How to take live phone or Skype calls, managing Audacity plugins, effectiveness of podcast cards, live-streaming a Skype conversation, how to get a chatroom, and multiple USB mics/inputs on Windows.
Podcast cards are effective
Fred Casteneda from Struggling Entrepreneur podcast responded to tip #7 from “9 Tips for Growing Your Audience by Attending Social-Media Events“: “Bring blog/podcast cards.” He has used podcast-specific “business” cards since 2006 and has great success. Here examples of Fred’s cards.
Live-streaming a Skype conversation with chatroom
I listened to your episode on reasons to do live podcasts. I do have this annual, joint-live-podcast coming up and I am in a hurry to get everything prepared. I’ve been looking around for the best way to do things, but I figured I could just ask you real quick and you would probably have the answers.
- I would like to stream a Skype conversation to something embedded in my WordPress site.
- I would like to have a chat like on noodle.mx/live where people do not have to make an account to participate
- I would like for people in the audience to be able to call in to our Skype conversation.
Suggestions? =) Thank you very much for your help with everything.
For simplicity, I recommend using Mixlr to stream your Skype conversation’s audio. But you could end up with a mess of cables trying to get both you and your cohost back into Mixlr’s input. There are two ways you should do this.
- Use two computers: one for Skype and one for Mixlr (or other live-streaming service). Setup a mixer for Skype mix-minus, send your mixer’s main output to Mixlr’s input.
- One one computer with two inputs: Setup a mixer for Skype mix-minus, send your mixer’s main output to your computer’s second input, and set Mixlr to use that second input device.
Taking live calls
- Setup a mixer for Skype mix-minus.
- Create a Google Voice phone number, or use your current one.
- Go into your Google Voice settings > Phones, and set to forward to Google Chat.
- Open that Google Gmail account and make sure you’re logged into Gtalk.
- Receive phone calls to your Google Voice number and use it just like Skype.
Other services you could use would be Talkshoe or BlogTalkRadio just for the incoming call. You could also forward your feedback number to your wireless phone, and connect that to a mixer with a simple iPod AV cable (works on almost any modern phone with a headphones jack). Their voice usually comes through the red and white cables, your voice usually goes through the yellow cable. I’ll cover these in more detail, with more options, in a future episode.
Managing Audacity plugins
My question is about all the plugins in Audacity. I read through some of the team notes, and it seems they are a ways off from dividing them up into subsets like Adobe Audition does (for example). I wondered if you have given much thought to that, and how you manage the sheer volume of plugin effects.
There are only a few that I really use. Amplify, Noise Removal, Normalize to start. I would like a few EQ options, as well as some reverb. And Chris’s Dynamic Compressor of course!
I was thinking of creating a folder named “Plugins (not in use)”. Then I could drag all the other plugins into that folder. I would have them available if I ever wanted them, but it would clean up my Audacity interface immensely.
I have been experimenting with this and it has not crashed Audacity, so that’s good news. I had downloaded the LAPSDA plug-ins, so my list was over 100 items! I found a listing online by the guy who made most of the LAPSDAs and that helped me to see what ones might be useful for me. I weeded out the others. Now I will have to play around and whittle my list down some more. I would ideally like the list of effects to all be visible on the screen without scrolling.
This is a great tip and works well! Just remember that this will be undone when you update Audacity, as the plugins will be thrown right back into the plugins folder.
Multiple USB mics/inputs on Windows
Hi, I am a podcaster and I use a program called Virtual Audio Cable [$30]. It has a bit of a learning curve but it allows you to make multiple audio cables and tell various sources of sound including outputs to route through those cables, You can then use Audacity to take one of those cables as an input. It is kind of hard to explain. There are some youtube videos about it.
Thanks! This is a great Windows alternative to making an aggregate device in OS X.
I’m back to Chris’s Dynamic Compressor
After the Audacity Compressor Plugin Showdown, I decided to give Levelator a better chance. But it didn’t work out well for me because of the low noise level I receive and size of my audio files. Levelator was much slower than Chris’s Dynamic Compressor, so I’m back to Chris’s great plugin. But your results may vary.
My frustrations with Disqus and Livefyre
What do you wish you did differently when you started and can’t change now?
I’d like your feedback and stories for a future episode to talk about the things podcasts need to get right the first time. These would be things that can’t be fixed later. This would be stuff like using a free website that gets shutdown without redirection, or many other things.
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