How to set up for live radio show

Hi. I’m not entirely new to all this, but for me the task ahead I got into is. Please forgive me if my English is not perfect, as it is my second language.
I’m trying to set up a little home radio studio to make my radio show come alive again. I did it from 1996 to 2003 on a traditional radio station here in Mexico City. Now I’m planning to do it again, using internet to broadcast it.

It is, by concept, a live radio show. Two hosts, background music, songs at the end of each segment, and of course intro, rompecortes or cortinillas (I don’t know the English term for the small announcements to go to commercials or come back from them) and exit.
I’m using a Behringer 6 channel mixer to plug the two mics in using xlr, so no problem there to have good sound quality. Also my phone is plugged in to receive calls or remotely interview a guest.

But now we get into the bed or background music, songs and program identifiers (intro, cortinillas and exit) and this is where I think audacity could help me, using it as a second mixer and also recorder to have a nice mp3 after each show.
Is there a way to use audacity to have maybe mediamonkey as the source for background music, Spotify for the songs, and the audio from the mixer, so I can do the final mix on audacity and send that to a streaming or broadcasting program?

Or do you have a good suggestion so I could plug in maybe an iPad to the Behringer mixer and then just send the full mix to the PC for the broadcast?

If this sounds a little confusing, then it reflects perfectly the stage I’m at right now. Please feel free to ask so I can clarify any doubts that I created here, and please help me finish setting up, so I can start soon.

If you want to listen to some of my old “traditional” radio shows, my website is still on with some really old shows (maybe 2002 or 2003). They are in Spanish.

If this sounds a little confusing

No. I think you have all the steps listed. Every time I thought you were going to do something wrong or make a common mistake, you posted the correct step.

Also my phone is plugged in to receive calls or remotely interview a guest.

Have you tried that? The station has “Mix Minus” for calls like that. The caller wants to hear the show mix (microphones and music) without the echo of their own voice. So the sound mixer has to make a separate mix just for them. Mix Minus. Show Mix minus their own voice.

Many mixers have an extra knob called Effects Send in each sound channel to send that channel to an external echo generator (for example) or other special effects unit separate from the mixer. That’s usually for music or singing. That’s perfect for this because you can turn up “FX SND” on each microphone and music fader except the one with their voice on it. Send that to the caller.

Behringer 6 channel mixer

Which one?

It is, by concept, a live radio show.

Are you in love with doing it live? That’s the part I don’t think you can do. You can do that at the station because they have all the parts of a show on buttons and all the sound channels are automatic and properly adjusted. You will be doing all that in real time—and hosting the show—on strange equipment. Nothing kills a live performance faster than small gaps as one of the hosts goes looking for bumper music, an interstitial, or a tag—or makes a mistake.

The best show I’ve seen around a kitchen table had four people. Three of them did the actual show, but number four would only pop in every so often. His main job was to mix the show and keep track of levels and coordination.

Good shows are made in post production editing and adjusting, but that takes longer.

Another thing that makes podcasts pleasant to listen to are compressed levels. I recorded a US radio broadcast from the station for years so I could listen as I walked around the neighborhood. I started to record the internet version because it was missing the station’s noise and distortion. It was almost unlistenable because the show was also missing the radio transmitter sound processing and leveling. One of the performers spoke quietly into his beer and the other has a laugh that was loud enough to start a fire. That doesn’t work so good when you’re listening on earphones.

I started using Chris’s Compressor on the shows before I put them on my music player. Chris designed his compressor for exactly this job—but it’s not live. I do it in post production as an extra step

Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters or corrections in real time.


There might be a technical problem. Will your internet uplink do it? Mine will not. Downloading works just fine, but my uplink will not support live music.


One more. Are you in love with saving your shows as MP3? My archives are all in perfect quality WAV. I got too many late night phone calls from producers wanting a show I shot six months ago so they could use the sound for something else. MP3 doesn’t do that so good. MP3 sound quality decreases if you try to use them for another show.

If you really need to use MP3, use the highest possible quality.


Thanks a lot for the quick and comprehensive reply!
The show is designed originally for three co hosts and a producer/engineer, so it sounds technically very much like the kitchen show you mention. There has to be someone fully dedicated to the live production, checking levels, triggering music and all that and also the phone line for guests or special occasions. I will not be taking calls normally, as I prefer listeners to comment through written channels, so I can resume or paraphrase what they said in case it is not too interesting as they wrote it. Sorry if this sounds patronizing, but not everyone has the ability to be interesting, even when telling interesting things.

About jute mixer, it is a Behringer Xenyx 802. It looks like a very simple mixer and it has FX send to do the Mix Minus for callers.

I’m still at the pre production stage, and all of the equipment will be new, so I still have to familiarize myself with it. I expect that 35 years of working or being around consoles, mixers, etc. will make my learning curve a fast one.

And that’s what brought me here. I have used audacity for editing sound, but it occurred to me that it could be used as a final mixer for the show, replacing two external music players for two internal PC music players to add the background music from one and the songs and program identifiers from the other. I don’t know if audacity has the ability to receive those two channels, add them to the mixer sound that would go plugged into the sound card, and then having as a result a final mix that would go to the headphones of all involved for monitoring and to the final stream to upload. Btw, my normal upload is 10 mbps. As I uploaded my show in 1998 with a 512 kbps dial modem connection, using the first versions of shoutcast, I think it will be no problem to upload now. I was the first program (not station) in Mexico to stream over the internet, that’s the only reason I seem to know what I’m talking about. Key word: seem.

Yes, I prefer mp3, 128. Sound is good and it doesn’t take too much storage space. I will experiment with WAV, as I always value the experience of others, but in my experience the sound quality doesn’t change that much and the end files tend to be really big. Will let you know.

Just re read your post about compression. Yes, it is something I have in mind, and it was going to be part of my endless questions. I’m not too worried, because both voices are trained (theater, singing, dubbing and radio), but I know how the clipping can affect a listener’s experience and affect badly any kind of show. Maybe I will have to save a little more to get a compressor to apply to the mixer before sending it into the sound card. In fact, I was hoping to find a free or very cheap software that could do the trick. My budget is really really low, almost non existent. I’m suffering to adjust to the 175 USD per month music license, so I can play whatever I want on the show. Mexico is cheap, but we Mexicans earn in the same proportion :blush::confused: