Skype - Behringer Xenyx 802 Nightmare

OK. That should work. You may need a Y cable here and there, but all in, I think it’s workable.

The two microphones are obvious. 3/4 are stereo music themes and background music Left and Right. 5/6 are Skype. The Skype computer will probably supply Left and Right automatically (copies of each other), so all you will have to do is supply the cables and plugs to connect to the mixer.

I assume the far side will use the USB configuration of the microphone?

Do you have this or do you want me to do a pencil sketch of the wiring? These always look like a spaghetti dinner because of the extra, longer than they need to be cable, but a pencil sketch should clear a lot of it up.

Let me know.


Here’s a quicky Photoshop.

There are shortcomings with this. You can’t preview the music. It’s either in the show or it’s not. Same with Skype. There’s no setting up the call during the show. This is cool now because you only have one person at the other end of the Skype. But the instant you have two or more or switch guests, suddenly it’s a big deal.

The Big Kids have a clicky at the bottom of each mixer strip that allows local control room monitoring of each strip without the sound going live. PFL Pre Fade Listen.

I got the show from 2-Track Output because it saves one adapter. That’s just one RCA cable between the mixer and the UCA202 on the Audacity computer.


Sorry. I had to step away for awhile.

Thanks for all the information.

As far as an internet connection goes, I have the 2nd fastest available, so I believe that should be sufficient although I am a little nervous that Skype may lag after awhile, despite the fact that I’ve never had a problem before.

Your diagram is basically how I was going to set it up, however I noticed that mine is slightly different, so I want to assure that I have this all correct.

(1) Starting from the right hand side of the diagram where it says “2-Track” I have all 4 cords filled and then connected into the sound card, that is then connected via USB into my laptop. However, I did notice that if I just plug things in like you have them here and forget the “INPUT” side, it does not appear to affect anything, although I did not try to record anything.

(2) For the Skype portion, I only have one part of a two-way cord plugged into the “FX Send” portion and the other part plugged into the top portion of “Line 5/6” where it states “L” to the right of it. I then have the FX knob for that channel turned off.

(3) Exactly the same.

Also, I noticed that you stated you have the music portion of “Line 3/4” plugged into the same computer that you are recording. I have not tried this because I figured it would cause an issue considering I am recording from it. Evidently I was wrong and I will have to try this out.

Thank you for the help.

#1. I can tell you what the Tape Out is and where it comes from on the mixer. It’s a copy of the mixer Main Out (as near as I can tell) but I have no idea what Tape In does. You could have sound showing up in the show with no really good idea how it’s getting there or how to control it. I would not use Tape In.

#2. Yeah. FX Send is mono, not stereo. I ran into that, too. Just to be consistent, I would connect that to a Y cable and feed both of those into the Skype-In UCA202.

That doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does. You can set Audacity to record from the UCA202, but then your music system (Windows Media ??) to play to the UCA202 without them running into each other. They’re separate systems. You do have to know how to drive Windows. Fair warning, I’m not a Windows elf.

You should set Audacity so it doesn’t try to produce a confidence signal during recording. That’s the Play side and that will conflict with the music.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Recording: [_] Playthrough (de-select)

The UCA202 will not say Behringer. It will say something like “USB Audio CODEC.” That’s it’s electronic name.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 22.34.36.png

Another note. You should be able to point to each cable and connection and tell me why it’s there and what it does.

Random plugging in cables is good for days of troubleshooting if something goes wrong.

I’m assuming you know how to drive the 802 mixer enough for a simple microphone recording. You know the three places to set voice volume, why, what the clip light means, etc?


Yeah. I’m good on the recording part. In general I leave the volume level to where my normal speaking voice doesn’t exceed the first 20 light. It seems to sound pretty good to me. The other settings I’m at are:

Gain - 12:00
High - 3:00
Medium - 2:00
Low - 3:00
Pan - Dead Center for myself, co-host to the left and I was going to put the one from skype to the right, each about 2-3 from the center.

