I've been looking into sound cards for "PlayIt Live" and I thought I would give a cheap Chinese surround sound card a go. I've had it for some years (possibly most of a decade) and not had that much luck with it up until now.
I'm using an old XP computer. The greatest challenge was finding suitable drivers for the USB sound card. Sadly I've lost the little disk it came with.
Extensive use of Google took me to an Australian site which had XP (and other OS) drivers for the CM6206 chip that the USB sound card used.
The drivers installed and in the system tray helper there was a nice test setup that stepped round each of the 6 output channels.
If you buy a card new I'm sure it will come with a driver disk and save you that stage.
Next I installed ASIO4ALL. This was a minor battle as the latest version didn't seem to like XP but the last one in the 1.xxx version series seems to work fine with XP so I used that.
Finally select 6 channel mode on the card.
and we are ready to run PlayIt Live.
I can choose a stereo output for each of 2 players and a third for cue (I've also assigned carts to that channel). This feeds 3 channels on an old mixer I have and I've a low cost production set up.
Finally, I used the built in sound card on the PC to take the mixer audio in and I've got a source to stream. I've got BUTT set up on the same XP machine.
If the streaming server were "outside" my home network anyone could listen.
"Radio Shed" all ready to use.
I would add processing (*or at least limiting) on the mixer output for "serious" use but it's not a bad setup.
Any questions feel free to ask.
Mark = font of information.
Coming back to you on a 3-way switch.
It works and quite well at that.
Using my learning skill of the dreaded ebay I tracked down a switch for about £3.00 via chinatown which after taking 3 weeks to hit the uk I fiddled with and rapidly found that it works ok.
Have to admit that if the mixer is left working it does take a feed from the switch (much reduced in volume (bleed through)) but this does allow you the chance to monitor that all is ok and that you can switch off the mixer without it all going pete tong! The only
area left to work out is why if the mixer is operating the lag time is less that a direct loop back to the second soundcard.
Anyway the advantage is that now I can switch off the mixer and take a couple of days off without the worry of my insurance company voiding the insurance if the building burnt down!
All the best.
Having written the above, a quick Google suggests that as usual Amazon can meet your need for a switch box.
"HQ 3-Way Stereo Input Control Box" could do what you want but you may need to adjust the level of the mixer output (by some resistors in the box) to balance levels wile maintaining "line up".
The simple answer is that PlayIt Live doesn't offer an easy way to take the mixer out of the loop.
It would be a nice feature however the most "full featured" streaming solution I know of is Rocket Broadcaster and there is some merit in PlayIt Live sticking to what it is excellent at and leaving the high feature set end of the streaming encoder market to others.
You could try using Rocket Broadcaster ( https://www.rocketbroadcaster.com/#features ) as the streaming program and you may well be able to select PlayIt Live as a source to the the "System Audio Capture" device.
Alternatively (and depending on the sound card setup) it may be possible to make a box with a change over switch in it (between sound card output and mixer output). I made something similar 40 years ago (!) for a similar application although the sustaining feed was 1/4 inch tape rather than computerised playout.
I wouldn't bother to remove the mixer for power saving reasons (it will only be a few 10s of watts).
As for the time delay in streaming, the short answer is to my knowledge, no.
Shoutcast/Icecast have plenty of buffering to allow for various network overheads and re-transmission requests.
Finally I'm a fan of the SA-2020 - Still in many respects unsurpassed at the cheaper end of the mixer market for AV purposes.
Here is mine.....
Couple of easy questions for Mark Hawkins to maybe challenge his memory!
Yep we are one of the poor ones out there who operate 24 hours a day every week which leads to ask one of them questions that has me tangled in wires. So can I take the mixer out of the loop without taking the whole cable setup apart and then try to remember them the next day. The other reason is that it might save me a quid or two on the electric bill. I have played with the cables this morning and taken the mixer out of the loop but it is a sod to do and the time lag just gets quite bad because of what I did.
The mixer is the good old Maplin sa-2020 which we have used since the early 80's in wind rain and snow at outside events.
The second question concerns time lag from the server to receiving the stream via our uk based server. Can it be shortened by a method I am not aware of?
I found the disk that came with the sound card.
That only came with XP and Vista drivers but a further Google came up with the chipset maker's website.
If you need drivers this may be of use to you:-
The CM6206LX was what I wanted.
My observation on the DX2000 was just that if they had made the USB input also support 3 or 4 stereo channels on ASIO it would have been much more useful.
The only problem with using the built in USB for output is that ideally one would want to put a limiter (or possibly processing) between the mixer out and sound card in. A very few USB sound cards support analogue limiting and you might consider using one of those.
If you could write up your start button interface (perhaps as a new thread) I'm sure others would like it (I would be interested for one).
If you could attach the drivers to the thread that would be helpful (perhaps as a ZIP)..
