If you want to highest-quality audio in your podcast of two more more hosts, then you have only two options:

  1. Record in-studio with multiple microphones and a mixer
  2. Record separately and combine in post production (called a double-ender)

Double-ender” comes from the pre-satillite days of television when two personalities would be recorded with audio and video in their separate locations and then the two videos later combined. Sometimes, they would even edit to make it appear as if the two personalities were in the same studio.

Although the technique is no longer used for television broadcasts, it still works great for podcasting when you want the highest-quality audio without bringing all of your hosts in-studio.

Set up for best quality

  • The best microphone you can get for each cohost (even the cheapest mics will produce better quality than Skype)
  • Audacity or other means of recording for each cohost

Record your podcast

  • Skype, Google Voice, or even a phone call between cohosts
  • Clap as you count to ten to synchronize

Share the files

  • Dropbox to easily synchronize folders, or other file-sharing services (Box.net, Senduit, Ge.tt, and more) to transfer the recordings to the producer (probably you)

Mix it together

  1. Import all the separate recordings into Audacity or your program of choice
  2. Align the clap-offs
  3. Listen to random points throughout your podcast to ensure the dialog is not overlapping
  4. Edit and export as normal!

Fishy Behringer mic on Amazon

Maybe this is from when Maxwell Smart started podcasting. Amazon.com has a photo glitch on their Behringer B-1 Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic. Read the funny reviews and post your own (share them here, too).

Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

When you combine Google Voice and Gmail, you can make free computer-to-phone calls right within Gmail. This has been free for 2010 and Google announced it will be free for 2011. I’ll talk more about this in a future episode, but it present another free way to bring in live phone calls for your podcast.

New podcast: Christian Meets World™

We’re happy to have Jason Rennie join Noodle.mx Network with his podcast that connects the Christian worldview to the everyday. Subscribe to Christian Meets World™.

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)

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Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

15 comments on How to Record and Mix Multiple Hosts in Audacity (Double-Ender) – TAP029

  1. Ronda Kay says:

    I'm a first time listener and DELIGHTED TO HAVE FOUND YOU! I searched for a podcast to teach me how to use Audacity and yours is wonderful.

    My co-host is in Portland, OR and I"m in Jerusalem, Israel. We've been using BlogTalkRAdio because I didn't know how else to record us both. Now I'm going to try what you've recommended and I totally appreciate your kind and careful explanations. Much needed!

    Wishing you continued success in your many endeavors, and so happy to be along for the Podcast ride!

    1. Thanks, Ronda! Israel to Portland? That's awesome! What is your podcast?

      1. Ronda Kay says:

        It's going to be a parent education program for familiies with kids in Montessori schools… <a href="http://www.montessorifamilyconnection.com” target=”_blank”>www.montessorifamilyconnection.com . The podcasts are now the teaching sessions, but eventually we'll have live and recorded Q&A sessions.

        BTW, where do I see the video versions of some of the things you've been teaching, when you mention to see the screencast?
        Thanks again for GREAT SHOWS

        1. Awesome!

          When I mention the video, it would be embedded in the shownotes. But it comes from Ustream.tv and is a Flash video, so you could have an Internet filter blocking Ustream.tv, or Flash isn't loading. But I usually try to just have screenshots of things, since screenshots are easier to see no matter your Internet situation.

  2. dpeach says:

    Another tip to help with double-enders is to do the whole clapping routine at the end. I have found that sometimes there are slight recording speed differences (a couple of seconds off over a 20 minute conversation). By clapping at the end you give yourself a chance to see how far off the two recordings are so that you can make micro adjustments throughout the recording and it never gets really far off.

    1. Great tip! I hadn't thought of that.

  3. Found this podcast thanks to the Podcast Awards. Though I don't use Audacity, I love the content I've sampled so far!

    1. Thank you, Tim! I'm honored to have you listening now.

  4. Simon says:

    Skype + Audio Hijack is easier and quicker.

    1. Easier than hacking around, yes. But I would say that a dedicated Skype-recording software would be easier than Audio Hijack Pro or Soundflower.

  5. David McFee says:

    I know this is an old blog, but would you still recommend running Audacity to record your half of a Skype call? I have two hosts running Win 7 and recording in Audacity, but they find that in addition to their own audio they are getting a faint recording of the other hosts. One is using a headset combo, one is using a Rode ProCaster Mic and Sony Headphones.

    1. Yes, Audacity is still free, accessible, compatible, and fairly easy.

      The crossover you’re getting is from headphone leak. Get your cohosts to lower their headphone volumes, get better mics, get better headphones, or pan your audio to the ear farthest from the microphone.

  6. Shewolfie says:

    I just recorded on Audacity with my co-host in N. Carolina (I’m in California), and she sent me her .wav file. Both tracks sound clean, but hers is compacted and doesn’t match up with mine. When I am talking her track doesn’t seem to have the pauses and her track ends up talking over mine. The time on mine is 7:30, but hers is 6:30. I have no idea why. Am I stuck with a ton of editing or is there a way to get her track to match mine? Did we make a mistake while recording? It’s our first time. Thank you for any help/advice you can give.

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