First off this guide is only
for broadcasters that are serious about going away from on-board audio mixer inside your computer as this does need investment of actual cash and time. For broadcasters that stream from platforms like PS3 and Xbox 360 this is a good way to have better control of the sound and mix even more audio sources into the stream and you can stop unplugging and replugging in into the capture cards. This guide will most likely be a very wordy so no comments like too long didn't read, I go by my first statement this is only for broadcasters that are really serious about going away from the internal mixers of their pcs to have easy access to adjusting audio on the fly.
First some terminology for mixers:
1/8 in or 3.5 mm: This plug is on the end of a cable is typically seen on headphones and is the most common type of plug for all consumer devices.
1/4 in: This end type is slightly bigger than the 1/8in and is usually the cable you use to plug into the mixer.
TS Cable: This is called a Tip Sleeve cable otherwise known as a mono plug and this cable will always be unbalanced. For the most part this is the kind of cable you will be plugging into the mixers and going out.
TRS Cable: This one is called Tip Ring Sleeve Cable commonly known as a stereo plug and depending on the set up it can be balanced or unbalance, but for most of this guide unless you know your cables and equipment can send and take balanced cables I will assume you will be using and need unbalanced cables.
First thing first there are different types of mixers and depending on how many sources you need to mix into the stream you may want to opt for more inputs, I’m only going to talk about one mixer that will be most likely the one that fits your requirements.
The Xenyx 502
is a great mixer as the small size makes it easy to put on top of a desk. This mixer can take in 3 stereo sources like a PS3, Xbox 360, and a music pc/Skype. There is an extra port for an XLR or Line in but this is a mono port so if you have a XLR or a line in mic you would plug that there.
The RCA to 1/4 in adapter
is what you will convert the RCA (the red and white audio signals) of the PS3 or Xbox 360 to a usable input for the mixer. These converters are small and compact so be sure when your not using them in the mixer to put them in a place where you won’t lose them.(TRS) Dual 1/4" Y Cable
is a specialized cable that you can get from music stores like guitar center but for this guide you can use this cable to turn the output of the mixer into a signal that the computer can use.
All and all the equipment listed are at the time of this guide $55.96 (43.99 for the mixer, 2.98 for 4 1/4 in adapters, and $8.99 for the 1/8 in - dual y cable) not including the associated taxes for your states
The three above are required for you to use the mixer properly for the stream from here on the equipment are optimal and I will be listing the prices as it come from guitar center.
If you have a extra Computer you can use Skype or iTunes on you can turn that into something you can mix into the mixer and include into the stream. Alternatively you can use this to go into the computer, if you have it lying around in the house.Hosa Stereo Y-cable Mini Male-Two RCA Males
You don’t need this but if you want to listen to what is going on in the mixer you will need this to convert a standard headphone jack to something the mixer can use.
Live Wire 1/4"(M)-3.5mm(F) Stereo Adapter
If where your Xbox 360 and PS3 is too far to get to the mixer you will need the below to extend the cables
American Recorder Technologies Dual RCA Female to RCA Female Adapter
Hosa Dual RCA-RCA Cable
This Guide assumes you have a line in on your computer, normally this is marked blue if your computer manufacture has marked it correctly, if you don't have one or its broken, in the past I have used the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi
The Set Up:
Once you have all the cables and the mixer its time to plug them in and then set them up. In this set up I'm assuming you have picked up or using Xeynx 502.
1st plug in the 1/4 to rca adapter into input 2/3 on the mixer and if you have another source to plug in you can put the adapter into 4/5 on the mixer
Then Plug the cables for the consoles into the adapters, your first source should be plugged into 2/3 and left is channel 2 and right is channel 3, your second source is 4/5 4 is left and 5 is right
Then plug the dual y adapter(the two 1/4in to a single 1/8in) into the main out tip being the left channel, ring for the right channel; or if you have the rca to 1/8 mini plug it into the cd/tape out and plug that into the computer/sound card.
Plug in the power and set the line levels to 0 and 0 (the arrow pointing up on the knob) on the main, you can adjust this later and you will most likely turn it down later when you actually stream because you are going to hit peak if you use it at 0 but as a reference point to see if things are working it will work for you.
If you want to have another stereo source to mix in to the stream but you have used the channels on the mixer it self you can use the CD/Tape on the mixer to add that source into the stream but it is highly recommend it to use something that has a on-board volume control as the CD/tape input on the mixer doesn't have a volume control. You can use this port to add another computer into the mixer for example Skype, a laptop that plays music, or an iPod (note that if you are a partner with Justin.TV or Twitch.TV you should not use this port for your music unless you know it is not copyrighted, your music you play has a creative commons licenses, or if you have a music Broadcast License)
To plug in a computer or any other devices that has a 3.5mm or 1/8in plug you will need the RCA dual to 1/8in TRS. From there plug the jack into the computer then plug the rca into the CD/Tape input. Right off the bat you wont hear anything from that port unless you push down on the CD/Tape to Mix button right above the Phones control.