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How To Record Using Multiple USB Mics (Mac)

Recording multiple USB mics on your laptop should be easy, plug and play and off you go, right? It’s a bit more complicated than that but this blog is going to make it super easy for you!

There are 2 steps to this. First you need to set up an Aggregate Device and then we’ll look at how to record multiple mics using Garageband. I’m using a Mac laptop for this exercise and connecting 2 USB microphones.

If you are looking for a great USB microphone, I recommend this USB mic for top quality podcasting.

TL;DR? Just watch the video… (scroll to the bottom of the page for a full transcript).

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Firstly, how do you set up an Aggregate Device?

How To Set Up An Aggregate Device

  1. Plug your USB mics in.
  2. Open Audio Midi Setup on your computer – you could use Spotlight to search for this to find it quickly.
  3. Select the + icon at the bottom left and choose “Create An Aggregate Device.”
  4. Tick the boxes next to the microphones that you want to use and also select the Drift Correction checkboxes as this will help to keep the mics in sync.

Well that was easy! But now how do you record multiple USB mics using Garageband?

How To Record Multiple USB Microphones In Garageband

  1. Open Garageband and check that your Aggregate Device is set as the input via Preferences > Audio Midi Preferences > Input Device (dropdown menu) > select Aggregate Device.
  2. Create a track, selecting Audio, Mic, and then in the input select 1&2.
  3. Repeat step 2 to create another track and select input 3&4 – if you don’t see these options you need to check your Aggregate Device is selected as your input (see step 1).
  4. Right click on one of the tracks and select Configure Track Header and check the box next to Record Enable and this will display red dots on the tracks.
  5. Select the red dots on each track that you want to record and press record when you want to go!
  6. Select the icon to the right of the red dots, the dot with curved lines below it, to listen to feedback from the mics. This is good for a sound test although you may choose to turn one or both off while recording if the feedback becomes too much.
  7. Remember to keep an eye on the levels either way and ensure they are not passing into orange or red. Turn the gain/volume down on the mics if this is happening and you will get a better quality recording.

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Do you want to hire a Producer to do all of this for you? Or want some 121 or group coaching to help you start producing your own podcast? Let’s Talk…

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Video Transcript

Hello, welcome to Let’s Talk Video
Production, let’s talk about setting up
two USB mics with your computer. I’m
using my Mac laptop here and we’re going
to record our two USB mics using
GarageBand. I’ll leave a link in the
description for a good plug and play USB
mic from Rode so check that out if
you’re on the market for a mic and
subscribe for more videos like this on
podcast and video production or get in
touch and I can produce your video and
podcast content for you. So before we
even open up GarageBand we need to
create an Aggregate Device in Audio MIDI
Setup so find that, let’s open that and go
down to this plus sign here. We’re going
to add create an Aggregate Device. Got my
two mics already plugged in there so
select the mics, here we do go. And do select
Drift Correction as well, so tick these
boxes, and that’s it we’ve created the
Aggregate Device. Now we can open
GarageBand. I’m just going to delete this
track and what you want to do is create
your two microphone tracks – so audio, mic
and you’ll see this list here and input
1 & 2 and 3 & 4 are going to be your mics
so I’ll select that and create one of
them and then
add another new track, audio, mic and
select 3 & 4 input there and
that’s your second track. If you don’t
see both of those options, so you might
see audio input 1 & 2 and not 3 & 4, what
you need to do there is go to GarageBand,
Preferences, Audio MIDI Preferences and
make sure your input device is set to
Aggregate Device. There you go, now what’s
gonna happen when I start trying to
record is I’ll select a track, one of
them, record and it’s just going to be
recording the one, which I don’t want. I want
both of them but if I select the other one…
…and it’s recording just that one.
Let’s just delete these.
I want both of them at the same time.
Right click on the track and
Configure Track Header and Record Enable.
There we go, I can select this and this,
now when I press record – there we go
they’re both recording. One two one two.
This option here allows me to hear
what’s coming through the mic so I
might just select them, just to do a
sound test. When I’m recording it might
be a bit much to listen to both of them.
So it’s as easy as that, record, hello, and stop…
…and you’re done, easy.
Thanks for watching, if you found this useful feel
free to buy me a coffee, give this video
a like and share and check out some more
how-to videos on my channel. Please do
subscribe and leave a comment with any
questions. Cheers.

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