When you need to record face to face interview or two-people podcast, the bi-directional microphone comes in handy, but which is rare in the market. Then using two cardioid microphones is more viable method. The only problem is how you can make them work together while PC accepts only one of them as input. Today, we will give you step by step instruction to make multiple mics work on one single PC or laptop.
First of all, let’s go through the principle. We can’t change the fact that computer or software allows only one input source. So what we do is to aggregate multiple inputs into one. We roughly categorize the situation into two, Windows and Mac (apologize for those who use the other kinds of system that we still haven’t found the valid and effect method for multiple mics recording).
In this part, let’s talk about the setup on Mac. It can’t be any easier to set up multiple microphones with Apple computer. Check out very useful video below or continue follow our text instruction.
Open the “Audio MIDI Setup”, create your own “Aggregate Device” list and click the checkbox of all the "USB PnP Audio Device" or "MIC-TEST". Notice: "MIDI Setup" sees FIFINE USB mics that have headphone jack as an input and an output. So using one of these mic, you need to click two checkbox of the "USB PnP Audio Device" or "MIC-TEST", one with figure "1" under input and figure "0" under output, the other with figure "0" under input and figure "2" under output.
Go on “Garageband”, check out the “Preference”, and you will want the “Audio Input” to be “Aggregate Device” that you have just created.
Delete all the existing tracks (just for finding your new tracks easily). Click the plus button to add a first new track. A new menu pops up, just select an input that marked as "input+one figure" (one figure represents mono microphone; two figure for stereo microphone). Then create a second track and choose a different input from the first one (also need to be marked as "input + one number"). Now two tracks are set and ready to go.
To make sure recording of two mics can pause separately, you need a recording button for both of them. Just click “Track”→”Track Header”→”Show record enable button”. And then click on the enable to buttons. When they flash red light, you’re good to go, hit the record button!
- If you are using FIFINE USB mics that have headphone jack and wanting to monitor audio, just click the monitor button right beside the record enable button on each track.
Now, we will go through the methods for Windows. One is to use VoiceMeeter Banana, which allows 3 input at most but only one track recording, while the other is to aggregate mics by using ASIO4ALL which has no limitation on the number of input, but it is only accessible on some of the recording software. Before we proceed any further, we can give you the conclusion that it is pretty tricky to use multiple USB mics on Windows computer.
Download Voice Meeter Banana: https://www.vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/banana.htm
1.Open Voice Meeter Banana, select microphones for different “Hardware Input”. The same as how we did on Mac, make sure the mics you want to use are recognized.
2.Click on any recording program, under preferences, choose the Voice Meeter as input source.
The drawback is that you can not have separate tracks for different microphones.
The procedure of setup with ASIO4ALL is bit complex in this case. And on the top of that it is not compatible with all the audio programs but only some of the DAWs. If you don’t need more than 3 inputs at a time, just use the method a.
Download ASIO4ALL: http://www.asio4all.org/
1.Open up recording software, go to preferences. Set your audio to ASIO and ASIO4All v2.
2.Open up settings of ASIO4ALL (you can find the ASIO4ALL driver on the right corner of computer). Inside the control panel, you want to click and activate the little power buttons besides your USB mics.
3.You need to select mics as left and right or different numbers of channels.)
4.Start a new multi-track. On tracks, use the input drop-down menus to select the input created at last step.
5.Hit the record, that’s you up and running with multiple mics at the same time.
Check out the links below for further reference on Adobe Audition and Ableton Live.
Setup up on Adobe Audition
Setup up on Ableton Live
That’s all the three most common methods to using multiple microphones with one computer. If you have any problem or would like to suggest any other methods, feel free to comment below!