MIC question - help please!

#21
another method would be to use a different PC for streaming - though if he has two soundcards you can do that as well.

I have one PC (8 year old laptop with dead battery so used on mains) to play out jingles and stream (haven't sent this to any livestream yet but seems to work in tests) and external mixer (a larger version of the Behringer with slide type faders and onboard USB card) - the usb card of this mixer is the feed to the stream, a second cheap USB soundcard is fed into two of the mixer stereo channels providing 4 cart players across these channels. the software used is freeware developed for a schools' radio station in the Netherlands,

more on the studio is here. being a former pirate DJ and also having done a bit of work on legal community stations when I lived in SE England I prefer to run the mixer analogue and only use basic carts/playout than automation (though I used to work on those systems for pro broadcasters!)

The mixer does have a customised electronic module to turn off the loudspeakers against feedback (and put on red lamps) which would be harder to do on one with rotary faders..

Alex

VFRmedia EPC » ratcoTEL networks (rtn)
Its a great idea, but the issue with this is that you now take great hardware, and by running your other computer into the mixer, you take the brilliance of a digital output, and nurf it with the TS turning it into signal, not to mention so many connections (3.5 to TS duel stereo channel on mixer, to TS to 3.5 mm to soundcard)

NOW. The answer of why it doesnt want to play nice? Because your using an onboard soundcard with an AISO compliant device. The answer is Converting your Soundcard to play with AISO with AISO4ALL, and then using a AISO stack to get all channels on a single AISO audio source. Then use EDCAST AISO from Edcast reborn. Presto.... Digital bliss, and AISO4ALL will tweak your card's audio quality to push out some 24-32 bit capability, by utilizing that microsecond buffer.

Just make sure your calculated buffer ='s your soundcards from your mic, or your voicewtracking will sound off from the audio.
 
#22
another method would be to use a different PC for streaming - though if he has two soundcards you can do that as well.
I think I will have to consider the option about using two soundcards (although I wonder if there's any on the market with a USB input for the microphone - should be since I guess many people are using USB microphones not only for recording but also for live streaming).

I finally resorted to another solution (thanks to both Danny here and Robert from the US, who were more than kind to assist me): I plugged the mic into the mixer via XLR, connected the mixer's output to the computer's line in (to get the microphone sound) and used wave out mix setting in edcast to be able to combine both the music I am playing with the mic when we need to make an announcement. Though Robert says this is not the optimal solution as the mic's sound quality won't be the same as when connected via USB.

I looked over the equipment you set, and read all the page. Man, I'm wordless. I wouldn't be able to connect half of the cables and gear you have there :) I'm merely an English teacher with this hobby..I had to create our station with a very low budget, and I really mean low. The school did not provide a single penny, only two or three people in town having small businesses accepted to provide smalls sums. The rest came from my own salary.

Anyway, I was able to buy a good microphone and a small mixer which allow us for music recordings (this is an arts highschool so many talented students in need to practice their voice). That was not the only purpose intended, as I wanted to make them used to talk live in front of a mike and express themselves, not only play music. I was and still am proud because this is rather unique in my country, I also created a website for them, to make requests, so lot of work and passion led to all this. I want to install one or two loudspeakers in the schoolyard or even try an FM project later on, if things allow me.

I downloaded the peak and vu meters which really look nice (I wanted to get such things before, but with all my search on the net I couldn't find any). As for the Freeplayer, it seems I need to create an account there before downloading it. I'll wait for the validation first. I have a question - does it allow for edcast plug-in to be used along it? Because we need edcast to stream and stop the auto-dj function in order to stream live, a thing which shoutcast does not. It's frustrating using Winamp which won't let for mixing but only for playing.
 

General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
#23
Its a great idea, but the issue with this is that you now take great hardware, and by running your other computer into the mixer, you take the brilliance of a digital output, and nurf it with the TS turning it into signal, not to mention so many connections (3.5 to TS duel stereo channel on mixer, to TS to 3.5 mm to soundcard)
As you are clearly clued up music and audio-wise, I'm intrigued as to what shockingly bad equipment you must have encountered to have got such a low opinion of analogue audio - which when correctly configured (this is important) sounds just as good - but it still doesn't mean having to spend thousands on pro audio kit.

To be fair your advice on how to do it digitally might work for the application in jaydreem's school, but for those who aren't IT literate its not as easy as it might seem, and even for those who are it can still be a damn nightmare.

as for my studio, maybe the cheap camera I took the pics on super wide angle setting with (because I was too lazy to fetch a decent one but will probably do that for the next shots) might have exaggerated the physical size of the studio, but its not as big as it looks - I am a British Asian chap who isn't very tall and the room its in isn't huge so the cable runs aren't long at all.

