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How to Record Audio With A Capture Card: The Guide

audioDoes my capture card even record audio? One thing I’ve found in my time researching and reviewing Capture Cards is that they all have a similar approach to recording the video, but often a very different approach to recording audio. Obviously all of our needs in terms of audio are different, some of us will want to record audio as we play such as a voiceover or game commentary, some of us will want to just record the video and overdub and edit at a later date, and some of us want to have all sorts of fun adding audio and effects.

The model of capture card you have chosen to purchase is going to largely dictate the needs you have in terms of audio, and as I said, there are a few different options.

Just Video

Some Capture Cards are just video based and don’t have the facility to record audio. To be honest, these are probably the lower end or older models, and most decent modern capture cards will record some audio.

In-Game Audio

Some of these devices will record the audio straight from the game onto your device, synced with the video, but it may JUST be the in-game audio. For example, if you’re playing FIFA or some other football game, you may be able to record the commentary, sound effects and music from in game, and even the voices of any other players you’re talking to, BUT this will not pick up from your headset necessarily. It is very important to check the audio description of your card to make sure you know what you’re getting.

The Best Case Scenario

Audio has been troublesome since capture cards first became popular, and many companies have tried to fix this by adding audio mixers. Hook your capture card up to your computer AND have a microphone input separately (something like a USB mic is perfect) and it will record both at the same time, automatically adding the audio. The best capture cards such as the Elgato HD60 even have audio ‘ducking’ and on the fly mixing, basically meaning when you talk through your mic to do a commentary or lets play style video, the audio from the game will automatically ‘duck’ or get quieter to allow for your voice. This does it all live, which means even if you’re streaming on something like Twitch you can get pro audio over the top. Check out the software in use below:

Editing the Audio

One way you might want to do it is to record the audio separately. An output from your headset into the computer is a way to do this, or in an ideal world using a USB microphone. If you want to share your videos on youtube or twitch, for instance, having a decent mic will greatly increase the quality and add a professional edge to your videos anyway. Record the audio into audacity and use the editing software your capture card came with to add the audio and line it up.

TOP TIP: Syncing it up can be come a bit of a nightmare, BUT if you simply clap at a certain time point that you remember (such as when you click ‘play’ on a game’) it will show up on your audio file as a big peak, and this will help you to find where you need to place the audio. It is very simple editing.

My Capture Card Audio is Lagging

This is a pretty common problem unfortunately, and the method of recording the audio separately is the best way around it if it becomes an issue for you, as you can simply move the audio in the editing software until it is synchronized with the video properly. The better the capture device you buy, the less likely it is to lag or cause other audio problems with the Hauppauge and Elgato being the best we have used. Our capture card reviews are designed to help you find the best cards for your device so as to ensure issues like this don’t crop up.

Conclusion

The tips above should hopefully have helped, but the truth is all devices are a little different when it comes to audio, and it is very important to have a look at the features and even the Amazon reviews for the product page to see if there is anything specific to bare in mind. Happy recording!

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