Users of Blackboard Collaborate
I'm trying to screenshare music software to a participant. He can view the video but can't receive music audio and my mic signal at the same time.
Is there anyway to stream the audio and still be able to communicate using my mic. It seems to be one or the other.
Hmmm! Looks like I'm going to be trouble around here!
A screenshare (application share) doesn't share audio. If you're taking someone to a website, the web tour will allow their own browser technology to play audio and video. If you're sharing an actual program on your computer, you might be able to find a software program to re-direct the sound output of the program into the "microphone line" but I've never done that. Alternatively, the low-tech solution is to use a microphone yourself that you can put up to your computer speakers when you need them to hear the sound from the program.
Hi Will. This can be done in a couple of different ways. We had a music class a few years ago and I played the part of the music engineer.
One of the ways it can be done really requires two people to pull it off and a sound card with the capability. I am on a new system, lesss than a month old, and I haven't yet had a chance to explore if this one has it. We did a seminar in the free, host-your own webinar room at LearnCentral and this was one of the topics and I did a full walk through on how to set it up. With LC gone, I will need to check to see about the link to be sure it is still going o get you to that recording. While I am checking up on that, let me know if you will need an exclusive PC, Mac, or mixed solution. Now that I have a Mac, I can work up a Mac side tutorial if this machine has the capability like my old PC had.
The other solution is to use a mechanical or digital mixing board. Basically it would handle blending the output from your mic plus the output from the software and send it to Collaborate as a single audio stream. To collaborate it will seem just like normal mic input data. I can work up a tutorial for this method as well if my husband will let me borrow his mixer and it is compatible with my Mac enough to make it. I will check with him this evening, but I am sure he would be fine with it. He will probably even jump in and help. He loves working with audio projects.
I will be posting again soon to let you know the progress.
Tammy, you are so the ROCK STAR in helping others. Thank you!
Ok, I have confirmed that the old recording that contains the tutorial we did in the HOst Your Own room at Learn Central still works - http://www.virtualhomeschoolgroup.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=12589. We had several topics (Layout for the Instructor, Input Devices, Sound Tweaks, Open Mic, and wbd Collabs), so you may need to be patient to find the mixed audio of software plus mic technique. It looks like the sound tweaks part was about the 35 minute mark of the recording.
I relearned some stuff by watching my own presentation. lol.
OK, if you have a Mac, a free software that will do the job for you is SoundFlower - http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/ . This will let you redirect the sound from one application (your software) into another application (Collaborate) - sort of like a virtual patch cord.
I'm so glad you shared the link to that recording, Tammy! I remember the session well and have referred back to it several times. We discovered it's a bit "trickier" on a Mac to change the sound on the fly when you're using app sharing. Soundflower is definitely the tool you need for a Mac. I also have started using a tool called "SoundSource" and it puts an icon in the top menu that allows you to quickly change your sound source without having to go to another application. It shows you with check marks what you're currently using and then you can just select another input/output. And the good news is that SoundSource is free. :-) http://www.rogueamoeba.com/freebies/
Hey Tammy, Thanks for the help.
I actually did investigate a few ways to do this.
The system of mixing the mic and software signal externally seems the best as it also offers the possibility of easy adjustment of levels and adding equalization.
I have also tried Soundflower sending the software audio but could not combine the mic signal with this. One solution I found is to record enable a track on the software and feed the mic signal through this. I have successfully done this using Apple's Logic Software but I also use Avid Pro Tools and it can not be done with this.
Another issue that seems to be present in general on Collaborate and indeed some other systems is the amount of latency on the mic signal.
I get much shorted delay when using Skype. I wonder why this is?
This conversation plus my new Mac got me searching for a Mac solution for getting a mix of mic and software app in app share to blend. I haven't quite gotten it perfected, but I am working on it. I discovered that you can create an aggregate in the midi setup in Utilities. I have it successfully blending mic and the SoundBoard application (lets you add in sound effects such as laughter, applause, Jeopardy music and lets you specify what output to use - I set it to Soundflower). Well, successful everywhere but Collaborate. When I am in Collaborate the aggregate device I created just runs the sound effect in isolation. I haven't quite figured out why the mic suddenly disappears in Collaborate. I will continue to plad my way through the mystery through the weekend to see if I can find a Mac solution that will allow real, simultaneous blending of mic and application sharing sound. It may be an impossibility, but it is worth a good search because if a solution could be found it would be a real boon for instructors needing to do app share with sound from the application or wanting the ability to easily bring in sound effects live during a presentation or game.
Oh Yay! I have one great tool combination to work. It is SoundBoard. I can now, with a quick press of a key on the keyboard or click of the onscreen interface get any recorded sound to play mixed with my mic on the Mac for Collaborate. Fun, instant, and easy sound effects for lectures and games coming up! :0)
No changing inputs needed. I have it working and will make the tutorial this weekend. Stay tuned.
That is fantastic news, Tammy. I have SoundBoard2 on my computer and never thought to use it for this purpose. I can't wait for your tutorial. :-) Thanks a lot for figuring this out and sharing it! This will greatly enhance what we have been able to do with app sharing in Blackboard Collaborate on our Macs. After I watch your tutorial I want to compare it to the steps/clicks required for doing the same thing with SoundSource since SoundSource is free and I had to pay for Soundboard.
... for who? Collaborate users on Macs that want a way to blend their audio from mic with audio from applications (great for infusing your presentations with sound effects or piping audio through from applications during application sharing)
OK! All the tutorials and pdfs are in one place. It was easiest to share the resources from the VHSG Moodle's Collaborate for Teacher's course page, so I will post a link to direct you there. The link is http://www.virtualhomeschoolgroup.com/course/view.php?id=237. You can enter as a guest. There are a lot of resources in this course specifically for Collaborate use. You will find the audio mixing information in block 1, "Special Tutorials'. It will have a blue graphic with a microphone and red gear on it.
What will I find there? -
A Recorded Collaborate Tutorial (approx 1 hr run time):
Lorna, Peggy, Mariah, and I gathered together and did a walk through on how to set this up and the QandA throughout help to answer those burning questions that you might have related to how to mix your mic and application sounds together. All the essential software needed to do this is free. There is also discussion of how great a sound cart is if you want to infuse those sound effects. The sound carts we talk about generally run about $40, but they are not required for the mixing of sound on a Mac.
A PDF table of the software and settings:
THis pdf is a handy little reference chart in a table format of each software and the settings needed.
A PDF Graphic of the settings (poster-like):
If you merely want a super fast graphical reference of how outputs are going out and inputs are coming in, this little graphic makes it easy to get a big picture view.
Wow. So many great resources on that page! You are incredible, Tammy.