This guide will show you how to setup the most basic LIVE BROADCAST studio equipment. This equipment and configuration will also work very well for pre-recorded podcasts. This is the most BASIC and MINIMAL equipment that money can buy. We suggest that you spend more money than this minimum and pursue more complex signal paths in the quest for:
1) More Control Over Sound
2) Better Sound Quality
3) Developing Your OWN Signature Sound
1) Behringer PODCASTUDIO USB Complete Podcastudio Bundle with USB/Audio Interface. Price: $129.00 Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PARIZU/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2) Four – rca to 1/4 inch converter cables. Price: $6.95 X 2 = $13.90
Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017Y45630/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
3) Bluetooth transmitter. (optional – this is if you want audio from speakers as well as audio in your headphones or earbuds. ) Price: $10.99 Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V9RKGK7/ref=pe_825000_114657650_TE_item
4) Bluetooth speaker. Price: $12.99 Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WYXY6B/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Total price for everything needed: $142.90 Total Price for everything needed plus optional speaker audio: $166.88
How to Hookup the Gear: Cables: Mixer Main out left into converter input left. (red) — Mixer Main out right into converter input right (blue) — Converter output left into mixer channel 2 line in left mono (orange) — Converter output right into mixer channel 3 line in left mono (green) If you are paying attention, you might notice that your last connection was right to left. This is because we are seeking a mono signal path. Stereo is not needed for broadcasting BUT you could pursue a stereo signal path with this equipment if you really desired it. (Things will become more complicated) Make sure you understand the mono configuration fully before you pursue a stereo signal path config.
Setting up the converter device (USB AUDIO CODEC) on your computer. The computer either be a PC Desktop tower or a laptop. If anyone reading this knows how to set up the converter device on a Mac please show us how!
First you must click on control panel/sound and set the playback device to the USB AUDIO CODEC (set as default)
Secondly, you must click the Recording tab and set the recording device (also known as “Microphone”) to the USB AUDIO CODEC (set as default)
Click OK to save changes and exit the control panel. Now it’s time to fire up Skype and setup your Skype audio devices.
Open up skype and click on the dots in the top left of Skype then select “settings”
In the Skype “settings” window, click on “Audio & Video”.
Now set both your Microphone and Speaker devices to the USB AUDIO CODEC (your converter) .
Common Questions and Answers:
Q) Will the speakers and built in Microphone on my laptop still function?
A) No! You have just converted all of your audio device settings on your
computer over to your USB Audio Converter (USB AUDIO CODEC) Your
built-in laptop speakers and built-in laptop mic have been disabled.
Q) But I do not want my laptop speakers and mic disabled! I want them to
still function like they used to do. What do I do?
A) We suggest that you delete your Fringe Radio Network account, then throw away all the studio gear that you just purchased and then pursue stamp collecting and/or bird watching.
Q) Can I still use my old USB microphone?
A) No! You have to use a REAL mic with a REAL balanced XLR cable. Feel
free to throw your USB mic in the trash or use as a small hammer….
and or club. Actually if you upgrade to a fancy mixer like I have; then
you actually COULD use a stupid USB mic.. Behold!
Q) So the only way that I can listen to my computer is by plugging
headphones or earbuds into the mixer?
A) Yes and No! Personally, I need to have speaker audio in the studio for my
OWN signature sound. I need the mic to pick up and bleed in a little of
the sound from the speakers in order to get that LIVE sounding IRON
SHOW studio ambient ring. I tap the audio signal from my mixer and
feed it into an amplifier which powers a pair of studio-monitor speakers.
This is kind of expensive but here is an optional way that you can get
some actual speaker sound in your studio:
Using a set of male rca to male 3.5 cables: Mixer 2-TRACK right and left out into bluetooth audio transmitter. You then pair the bluetooth transmitter with the bluetooth speaker and BAM! Note: Be sure to flip the switch on the device to “TX” (transmit). Now you have speaker audio in your studio for about $25 bucks. WARNING: If your studio speaker is too loud; not only will you get ear-splitting feedback from your mic but you will also get all kinds of horrible echoing slap-back audio in Skype. Keep that speaker at either low volume or no volume. What I do is turn the speaker volume up until I start to get feedback and then I back it off just a little so that I can still get that IRON SHOW STUDIO alive-sounding ambient ring.
Q) Do I have to use a dynamic mic? Or can I get a fancy studio condenser
A) I use a dynamic mic myself. A Sennheiser e835 Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Dynamic-Cardioid-Vocal-Microphone/dp/B00006I5R7/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Sennheiser+e835&qid=1579472778&sr=8-4
But yes, if you want to use a fancy studio condenser mic; the 502 mixer does provide the required 48 volt phantom power to make it function. And the mixer also has built-in Xenyx pre-amps that will power any mic very sweetly.
Q) How do I setup the broadcast software when using this studio gear?
A) Spreaker broadcast software has 2 device settings: “Microphone and
Sources” and “OUTPUT”. Set your converter (USB AUDIO CODEC) as
the “Microphone and Sources” device. Then use the Microsoft Sound
Mapper as the “OUTPUT” device.
NOTE: You could select your converter (USB AUDIO CODEC) as the “OUTPUT” device…. but this can cause problems; especially when you are working at modifying your signal paths or switching over to a 2 converter configuration like I use. For the “OUTPUT” device, you will want to tap into a nice complete, balanced composite signal that is floating around inside your computer. Towards that end, I have had the best luck using the native Microsoft Sound Mapper, although there are other signal taps available that will also work. I would advise against using the USB AUDIO CODEC as the output device if you can avoid it.
Q) Can this gear configuration also be used with other broadcast software?
A) Oh yeah! I use it to simocast to other streaming icecast/shoutcast servers
using Edcast StandAlone. The converter (USB AUDIO CODEC) nor the
Sound Mapper is used in any of the device settings in Edcast StandAlone.
Edcast does not interface with devices but rather taps the LAME MP3
Encoder, which in turn taps the composite wave signal from devices
such as the Microsoft Sound Mapper. So in a sense, it’s a more simple
setup if you are using broadcast software such as Edcast StandAlone.
When I say: “simple” what I mean is that it’s simple as far as setting
devices. Setting up Edcast StandAlone is far more complicated than
using the Spreaker broadcast software. For a guide to setting up Edcast
simply click here. NOTE: I have had the best luck by using the LAME
for Audacity as the MP3 Encoder for Edcast StandAlone. I don’t even
use a duplicate LAME; I just tap the LAME that is already sitting
happily in the Audacity folder. It does not seem to mind being used.
Another Edcast tip is to “Open as Administrator” the next time you use
Edcast. This is because if you “Open as Administrator” all your previous
settings will be there. If you simply open Edcast you will have to
enter all your settings all over again. This may have been fixed in the
latest version of Edcast StandAlone though.