that persuades people to get a mixer in the first place!

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Separating podcast recording into two channels

The Zoom H4n which can take separate mono inputs.

If you have a recorder with two channels, like a Zoom H5 (or H4n/H6), then you can run the stereo channels from your mixer right into the stereo inputs of the zoom via XLR. That means the channel 1 and 2 inputs on the bottom.

You then pan each of your presenters to a separate side. So you might have you on the left, and your co-host on the right. You do that with the pan knob on your mixer – find the channels that you and your co-host are speaking on and adjust the pan on each one.

Once you’ve done that, you have each microphone on a separate channel of the stereo track. That means you can easily edit them on their own to account for volumes, clicks, coughs, or anything else. Very useful.

Hope that helps!