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View Full Version : Multiple Microphone Headsets into one PC


bedowyn
Jan 26th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Good morning everybody. First of all, I apologize if this is a redundant post, but I am not finding the answer I need by searching, and am afraid I might just be a little to clueless to recognize it, even if I came across it. Having said that, on to the situation and question.

A few friends and would like to try our hand at a regular podcast for our local community, and are designing it around a round table discussion format. The ideal would be to have 3 headsets with boom mikes, all being recorded by one pc. We would also throw in a laptop as a sound effects source. And our budget is very non-existant.

The problem we are running into is how to get the multiple mikes to record.

Our original plan was to use a simple pc/internet headset like what you might get at walmart and run them through a radio shack 4 channel mixer that was donated. This worked great for our sound effects source (the laptop) as well as our dynamic microphone (with the 1/4" plug in), but it does not seem to work with the pc microphones. Even with everything cranked and with us screaming into the mikes, we had no viable levels.

So, having said that, we need suggestions.

1. Is there anyway to use these headset mikes with this mixer?
2. If not, is there an affordabel (under $100) mixer made for these kind of mikes, or
3. Is there an affordable headset with mikes that will work with a regular mixer, or
4. Is there a way to use multiple usb headsets? or
5. Is there some other elegant solution that I am not thinking of?

To put it simply, how can we have multiple spoken inputs into one pc, with the ability to control levels on each of them, either in or out of the pc, all at the same time?

Thanks much in advance!!!

shaddai
Jan 26th, 2008, 08:52 PM
1. Is there anyway to use these headset mikes with this mixer?Maybe not. Depends on which exact rat shack mixer it is. You said 1/4" input..so it could very well be a line mixer. Line mixers are set up for a hotter input level than a normal microphone. It may be that your dynamic is just unusually hot & happens to work.

2. If not, is there an affordable (under $100) mixer made for these kind of mikes, orNot that I've ever seen...however, it may be possible to rig up some sort of adapter to get the 1/8" up to a standard XLR & pick up a cheap behringer mixer from eBay. Got an electronics buddy?

3. Is there an affordable headset with mikes that will work with a regular mixer, orIf you mean that under $100 is affordable, your best bet is to search through some of the cheap stuff on eBay. It probably won't last very long, it probably won't sound fantastic, but it might work for a while, and you can at least buy 2 each. Again, learn the electronics & you might be able to whack the connector off an X-box mic & wire it to a normal mixer.
4. Is there a way to use multiple usb headsets? orUSB hub, but whether your software will allow multitracking & recognize all those different drivers at one time is another question.
5. Is there some other elegant solution that I am not thinking of? Elegant=tons of them. Cheap=no. Something like this would be ideal for podcasting: this setup here (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MultiMix8U2/).

bedowyn
Jan 27th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the response

To be clear, the mixer is a Radio Shack 4 channel mixer, as showing here:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102920&cp=&sr=1&origkw=mixer&kw=mixer&parentPage=search

It has 4 channels, which are divided by two stereo RCA (line level) inputs in the back and/or 4 microphone inputs on the front.

I have a dynamic mike with an xlr port, which I have plugged into the front and it works great. After more playing around, I have found that the cheap pc headset mike plugged into the same port, by way of an 1/8" stereo to 1/4" stereo adapter IS working, but only very faintly and with the mixer gain pushed all the way up to ten.

I dont know if any of this helps illuminate my situation.

The question remains: what is the easiest way for me to get 3 mikes from headsets into one computer? I would love any and all suggestions.

Thanks!

PS - Our intent was to use soundforge for our software, but are open to suggestions on that end too, if it makes a difference.

Yotto
Jan 27th, 2008, 03:28 PM
This is cheesy, but it worked for me in the past before I got all my gear. Have everybody bring over their personal laptops (Has to be laptops, as they have to run quiet) and have everybody plug in their mics into their own computers.

Then, you can import each track into audacity or audition or whatever and play them at the same time, and bammo, round table session. You'd likely have to add the SFX in post, but that's what I do anyway.

ivdice
Jan 23rd, 2009, 04:06 AM
Considering this is a year old, you may not need a solution, but others might.

I've found success with using so far up to 6 USB mics plugged into a laptop, and recording live to the Krystal Audio Engine (http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/). Simply select a different mic for each track, up to 16, and hit record. The program is free, but the files can get a little large when exporting (for my purposes, I export the individual tracks and end up with 500MB a track for an hour and a half recording, for editing on my Mac)

This will also work with standard analogue microphones, but as I found out the hard way, mixing USB and analogue can cause timing issues, and one track or the other may drift off sync. For best performance, try sticking to one type of connection, and more so, one make and model of microphone. Best to not take chances.

Now, if anybody knows how to get more than one microphone to input into Skype (preferably with multiple outputsas well, so the same USB headset mics can both send and receive) on a PC (I've found atleast two ways to do it on my Mac, but, that's in for repair currently), I would be eternally greatful.

Hope this helps.

bedowyn
Jan 23rd, 2009, 05:10 AM
Wonderful! So we have software that allows different inputs to be recorded to separate tracks, to be mixed later. That still leaves me with two questions:

1. If you chose to use USB headsets, is there a delay between sound going into the mikes and that which comes back out of the head sets? That is, do the head sets monitor other sound inputs, and if so, is there a delay?

2. If you chose to use analog headsets, how are you arranging multiple inputs? My device will only take the one microphone, so we have to physically mix prior to recording.

Thanks

ivdice
Jan 23rd, 2009, 04:45 PM
Sadly I've not played around with the output of Krystal in about a year, I know the three of us on headset could hear music I put on another track, but it might have been through low external speakers, not through the headsets. I know by default there was nothing through the headsets for output, but because we were all in the same room, we just took a pad off one ear.

For the multiple analogue inputs, I'm not sure. I guess you would either need multiple ins on your PC, or a Mixer. And even with a mixer, you'd need firewire to get more than two tracks. If you just wanted two though, you could do the quick and dirty by having a small mixer pan one input all left, the other all right, record it as one track, then open it in something like QuickTime Pro, then export the Left and Right audio as separate mono tracks. I have to do a variation of this setup for podcasts I do over Skype.

Sorry I couldn't be of much more help.

eroticworldweekly
Jan 26th, 2009, 10:49 AM
I got a page cannot be displayed trying to download Kristal, but no surprise (
Download KRISTAL 1.0.1 (06/01/2004) for Windows (3.51MB) (http://www.simtel.net/product.download.php?id=75869)
)


So, recording with 2 or more USB mics, maybe the solution is a cheap mixer of some sort?

Thanks,
Dan

Luna01
Jan 13th, 2010, 01:06 AM
Does anyone see any potential problems with using a splitter and
connecting two microphones to a single mic input on a PC? Got two users
sharing a PC for a specific app and they sit apart from each other so
theoretically at least I would think feedback problems would be minimized.

foggy34
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:16 PM
Does anyone see any potential problems with using a splitter and
connecting two microphones to a single mic input on a PC? Got two users
sharing a PC for a specific app and they sit apart from each other so
theoretically at least I would think feedback problems would be minimized.
when i tried to do that the 2 componets messed with each other..... so no

keyaunty
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:14 AM
hello dear ,

atleast two microphone you can use in single pc