For really important kit (like the midi controller and its own local mixer) the audio cables are balanced (which is probably overkill for that distance!). Other items go to the desk via dual audio transformers - surprisingly good ones can be obtained for £5 from CPC. if you look at my blog post "the strange tale of the Cheeseweasel special" this explains why they are there.

The whole lot has been tested with both various audio analysers and most importantly my ears (which are in good shape for someone at age 40, can still hear up to just under 19 KHz ) - for internet radio you are not going to get much more bandwidth than this.

Of course if money were no object I would be considering digital, particularly a D&R Lyra series console but thats as much due to the ergonomics of it than it simply being digital. Digtial has advantages in distribution and transmission, Internet radio would not work otherwise, but ears are still analogue ;)

Also important are ergonomics and usability. - the setup is essentially a miniaturised version of a normal local radio broadcast studio used in the UK or Europe for specialised dance music programs where there are proper DJ sets with beatmixing but where there may be speech or other inserted material.

I am not a great fan of the sort of "robot DJ" stations around these days, or excessive use of digital plugins for compression etc if folk want to use these its their choice but way too many are doing this.

I am also aware of DAW's and digital controllers being used to emulate a broadcast mixer (which would keep everything digital actually might work out slightly cheaper than even a budget broadcast featured console) but my concern is if the PC running the lot crashes and you are on air, you will end up feeling (and sounding) very foolish. and unless you are very self-disciplined there is the temptation to load this up with all manner of VSTs, effects etc, until you eventually end up with a flaky one...
 
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General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
#24
I downloaded the peak and vu meters which really look nice (I wanted to get such things before, but with all my search on the net I couldn't find any).
if you let me know what country you are in I can advise you which one is best to use, and what to teach your students to set as a good level.

in Europe we should be using a digital PPM from -60dBFS to 0dB - with most signals peaking at -18 dBFS. I am not sure what broadcasters of other nations do.

You can change the level of the "CLIP" or "OVER" warning light to discourage people from getting overexcited and still leave enough headroom to stop them actually clipping the signal. there are various other scales but these are for analogue transmission and recording and becoming obsolete (even the PPM is being replaced by loudness meters but that would need a thread of its own).

As for the Freeplayer, it seems I need to create an account there before downloading it. I'll wait for the validation first. I have a question - does it allow for edcast plug-in to be used along it? Because we need edcast to stream and stop the auto-dj function in order to stream live, a thing which shoutcast does not. It's frustrating using Winamp which won't let for mixing but only for playing.
Freeplayer is near enough an entire automation system. There is even a scheduler to go with it (this costs about €30) but it will also do semi automated playout. It can be a bit quirky but there are workarounds for the small bugs. TBH I only use it for jingles and that particularly good clock.

and for eddcast I use the standalone version rather than in winamp, as my music comes from a device called a midi controller which mixes digital audio files but gives you the same functionality as the old vinyl turntables (hence why the channel its connected to is still marked "GRAMS" - I previously worked as an engineer for a company supplying various broadcasters worldwide, and many English ones still use this old term even when the playout is digital).
 
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#25
if you let me know what country you are in I can advise you which one is best to use, and what to teach your students to set as a good level.
I live in Romania. I downloaded three of them. The problem is none of them work anymore. Last night when I first installed them they were ok. Maybe I need to re-install them, I think.

Freeplayer is near enough an entire automation system. and for eddcast I use the standalone version rather than in winamp.
I took a look at it. But I could not find where the server's login data for streaming can be inserted (like in edcast). I would also like to change the crossfading time. Does it have a function to beatmatch songs in automatic mode?
 

General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
#26
I live in Romania. I downloaded three of them. The problem is none of them work anymore. Last night when I first installed them they were ok. Maybe I need to re-install them, I think.
check the setting for the sound card they are monitoring hasn't disapppeared (especially if it was the USB mic now connected as analogue!) - also moving USB sound devices around ports means they are detected as a different device

the one you most probably want goes from -60 to 0 scale. Perhaps you could use the other EBU one but thats more obsolete though if you wish I'll try and find out what audio level meter is used in Romania....

I took a look at it. But I could not find where the server's login data for streaming can be inserted (like in edcast). I would also like to change the crossfading time. Does it have a function to beatmatch songs in automatic mode?
there is a mixedit function but I don't use it and have never got it to work.

