By November 29, 2007 7 Comments Read More →

Delta 1010 and Skype: a powerful combo for this podcaster

I’ve been meaning to write this post for about a year, ever since I called M-Audio technical support to talk to them about my setup and the technician I spoke with had never heard of anyone with the same monitor recording configuration I’m using. In addition, I get a lot of questions about the high quality of my telephone interviews.

The purpose of this post is to explain how using a Delta 1010 and Skype (or SkypeOut) on a Windows XP system allows me to record phone interviews that send my own voice and my guest’s voice to separate recorded tracks in Cubase. The advantage is that, during both recording and post-production, I can then treat my audio and my guest’s audio independently (levels, equalization, audio processing, etc…). If anyone knows that a similar setup (using Cubase) is possible on MacOSX 10.x, please let me know.

I should start by saying that most podcasters WON’T have a Delta 1010 card. When I bought the unit for my music hobby, it was amazingly expensive for an amateur hack musician. I believe the card is now roughly $700, slightly more than half the price I paid many years ago — and still worth every penny.

Windows XP Audio SettingsWINDOWS XP SOUND AND AUDIO DEVICE PROPERTIES

I’m going to assume that your Delta 1010 card is already installed. Next step is to make a few specific settings in the Audio tab of your Sound and Audio Devices Properties (in your Control Panel). Make sure that the default playback and recording devices are set to M-Audio Delta 1010 Multi. Click on the photo to see my settings.

DELTA 1010 CONTROL PANELDelta 1010 Control Panel - Patchbay / Router

There are several tabs that need to be configured in the Delta 1010 Control Panel. The first tab to visit is the Pathbay/Router tab. Make sure that the following options are selected (click on the photo to see my settings):

  • WavOut 1/2 under H/W Out 1/2

Delta 1010 Control Panel - Monitor MixerNext, mute the H/W In 1/2 Mixer Input in the Monitor Mixer tab of the Delta 1010 Control Panel. Muting this setting prevents a feedback loop when recording the input signal in these channels (click on the photo to see my settings).

Delta 1010 Control Panel - Hardware SettingsThe last tab to visit is Hardware Settings. Make sure there is a check next to Disable audio app use of Monitor Mixer and Patchbay/Router under Asio Options (click on the photo to see my settings). Truthfully, I don’t know if this exact setting makes any difference and yet I know my solution works. Like many project studio owners, I don’t mess with a good thing so I’ve never tested to see if having this option unselected messes things up.

SKYPE OPTIONS

Skype Audio SettingsEven though the Windows default device was set to the M-Audio Delta 1010 Multi in an earlier procedure, I’ve set my Speakers in my Skype Audio Settings (under Options) just in case I make a change to my Windows settings at a later time (click on the photo to see my settings). This forces the signal from the remote side of the Skype call to be pushed out the Monitor channel of the 1010. Note that this does not separate multiple remote Skype users; it puts all of the incoming Skype stream into one channel.

CUBASE CONFIGURATION

Cubase configuration - Device SetupThe Mixer In L Delta-1010 and Mixer In R Delta-1010 input ports need to be Active inputs and Visible in the working environment. To do so, make sure that these options are selected in the Device Setup window. Of course, these options are only available one the M-Audio Delta ASIO driver is selected in VST Audio subsystem (click on the photo to see my settings).

Cubase configuration - VST InputsOnce the Mixer input channels are activated, an input bus must be created so that the inputs appear as Input Routing options for audio channels. In the VST Connections – Input window, add a stereo bus for the M-Audio Delta-1010 Audio Device and select Mixer In L Delta-1010 for the left channel and Mixer In R Delta-1010 for the right channel (click on the photo to see my settings).

CUBASE RECORDING AND MAKING THE SKYPE CALL

To record your own voice through a microphone to one track and your Skype guest on another, create a mono audio track for your own voice and select Analog In 1 Delta-1010 (L or R, depending on which channel your microphone is plugged in to) and create a second mono audio track for your Skype guest’s voice and select Mixer In (L or R) Delta-1010.  Finally, check your input levels, arm both tracks for recording, start the recording, fire up Skype and make your call.

PARTING THOUGHT

I also own the M-Audio Firewire 1814 audio card which is made by the same company as the Delta 1010. Unfortunately, the drivers for the 1814 do not appear to offer the same power and flexibility. If anyone from M-Audio reads this, I’d love to know if you could add this fantastic functionality to the 1814.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.
  • http://www.danmisener.com Dan Misener

    “If anyone knows that a similar setup (using Cubase) is possible on MacOSX 10.x, please let me know.”

    I’m a huge fan of Audio Hijack Pro for the Mac. It has a feature called “MegaMix,” which makes recording Skype (or iChat, or Gizmo) calls incredibly easy. With it, you can assign each side of the call to a separate channel within a stereo recording.

    Then, simply split the recording in half, and process each side as you see fit.

    Magic!

  • http://www.markblevis.com Mark

    Thanks, Dan. I’ll have to see my copy of Audio Hijack (not the Pro version) has this capability.

  • http://www.danmisener.com Dan Misener

    If it doesn’t, the $32 upgrade is worth it. I use AHP almost every day. For me, it’s an indispensable tool.

  • http://www.mifi.ca Maurizio Ortolani

    I ditto support for Audio Hijack Pro. It’s an indispensable piece of kit on the Mac.

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  • http://myspace.com/bederk bederk

    Hi, i just upgraded to version 5069 to delta 66 and it works very well

    If you don´t know, check this app http://www.reaper.fm

    has lots of routing options

    and I was able to use the monitor mix input with no problems with this new driver

    and it´s much more cute to the eyes lol

  • http://myspace.com/bederk bederk

    Hi, i just upgraded to version 5069 to delta 66 and it works very well

    If you don´t know, check this app http://www.reaper.fm

    has lots of routing options

    and I was able to use the monitor mix input with no problems with this new driver

    and it´s much more cute to the eyes lol