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Bobthedog

Mic help required

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Posted (edited)

Not sure where to post this.

 

Due to Covid 19 and being high risk, I am about to switch to Skype lessons with my bass tutor.

The question is would it work to set up Skype to use my Scarlett 2i4 as the input for both mic and bass. The thought being I could play my bass and the tutor will get better sound rather than using the built in Mac computer microphone. If I buy a dedicated vocal mike I could then use the Scarlett at the same time to speak? It seems Skype will only let me use either the mac mic or the scarlett, not both together.

If this makes sense, what mic and type would you recommend bearing in mind, I want reasonable quality but will not be recording singing (for the time being)? Is this a reasonable option: Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone?

I have Adam Audio monitors connected to the Scarlett

Edited by Bobthedog

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As long as you have phantom power on the interface it'll be fine with that mic (in fact there are probably cheaper options to be honest). But..... it sounds a bit like overkill to me to be honest, a practice amp in the room and the mic input on the computer would be fit for purpose unless your tutor is listening through high quality gear, you want to record what you're playing, or you want to keep noise levels down and/or use headphones

But hell, go for it, it's new gear, and we all need new gear from time to time :)

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20 minutes ago, Bobthedog said:

If I buy a dedicated vocal mike I could then use the Scarlett at the same time to speak?

This is a Mike

image.thumb.png.38d69bfb3f8bd1137bb44de0e9b0bcb8.png

and this is a micimage.png.97c6aaf6288b50ba6250c2df3132c903.png

 

Sorry, couldn't resist, and can't go to the pub so bored :) 

  • Haha 2

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I have faffed about trying to do this a couple of times. As far as I can tell, Skype just will not recognise two audio inputs, it can only be configured with one 'Mic' input from one source.

A sngle room mic for voice and the amp will work. I would try that first, or even just the webcam mic.

If you had a separate mixer so you could mix before the interface, and then send the combined signal, that might work.  But you still need to hear the bass, and your vocal mic would pick up speakers, so you need headphones too. Which all gets a bit fiddly. 

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9 minutes ago, Richard R said:

I have faffed about trying to do this a couple of times. As far as I can tell, Skype just will not recognise two audio inputs, it can only be configured with one 'Mic' input from one source.

A single room mic for voice and the amp will work. I would try that first, or even just the webcam mic.

If you had a separate mixer so you could mix before the interface, and then send the combined signal, that might work.  But you still need to hear the bass, and your vocal mic would pick up speakers, so you need headphones too. Which all gets a bit fiddly. 

That is an interesting point and partially the reason for my question. I was trying to convince myself the the Scarlett is only one source into the Mac, albeit being fed from two inputs. I can mix using the direct monitor knob on the Scarlett (at least that is what I am telling myself). The hope being I could talk and play at the same time.  I have already ordered the mic(!) so worst case is I can hopefully use it for singing at home at some point in the near future (the wife tells me I have a good voice, I am not so sure so lessons could be on the things to whilst at home for the next month or so). Tomorrow will be the first Skype lesson but also one using the Mac built in mic.

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34 minutes ago, Bobthedog said:

That is an interesting point and partially the reason for my question. I was trying to convince myself the the Scarlett is only one source into the Mac, albeit being fed from two inputs. 

It is, but that doesn’t guarantee that Skype will see it the same way

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Posted (edited)

I would use a software mixer like VoiceMeeter to solve this problem. https://www.vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/

- Send both the inputs from your interface into a single virtual audio bus, and then set Skype to use the output of that bus as its microphone input.

- Send the output from Skype to your interface and have Direct Monitoring turned on so you can hear your bass.

(A word of caution if you do choose VoiceMeeter in particular: take a note of your computer's default audio input and output sources before installing.  VoiceMeeter likes to insert itself as the default, and you'll want to undo that after installing, unless you plan to have VoiceMeeter running all the time.)

 

Edit: Just noticed you're using a Mac.  VoiceMeeter is PC only, I think, but the principle is the same for any software solution

https://www.rogueamoeba.com/loopback/     perhaps?

Edited by linear
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As mentioned above, you'll need something that makes your Multiple inputs looks like a single input for Skype. The other thing you might get away with is two mono inputs used as a single stereo one. It will depend on your interface, If you've got a pair of mic inputs and a mic level DI for the bass that might work. A software mixer will probably be simpler and more flexible. The key is that it has to give you an input, not an output. If it didn't, you need to use something like loopback to turn output to input.

Bear in mind that once you've faffed and got it working, Skype / Zoom etc will compress the crap out of the audio and make it a bit worse again, I think it's still worth it though. You can test it with the Skype call testing service, or by having a meeting with yourself and recording it in Zoom.

I use Windows for various reasons, and I do it a different way as I wanted the output from my DAW (my piano is virtual anyway), so I can't offer any more specific help.

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Posted (edited)

IIRC Macs have a protocol built in at system level which allows some software to “see” multiple interfaces as a single one. I’ve never needed to use it myself so I don’t know how effective it will be with software that isn’t a DAW.

Edit: it’s in the Audio MIDI Set up and what you want is a function called create aggregate device.

Edited by BigRedX
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I’ve successfully used aggregate devices, specifically an Apogee Duet 2 and a Yamaha THR desktop amp. Absolutely no problems and a brilliant way to get more inputs, should you require them.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all.

I looked at several options, including Blackhole as a software option (could not begin to understand that one) but ended up with a Yamaha MG06 mixer with the AT2020 and desktop pedal board (MXR Bass DI and Hyper Luminal Comp) plugged into inputs one and two of the MG06 with the left output of the MG06 into input one of the Scarlett 2i4. All seems  to work a treat, abeit with a lot of knob fiddling on the mixer (also had to select Mono to get it all blended properly). Photo of my lesson set up this morning as below (note this is purely for personal fun and am not trying to get studio quality sound):

 

IMG_0333.jpg

Edited by Bobthedog

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