Putting Live Callers On The Air

Posted By on Feb 03 2009 12:00 AM
Many people have asked this question. How can I put callers live on my station? Well here is a nice little guide I'm putting together for people that want to be able to do this cheaply and easily. If you are looking for high quality phone audio and are willing to spend a good bit of money, I recommend the JK Audio Host http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=HOST

If you have any comments or idea on how things can be done better, please feel free to post them. If you run into any problems, post them here and I'll try to help you. Please note that this is the best solution for me with my Behringer Eurotrack UB1222FX-PRO. It may not work with other mixers.

Solution 1:
Get a phone that has speaker phone capabilities and talk to your caller this way with your mic on broadcasting live. You may want to get a separate mic just for the phone to pick up the caller's voice this way.
Advantages: Is easy, is cheap, and you can use your current phone line
Disadvantages: Sounds horrible and you have to pay land line phone prices which can get expensive.

Solution 2:
Items Needed:
2 1/4'' to 1/8'' Patch Cables
Mixer with a monitor output option (Most Behringer mixers have this. If you're not sure what to look for, post your mixer brand and model number and I'll tell you)
2nd Computer with Skype or other VOIP software capable of connecting with regular phone lines

1.Take one of the 1/4'' to 1/8'' Patch Cables and plug the 1/8'' end of the cable into the output on the soundcard of the 2nd computer with Skype on it. Then plug the 1/4'' end of the cable into one of the channels on your mixer.

2. Take the other 1/4'' to 1/8'' Patch Cable and plug the 1/8'' end of the cable into the input on the soundcard of the 2nd computer with Skype on it. Then plug the 1/4'' end of the cable into the monitor output on the mixer.

3. To actually have the caller on the air, call the person using your VOIP program and un-mute the channel which you have the 2nd computer running into. On berhinger mixers, find the channel you have your mic running into, and find the moniter knob. Make sure that is is turned up a decent amount. Your should now be able to talk with the caller.

4.Tell your broadcasting program to turn on receiving audio from he sound card (like you normally do to talk on the air) and the conversation will be put on the air.

If you sometimes play off of cd's, find the monitor knob on the channel the cd player is coming through and adjust that to the right volume.

BE AWARE that even if you mute your mic on the mixer, it WILL NOT mute the feed going to the phone. To mute this feed, either turn down the volume all the way on a particular monitor knob, or find the monitor slide on your mixer and mute that.

Advantages: Callers sound pretty good without having to spend big bucks to make them sound good, is fairly easy if you know a little about mixers and audio cables, and uses VoIP which is much cheaper than land line prices.
Disadvantages: Can be confusing at first if you have never messed with mixers and audio cables before, and requires a mixer with a monitor output (sometimes called mon or sub) and second computer. (There is a way to do it with your broadcast computer only and I've tried it before but it is a complete pain.)

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