Cantabile, Skype and Wasapi


#15

Heck yeah - that is the exact setup I have in the livingroom here - a Scarlett 2i2 and Voicemeeter.

Right - set the A1 item to “ASIO Focusrite USB 2.0 Audio Driver” and it will take on the buffer settings of the 2i2. Those are adjustable by typing “Focusrite” in the Windows button search and it will show “Focusrite USB 2.0 Audio Control Panel” - which is pretty minimal. Now your monitoring output is set, and the whole system follows the ASIO buffer settings.

If you are sending the two outputs on the back of the Focusrite to an amp, keep in mind that the big knob will also control its output. That has no effect on the ASIO outputs, however. They get their signal from that A1 selection.

So, in slider one, you want to have it set to nothing at all, and it will adapt and show “A1 ASIO Input (1+2)” - that is your mic coming in through the 2i2. (I’m assuming that’s what you want. That’s how I have it set up.) If you want a single mic in the “center” click the “Mono” button. Slider 2 can be whatever - even a virtual cable.

The A buttons are for “Auditioning” or monitoring and the B buttons are for “Broadcast”. Just remember that and you’ll keep your head straight! The two output systems are entirely separate. If you are using Voicemeeter Pro “Banana” then there are two B outputs - a B1 and a B2, since that version ads a second virtual out called an “Aux”.

Regular Voicemeeter just has the B button with one output - the VAIO (Virtual Audio In/Out). If you have Voicemeeter set as your default recording device in Windows, then it will get its signals from there. Likewise, having Voicemeeter as the default playback device in Windows makes your YouTube videos and media players play through that VAIO slider.

Keep your inputs and outputs separate in your mind! That is a source of confusion for many, since one slider is handling input level, but naturally affects the output level, so people think it is an output slider. But the output sliders are on the far right. The A ones handle the monitor volume and the B ones the output to your Focusrite ASIO output as well as to the Windows Recording default input if you have it set that way. (I would and do!)

So, you’ll want typically the VAIO slider (and VAIO Aux if used) set to both A and B selected. I usually only have the A lit for the mic while checking stuff - there is a bit of latency that I’m not fond of hearing, so I don’t bother monitoring the mic, but just send it out B.

Now, finally Cantabile and other ASIO friendly DAWs will see Voicemeeter as an ASIO device, and also as an ASIO Insert device, which is setup in Voicemeeters settings at the bottom of the “System Settings/Options” dialog. I’d leave that alone till you are comfortable with the basics! It is a pre-(Voicemeeter) fader insert system.

Terry


#16

BTW - one very nice use of Voicemeeter with Cantabile is to play back the multi-channel BWF files that Cantabile creates when you have it set to record more than one audio stream. Voicemeeter’s VAIO (and Pro’s Aux) can playback up to eight channels discreetly, OR mix them to stereo by clicking the “Mix Down” button above the output sliders, or in “Pro” clicking the “Normal” button till it says, “Mix Down A” or “Mix Down B”. This works for monitoring (A outputs) or recording (B outputs).

Voicemeeter Pro “Banana” has a “Cassette” recorder that works similarly, recording up to eight channels.

Terry


#17

thanks Terry. I’m at work now but will get on this when I get home. I have a skype piano lesson with a new teacher tomorrow and want things to work correctly from the get-go. One thing- I looked last night and I do not seem to have a focusrite audio control panel.

I downloaded the drivers from focusrite. They installed without a hitch and the Scarlett has been working fine (I bought it used off Ebay with no CD or software code included). Maybe I didn’t look in the right place for the control panel download? I did find a Scarlett Mix Control exe file. I downloaded and installed it. When I rebooted and opened the app, it said that it couldn’t find my Scarlett. Hope I didn’t get a lemon, buying it used from Ebay, but like I said, it’s working fine as a USB audio device for Cantabile.

Hmm, looking into this a little further, it appears that the Scarlett Mix Control is for a different Scarlett model.


