Question about mixing boards

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by SentinelBlythe, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. SentinelBlythe

    SentinelBlythe Active Member

    Hi there. I'm brand new to all of this, and I want to use a mixer for Streaming, but I have a few questions.

    1. Can a mixer be programmed to just change volume levels? For example, if I left a music program playing in the background, could I program the mixer to be able to adjust the volume of the music playing on my PC for use with intermissions and such.

    2. If this is possible, what would be the best mixer to do this with? I'd prefer a smaller board.

    3. If I have it programmed to adjust volume levels for my music and games, could I still use it at the same time to adjust levels on my mic?

    Sorry if these are stupid questions. As I said, I'm new, and I usually don't get so technical with things, but I've been wanting to get into it. Until now, I've been a basic plug-and-play person. Is there any tips you guys could also leave me for this?
  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Hi SentinelBlythe,

    This could be acheived using a DAW or Digital Audio Workstation program such as Reaper on your PC (which is free to download for an unlimited trial...if you want to purchase the program down the track it is only $60US) and you could bypass the mixer altogether.

    This would be the most simplest and straight-forward approach IMO. You could program the volume level via track automation of the track or songs to taste, adding your intermissions as you go where required. You would just drop your tracks or songs straight into Reaper by clicking and dragging them onto the screen...then simply export them to your desktop or music folder once you have got your track how you want it. If you need to go back and edit your track it will recall it just as you left it.

    Reaper can be found here

    Here is a video to give you an idea of how you would go about this.

    I hope this helps. I think this would be the easiest and simplest method for what you want to do.

    - Sean.
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    If he's talking about live streaming then DAW automation won't help. Someone will have to manually operate the mixer, whether it's analog, digital or virtual. They will have to turn the music up for intermissions and back down for the program.
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    1. No. If it's live streaming you can use your finger to lower the volume, or use a Compressor with sidechain that will compresse the music when you talk.

    2. At this point, I'm not sure you need a mixer.. many streaming application exist with all the feature you may need.

    3. we need to define what you want to achive first.

    Sentinel, what do you want to do ? For me streaming is the action to send audio and/or video on a network (mostly internet now a day) to other computers so people can listen to it.
    If you talk about streaming audio while playing a game, many games have their own engine and therefor you are limited to what they allow you to do.

    Please try to describe your plan ;)
  5. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Is the OP referring to live streaming? would be good if he can give us a little more info in regards to what application he is referring to.

    With his reference to music playing on his PC, I didn't read it as that being the case.

    Good pickup guys if live streaming is the intended use, I never took that scenario into account.
    There are no stupid questions here, RO is a problem based learning forum and members are here to help you answer any questions you may have, we just need you to expand on what your intended use is.;)
  6. SentinelBlythe

    SentinelBlythe Active Member

    I'm sorry, I should have been more clear. My bad! I'm live streaming over, and I was wondering if there's some kind of mixing board that can adjust the volumes of multiple programs. For example, one fader knob to adjust Spotify, one for the game, one for each program basically, and another small set for my mic to adjust what ever settings I'll need to adjust.

    For one example, a live streamer I watch has a mixer board for voice changing, and for beat mixing when he does beat boxing now and then in stream. His only adjusts his mic, however, and I want mine to only change programs. Like, basically instead of going into the basic "Volume Mixer" on the task bar of my PC and adjusting it there, I was wondering if there's a board that I can use to do that so I wouldn't have to tab out or switch scenes just to change volumes. Sorry if this is still a crappy description, I'm awful at describing things that I don't know much about...
  7. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Ok, that helps.

    I'm not one who uses live streaming myself, so maybe another member who does may be able to chime in here and help you...maybe @bouldersound or @pcrecord may know a little more?
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry I don't livestream either.. but I know enough about computers to guess that if you had a multitrack audio interface, many software allows you to choose on which output of the card the audio will go. So It's safe to say that if you can exit the computer on multiple channels, you can then send the audio in an external mixer and send the mix back to an input of the interface that would be your signal to stream. . .
    But what I say assumes that every softwares in play allows to choose the audio output among many available... If so, I'm pretty sure, an application could make it happen within the computer instead of outside the computer.

    There's a lot of streaming solutions you can explore and ask questions to their maker : is the first that seems to go toward your needs
    if not those :
  9. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    What you want is a "control surface". It looks like a mixing board but it's just a hardware controller for software mixing.
    pcrecord likes this.
  10. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    If you used a local (on your own computer) playlist, you could even out the volumes to a large extent using something as simple as the "Sound Check" option in iTunes. As far as having the volume come up during an 'intermission", you might use either a software or hardware 'ducker' that will automatically push the volume down on the music channel for as long as you're talking into the mic. And even that could be very distracting unattended, unless it was capable of long release-times, so the music wouldn't get loud every time you paused for a second or two.

    But I have a feeling you may have bigger obstacles. If the right/wrong people take notice of your webcast, you're going to eventually run into licensing issues rebroadcasting a Spotify playlist as your background music - especially if you're thinking about playing hit songs, or really anything even recognizable. When a professional radio station has a segment where they let the DJ ramble on about whatever, and they want a music bed under the segment, it's usually some royalty-free instrumental groove they've paid a one-time fee for, to avoid paying royalties per-play. That saves them money, plus the listener isn't distracted by the song and hopefully listens to what the DJ is saying.
    Brien Holcombe likes this.
  11. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Maybe get something like the Behringer CMD-MM-1. That particular hardware comes with DJ software.

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