How to bring a Skype caller into a Webinar

Webinars are an excellent way of creating and sharing engaging content to your viewers. This can be especially useful if the subject of your video is not on site for the broadcast. This article will explain how to bring a remote guest into your live broadcast, using equipment we have here at the Ustream office. 

Here's the equipment:

Camera/Mixing and Switching
  • Canon C100 (or camera with HDMI input)
  • Tricaster XD855
  • Mackie 1402-VL23
  • Two MacBook Pros
Audio
  • Behringer XENYX Q502
  • M-Audio M-Track
  • Sennheiser EW 100 (x2)
Misc
  • 1/8 in. audio jack (x2)
  • 1/4 in audio jack (x3)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 in. audio jack (or 1/4 in. adapter)
  • HDMI cords (x2)
  • XLR cables (x2)
  • HDMI Thunderbolt adapter
  • Matrox DVI Plus DVI to Thunderbolt adapter
  • Blackmagic Design (BMD) SDI to HDMI converter (x2) 

The video chain will look like the following:

For this set up, we are using the MacbookPro to run the Skype call. The MacBookPro uses the M-Audio QuadTrack as the audio interface, which allows us to transmit Audio IN/OUT over USB with low noise to our Mackie audio mixer.

Plug the 1/4 in. audio jack into M-Audio CH. 1.

 Then plug the other end into the soundboard "AUX CH. 1". 

Now, plug two 1/4 in. audio cords into the back of the M-Audio into outputs 1 and 2. 

Then plug the other side of these cords into the soundboard LINE IN 13-14. 

You will be able to change the volume of the Skype caller using the levels on this channel. 

Now we want to add a microphone source for both the webinar presenter and the production DJ. The production DJ will be able to direct the talent and the webinar presenter will be able to speak to the Skype caller. 

Plug the XLR cord from each microphone receiver into the soundboard MIC 1 and MIC 2, respectively. 

You will be able to manage the audio levels from the presenter and DJ using MIC channels 1 and 2. 

Now, plug two XLR cables into the back of the soundboard MAIN Left and MAIN Right.

 

Then plug the other side of the XLR into the back of the Tricaster AUDIO IN CH 1A and CH 1B. 

This will bring all of the audio data into the Tricaster switcher. 

In order for the presenter to hear the Skype caller, we will have to split off the audio to be monitored from an earpiece running from a long 1/8 in. audio cord. 

First, plug in a 1/4 in. jack into XENYX Behringer MIC LINE IN. 

Then plug the other end of the 1/4 in. into the soundboard AUX SEND CH 2. 

Then on the XENYX, plug one side of the 1/8 in. audio splitter into a 1/4 in. jack converter and into MAIN OUT, channel R. 

Ideally, the presenter will want to run a single earbud through the back of their shirt into their ear. This way, they can hear everything that the Skype caller is saying. You can use a splitter to have others in the studio monitor the Skype audio as well.

Make sure to test all audio levels before beginning your broadcast. 

Here is what the audio chain looks like:

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