Taking a Skype call during your recording is not quite as simple as pressing record and taking a call - you'll find that your caller gets an echo and feedback in their headphones which is caused by their voice, and may be unable to talk or record properly.
To eliminate the feedback in their headphones a 'mix-minus' is used to send the audio coming through your mixer back to Skype 'minus' (without) the callers voice - thereby eliminating the feedback.
Here's a breakdown of how we record Skype calls in the Whooshkaa studio.
What you'll need:
You'll need a Mixer with at least one Auxiliary Send Channel. Something like a Behringer Q1202 works well for a home recorder
Computer with input and output
A computer with both an Audio Input and Audio Output is needed. Most desktops and laptops should have dedicated Input and Output ports. If your computer has only one (Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air for example) only has one combined port you may need an adapter like the Griffin iMic 2.
Skype or Google Hangouts
Install Skype, Google Hangouts or another VOIP application on your computer
This tutorial focuses on microphones that use an XLR cable, which are generally the most common
Having the right cables is the most important part of the mix-minus setup.
- 3.5mm to Dual 1/4" Stereo Cable - these are easy to find online, at a local DJ or electronics store. If you're considering taking mobile phone calls in your podcasts buy two of these.
- 3.5mm to 1/4" Cable - these are easy to find online, at a local music or electronics store
A set of headphones or earphones with a 1/4" jack is also needed. If your earphones have a 3.5mm jack you can buy an inexpensive converter online.
Setting up your mixer:
Set up your mixer and equipment so it looks like this:
1. Microphone into Port 1 - plugged in via XLR
2. 3.5mm to 1/4" jack to 'AUX Send'/ 'FX Send' Port - This is connected to your computers Input. Your mixing board may call this jack 'FX Send' or 'AUX Send' This is how Skype will receive the audio from your mixer.
3. Headphones to 'Phones' Port
4. 3.5mm to Dual 1/4" to a Line with Dual Inputs - - This is connected to your computers Output (or Headphone Jack.) This will bring the sound out from your computer and into the mixing board.4. 3.5mm to Dual 1/4" to a Line with Dual Inputs -
Adjust your levels to suit and you're ready to go.