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.
1.Open the “Audio MIDI Setup”, create your own “Aggregate Device” list and check the microphones you are going to use (of course you need to plug in the microphones and make sure they are recognized in the very first place).
2.Go on “Garageband”, check out the “Preference”, and you will want the “Audio Input” to be “Aggregate Device” that you have just created.
3.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 number". 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 (represents two microphones) are set and ready to go.
4.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!
Now, we will go through the methods for Windows. One is to use VoiceMeeter Banana, which is as easy as the setup with Garageband on Mac but can allow 3 input at maximum, while the other is to aggregate mics by using ASIO4ALL which has no limitation on the number of input.
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.
That’s it, incredibly easy. Surely you can do lots of edit on the Voice Meeter as well, but that’s not the main point of today’s topic. The drawback is that you can’t have separate tracks for different microphones.
The procedure of setup with ASIO4ALL is bit complex in this case. And it’s not compatible with all the audio programs. 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!