BTW though I have no commercial vested interest, as a dance music fan and DJ this is really not the sort of thing I'd encourage. I've got it on my software and never use it. for one thing computers cannot always correctly detect beats even on dance music and you will end up with a mix which sounds really rough.

whilst a music scene often linked to hedonism and drugs isn't as comparable as vital education for young people, I'm sure if you gave some homework to to your class in Romanian to translate to English that those who merely put it through Google Translate would not get very good grades. Similarly in high school (well at least when I went many years ago) you were not allowed to use electronic calculators for your first maths exam (and these were common and affordable in 1980s England).

Coincidentally this week a Romanian club DJ asked if he could play on the online station associated with Party Vibe, an EDM based youth lifestyle forum I help run. First a caveat - I don't know what age group normally attends high school in RO and though the online radio itself is relatively inoffensive, the forum is based around Western European values of free speech and tolerance.

Contentious subjects like drugs, sex and challenging authority are regularly discussed there, and strong language is used. I'd personally suggest it is only suitable to those age 14 or over, though its usually only after age 16 that young people's musical tastes specialise and they would become interested in something lime EDM.

However if you teach the 16-18 age group as well and encouraging them to participate on such a forum isn't going to get you berated in your countrys papers and struck off from teaching (especially with recent govt changes even a teacher in England would be wary about doing so!) then feel free to direct them to our site as there are many helpful young people who also DJ,..
 
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#27
check the setting for the sound card they are monitoring hasn't disapppeared (especially if it was the USB mic now connected as analogue!) - also moving USB sound devices around ports means they are detected as a different device
I have checked that (that was my first reaction, too) and it shows "SoundMAX Digital Audio". Nothing is connected to the USB ports. I turned on the computer in the same state as I turned it off yesterday.

the one you most probably want goes from -60 to 0 scale. Perhaps you could use the other EBU one but thats more obsolete though if you wish I'll try and find out what audio level meter is used in Romania.
Well that's not so important. I mean, I have some colleagues in the teachers room coming now and then and saying "the music is too loud, turn it down!" so we usually go out on the corridor with every song that begins to make a "ear check". But there are different levels we use, for instance when there's noise from the kids (we also have primary classes in the morning and they are the noisiest, obviously) and when we have a reasonable silence level to be able to hear the music. This is something I can monitor and make a few tests with them and establish a "right level" for each of these parts of the day.

for one thing computers cannot always correctly detect beats even on dance music and you will end up with a mix which sounds really rough.
Now I understand why with every music software I tried before, I could not get a clear beatmatch. Most notable was when I tried with Virtual Dj or Traktor - quite disappointed because I thought I could leave the computer do the whole work and I was supposed just to watch and listen :)

I'm sure if you gave some homework to to your class in Romanian to translate to English that those who merely put it through Google Translate would not get very good grades.
Yes, I have noticed that and that is why I ask them to do the translation exercises in class. When I was their age my teachers laid much stress on this type of drill but nowadays textbooks rely more on conversation and fill in type of tasks.

I don't know what age group normally attends high school in RO and though the online radio itself is relatively inoffensive, the forum is based around Western European values of free speech and tolerance.
They usually start when they're 14 and graduate on 18. Though democratic values are also highly promoted here as well, there are still some of their parents who lived during communism and would raise an eyebrow if trying to suggest their children "questionable" actions. Children are ok and open-minded, but not all their parents feel the same (unfortunately).

its usually only after age 16 that young people's musical tastes specialise and they would become interested in something like EDM.
This is not a problem with them. They usually have a certain preference before coming to our school, starting from a younger age. The only issue is their tastes in music are so different that I have to sort of satisfy all of them. For example there is a distinct group who prefers rock, which my colleague teachers are not so fond of (not to mention the primary school kids) so I have to have a balance of the type of music we are playing so not to "upset" anyone. Lately there were requests from some of them to play dub-step music so I had to search for something that would be suitable for school environment. I do have a student who likes creating electronic music songs and I help him sometimes with lyrics for his songs. Another one is talented with hip-hop music and comes quite often to record his creations with the microphone I talked about before. It was actually one of the main reason I invested into this project, to help them, primarily, with their passion for music. There are some girls with really astonishing voice and I tried to promote them as much as I could organizing some mini-concerts with them.

However if you teach the 16-18 age group as well and encouraging them to participate on such a forum isn't going to get you berated in your countrys papers and struck off from teaching (especially with recent govt changes even a teacher in England would be wary about doing so!) then feel free to direct them to our site as there are many helpful young people who also DJ.
I teach to children from 6 to 18 years old. I think the one I said before who creates electronic music might be interested, I will tell him about this. What I intend as a project in the future would rather be find similar schools or teachers running similar projects as mine and try a sort of collaboration with them. While English lessons with me might feel boring for my students I think that might catch their attention as they tend to feel attraction to talking to native English speakers (something I lack myself, too).
 
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