I am using audacity to record conversation between myself and a friend in the same room. I am currently using two instances of audacity on two separate computers to record each individual headset.

It really is a pain to synchronize these tracks and use two computers to record two people. I would like to be able to record from both headsets on one PC. From what research I have done, my only real option is a mixer, but from what I understand those don't work with PC mics. Another option would be to compile Audacity with ASIO support, and possibly get a secondary sound card.

I was wondering if I am overlooking something simple. Would a 3.5mm splitter cable work with recording both microphones? Are there other options?

3 Answers 3


If you're not using any aftermarket audio hardware, and just recording from the line-in on the computer, you already have the bare minimum to record two channels at once.

That line-in is likely stereo, i.e., a left channel and a right channel. Or, more appropriately for your purposes, a 2-channel input.

Microphones are all mono (save a few specialty varieties). So two mono microphones can be recorded at the same time.

Something like this...

+-------+  +------------------+
| mic_1 |+-> female mono jack +
+-------+  +------------------|    +------------------+    +------------+
                              +----> male stereo jack +----->  line-in  |
+-------+  +------------------|    +------------------+    +------------+
| mic_2 |+-> female mono jack +
+-------+  +------------------+

dual mono to stereo 3.5 mm

  • Thanks! Since this will work for my specific needs for the moment, I'm choosing this as the right answer.
    – Yoshiyahu
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 18:02
  • 1
    Using the line-in for microphones is not optimal - the recorded level will be very low and the signal itself may sound thin/weak due to possible impedance mismatch Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 11:14
  • Not optimal is correct. So is "bare minimum"
    – JoshP
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 4:03

Your options are either a dual mono to stereo adapter like JoshP mentions, using an area mic that could pick up you and your friend at the same time, or if you want the best possible quality, get a cheap USB Audio Interface (~$100 or so) and a couple of lapel mics or even just simple mics like SM58s (~$100 each or less if you go used). It's a bit more of an investment, but if you are trying to ensure the best quality, you'll get much better quality for the money than using a cheap PC mic and consumer mic input.


Your other option is to buy an external sound card that would make an USB device out of a Jack port - it is available widely on the internet and you can get a basic one for less than 10$ / € ;-)

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