Even as a solo podcaster, you may feel the need to bring other people to speak on your podcast at some point or the other. Of course, this means you will need additional microphones for your guest. There is also the option of a bi-directional mic, but those are incredibly rare and expensive. So, you may have to face the prospect of connecting multiple microphones to your computer.
Now, here comes the million-dollar questions. Can you connect more than one mic to the same computer? More importantly, how do you do it? Well, we can tell you right now. It is indeed possible to connect multiple microphones to a computer, and we’ll walk you through how to do it. In other words, having guests on your podcast just got easier!
In this blog post, we will explore the various methods connecting multiple mics to one input source (in this case, your computer). We will also give you step-by-step guides on each method such that you achieve the best possible results. So, without much delay, let’s jump right into it.
Options & Guide to Connect Multiple Mics to a Computer
There are several ways you can connect multiple microphones to your computer. Of course, you’d want to choose the method that helps you achieve the best audio quality. Some people also prefer to record each mic onto a separate audio track for increased ease of editing. So, this is another criteria you may want to consider when choosing your preferred method.
That said, in the following paragraphs, we will examine four methods of making the connections. So, keep reading to find out how to connect multiple microphones to a computer.
1) Using USB Audio Interface
An audio interface is arguably the most straightforward and convenient method of connecting multiple mics. Thankfully, a USB audio interface is relatively affordable as you buy models for as low as $50. Of course, you want to make sure you’re purchasing a quality gadget.
Once you acquire an audio interface that has several XLR inputs, all you need to do is connect your microphones to it. Then, you connect the interface itself to your computer with a USB cable and start your recording.
Moreover, if you use a DAW such as Audacity (it’s free), it allows you to record each mic’s sound onto a separate audio track. This means that you retain flexibility when it is time for editing.
With a USB audio interface, all you need is your recording mics, a corresponding number of XLR cables, and of course, the interface itself.
2) Using An Audio Mixer
Another option to run a multiple mic podcast is to connect the mics to your computer via an audio mixer. Now, although you don’t need a full-on mixer, it must have multiple channelsl. It is also worth mentioning that a mixer is a slightly more expensive option for connecting multiple mics to a PC. But, it more than makes up for this in terms of its simplicity.
By using an audio mixer to record your podcast, you open up new possibilities for yourself. You may choose to connect the mixer to your PC, iPad, or any other device without any difficulty. You also don’t have to worry so much about the number of guests you can invite to your podcast. You can even invite a whole band if you like! After all, you now have a mixer for balancing the various sounds conveniently.
Now to the business of making the connection. Connecting several mics to your computer with an audio mixer follows a surprisingly simplified process. All you have to do is connect the microphones (and any other input) to the mixer with XLR cables. Then, connect the mixer to your laptop through a USB cable. It’s that easy!
Some audio mixers allow you to have up to four channels for your mics, which is very convenient. Of course, if you need more input options, there are several audio mixers out there that are up to the task. But, make sure to use a DAW that allows you to record onto separate tracks.
Steps on Connecting Two USB Mics to a PC
If you have multiple USB microphones (say two), you can connect them to the same computer. However, you will need to download a third-party app, Voicemeeter, to make it work.
Voicemeeter is a free mixer application that allows you to connect multiple USB microphones to one PC. All you will have to do is select Voicemeeter as your input and output in DAW’s audio hardware settings. However, there is one thing you should know. This app will record the sound from all the microphones into one track.
This means you will have limited flexibility during editing. On the bright side, you can put all your USB mics to work and record with friends. But, make sure that your mics are on similar volume such that one does not overshadow the other. Otherwise, your post-production may become a lot more complicated.
That said, let us walk you through how to connect multiple USB mics with Voicemeeter.
- The first thing you need to do is plug your mics into the USB ports on your PC. Most computers will usually have at least two on the side or at the back.
- Next, launch the Voicemeeter app in the background.
- Then, wait a while for your computer to discover the USB mics automatically.
- If your USB microphones are the same brand and model, the PC may muddle them up. Although this doesn’t happen all the time, you may have to differentiate both mics manually if it does.
- Next, crosscheck the microphones’ levels and make sure they are on equal volume before you start your recording.
- Remember, Voicemeeter will record all your mic inputs onto one audio track.
If you want to record with multiple USB mics but need to have your recording on separate tracks, there is another option for you. You can download an app called ASIO4AII instead. However, this app requires you to buy it. Also, it takes some advanced configurations to get it up and running.
So, if you are still finding your feet in the podcast world, we advise you to stick with Voicemeeter.
Steps on Connecting Multiple Microphones To A Mac
Using multiple mics on a mac is relatively easier than doing with a PC. This is because macs have a built-in application in their utility folder that helps you make the connection. Therefore, you do not need to download or purchase any third-party app. Here is a step-by-step guide to connecting multiple mics to an Apple computer:
- Plug the microphones into the USB ports on your computer.
- Then, search for ‘Audio Midi Setup’ on the computer. In the bottom right corner, you will see a plus sign. Click on it to create a list of your ‘Aggregate Devices’. Make sure to click the ‘Mic Test’ checkbox.
- Once you’ve done this, you will need to assign the output and input for your microphones. For your first mic, set your input as Figure 1 as input while the output takes Figure 0. Then, for the second mic, assign the input as Figure 0, while the output gets a figure 1 tag.
- Next, navigate to Garageband and set the Aggregate Device as your input and output.
- If you have existing tracks, you may need to delete them to ensure that you find the ones conveniently.
- To create a new track, click the ‘plus’ button in the lower-left corner. Then, create the first and second track with the corresponding figures from Step 3.
- If you want a separate audio track for each recording, you will need a ‘Record’ button for each track. So, click on the track. You should see the track header where you can enable the ‘Record’ buttons.
- Finally, when the ‘Record’ buttons have a red glow, all settings are a go. You can start recording!
Points to Note When Recording With Multiple Mics
Now that you know how to connect multiple mics to a computer, let’s take it a step further. If you want to get the best results from your recording sessions, you must consider several factors. Keep reading to discover them.
Since you’re recording with multiple mics, you undoubtedly need to look out for the sound quality you get from each mic. If possible, we recommend using mics that are from the same brand and of the same model. This way, you have a higher chance of getting similar sound consistency from each of them. But, if you cannot, don’t sweat it.
Mics from different brands can also work. But, you will have to pay special attention to their volume range and other specifics. Also, bear in mind that same mic or not, all mics have their unique nuances. So, try to keep track and account for this across-board.
Distance Between Mics
If you want to record each mic’s sound onto a separate track, they probably shouldn’t be too close to one another. Otherwise, one person’s mic may capture sounds from another person, thereby defeating the entire purpose of separate tracks.
Recording with multiple mics is an entirely new ball game for the solo podcaster. Therefore, to smoothen your transition, it is best to go for high-quality equipment. You will also need to do a test run while monitoring the sounds from each mic to make sure they aren’t any issues. More often than not, top-notch equipment usually prevents any recording problems.
Recording a podcast with others can undoubtedly be a lot of fun. But, you will need to have the right audio recording setup to make it work. In light of this, we hope that this article has helped you gain insight into how to connect multiple microphones to a computer. Remember, if you encounter any issue, we’re only one click away. Have fun recording!