Mix Minus Setup Issues

Here’s my equipment setup:

  • Host mic XLR to input one on mixer - Xenyx 802 (analog, not usb)
  • Mixer Main Out in stereo to Mic input on PC
  • Headphones out on PC to mixer input 3/4
  • Input one (host) Pan Right
  • Input 3/4 (guest) Pan Left
  • Headphones in Phones Jack on mixer

I have tested this method by calling myself from my phone. The output is in stereo on one track in Audition and I can split that to two tracks and all is well. There are a couple issues here though. First, my headphones are tied to the levels on input 3/4 meaning I can change the volume in my headset with the 3/4 level knob. I suppose this makes sense because the audio is coming from my mic on 1, going out to the pc, and then coming back in on 3/4. This isn’t an issue really except that when I switch to editing, I have to unplug 3/4 from the PC and plug my headphones into the pc to hear both sides or turn the 3/4 dial to center pan - for editing this doesn’t work because there is noise on that channel so I just plug directly into the PC. Secondly, I should be using the FX Send output and FX knobs to do a mix minus. When I use FX Send out to the PC mic input, Skype simply won’t recognize the mic. Windows does, Sound Recorder does, Audition does. However, Audition freezes when I try to record. And isn’t FX send mono so wouldn’t my recordings be stuck together? I get so confused with this. I’ve watch all different kids of videos trying to get this right. A lot of people use that portable USB mic/phones jack but I really should be able to do this without additional gear.

Any ideas? I’d love to have the mixer/board/table Mike suggests, but I can’t drop $350 on that mixer.

~ Dan

Hey @GingerDan it sounds like you’re feeding your audio back from the PC into the Xenyx 802 using a cable as it’s not a USB desk, correct?

If this is the case I’d highly recommend a USB based desk for easy mix minus. You don’t need to drop $350 on the Soundcraft Signature 10 or even more on a 12 MTK.

The Soundcraft Notepad-8FX is comparable in price with the Behringer desk you currently have, it has USB and you can mix minus easily with it.

1 Like

Yes, Mike, that’s exactly what I’m doing. My mic goes directly into the desk via xlr then out the main output to the pc via 1/4” to 3.5mm. Then, all the audio from the PC is sent back to the desk via 3.5mm to 1/4”. I suppose it’s not being recorded until it’s sent back to the pc a second time?

This stuff is so confusing. I’ll look at USB options. However, when researching usb desk mix-minus setups like the xenyx 1202 usb, it’s basically the same setup as mine except the desk is connected to the pc via usb instead of a 1/4” to 3.5mm.

I ordered the Notepad 12fx. I’ll let you know how this changes things. It should ship soon through Amazon. There are surprisingly few videos about how it works - in English at least. I should be able to set it up and test it next week.


Let me know how you get on @GingerDan. I’ve used the 8FX and @Izabela has a Soundcraft Notepad 5 (which she loves).

One tip, when you get it, make sure to upgrade the firmware for best performance possible (especially with mix minus and playback).

You can download your Soundcraft firmware update here.

We found - certainly with the Notepad 5 - there was a slight delay on computer playback until upgrading to the latest firmware which fixed that :slight_smile:

I received the Notepad 12fx today. It took me the best of the day to get things configured properly. I even called tech support - they have a Texas location - and I feel like I knew more than the technician. Eventually, I got all the plugs in the right holes and I have a working mix minus system (I think) which is great. Here are my connections and settings to review and to help others if I got them correct:

  • My mic into MIC 1 via XLR
  • USB out to PC
  • PC speakers out to LINE 5/6
  • Soundcraft software Audio Routing set for Input 3/4 to be stereo 5/6
  • Headphones in AUX with Stereo Headphones output type selected (instead of mono line out) (headphones jack doesn’t work with USB RTN selected)
  • USB RTN 3/4 selected instead of MASTER
  • Audacity settings: ASIO set to Soundcraft USB. Track 1 - [01S] Analogue 1. Track 2 - [03S] IN 3.
  • PC settings: Mic set to Mic 01/02. Speakers set to Realtek Speakers (where the line out to 5/6 is plugged in)

Now, with things set up this way, I have my audio going into Input 1 and the Skype audio (and all PC audio for that matter) coming into Input 5/6. This is all returned to the PC via USB where I can then split the audio into two tracks in Audition and I have a mix minus up and running.

(In comparison to the Xenyx 802) A couple of things to point out:
I have to have my gain up much higher with this board. In fact, almost all the way. The Condenser Mic requires less gain but I have the background noise issue so I’ve tabled that.
It seems as if the only volume control I have with it set up this way is via the gain knobs. I listen through the AUX channel so I can control the levels of what I hear via the AUX/FX knobs but this doesn’t affect the volume of the recording in Audition. The Level knobs and Master slider don’t seem to do anything.

I did a test call with myself from my PC to my Phone and I didn’t get any feedback or returned audio/echo regardless of where I put the AUX/FX knobs. Again, these seem to only affect the volume in the headphones.

I just did another test recording my mic and music playing from PC. I depressed the MASTER and USB RTN button to the MASTER setting and nothing changed. Again, the LEVEL knobs and MASTER slider don’t seem to affect anything. This may be functioning as intended or I have something mixed up. Either way, I can successfully have a skype call and send just that audio to track to and mine to track 1 which is what I needed. If I move my headphones over to the Headphones jack and put the selector to MASTER instead of USB RTN, I can change the volume in the headset with the LEVEL knobs but the Master Slider again does nothing. I’m confused here.

One final thing to point out and this may be a PC thing. I cannot get my mic to record in Stereo. It seems as if the PC sees Line 1 as left and Line 2 as right. However, the audio from the PC coming from 5/6 is recorded in stereo. Funny thing is if I plug in a second mic into MIC 2, I can record in stereo. haha But really, I don’t suppose there’s a way to record in stereo? It’s just annoying to hear my playback in one ear. I’m not sure if I come across skype in both ears as I only tested it on a phone.

Anyway, that’ll do it. Thanks for reading through.

~ Dan

1 Like

This is an amazing and comprehensive overview @GingerDan. Thank you for sharing it!

Don’t forget, when you add a new Audio interface to Windows via USB, you have to configure it to 2 channel plus sample rate of your choice in audio settings to get full stereo.
It’s not a mind reader. Go to advanced settings and properties and configure. Same with recording tab. Set input level to avoid signal overload.

Of course. That was the first thing I did. Properties for the mic are set to 2 channel, 24 bit, 44. I think this is the design of the mixer. It sends inputs 1 and 2 as a stereo signal with 1 being left and 2 being right. I just figured that if I set mic 1 as center and not panned left or right, I could record in stereo. Maybe that’s not how it works.

Actually, I had a thought and maybe I like it this way. I can now have myself recorded to track 1 left, my soundboard recorded to track 2 right, and then my skype call recorded to track 3 in stereo. I plugged my phone into mic 2 and I have a pretty good setup now.

Maybe @Mike could do a piece on dual mono v stereo setups when adding a mixer into your signal path.

1 Like

My advice is go on into your BIOS and disable the stupid built-in windows soundcard and use a professional audio interface instead.