Basic set up:
A laptop / Pc desktop
A usb mic
Content.- This is great for podcasting but if your wanting to play music you will need a bit more.
Basic Studio Set up:
A laptop / PC Desktop
A audio mixer – these can be very affordable, you will need at least 2 line inputs.
A microphone – these come in all shapes and sizes and costs, a good start is a dynamic microphone, i got my first one from Maplin, no longer with us for £9, great little mic, It had a XLR lead, some microphones come with a XLR (three pin ) or a standard mono 1/4″ 0r 6.3mm plug.
Now if you intend to use a laptop, chances are you will not have a line input on it, so you will need a USB external soundcard this is then connected to your laptop via the usb on it.
If your using a PC then you should have a line in socket on the soundcard normally coloured blue.
You will also need another way of playing music, could be your phone, another laptop or PC with a playout software on it, or a way to play music.
This is connected to your mixer using the line inputs, you have two of these so you can add another music source to it.
Connect the Microphone, and the output from your mixer, these have different ways to connect two XLRs, standard jacks or phono or RCA plugs. Whichever these are the end must be a stereo 3.5mm plug to connect to your soundcard, USB or direct to your PC.
Ok, so now, you got your stream provider, you will need your end a way of connecting to the stream account.
This is called an encoder. This will encode your audio to the stream provider, these can be paid for, part of a radio automation software or free.
I have tried:
Sam broadcaster – you get the encoders with the automation software, which plays your music and jingle ETC.
BUTT – Is FREE and will easily handle your audio input either from a mixer, or player.
Simplecast – This is part of Sam, but can be purchased as a lone encoder, its very good but expensive.
Winamp – Yes, thats right winamp, the player. With an easy plugin download you can use winamp as an encoder, I use this as its great audio is good, encoder works well, its worth a try and its FREE.
Rocket Broadcaster – Its FREE but only to use as one stream where as winamp will handle up to about 5 streams so 5 stations could take your audio. If you buy the software think its about £30 one off, but if you loose the key like I did then you need to buy another. But it was good and did the job very well.
So your pc / laptop (via the USB soundcard) is called your stream PC this is where you would install any of the above encoders.
Your stream provider will supply you with all the connection details you need to enter into your encoder.