Using two microphones with Audacity

curiouswebster
curiouswebster used Ask the Experts™
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Using two microphones with Audacity (Mac High Sierra)

I have two microphones working as inputs with Audacity, via this box:

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=nt4TXNHgDMOw5wKClbP4Cw&q=UMC202HD&btnK=Google+Search&oq=UMC202HD&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l10.1107.3443..3840...0.0..0.316.1964.0j4j4j1......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..35i39j0i131.Xobu0FE3zh0

But, Audacity creates a single track with Left and Right sub-channels for a single channel, while I need each to have each microphone in its own channel.

Or, is there a way to convert a track with Left and Right to two distinct channels?

Thanks
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
how is the box connected to the pc?
Audacity is roughly equivalent to a multi track recorder, what you are describing is a multiple recorders, which is quite different.

Rather than try and record to two files, after completing the recording, make a copy of the file and remove the left channel from one copy and the right channel from the other file.

To have multiple recorders, multiple copies of Audacity would be required.
Or you could try Loopback which lets you route audio streams to where you want them on a system wide basis (and they have a free trial):
https://rogueamoeba.com/loopback/
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curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer

Author

Commented:
Three responses in one post:

nobus: I connect the BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD to my MacBook 2013 (High Sierra) via USB cable.

I plug in two microphones and on record, they become the left and the right channels of the same audio track.

ArneLovius: If "Audacity is roughly equivalent to a multi track recorder" then can I not simply divide up the single track, after the fact, into two distinct tracks?

Davis McCarn: How could Loopback work with Audacity? I assume I would no longer select the UMC202HD as the sole input source. But instead, would have a Loopback option?
Loopback allows you to control what happens with any audio device and affects all of the software you use which is why I said system wide.  The one I am far more used to is Virtual Audio Cable which is a Windows product doing the same thing.  You'll need to play with the free trial of Loopback to see if it does what you need.
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer

Author

Commented:
Sadly, I am not in possession of a second mic. Only when I am on set, which means I can not debug it prior.

Loopback look like it may be the perfect solution, but if I could export the left and the right from one channel into two, using Audacity (Mac), this would be the poor man's solution that would really help me in the shot term.

(I have some audio recordings in hand that I could use, if I could just adjust the volume from each mic independently, which is why I need two tracks instead of Left and Right)
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
you should be using a mixer
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer

Author

Commented:
I think you are right!

This is the gear that was suggested, but I found the BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD only $99.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/QX1204USB--behringer-xenyx-qx1204usb-mixer-with-usb-and-effects

Maybe it's time to return the BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD and upgrade to the mixer.

Would that give me two audio inputs into Audacity? OR, would it mean I need to learn how to master this new piece of gear, and would still just give me a left and a right side to a single channel?
Yes you can divide it after the fact, copy the file and erase the left channel from one recording, and the right channel from the other recording.

Then convert each track to mono

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL5Xx06NwyI
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
in order to record multiple channels you need multiple sources.  On a PC you generally only have 2 Microphone and Line IN.  There are different levels between microphone and line in.. to use the line in jack you would require a microphone amplifier. So you will need multiple sound cards.

Multitrack recording is usually done 1 track at a time.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
imo when the sound signals are transferred to the pC - via usb - the channels are combined into 1 stereo sgnal.
as said the solution would be a mixer, so you can connect each mike separately to the pc
verify that it has separate outputs for each channel you use!
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer

Author

Commented:
The poor man's solution is to use Audacity's feature Split the Stereo Track...as shown in the video by ArneLovius.

Thanks for all the other, longer-term solutions.

Thanks!

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