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I've been scouring google to see if it's possible to record gameplay audio for consoles as well as live commentary from a microphone or headset. Most of what I come across, from either forums or product FAQs say that it's possible to do one but not both. On PCs, it's easy, but on consoles you can only do one. Or so I'm told.

However, I see quite a few videos on Youtube from consoles with both game audio and live commentary. So it must be possible.

Can anyone tell me how how it's possible to do both on a console? I know nothing about video editing and production so I'm curious what devices and programs are needed to accomplish this. Also, is it possible to record the console audio and live commentary as two separate tracks?

Thank you for your time! I appreciate any help.

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As I understand it you want to record and not stream your gameplay live via twitch or other live streaming services?

In that case you just record your game video and audio with your desired method (f.e. a PC capture card) and then you just record you voice at the same time with your PC/Laptop/Smartphones microphone input. When you are done recording you just sync your commentary audio file with your game footage later on using a video editor.

Something that could help to sync game footage and commentary would be to record a small bit of the game audio with your microphone over your speakers before starting your commentary, then you can easily sync your commentary by alligning it with the game audio manually. Thats how you usually sync multiple audio sources the cheap way when filming, another method would be to use a mixer like AJ Henderson suggested which will keep everything in sync for you but also costs money.

Popular video editors are Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut. A good free editor would be Lightworks.

  • Thank you! You both had great input but this is definitely what I was looking for. – Rumblebutt Sep 3 '14 at 13:56
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There are numerous ways to handle this and none are particularly difficult, though some are mildly technical. The most direct is through use of a mixer or a capture device with multiple audio inputs. Most input devices only take a single stereo audio stream to go with the video input, so without buying a specialized capture device, the most promising way to do it live is with a mixer.

To use a mixer, you would branch off the audio from the video, feed the audio from the console in to the mixer while also feeding a microphone in to the mixer for commentary. The output of the mixer (most likely a tape out) would then go to the audio input for the capture device.

Mixers add a decent amount of cost in most cases though, so if you want to avoid that, the easiest way is to dub after the fact. You can record the video from the console directly and then record a separate audio track once you have the video edited however you want it. The nice things about this approach is that it has no additional cost, allows you to fine tune your commentary to your final video, and allows you to substitute different commentary tracks over the same gameplay footage.

  • So a mixer is what they are using for console audio with live commentary? I know what capture devices they are using, and I know they do not support live commentary. So.. it just keeps me wondering how they're doing it. – Rumblebutt Sep 2 '14 at 18:24
  • @Barry - it is the highest end solution for live stuff, though a multi-channel audio interface could work as well, but might have sync issues (but with a voice over, such issues would be difficult to notice). – AJ Henderson Sep 2 '14 at 18:25

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