• Julian Chan

Audio mumbo jumbo...

I spent the big part of my day being completely unproductive. All I did was troubleshoot audio settings on my computer.

You see, I'm trying to set up a livestream workflow for myself, playing music solo with backing tracks and all. I had been working on refining and trying out different audio and video set ups to see what works in my teaching studio for the past several months - from getting a basic setup (audio interface, microphones, camera, OBS, Garageband for effects for my sax) to tweaking different little things on some of these applications. That also involve testing streams (hence, the intermittent live on FB sessions I did if some of you had been following) on FB, and some other platforms. All of this was done on the Mac computer (it's an old Mac Mini from 2014) in my teaching studio. I also worked a little bit on my laptop (a Windows) so I can also work on this computer if necessary.

You see where this gets a little tricky - working on both OS platforms involve different workflows and different apps to work with them.

I probably got a thing going with the Mac setup, but unfortunately the computer itself is just way to slow to process audio, video and the streaming (it's running on SATA HDD and not SDD, go figure), so I've had to also learn how to set up a workflow on my Windows laptop. But at least I could get started on the Mac.

Then the lockdown happened.

I've brought back the gear I need to still do a livestream, but now entirely on my Windows. So now I've had to restart everything from scratch, and that's all I did today. It's also annoying that some things work on the Mac well but doesn't on the Windows, and vice versa.

For example, the Loopback feature on my EVO 4 audio interface works great on the Mac but doesn't work at all on my Windows (that was part of the problem I had a few days ago when I was teaching students), even though it's the same function on both computers.

If this is all mumbo jumbo to you, I'm sorry. Feel free to skip ahead if you wish. But don't expect it to get any better.

Although OBS is a more powerful application to use, and even I could get started on it with my existing audio interface set up, I wanted more control on the audio routing (wouldn't want my audience to hear my default computer sounds now, do I?), so I downloaded an app called Voicemeeter Banana, which is a great app to route different sound sources from your laptop (media player, browser, Spotify) to go into different outputs. And previously, when I was using it, it worked on OBS. But somehow today it doesn't, even though I believed I use the same routing process. I'm not anywhere close to solving this problem.

One thing I've learned is that there are so many different approaches to get the same thing, but due to my lack of knowledge and experience with audio, I hit walls left, right, and centre. I don't understand how to solve and troubleshoot those issues. I suppose I just have to find what works and use that first, slowly tweak along the way. But I just need to get started, and that's probably the most important thing I need to realise.

Not going give up on this. But I will stop for today, and come back again at it tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Have a good weekend, and stay safe.

- JC

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