Two Microphones with One Computer?

Hi,
I’ve got two wired lapel microphones that I’d like to use to record interviews directly to my laptop, but there’s only one place to connect a microphone to the laptop. Is there a way to connect two microphones to one laptop and have them both work simultaneously?

I read about a Y splitter cable that I thought might be a possible solution, but I’ve since heard that the microphones would interfere with one another. I’d appreciate any possible (and preferably cheap!) solutions. Thanks!

If both mics are the same you should be able to use a simple ‘Y’ connector. A headphone ‘Y’ should do the trick. Since you won’t be able to control the volume separately you might have to experiment with placement of the mics to balance the sound. Beware that most laptop mic inputs are mono so you won’t have two separate voices.

Sorry to be so dense, but I’m a little confused about how the Y cable works with a mono input. Does not having two separate voices mean that the microphones could work together only if they alternate (so that the laptop could not record the interviewer and the interviewee speaking at the same time)? Or does it mean something completely different?

Thanks!

The Y adapters come in stereo or mono, Just remember two black lines on the plug means stereo…one black line on the plug means mono! As for seperation of sound using the Y adapter will give you better close up recordings but not in the stereo mode, you would need a left and right input to achieve this effect.

I got a Y adapter today, and it does just what I wanted it to. Now both mics will work for an interview. Thanks for the great advice!

Welke Y-Adapter heb je gebruikt?

EDIT:
Translation: “Which Y-adapter did you use?”

Just to add to this topic. Since you had identical mics the y-cable worked for you.

However had it been different mics it may not have worked so well. If that was the case your solution would have been to add a sound card to the computer. For a laptop they have cheap external usb sound cards.

Now you would have a 2nd mic input that can be configured separately as well for gain/volume etc.

The new problem you would probably run into though is that windows would only want you to have one recording device set as the default at a time.

You would get around this by running 2 recording programs at the same time and manually choosing the input device for the program thus avoiding using the windows default.

The big advantage here is you would end up with one recording of one mic to its own file offering you the ability to later on edit each persons mic separately. So if one person was say a really quiet talker and the other person louder you can easily boost the volume of the quiet person and then combine the two files together into one final file.

You may also be able to just enable “listen to this device” on both sound adapters in the control panel and record them at the same time with only one program but I have not actually tested this.

[QUOTE=ViciousXUSMC;2594000]Just to add to this topic. Since you had identical mics the y-cable worked for you.

However had it been different mics it may not have worked so well. If that was the case your solution would have been to add a sound card to the computer. For a laptop they have cheap external usb sound cards.

Now you would have a 2nd mic input that can be configured separately as well for gain/volume etc.

The new problem you would probably run into though is that windows would only want you to have one recording device set as the default at a time.

You would get around this by running 2 recording programs at the same time and manually choosing the input device for the program thus avoiding using the windows default.

The big advantage here is you would end up with one recording of one mic to its own file offering you the ability to later on edit each persons mic separately. So if one person was say a really quiet talker and the other person louder you can easily boost the volume of the quiet person and then combine the two files together into one final file.

You may also be able to just enable “listen to this device” on both sound adapters in the control panel and record them at the same time with only one program but I have not actually tested this.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for that info, was looking for something like that for a while. I always use the Y-cable and had both recordings on one track. I will try this =)

Well if you ever do decide to expand your options and experiment a little, a smart thing to do in my opinion is take a look at a dual usb/analog headset.

Why?

Because they come with these very small and efficient usb adapters like seen in this picture.

You can use this with not only the included headset but your own mic and/or headphones.

I have one and the quality of it is equivalent to my full fledged $150 X-fi sound card for recording and its a lot more convenient.

So for about the same cost of a sound card you get the part you need and a spare headset/mic.