#18

I have the latest drivers from Focusrite and the panel comes up as soon as I search for “Focusrite” from the Windows logo. That’s the only way I ever call it up. It is the only thing that comes up!

Terry


#19

One other question- is your Scarlett 2i2 a first or second generation device (1st gen devices have serial #'s starting with “S” or “T”)?


#20

First - definitely first!


#21

Me too apparently. Maybe some issues I was having were related to trying to use 2nd gen drivers. Back to the VM set up. Regarding Input 1, VM will only respond to the microphone if I set it for the specific microphone. If I remove selection, A1 defaults to A1 Asio Input (1+2), but there is no response on the volume meter for A1. When you say "this is your mic coming through the 2i2, you aren’t saying that it physically needs to be attached to the 2i2, right?


#22

Yes, that A1 Asio Input (1+2) is the two inputs on the front of the 2i2. That will be better audio than a mic plugged into the PC’s mic jack or a built-in mic, though you could use those. Just select from the drop-down in that case, and make it mono if need be.

Terry


#23

thanks for the clarification. I’m using a simple head set that came with Dragon Naturally speaking. It’s a USB device so I will not be able to use the inputs on the Scarlett. Gradually wrapping my head around all this :sweat:


#24

Yes, that headset should appear in the drop-down list for the first slider (or any of the hardware input sliders). Also set it as the A2 output for monitoring.

I recommend using the Voicemeeter Pro “Banana” version for use with Skype, as the extra “Aux” channel becomes used for bringing in their voice (Select the Aux as the “speaker” for Skype), sent only to the A output(s) (monitoring them), while you use the VAIO for Cantabile’s ASIO, and send that out both the A and the B. Then just make Skype use Voicemeeter VAIO as its microphone and you’re set.

Terry


#25

By the way, I cannot help but mention that Google Hangouts allows far better audio (in its “studio” setting) than Skype offers, and instant recording of the session via Hangouts On Air right to your YouTube channel. I’d use that if I was giving piano lessons myself!

Terry


#26

Terry, all components and software appear to be cooperating now. thanks so much for your help. But of course I have one more question. My head set has 1/8" male plugs, one for the mic, one for the headphones, I’m using the headset with a USB adapter, plugged directly into the laptop, because when I plugged the mic 1/8" plug into a 1/4" adapter, and then plugged that into channel 1 input on the Scarlett, it did not pick up a signal, regardless of how the vol knob was adjusted. On the other hand, doing the same for the earphone part and plugging that into the Scarlett headphones jack does work correctly. Have you had experience using a headset with 1/8" plugs with your Scarlett?


#27

The regular 1/4" input on the Focusrite is not a microphone input - it is an “instrument” or line-level input (switchable from the front panel), so it does not add enough gain for that mic most likely.

Only the XLR connector is a microphone input. So, you’d need that kind of adapter as well.

If the Headset mic works with Voicemeeter via a USB adapter, just keep the 2i2 connected to gain control over the buffer settings and latency. Voicemeeter will adapt! If possible, I would monitor with my headphones in the 2i2, though, for better latency while playing the keys.

Terry


#28

Thanks, makes sense.


#29

Voicemeeter worked like a charm with Skype and Cantabile for my Skype lesson. I’ve made a donation to Voicemeeter and anticipate using it regularly when skyping. I’ve ordered a 1/8 to XLR adapter so I can use Scarlett for both functions. Really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions so thoroughly! :slight_smile:


#30

Definitely my pleasure, Lee.

I’ve been inspired to make a video with the stuff we discussed here in it. It will be all about giving piano lessons via Skype, and alternatively (for far better audio) via Hangouts on Air, which simultaneously records the lesson which can be shared privately or set to unlisted at YouTube. You set it up at YouTube as a Live Event “Easy”, set it to private, and email the person the link to join it. Several events (lessons) can be set up in advance, too!

It will be a long-ish video, but that seems to be my stock-in-trade! :wink:

Terry


#31

Great idea! Is there any way to record a Skype session?


