What’s Wrong With the Behringer Q802USB and How to Fix It.

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The Problem

The Behringer Q802USB mixer doesn’t send audio to the headphone output in both directions (in and out) when using the USB to interface with your computer. In other words, you can’t hear yourself and the audio from the computer (e.g. Skype) at the same time when using the USB connection.

When I did my initial overview video of the Q802USB I didn’t find this quirk. Mostly because I had never seen it before nor did I know that there were mixers that could not do what seemed like an obvious task.  [Read more…]

Webcam Lighting Setup

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One of the biggest ways to make your Google Hangout or any other type of video look its best is to make sure you have good lighting. Really any lighting that you put a little effort into will do wonders. The key is to get adequate amounts of light in front of your face so the audience can easily see you and the camera will look it’s best.

You can accomplish this with any lights you have in the house, office or wherever you are broadcasting from. Often I just use a nice large window (see below) with plenty of daylight coming in. This looks wonderful but can be hard to control. When the clouds pass in front of the sun, your lighting will change dramatically. While I love the look of natural light, the best way to ensure you have consistent, great looking light is by using lights that you control.

Lighting setup for HOA

In the image below you’ll see a more advanced lighting setup that I recently used on my G+ HOA based show, Podcasters’ Roundtable. [Read more…]

TPS084: USB Power and When Do You Need a Mix-Minus?

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You’ve decided you want to record Skype interviews or a remote co-host and you’ve heard about using a mix-minus setup. How do you know if this applies to your podcast?

On this episode I talk about how to know when you need a mix-minus as well how I’m using a new piece of gear to power my mobile podcasting rig without plugging into a wall or having to throw away batteries. Anker USB Battery

There are really only two scenarios where you’ll need to setup a mix-minus for your podcast. The first one is if you want to record Skype and have the person on the other side hear your primary microphone; the mic you are using to record your podcast. In this setup, you need a mix-minus because you have to send the Skype audio back to the person on Skype minus their audio to prevent a feedback loop (hearing their own voice back). The second is if you want to do “live to hard-drive” podcast production. [Read more…]

TPS083: Setting Up a Mix-Minus and Hosting Pitfalls

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If you want to record Skype using a mixer you’re going to need how to setup a mix-minus. The video below will show you how to go about setting that up and the linked post below will describe the entire process as well as show you detailed photographs of how to setup a mix-minus for recording Skype interviews.

A mix-minus allows you to send all the audio going into your mixer (voice, sound fx, music, etc) back to your caller on Skype without them getting their own voice back which would cause a feedback loop where they would hear their own voice. [Read more…]

How to Setup a Mix Minus for Recording Skype

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If you need to setup a mix-minus to record Skype for your podcast, this tutorial will show you the gear* you’ll need and how to connect it all together.

Below is a complete photo walkthrough of the mix-minus setup demonstrated in the video above.

The basic concept of a mix-minus is to input multiple sources of audio into an audio mixer (your microphone, sound cart, phone messages, Skype, etc.) then send that audio back out to Skype, minus (without) the Skype caller’s voice.

This setup is achieved by using an auxiliary output to selectively send certain audio out of the mixer. If you send all the audio that is in the mixer, back to Skype, then the person on the other side will hear a feedback loop of their own voice. So we need to exclude (minus) Skype’s audio (the person’s voice) from going back into Skype.

Depending on your mixer’s manufacture, the auxiliary output may be labeled Aux, FX or Mon Send. They’ll all work as auxiliary outputs in this setup.
[Read more…]

Recording Skype with No Mixer or Software

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Recording a Skype interview can be a tricky process. There are “easy” ways to do this with software like Audio Hijack Pro for Mac and Pamela for Windows but they can still be hard to setup and of course anytime you’re using software you are at risk of it crashing and losing the entire interview. My other complaint about using software is that it’s not as easy to monitor the audio that you are recording to ensure that everything sounds right throughout the recording.

Here’s a very specific setup that while it uses a particular piece gear (ATR2100 or AT2005)* it gives you lots of flexibility with the final audio file(s) as well as a more reliable system for capturing your Skype interviews and achieving latency free monitoring.

In the video I say that you have to have an ATR2100 style microphone. For this exact setup that is true however you can achieve a Skype recording with your audio recorder with any XLR connected microphone (see section below).

[Read more…]

TPS 080: Replacing Podcasts After They’re Published

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Are you waiting to publish your podcast until you’ve gotten everything just right? Stop. Just publish. You’re ready.

I’ve seen more than one podcast delayed by perfection. The first thing to understand is you’ll never be perfect. This episode is a good example of that. In TPS 79: An Alternative to Skype, I left out a very important point but I went back and corrected it on this episode.HOA logo

One of the cool things about podcasting is it’s not perfect and when you make a mistake or figure out how to do something better, you can fix it or update in your next episode. Podcasts are, by definition, episodic in nature meaning they follow a common theme and often tell a story over time. Your podcast is that story and it will never be complete. The journey is the fun part.

Do your best to produce a great sounding podcasting with fantastic content and your audience will enjoy what you’re doing. I tell people all the time to “grow as you go.” Put in your best effort and your show will improve with every episode but you can’t get any better until you actually publish. [Read more…]

TPS 079: An Alternative to Skype

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Ever have an issue with Skype? Choppy connection, hiss in your audio, disconnected from your interviewee or co-host? These are just a few of the issues some podcasters are experiencing when using Skype. However, Skype, in many cases still remains one of the better ways to connect with remote interviewees and co-hosts. But what if there was a reliable substitute? Enter Google Plus Hangouts and Hangouts On-Air.G+ Hangouts

If Skype is working great for your recordings, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’re having any number of issues that Skype often has, consider trying Google Plus Hangouts. [Read more…]

Stop Skype from Dropping Audio Caused by Background and Unwanted Noise

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One thing I’ve noticed during my daily job as a podcast producer and editor is Skype doesn’t like talk-over.

When using Skype to record your podcast, be it with co-hosts or interview guests, making sure everyone’s microphone is well positioned can be the difference between good and bad audio.badSkype

Skype hates talk-over and will often drop audio from one speaker when another is talking at the same time. This usually happens when the primary speaker is saying something REALLY important (Murphy’s Law). [Read more…]

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