How to Setup a Mix Minus for Recording Skype

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.
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Recording Skype with No Mixer or Software

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).

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Soundation Adds Audio Recording and Editing to G+ Hangouts and Hangouts On-Air

UPDATE: Soundation is limited to a ten minute record time which essentially makes this unusable for podcasting. I’m talking with the devs to see if there is a solution moving forward for podcasters. Stay tuned.

Soundation is a new Add-on for Hangouts and Hangouts On-Air that lets you record audio inside a Hangout. Why is that so cool? Cause you can produce a high quality podcast with separate channels of audio for post production all inside the wonderful UI of Hangouts/HOA.soundation

It’s essentially an easy system for doing double-ender recordings with anyone in a Hangout!

BOTTOM LINE: This workflow is not for the average podcaster but for those who are trying to get the top quality productions, G+ now gives you the ability to produce a high quality, fully featured podcast (720p video, .wav audio, all live-streamed) wow.

I might sound a little more excited than reasonable but that’s because this is something I’ve been wanting to see for awhile now; so much so that I almost had it created on my own. I’m excited someone built it and built it well.

Here’s my walkthrough video showing how I will use this for the production of one of my shows, Podcasters’ Roundtable.

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Earn Money When Someone Subscribes to Your Podcast in iTunes.

iTunesDid you know you can earn money when someone subscribes to your podcast in iTunes?

It’s true, iTunes has an affiliate program. Create icons, banners, text links and more by signing up with the iTunes affiliate program and you can start earning commissions when someone uses your link to buy items on iTunes.

If you’re already sending people to iTunes to subscribe to your podcast, you might as well earn a little money in return if they happen to buy music, apps, or movies while they are there. [Read more…]

Stop Skype from Dropping Audio Caused by Background and Unwanted Noise

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…]

Mixing Color Temperatures in Your Video Lighting Setup

When shooting video podcasts, light is probably your most important factor.

Digital video needs light and often times, lots of it. You can help a bad video camera look better with a well lit scene or make your high end video camera look professional by knowing some basics about lighting.

In the video below you’ll see a demonstration of how I’m mixing light. I’m using a large window as my “key” (main) light, a small LED light for a “fill” light and I’m illuminating the background with a simple “can” light (a cheap aluminum tin purchased at any hardware store with a household bulb placed inside).

I’m playing around with mixing color temperatures (Kelvins) as well as using an extreme angle. Experimenting is a great way to find your own “look.” [Read more…]

How To Disable Skype’s Auto Gain and Echo Cancellation Controls

Your version of Skype might be doing a couple things with your audio that you don’t want it to. Here’s how to fix it.

To disable Skype’s auto gain control (AGC) for both Mac (5.6.0.143 and later) and PC versions, simply go into your Preferrences > Audio/Video and deselect the Automatic Microphone Control checkbox. [Read more…]

PQT – Disable Skype’s Auto Gain Control

If you weren’t already aware, Skype is likely controlling your audio levels. As podcasters, we want to make sure we are in control of all our settings all of the time. This is how you can make sure Skype isn’t changing your audio quality.

Skype just released (03/06/12) a new version of it’s software for the Mac (version 5.6.0.143). In this release they placed a check-box (already found in the Windows version) for controlling Skype’s auto gain control (AGC). What AGC does is listen to the proximity of your voice to the microphone and adjust the volume as necessary so that the person on the other end can always hear you at a decent level. However, as podcasters, we don’t want anyone besides us deciding what our gain level should be and we certainly don’t want it to change during recording.

Now you can simply go into your preferences audio/video settings and uncheck the “Automatically Adjust Microphone Settings” box. Then go into your computer’s settings and set the level you want your mic to be.

When enabled, AGC will constantly adjust the level of your audio based on your relationship to the mic and whether or not you are speaking into it. During times of silence or if you move too far away from the mic, this can cause the “noise floor” to be raised higher thus producing an audible hiss. Disabling AGC will help to prevent unwanted noise.

Links mentioned in this episode
How to disable Skype’s AGC and EC with HTML code

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