Just as a PS to my last .... I didn't mention that I have found the multi-channel USB box quite stable using ASIO4ALL and have put it in line on the 3 music faders replacing the Turtle Beach single output devices for a trial period. This little box that cost me less than a tenner ( I bought 2) sounds fine to me and it generates enough output to the mixer inputs.
I can't seem to email Jason as that address is for members only I believe. I could attach it to this thread if you like.
The Behringer DX2000USB is what I have and I have to give it 5 stars for value-for-money. I didn't quite get your point about the USB. I use the USB output of the mixer to a PC running the encoder. Everything is experimental at the moment but listening to the audio from this mixer on an iPad with earphones via an encoded stream sounds good to me. One feature I like on this mixer is the start buttons which I have finally succeeded to interface to PlayIt live giving me the ultimate in convenience. I have 4 decks on PlayIt Live each going into a separate fader on the Behringer which I am sure you agree is the height of luxury! I like the PFL and the independent gain pots that allow you to adjust the gain to the 0db line on the fader. I bought my mixer from Europe and saved nearly £50. On the downside, there are no independent output channels so you can't create a "mix minus" but there is an output that excludes the mic inputs meaning that you can run the monitor speakers in the studio at a reasonable level and not get any feedback. I really shopped around before buying a mixing desk and I honestly have no regrets with the DX2000USB even if the faders are on the "light" side.
I'm not surprised the suppliers of the USB sound card were not much help with 3 stereo channel use, they intend the device to be used for 5.1 surround.
Pleased to be able to help. I wrote the original article because having taken a while to get it all to work I thought it might be of use to others.
The mixer is the IMG Stage Line MPX-205. I bought it for about £40 on ebay some years back to use with a twin CD player.
It is by no means a great mixer (the faders don't have a very solid feel - not Penny & Giles !) but it has a mic fader and not to many unwanted "DJ" features. It does have a fairly sensible PFL, the only weakness is that you fade between "main" and "PFL" rather than having "main" if you don't select a PFL source or having "main" on another button.
The MPX-205 is fine for "Radio Shed" testing. If I were buying a new mixer now I might look at the Behringer DX2000USB. While the USB feature isn't much use for radio style playout (one channel only) it has faders on the mic channels which is fairly rare at this price point.
I started using the third stereo channel for carts and prefade but found that "scrubbing" audio in prefade upset the other outputs (possibly the card doesn't like different sample rates or something) so I now use the PC sound output for prefade on the fourth mixer channel.
I haven't done much experimentation on the noise level on the system. Subjectively it is OK and the streaming uses the PC sound input.
I have other hardware which I'm going to experiment with PlayIt Live on in the not too distant future but this was a first step.
A copy of the driver disk would be most useful, if only to compare with what I'm currently using. Perhaps you could e-mail Jason and he could pass it on..
Thanks for this. I have installed ASIO4ALL. At first, nothing showed up in PlayIt Live under the device settings but after [playing about with settings and a few re-boots, the options to output to the different sockets on the above device appeared. I have tried them out and they all work and the box produces enough output voltage to give a nice strong signal into the channels on the mixer. The settings software for the sound box and the ASIO4ALL control panel look a little different than your pictures but functionally they're the same.
I am grateful to you for taking the time to show me how to do this because I would never have figured it out on my own. I had numerous emails with the supplier of the USB sound box and not once to they say that I'n need an ASIO sound driver to make it output to all of the different jack sockets. I am still using the Turtle Beach USB sound cards for now but at least I now have another I/O device that I can use.
Incidentally, I do find USB I/O cards quite noisy generally. The Turtle Beach one's seem good but there is still some slight noise. The ones that I got from PC World were appalling!
I was wondering what exactly your mixer is? Does it have PFL? You said above that you use one of the outputs of the USB box for prefade.
If you want the original disk for this unit, I am happy to send it to you.
As you can see from the above (note this is V1.8 and the 2.X series looks different) there isn't much to adjust.
Click on the shortcut, select the correct sound card and you should be offered the ASIO channels in the PlayIt Live windows as above.
I would try it with one of the 6 channel sound cards first. I've no idea how it will cope with 2 cards.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the above. Now I am beginning to understand. I didn't realise that PlayIt Live could address the ASIO channels. So, this makes sense.
One further question that I do have is if I install ASIO4ALL, how do you configure it? I have installed it yet I can find any settings dialog box either in my start menu or control panel. The manual for ASIO4ALL shows this window with lots of settings on it but how you find these settings is eluding me. Could I ask you give me a tip as to how I might find these hidden ASIO4ALL settings.
For completeness, the layout I use on PlayIt Live on this setup.
Then the decks and cart setup.
Slightly curiously, on this card, the 3.5mm jacks map as 1/2, 5/6 & 3/4 hence the order I use to get player, player cart on the mixer without a cross in the cables.