While I like the gain a little bit higher because I can hear myself much better through my headphones over my own voice… I’ve noticed any higher than 12:00 and I start getting that “oceanic” sound.

I’m curious why you have the three equalizer controls where you put them. This mixer doesn’t have a Low Pass Filter to get rid of room rumble and other low pitch sounds. The only way you have to control that is back off the LOW control.

Post some dialog examples when you get that far. You may be tuning out headphone problems.

Pan - Dead Center for myself, co-host to the left and I was going to put the one from skype to the right, each about 2-3 from the center.

Can you point to other shows which do that? I can’t. It’s disorienting to have voices move during dialog. The only time you need stereo is the music segments, bumpers, interstitials, etc. Everything else is centered mono. Even in surround 5.1 and 7.1 movies, the Center channel almost always has all the dialog.

I’ve noticed any higher than 12:00 and I start getting that “oceanic” sound.

Volume changes should not give you special effects. That means there’s something unstable somewhere. Do you play in a band? Have you for a while? Do you have sealed, non-echo canceling headphones?


I’ll see about the audio examples tonight. It is 2 am here. :smiley:

But I will for sure in the morning.

Now that I’m thinking about it, prior to me purchasing anything, I want to make sure I understand something.

I get how I need (mostly without much work) the second laptop in order to use Skype how I want to use it. However, I do not understand how the 2nd UCA202 is going to come into play on the 2nd laptop if I am only going to stream Skype from it. The way I’m looking at it, what if I just skip purchasing a 2nd UCA202 and just plug one of these:

Into the headphone jack of the 2nd Skype laptop and the other 2 ends into the FX Send and the “Line 5/6”.

I guess I am confused how the 2nd sound card is going to connect.

Try it.

For one thing, The Skype computer headphone signal is going to arrive at the mixer mono. That means you will get either Left or Right in the show, not both. You can cure that with a Y cable.

The other end is a lot more of a problem. If the Skype computer connection is a headset, that means it’s expecting a microphone. It’s a one-plug version of this.

FX Send is going to be many times hotter (higher volume) than the connection is expecting. That means, if it works at all, the FX Send knobs are going to be just up from all the way off. We can tell when people do this wrong on the forum because the complaint is always the same. “My volume controls don’t go low enough.”

Some people get away with it. The connection in the laptop may robust enough to deal with it, but the error also gives you The Cellphone Dilemma. It only affects the person at the far end who hears the show loud, dense, crunchy and hard to understand.

If you can find a Skype computer with an actual (blue) Line-In socket, then, yes. That does work. That’s how I did it.


I just experienced forum schizophrenia. If you see my post multiple times, refresh the page.

I did eventually resolve the problem where Denise couldn’t hear the music. The Skype computer had switched away from the music signal and was using the built-in microphone. I assume it did that to “help me.”

Stop helping.

I need to do that test again.


Alright so, here is a test audio. I can hear myself decently in the beginning, however I did turn up the gain afterwards just so you can hear what I was talking about. I didn’t edit this at all. The ambient noise level is pretty silent in the beginning,

Additionally, my co-host via Skype is going to be using an audio technica atr2100, so no headset. I am concerned that he will have to use his headphones on the computer in order to hear the show, and not on the mic. He’s going to plugin straight USB and I’m going to hopefully handle everything on my end.

As far as my headphones go, here is what I am using:
These are plugged straight into the mic line on the UCA202.

If someone wouldn’t mind taking a look at what I am considering purchasing here, I would appreciate it:
I already have an extra monitor etc…

Now, from my understanding. I am going to purchase another UCA202, and plug-in the USB into the new PC, and then plug-in the other end into the Mixer in order to form the Mix Minus. However, I am confused what I am supposed to plug into the microphone slot on the Skype PC.

Thank you.

I’ll listen in a minute.

