Hello. Need some live pod casting help . . .

Hello everyone.

I came to a conclusion a month or so ago that a lot of the people I know are really special, and I would like to interview them.

It is an idea that makes me happy, and no fame or weird stuff is part of this idea, just happy thoughts.

Anyways. Here is the situation:

I want to call my old Buddys that I think are awesome. Will use Google voice from 1 of my computers, have a browser with some sound clips (flash, homer Simpson noises, fart sounds, or what ever might be fun), 1 or 2 you tube browsers open (keep the music and energy going, and shoot for a 15 minute or more audio interview, I can post online (with the interviewer’s permission of course)

Why? - Quick answers(s) - midlife crisis, and I am sick of doing nothing constructive and it makes me happy for what ever reason to want to do this. (weird huh?)


I can’t seem to get all the audio to record to a final mp3 or audio file.

I am stumped with my audio setup, and have tried so many things and now I am humbly asking for help.

Attached is a sample of my hardware setup, and an audio clip from an interview.

1 - Seems the quality of my Mic, the silly sound effects, and great music from you tube - are heard by me, the interviewer, and the people I interview.

2 - If I could figure out how to maximize the tools in my live audio podcasting setup, I would be truely greatful.

  1. I like to use Google voice/gmail calling, cause it is free. I seem to run out of my Net10 minutes early every month, and Google voice could potentially eliminate any unnecessary generation loss or analog compromises.

  2. I don’t know much about splicing ,/routing audio cables, not too much about audio drivers , but I want to know about this stuff.

My Setup:

2 laptops - Dell Vostro, and HP 2000, Both windows 7, plenty of software, but audacity seems like a good tool for pod casting according to waves of people online.

2 USB audio interfaces - LINE UX1, and Scarlet 2i2

Mixer - Behringer Xenyx 502 Mixer

Mic - Condensor mic, with preamp.

Plenty of cables, (1/4 inch, xlr, etc)

And even an ipod and a google nexus to plug into the mixer if needed.

Nice studio headphones (don’t use monitors, cause I don’t want to disturb any one)


(check my setup)

Could any one give me any recommendations on how to connect all of this, what driver to use, etc, and etc?

Check my attachments and give me some advice if you feel you can push me closer to my goal of 100% working podcasts (live interviews).

Please let me know if you have questions.


Here is a pic of my setup the way I see it now:

Oh yeah and here is the sample sound I talked about

The first thing is that a computer is not a ready-made recording studio. Handling multiple audio pathways in real time is demanding on hardware and Windows is very limited in this department without a lot of help from other software/hardware.

The second thing is that those slick “off the cuff” chat shows on radio and TV are usually scripted, performed by professional “actors”, managed by a producer, and carefully edited to produce the finished “spontaneous” show. The usual formula is something like: 4 hours recording + 40 hours editing = 20 minute show (the numbers may vary depending on the production values).

For your purposes I presume that spontaneity and keeping the recording / editing to a minimum is of greater importance than producing a really “professional” sounding result, in which case what we are looking at is achieving reasonable sound quality.

Terrific that you have two computers and a mixer. That is a much better starting point than “I’ve got a laptop with a built in mic.” :wink:

The set-up that I’d go for is to use one laptop for Google Voice, and the other computer for recording.
The mixer is the centre of your studio set-up.
Ideally you should have two microphones:
One should be reasonable quality and must be compatible with your mixer (it should connect via the large 2 pin “XLR” connector). This is the one with which you record your voice in the show.
The other microphone can be a cheap computer mic - this one is just so that the people on the other end of Google Talk can hear you.

Google Talk computer:

  1. Connect (cheap) microphone to the computer.
  2. Connect “line out” from the computer to “Line Input 2/3” of the mixer.
  3. Plug headphone into the mixer.
  4. Start a Talk conversation with your most tolerant buddy (you’ll be messing around with settings and they will get bored).
  5. Set the levels for the microphone according to Google Talk instructions.
  6. Set the output level from the computer AND the level for “Line Input 2/3”, AND the headphone level, so that you can hear your buddy in your headphones.
  7. Check that this is all working well before you go any further.

Recording Computer (turn off the Google Talk computer while setting this up):

  1. Connect your good microphone to channel 1 of the mixer (the big 3 pin XLR connector).
  2. Connect your headphones to the mixer.
  3. Adjust the level of channel 1 and the headphone level so that you can hear yourself clearly.
  4. Turn off the mixer and the computer (best to turn things off when you are changing connectors).
  5. Connect the main output of the mixer to your preferred USB audio interface.
  6. Connect the USB output of the interface to the recording computer.
  7. Turn it all on. Wait until the computer is fully booted up, then open Audacity.
  8. Set the recording input in Audacity to the USB option in the device toolbar and set the number of channels to “2 (stereo)”.
  9. Click on the “Recording” meter in Audacity (or press the Record button and then Pause) and adjust levels as necessary so that you get a good level on the recording meter when you talk. Note that you can drag the meter by clicking on the edges, hold down the mouse button and drag. Make the meter big so that you can see it clearly (see here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/meter_toolbar.html). Aim for around -12 dB as the peak level (this will go higher when you have other people talking at the same time).
  10. Make a test recording.
  11. Play back your recording through headphones or speakers connected directly to the recording computer. How does it sound? Work with the settings until you have a recording that you are happy with. It does not matter that it will sound a bit quiet.
  12. Check that this is all working well before you go any further.

Adding sound effects to the show:
I can’t think of a good way to do this live with your equipment so as to get it recorded well AND for your guests to hear it.
The best that I can come up with is to use a stand-alone player (such as your iPod) connected to a speaker so that it is picked up by both microphones. It probably won’t sound great on the recording, but if necessary you can replace it by editing after the recording is completed (see here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_mixing_a_narration_with_background_music.html)

If all the above is working, it’s time to call your most tolerant buddy again. Turn on all the equipment as above and try recording the Google Talk conversation. Hopefully Audacity should pick up your buddy’s voice via “Line In 2/3” and your voice via your good mic in channel 1.

Now for the useful “trick”.
Set the “Pan” control for channel 1 on the mixer all the way to the left and the pan control for channel 2 all the way to the right. This will sound weird in your headphones but you will get used to it. The important thing is that this should put your voice in the top (left) channel of the Audacity recording and your buddy in the lower (right) channel. This will make it MUCH easier to set reasonable levels. Ideally you now want both left and right channels peaking at up to about -6 dB. If you have excitable friends, set their channel lower so that it does not clip if they suddenly start shouting. If you are excitable, set your channel lower for the same reason :wink:
When you have finished your test recording, click on the name of the audio track (top of the “control and information panel” on the left end of the track) and from the drop down menu select “Split Stereo to Mono”.
You should now have two, perfectly synchronised, mono recordings of you on one track and your buddy on the other.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

I can’t think of a good way to do this live with your equipment so as to get it recorded well AND for your guests to hear it.

That’s the one that killed me. Turns out the computer recording the show still has left-over abilities. The playback side isn’t being used and you can cause that to play music into the mixer. You have to be religious about Audacity not playing back or playing-through anything at all during the show. You can expand the Audacity sound meters and use them to make sure you are getting a recording (the illustration is overkill).


Music management is up to you. Most software entertainment players have some problem of other which prevent them from being handy in a live show. The Grownups use separate machines that automatically cue music and they can easily do multiple songs at once.

We got to the end of the test show and I (in LA) asked my partner (in New Jersey) how she liked the music beds I chose. “What music,” she said.

Oh, !@#$%


Thanks Steve. A lot of things are really tough (life, school, work, podcasts, etc). Just don’t feel the whole pre-made podcast (ie - Record some lines and intros. Import a song, record another couple of paragraphs, import another song. When finished export, and listen to it like it was live. Good Quality) are to exciting. And I am sure not all are made this way, but acording to youtube, I really haven’t seen too much on live pod casting.

But, limited resources, don’t always have solutions.

I am tired from thinking about this the whole night, but I am not going to give up just quite yet. Thanks for your post. I look forward to trying some new troubleshooting strategies you suggested.


Thanks again for the post. Will let u know If I get some more progress. :sunglasses:

That would probably create a show that sounded disjointed with no real “flow” (or excitement).
More often the talking would be recorded (scripted or not) and then sound effects / music edited in later:
“… So now the next record from your selection…[cut here]…ho-hom-tum-te-tum, cough, slurp (of coffee)…[cut here]…Ahh yes, and what a great track that was…”
The music would be inserted at the “cut here” positions during editing.

Yes you can, but that does not help in this case.
The Behringer Xenyx 502 Mixer does not have any “AUX Send” channels so we are using a separate mic for the Google Talk computer, which means that Skype will want to use the “Mic” input, which in turn prevents us from sending music to the “buddies” other than through the microphone.

If the mixer had an AUX send, then we could send music, and the main recording mic, to the Google Talk machine via “AUX send → Line” (USB interface) without bouncing buddy’s voice back to him.

I might be able to try another shot at this. I have a new, much larger mixer and it not only has AUX Sends, but you can tune them to be pre or post fader. My problem before was I couldn’t create two completely independent mixes (Show and Remote Send) because even though the Peavey PV6 has Aux’s, they’re stuck post fade. So Aux was always a subset of the main mix. There was no such thing as sending the far side a custom mix without their own microphone in it.


Nobody wants to hear this, but we easily solved this problem at work. We devoted a machine completely to recording Skypes. You called the System people on the 6th floor ahead of the conference (in this case), and they would run over to the machine on the workbench and join the conference as a non-participating member. But they could hear, see and record everything. At the end, they would ask you where in the company network you wanted the audio or video files posted.

Once we gave up the idea of forcing one person to do the whole thing, everybody breathed a sign of relief and the rest was smooth sailing. We, in effect, created a corporate motion video wiretap service.

It wasn’t as much of a stretch as it seems. We could also record performance review activity in each of the screening rooms, but that was just getting microphones in the right places. No Skype, thank goodness.


Fix 1

You can use Virtual Audio Cable - to virtually route everything. You can go into gmail, go to settings, chat, and then change the audio inputs and out puts (just as you could do for skype. Gmail calls are free)

This tutorial explains it:



I might just take back my very basic berringer mixer, and get a Yamaha MG102c - that does have aux/fx sends.

This tutorial tells you about it.



I think although the mixer isn’t 100 percent digital, it is more hands on, and I can utilize my 2 computers better (ie not put soo much strain with Virtual Audio Card, buffers, drivers, and etc.)

So yeah.

These 2 examples will show you how to do live pod-casting with Google voice. Alowing you and the caller to hear the same music, sound boards, youtube, and etc - all while recording all out to audacity. And no there is no feedback to the person on the line.

Does it work with Skype?
I need to step through all that and see if I can “see” it in my head. Post back if you get the new mixer and it works. Give details how you managed the aux sends – or if they worked at all.

We never got the whole thing to work enough to give people step by steps how to do it… and it’s a very popular question.
Like I think I said, there are people who are doing this whole thing on one laptop – I’ve heard the shows. They can’t explain what they’re doing and I think they got insanely lucky.