#32

Not that I’m aware of other than using screen-recording software. Hangouts-On-Air make it so simple. And, like I said, the audio (in “Studio” mode) is so superior it isn’t funny!

For both Skype and Hangouts, I’d advise keeping your peaks at -12dB or less - the software will usually compensate. This is especially true for the “Studio” mode, which does no processing, but its codec wants those lower peaks.

Terry


#33

For Hangouts-On-Air, to list the steps from memory:

  1. Set up a YouTube channel if you haven’t already

  2. Click your user icon at the top right and select “Creator Studio”

  3. Click at the left into “Live Streaming” and click on Events

  4. Click on the far-right on “Create new event”

  5. Select “Quick (Using Google Hangouts On air)” from the radio buttons toward the right near the bottom - that sets up a Hangout-On-Air as the format

  6. Set it from “Public” to “Private” or “Unpublished”.

  7. Start the hangout by clicking “Go Live Now” – that does not mean you need to start calling now, it just lets you get the viewing links and set up the audio and video in advance. (You can also schedule events to happen in the future in advance… even after this step!)

  8. At the lower right, click the “Links” button to get the link to the YouTube video to share, and also an embed code for putting it on your blog page (which can be a private page, of course, only visible to your student), and then DEFINITELY copy the link from the top address bar that leads back to this HOA, which you can email to yourself and to the other person(s) so they can join it. When you return to it, just hit the “Join” button and you are in. Up to 10 people can participate in a normal hangout. (Up to 25 if you have a “G-Suite Basic or Business” account.)

  9. Click the gear at the top and set your microphone to Voicemeeter Output and your speaker to Voicemeeter Input. I advise changing the audio from “Voice” to “Studio” and keeping your levels at or below -12dB. Click “Save”.

  10. This HOA is now set up - clicking the “Start Broadcast” button will begin the recording. You can continue without recording by just leaving this open and not hitting the “Start Broadcast” button. When finished Recording (that is, “Broadcasting”), hit “Stop Broadcast” FIRST and then hit the red-phone button at the top to hang up. If you do not hit “Stop Broadcast” before hanging up, it will continue recording for four hours then disconnect itself.

  11. Once all this is set up, hit the Red Phone to hang up and shut the hangout window if you are not making the call right away. This all stays available as long as you don’t use it (so retain that link from the address bar you got - makes it a pseudo “Skype” for you and your student to use, with better audio!). This now also appears in the list of your scheduled events at https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events?filter=scheduled at the bottom, where you can change the time so it is scheduled for a specific date by editing the “Basic Info” page, or you can alternatively start the hangout from there on your end, and get the address bar link and other links to share if you had forgotten to earlier. It will stay there until you use it, so if you don’t ever broadcast and stop-broadcast, it stays around to use again and again. You can get rid of unused ones by checking the box to its left and going to the top under “Actions” and selecting “Delete”.

  12. Extra: You actually can view the live stream from the tab to the right of the “Basic” one which now shows a “Live Control Room” link. View the stream from the “Preview” section by hitting the play button in the middle of the video there. The “Public” view will not be active until you show up to start the broadcast.

That’s it. Seems like a lot the first time, but it is really quite simple. This checklist will always be handy, though!

When ready, click the link you saved to enter the hangout, hit “Join” and optionally start the broadcast (begin recording) when you are ready. Or just re-use this as a hi-fidelity version of Skype by having students join at the proper time with their link.

Terry


#34

@LeesKeys

My first video in a year and a half! Let me know if I left anything crucial out. :slight_smile:

Here is a link to the post at my website if you’d like to share the article:
http://terrybritton.com/remote-piano-lessons-via-skype-or-preferably-hangouts-on-air-in-studio-mode/

Here is the link to the Voicemeeter setup file mentioned in the video:
http://terrybritton.com/Piano_Lessons_Settings.zip

Terry


Using Cantabile to give Piano Lessons (or Cantabile Lessons!) via Skype or Hangouts on Air