Please note that performers in all the pictures you’ve ever seen are wearing headphones. Skype is very good about return path management and echo cancellation, but it provides best, clearest sound if it doesn’t have to do that at all. So complete separation between listening and speaking is a good thing.

I asked you about headphones and rock bands because if you’re partially deaf, you will be running the headphone volume at high levels. It’s an odd, but not unheard of problem that the performer’s headphones are up so loud that it leaks and starts feeding back into the microphone.

“What’s that high whistling sound in the background…?”

That’s why recording studios use weapons grade headphones.

I need to come back to this.


Okay. Well I am a musician, however my ears are not the greatest but I think that is from my time in the Marine Corps. Many days did I forget my ear pro on the range and just ran with it anyways.

So that is definitely a possibility.

One of the engineering supervisors at work was being fitted with a hearing aid and was asked if he ever had to listen to a sound that made his ears ring after the sound went away. “Yes,” he said, “I did that for several weeks in Vietnam.”

The ATR2100 is a dynamic (moving coil) microphone and a USB Microphone. Dynamic microphones don’t need 48 volt phantom power, so you can leave that off.

When used with USB (and no mixer), the microphone uses the 5 volts coming up the USB cable to run all the additional tricks like the headphone connection, microphone amplifier, digital conversion, etc. As far as I can tell from the instructions, all those additional tricks stop working when used as a simple dynamic microphone and a mixer. The instructions are not perfectly clear if there is a crossover between the services, so I could easily be corrected. The instructions seem to say that without the USB, it’s just a normal dynamic microphone.

So I understand, the far end will be using an ATR2100 as a USB microphone since he doesn’t have a mixer or any other way to get his voice into the computer? Just to be a little ray of sunshine, here, the only negative comment I saw about this microphone was the USB service wasn’t very good and several users had them fail. The dynamic side of the microphone kept right on sailing, but the USB dropped dead.

I only heard the voice get louder when you cranked the volume up. I didn’t hear any sound damage or odd additional sounds. It is expected that the background noise is going to come up when you increase the volume. Everything comes up when you do that.

There is a target or goal. Live recordings should produce pretty regular peaks into -6dB on the Audacity recording sound meters (attach). The yellow zone in Audacity 2.1.0. Some peaks over are OK and a lot of peaks under are OK. You should not spend a lot of time either under or over. You should never run the sound meters all the way up to 0dB, to the right, the Audacity red zone. That will produce permanent crunchy sound damage. Too low and the voices will not be able to complete with the hiss, buzz and room noises that live down near the left side of the sound meter.

Many people are horrified that they need to watch the meters out the corner of their eyes while the show is recording. That’s what the recording engineer would normally be doing. That’s you now.

OK. Mix-Minus. You hit a sore point. I’m not a Windows elf. All the Skype machine has to do is connect to Skype, have a good USB port or two, and not make noise.

Oh, right. It’s in the same room with a live microphone (or two) so its cooling fans can’t sound like a small aircraft taking off. A very common problem with audiobook readers is an inability to get rid of the computer fan noises.

“What’s that roaring sound in the background?”

The podcast people can do whatever they want, but the audiobook people need to meet ACX/Broadcast sound standards and that means use a quiet room. Without harping on this too much, another advantage to the two laptops I used is neither MacBook makes any noise in normal operation.

So that’s pretty basic. I’m not sure where to go with this.

Anyway to finish up:
These are the Skype machine connections: Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse, Wall power, Network, UCA202.

Audio In to the UCA202 becomes Skype Send and Audio Out from the UCA202 is Skype Receive. There are no analog sound connections to the computer.

It’s up to you to sweet-talk Skype into configuring it’s sound pathways to make that work. I saw configuration settings for that when I did my test, I just screwed them up. I’m pretty sure the config panels are different now. I get urged strongly to upgrade my Skype software every time I log in, so your mileage may vary…

Oh, wait. One more. You should investigate and turn off any Windows Enhanced Services. Windows comes with sound management enabled and it drives people nuts. Maybe that’s what you’re hearing.


