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I can't find a straight, recent answer to this problem. I want to record in my computer a stereo sound with 2 mics I have at home. Nothing fancy. Just 2 sounds that were recorded at the exact same time in different mics.

Can I do it on my computer with a usb mic and the jack mic (or with 2 usb mics)? Under sound video and game controllers I have what seems to be 3 sound cards: An Intel(R) Display Audio, a NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) and a Realtek High Definition Audio. My OS is Windows 10 if that matters.

If it's not possible what is the cheapest way to do it? I don't need any interface or something. As I said I only need to record 2 different tracks that are synchronized.

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If you want the two sounds to be isolated but synced, you will need 2 mics, but as the other answer rightly states, a usb mic isn't just a mic, it's a mic plus an audio interface. So you need both mics to be just mics (1/4" Jack or XLR connectors).

Then you need to connect them to your computer at the same time. Here's the few ways I can think of doing that, going from best/most-expensive to dirtiest/cheapest.

  • Get an audio interface with 2 mic inputs. I have this one which works great, but there's plenty different ones for all kind of prices. Adjust the level of each mic and you're good to go.

  • Get a small audio mixer. Something like this would be enough. Adjust the levels, hard pan one mic to the left, the other to the right and connect the stereo output of the mixer to your computer line-in.

  • Get an adapter cable like this one, plug each 1/4" jack mic into it and the other end in your computer's mic-in. You won't be able to adjust the levels before recording and the sound quality won't be as good.

  • I read somewhere that the third option wouldn't work because as it would be redirected to only one sound card it wouldn't be possible to create 2 different tracks. Is this incorrect? – Joaquim Ferrer Feb 6 '18 at 17:14
  • the idea is that a standard sound card can't record 2 different tracks at once BUT it can record 1 stereo track. The adapter cable routes 1 mic to the left channel and the other to the right. Once recorded you can split the stereo file into 2 separate mono files. – wilks Feb 7 '18 at 11:25
  • Oh nice! If the only problem is that I won't be able to adjust the levels what I will do is get 2 equal mics with the same length of wire. The important part is that they are perfectly synced so I can tell the amount of passed that passed between the same wave "entering" each mic. Thanks a lot! – Joaquim Ferrer Feb 7 '18 at 15:35
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You say you want to "record in your computer a stereo sound with 2 mics". That would be simple but it is not what your actual problem is. You problem is that you want to record with 2 different sound interfaces, because an "USB mic" is actually a mic plus a sound interface, and your laptop has another sound interface. Both aren't synchronized. You can run a separate recording application on either soundcard, or you can use software that combines two different sound cards into one virtual soundcard by doing some speed adaptation.

That works reasonably with recording different sound sources. However, if we are talking about actual stereo signals where sound location is heard by timing differences between the same signal reaching two microphones, it is seminal to having identical rather than loosely locked timing.

You may state "I don't need any interface or something." but that really is the decision of the task you want to get done.

  • Yes it would be necessary for them to be completely synced. What should I buy then to do just the task at hand in the cheapest way possible? – Joaquim Ferrer Feb 6 '18 at 12:37

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