USB microphones are a great convenience, but are designed to be used solo. For a situation where a solo podcast host wants to record alone, or speak with a guest connected remotely by internet, they’re a perfect solution.
If you are recording multiple people in the same room and trying to provide each guest with their own USB microphone, it will either not work, or at the very least, cause lots of headaches.
Put simply, most USB microphones are not designed to be used in this manner. Trying to connect more than one to a single computer generally won’t work at all. Some people have fiddled enough with certain makes/models and had varying degrees of success, but for the most part it simply doesn’t work reliably, if ever.
“Aha!” you may say. If I can’t connect more than 1 USB microphone to a computer at a time, I’ll simply record on multiple computers with 1 microphone each!
Well, not so fast, that doesn’t work either. In fact, we see this problem all too often, and it leads to a disappointed and discouraged new podcaster who just recorded the best podcast episode in the world only to find out it can’t be used.
From device to device, timing will never be 100% perfect. Although the difference is impossible to hear normally, if you record audio in the same room on one or more computers and then try to line up the recordings for playback, it will become immediately apparent. Ever so slight variances in timing will prevent the recordings from synchronizing perfectly, resulting in an audible echo/delay.
In the words of Daft Punk, let’s learn about doing it right.
To record multiple people in the same room, each with their own microphone, you need a single device doing the recording.
How does this look?
It could be a USB mixer, audio interface, or even an external recorder like a Zoom. In all cases, you can hook up however many traditional microphones you desire, and still be recording from a single point. This means no echo/delay sync problems, and a happy podcaster.
Questions? We’re here to help. Get in touch, preferably before you purchase 4 USB microphones and spend hours trying to understand what’s going wrong. (Yep, we’ve seen this, and we want to make your life easier!)