How to Record Two Mics at Once

Have you been looking to record two mics at the same time? Well, that is exactly what we will be doing today! Whether it is for a home session or a professional session at a studio, the rules will be fairly the same in all cases. 

There are some things to consider first. Think about it. Is it possible to record two mics at the same time? Yes, it is possible. But SHOULD you be recording two mics at once? In most cases, the answer is no.

Recording with a singular mic through a USB port is easy and convenient. But adding a second one may end up being too complicated for what it’s worth. If nothing else, it definitely is not optimal as a solution.

Let us proceed to the possible solutions for this issue.

You can also read: What Kind of Amp Do I Need?

Possible options for recording two mics

How to Record Two Mics at Once
Photo by: Johner Images

More often than you may think, an issue faced by a lot of users is that the computer cannot recognize the two mics as being different. Especially if they are the same model, there have been many evident occasions when two mics of the same brand, of the same model have been recognized as one and the same, as a singular input.

Note: The best way to do this is to use an audio interface. These are devices made for this specific purpose. But we will be looking how to do this by plugging-in mics into a PC.

1. How to Record Two Mics at Once: Use an Audio Mixer Application (VoiceMeeter and Audacity)

An easy and convenient way of using two mics simultaneously for recording is to use audio mixer applications. For this tutorial, we will be referencing VoiceMeeter and Audacity, as they are both free and extremely popular. Both the software let you set up a lot of ways to do the recording.

After installing both the mentioned applications successfully, you can proceed to adjust the USB mic panels and knobs inside VoiceMeeter. By doing this, you will be setting up the equalization at which the mics will be recording. Now create source options for both input and output using VoiceMeeter. They are what you will select next using Audacity.

Now you can proceed to your recording and it should work properly given there are no conflicts in the hardware. Usually, this should work as there is no conflict of software.

There is a catch to this, however. The two tracks will not be separable. You will end up getting an output where the two mic inputs have been overlaid into the same channel, and they will end up creating one file for both. So you will be unable to make any post-production edits to the audio.

Depending on how good you want your output to be, we understand that this may be an issue. Since tweaking will not be possible with each separate input file. This is why the next option we will be looking at will be able to solve this issue and let you record the two separately, but simultaneously. Fair warning though, this will not be a free endeavor.

2. How to Record Two Mics at Once: Use an Audio Mixer Application (ASIO4ALL and Adobe Audition)

Adobe Audition is a very high-end, and professional software.  It is by Adobe, which means it is a paid software and used only by those who actually need it. ASIO4ALL is a free audio driver. It will be necessary with the aforementioned software when the recording will proceed. As mentioned with option one, it will be better to use two different models of the mics for the recording.

After you have installed Adobe Audition and gotten ASIO4ALL to work, insert the two USB mics that you have to your PC. If you have ASIO4ALL installed successfully, it will power the soundcard in your PC. Your soundcard will now be able to accept multiple inputs and outputs simultaneously.

Now fire up Audition, and select Preferences under the File menu. Your class device should automatically set to ASIO and ASIO4ALL, but in case it does not, you can do it manually. Select settings, located at the right side of the drop-down menu. You will find a list of items, which will be titled WDM Device List. If you have found the two power buttons beside the mics, turn them on. If you have not found them, see if your mic has been plugged in or not. If they are plugged in already, reset the mic again. This should let you activate the two mics.

Go to Audio Channel Mapping now, and select the left channel and right channel to separate the two microphone inputs. You can leave the preferences section empty, as it is not necessary. Launch a new session for a multi-track option. Select both your mic in the Default Stereo Input menu on both Track One and Track Two.

You can now select R and get the software to prepare recordings on both mics. This setup will be super useful if your goal is to use it for recording a podcast with another individual. You can also use it for musical purposes, such as recording vocals.

3. How to Record Two Mics at Once: Use Separate Laptops

Pretty obvious, and surprisingly the easiest of the options. Using different laptops or PCs will give you the freedom of not requiring any third-party software to do your recording. You can also use the same microphone models as there will be no issue of conflicting detections by your PC.

Summary

While this is definitely doable and possible, it may not be the most optimal approach to this. The easiest way is to use an audio interface like ones made by Focusrite. You can continue to record two microphones using one PC, but this may end up being a bad experience over time and it will keep you back from learning more modern techniques.

Conclusion

We hope this article has been helpful to you, and that we have been able to answer all your questions about recording two mics at once.

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