TPS Ep. 031 – Mixers, Mix-Minus, and Edirol vs Zoom Comparison

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On this episode I’m talking about new gear in the studio including a Mackie ProFX12 mixer and the Zoom H4n.

I also discuss how I do a mix-minus setup for recording Skype calls. And I’m curious as a podcaster, do you apologize to your audience when you miss your regular schedule?

Learn about why I chose the Mackie mixer and how I set it up to perform a mix-minus which allows you to record a Skype conversation. I also recently bought a Zoom H4n for my HDDSLR video setup and I explain what I like about it in comparison to my other audio recorder, the Edirol R-09HR.

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About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters’ Studio and Podcasters’ Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.


  1. Hey Ray,

    I realize this post is a bit dated, but I figured I would attempt to reach out for your input.

    So, I have a show with a cohost that is not in the same physical location, and I also have the Mackie ProFx12.

    I've attempted a Google Hangout with the two of us on one computer, and a Skype call in option on another computer. Many of our guests aren't set up for HOA, and most of them have Skype, so this the reason for our use of Skype to have that call in feature.

    So I run the mixer through the MBP with the HOA, and the iMac is handling Skype. I have the Mix Minus set up so that the output on the iMac is going into Channel 9/10, and the mono/fx send is going back out to the input of the iMac. Now, The Skype caller can hear me just fine, and of course I've set it up so that they can't hear themselves (thanks for the tip by the way).

    The major issue is that the Skype caller can't hear my co-host, however when he speaks in the HOA I can see the Main Meters on the mixing board moving right along with his voice. I attempted hooking up a third computer with the HOA logged in as a co-host (just myself and 1 other) and running it into another channel, but holy smokes that really jacked up the sound (echos galore).

    Anyway, I was just wondering if you had any insight as to why the Skype caller wouldn't be able to hear the cohost since he's being fed right back into the mixer. I realize this situation may be pretty unique, and I'm pouring over all of my options to keep the HOA feature. Thanks in advance, and again, thanks for the great podcasting tips.


    • If the co-host that you're trying to have the person on Skype hear is also going into the same mixer as you, are you sure that you have the fx dial on the co-hosts channel on the mixer also turned up. In other words, the person on Skype is getting what is coming out of the fx channel on the mixer. Both you aren your co-host need to have your fx dials turned up for the person on Skype. I hope it's something that simple;)

      • Well, the co-host is actually coming through my channel (since we're on the hang out together). I assumed that if I could hear him (co-host), and the meters went up/down when he spoke, then I thought the Skype caller would also hear him. So, if I used an XLR cable splitter, could I then just place him on channel two?

        The set up seems to have a lot of moving parts, and I may just have to use something like soundflower or similar in addition to the mixer.

        Thanks for taking the time.

        • Yeah, bring your cohost into his own channel through a splitter since your voice is coming out of the Hangout just his on your end and put that into it's own channel. Then send him back out to Skype via the FX. If you bring your co-host into the same channel as you only your mic is going to go out and that's why Skype not hearing him…most likely.

          However, if your are sending all of this back into the HOA, then it's going to have a feedback loop of your co-host. So what you can do is send Skype one FX send and HOA the other send MON send if I recall, the mixer is still in boxes following my move;)

  2. Garry Aylott says:

    Really good podcast this one. Can I ask you a real quick question as I've also just picked up the Mackie mixer (mine's the profx8 but same concept)…

    I will be doing a Skype mix-minus setup which I've got my head around (thanks to your YouTube video 🙂 and this part is great, however, can I also record using the same mix-minus concept? What I mean is, the aux/fx send will put audio back to my Mac minus the callers audio – awesome, but, I will be recording to a Roland R-05 and I want the same approach, I don't want the Skype caller on the recording (we record our vocals locally at each end and I align and eq in post).

    Is this possible? Thanks again on the great podcast episode.

  3. You are the man. I have been having an issue with this for some time. Thank you.

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