audio_jungle wrote:In the modern world, a lot of people do everything on their computer.
Rogue Amoeba's "Loopback" software appears to be a digital/virtual audio interface/mixer of sorts.
Lol yes, but you still need a physical interface at some point if you're going to use a physical signal source like a microphone. Even if you are using an USB one, the interface is simply built-in into the mic body itself. And you are gonna have a mic, ain't you? Then you need either an interface, or a USB mic (with its built-in interface)..
Of course, if all your sources are already inside the computer (say you want to jam with a synth application over music played by your computer music player), all you need is a software (virtual) signal router (like Loopback). But that's not the case for a podcast/radio show, where you need a mic. Not a big deal, but calling it "virtual interface" is a little misleading, few people would understand what you mean.
You can then take the signal channeled by the interface and route it into an input of the DAW. You will take the output of the music player and make it accessible to the DAW via the signal router. In the DAW, you can mix the two.
But the problem is that the only audio source I would be capturing from a hardware device would be my own voice.
Music and sound effects would come from my macintosh.
That is where it makes a difference if you are live or not. If you are not (all your sources are pre-recorded), you wouldn't need anything else that import your pre-recorded tracks in the DAW and balance.
If you are live, and want to mix external (say microphone) inputs with the signal produced by say a music player or Skype, one way of doing it is to use both a physical audio interface and a software router - both of them will produce signals that go in the DAW virtual mixer.
The reason for using a DAW also in this case is simply that they tend to be very well engineered beasts for which that task is trivial, and thus rock-solid, that they come with a wealth of effects and processing which can be useful also in a live setting (software reverbs and compressors for example) and you're likely to have one for free already. :-)
That is what I was asking before...
Just like using a trackpad can be a real pain in the ass, I am finding out that trying to SMOOTHLY grab a control in a software program and smoothly adjust it to create a fade is nearly impossible.
So I was wondering if there was some hardware device - maybe USB driven - which would have knobs and sliders that I could use to adjust software to create smooth fades?
Yes there are - depending on which precise setup you end up with, you may need different stuff.
The easiest is perhaps a control surface for the DAW - which control the software just like a mouse, but via faders, knobs etc:
- you set the gain of the mic on the interface (or on the onboard interface of the USB mic if you use one and it allows you, many don't but it's no big deal anyways)
- you set the level of the music/skype on the relative software, so that it's an a healthy level
- once set, you leave these unchanged
- you route the signals to the DAW and you make the balance there - using a control surface to control the individual faders in the DAW's mixer.
One final note: if you use Skype, your major issue is going to be quality of the signal, dropout and latency, which can make an otherwise interesting conversation really annoying to listen to. Unless you really really need to be live, my $.01 is that it'd be much better to first record the interview in its entirety (using loopback plus a DAW as a recorder): that produces you a audio file that you can improve, cut and polish at will.
Then you import your music (licensed, of course ;-)) into the DAW, and mix it just so.
That way - quality's gonna be far better and you don't have to worry about real time fades at all.