If you have any experience with a band, you know all about the Shure SM58. Also known as the Rock Band Microphone.

That’s what your microphone turns into without the USB connection. There is even an SM-58S that has the switch on the side.

You can, if you wish, plug an SM58 into your mixer. Same cable, similar sound.

The far side can’t do that because he needs the USB services to get his to work. The SM58 is a pure dynamic (moving coil) microphone.

Oh, and don’t forget about that switch. “Hey, my microphone is broken!!”

Did you turn it on?


I hope I didn’t frighten you off. You have a good performance voice.

You also happened to choose the most complex possible podcast. Host, Music, Multiple Studio Guests, Call-in. I know high-end broadcast radio shows that aren’t that complicated.

What’s the content? I generally run out of steam about the time your show starts working and it’s up to you to play Producer (upper case P intentional).

So what are you going to Produce? Do you have a totally terrific idea for a gardening show?

I ask that because it’s not written anywhere you have to do the show live. You can record all the pieces and dump them in a pile on the living room floor and cut it together in post production. Over there are all the sound segments, here is the interview, here’s my monolog, there’s the stingers and interstitials. Go.

Pamela is a Windows software package designed to perfectly record a Skype interview on two separate tracks. That’s so you can make corrections and enhancements to one side without affecting the other. I think only Pro and Business can do that. You’re Mileage May Vary.

There are other software packages, but you should be careful about not using MP3 and forced mixed sound files.

I don’t necessarily recommend this, but I’ve seen people at a restaurant cutting together a show on their laptop. I know because I asked them. If you do this on the patio, veranda or lanai, you need a laptop that can compete with sunshine.


There is one other teensy problem. Note that in the above post, I suggest that you have a script for your show. “Two minutes in we’re going to do the remote interview followed by Q and A from the studio guest.”

Winging it is only going to take you just so far. Without some structure, a show quickly falls apart, or turns into a ratty collection that nobody can follow, or wants to.

You could be planning a one-off show, too. I can’t tell because I don’t know what the content is.

Upper case P intentional.


Sorry about not responding, I thought I did but evidently I did not.

Thank you for all of the information, you have been a tremendous help!

I was able to purchase an additional laptop, real cheap, and I was able to run my co-host through Skype, music and sound effects so both of us can hear it, and record the entire thing without any real issues… So that is a win in my book!

The subject of the show is comedy based, and it consists of a couple of friends ranting on specific events that occurred to them recently for about an hour.

The only real issues I ran into were in post-production. My co-host via Skype sounded like he was sitting next to me, however there were various sounds from his side that there unavoidable at the time. He is renting a house with a few other individuals and its difficult to keep the occasional pool ball hit, or microwave beep out. Especially since his roommates have kids. However, I surprisingly was able to get a majority of the noise out very easily, and the noise that was left over, did not detract from the show as it was occasional and very soft volume wise.

I believe you hit the nail on the head though. The setup I am going for is quite complex compared to the standard setup that many individuals use. I’ve realized now that our current gear, while working, is quickly going to be outgrown. However, I am happy that I’ve made this realization slowly as now I can narrow in on exactly what I need and go from there.

Thanks again for the help, I think I’ve got a few more questions now on another matter and I’ll start another post in order to keep these threads on subject. :smiley:

You scared me there for a minute.

Once you have individual pieces and a mixer like this, expansion is not an act of congress. Need more studio guests? Add microphones and a larger mixer. Everything else stays the same.

Josh Turner (no, not that Josh Turner, the other one). Features overdubbing, split screen videos and other tricks on his YouTube channel. On one of them featuring different cities in split screen and a four-part, virtual gospel quartet, his roommate walks through the shot, waves at the camera and leaves.

I like his stuff because it’s almost pure talent. He did a terrific song with he and his girlfriend’s voices, a Zoom H2 recorder, camcorder and a cave.

That was the whole shoot.

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