Author Topic: SAM Broadcaster with Skype using an External Mixer Without Mix Minus  (Read 192 times)

Coyote

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While most DJs use Virtual Audio Cable for Skype calls, I personally use an external analog mixer with a built in Audio Adapter (Behringer Q1202USB). I found that it was so much easier to route all of my input sources through a central hub. While this mixer has an I/O USB connection I find it easier to have a seperate input to the mixer from the computer sound card. After pulling my hair out trying to figure out the best way to integrate a Mixer with SAM Broadcaster I have come to the following conclusion, every one of the computer models that have come out in the last decade have a fantastic sound card and there is no need to tweek it using the mixer, unless you are an expert at sound engineering.

Let's go over the cables I use with my mixer and what is connected to them:

Microphones go into either a 1/4" mono or XLR connection. *Note you can not use a USB mic with this setup*
USB from mixer to computer USB (obviously)
Hosa CMP-153 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4" TS Stereo Breakout Cable connected to the green Audio out plug on the back and/or front of the computer. Mine is on the back
Hosa CMP-153 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4" TS Stereo Breakout Cable connected to my Amazon Echo Dot or my Apple iPod for extra sound effects
Hosa CMP-153 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4" TS Stereo Breakout Cable, Hosa CMM-110 3.5mm TRS to ¼” TRS Stereo Interconnect Cable and the Kingtop 3.5mm Combo Audio Adapter Cable for PS4, Xbox One S, Tablet, Mobile Phone, PC Gaming Headsets and New Version Laptop connected to my Cell Phone for taking Phone/Skype calls.

Now I will go over in more detail exactly how, where and why these cables are connected (corresponding to the numbers above):

In my case I have 3 XLR mics plugged into inputs #1 thru #3.
This is obvious
This is plugged into input #7/8 using the right (red) ¼” TS plug and the left (black) ¼” TS plug
This is plugged into input #9/10 using the right (red) ¼” TS plug and the left (black) ¼” TS plug
This is plugged into input #11/12 with the red and black breakout cable. Using the ¼” male plug on the stereo interconnect cable, insert this into the FX send output channel. Now this is very important, you plug the breakout cable 3.5mm male plug into the Kingtop audio adapter female plug with the headset logo and take the Hosa TRS stereo interconnect cable and plug the 3.5mm male plug into the Kingtop audio adapter female plug with the microphone logo. *By using these adapters you do not have to set up a mix minus for phone calls because you are separating the input and output of the phone into 2 channels. Always remember that you have to plug in an input to an output and an output to an input, Pretty simple rule to remember right?*


Now to set up the software:

Skype - Go to settings then Audio & Video Set the Microphone to the name of your mixer’s USB connection. Set Speakers to your computer’s audio out connection. Test the audio, adjust volume settings and you are done.
SAM Broadcaster Pro - Go to Config then Audio Mixer Pipeline. Click AGC on Deck A and make sure the bypass all button is lit. Do this with Deck B, Sound FX, Aux 1 thru 3 and Voice FX.
SAM Cont. - click on the Mixer AGC button and click on the Load preset button and select the crazyivan.agc file attached to this post.
SAM Cont. - Click the Output button and change the buffer settings to the following: Packets 6 and Packet time 20 ms. Make sure that Output driver is set to DirectSound output and the Output device is your computer speakers. I have my Cue Output disabled. Make sure to hit the Apply changes button.
SAM Cont. - click on the Cross-Fading Button. Enable fade out, Curve = S-Curve, Time = 5000 ms and Level = 98%. Enable fade in, Curve = S-Curve, Time = 100 ms and Level = 99%. Cross-fade = Auto detect (dB level). Fixed cross-fade point Time = 3000 ms. Cross-fade point detection Trigger at -21 dB, Min. fade time = 100 ms, Max. fade time = 6000 ms and Do not crossfade or fade 90 seconds or less in duration.
SAM Cont. - click the Gap Killer button and enable gap killer, Remove silence from beginning of track Trigger at = -38dB, check the box to enable the Detect and skip blips of 10 ms or less, remove silence from end of track =  -41dB and Trigger end of song if more than 15 seconds of silence is detected.
SAM Cont. - go to the Voice FX window and click on the Config button. My Voice FX destination (Recording mode) is set to Encoders (Record to pipeline, skip output) Recording settings set to DirectSound Recorder and the Record Sound Capture Driver is set to the name of your mixer’s USB connection. Automatically fade music = checked, Curve = S-Curve, Time = 1000 ms, Level = 80%, Music fade in Curve = S-Curve and Time = 1000 ms. Buffer settings Packets = 6 and Packet time = 20 ms.
SAM Cont. - Click on the Mixer button. Click on the Playback tab and make sure the audio out of your computer is set to Default. Click on the recording tab and make sure the name of your mixer’s USB connection is set to Default. That’s it!

Using these settings makes your broadcast sound more like a traditional FM station. The way this is set up we are using the excellent sound processing of SAM combined with your sound card to produce a perfect sound. We are using the Mixer as an input aggregator. We use this as the Microphone as far as SAM is concerned. **Important - anything plugged into your mixer as an input will only be sent to SAM and broadcasted unless the Mic is on and active! SAM sees the mixer as a microphone only. When I have my Echo Dot connected and playing, and my mic is on and active, I turn down the volumes of all the mics so we don't talk over the top of it.** This way you have as many inputs as your mixer allows and SAM sees the mixer as a microphone. There are a lot of resources out there so keep searching the web for new ideas and combinations.

Now some fine tuning:
When you are taking phone calls it is best to either turn down the FX Send on each mic or use the master FX Send volume control. You want to turn that down to about ¼ otherwise you can leave it at ½.
If you have preamps on your mixer for microphones like I do you are going to want to slowly bring up the levels. The more preamp you use the more noise there will be. The goal is to have the volume levels for each microphone at 0 while still being heard clearly.
Since there is only one headphone jack on the mixer I also use a Neewer 4 channel stereo headphone amplifier with individual volume control so that everyone in the studio can hear everything at the same time. If you put a splitter on the headphone line without power you barely be able to hear what is going on.

Once you have this setup it will remain stable and should sound great. Make sure that you turn on your mixer before you get ready to broadcast. Obviously I have done this before or I wouldn't have mentioned it! Happy Broadcasting! Keep it Rockin’ - Love Coyote!

**I am not endorsed by any of the manufacturers listed in this tutorial. I have found these products and suppliers to be reasonably priced and of higher quality than their price point.**