How to Use a Soundboard on Skype

Like the laughter track piped into your favorite sitcom, a soundboard can be a useful complement to your next Skype podcast, webinar or video chat. This auditory aid will help emphasize specific points, cues audience participation and adds a little pizazz to even the most monotonous subject. Simply holding your mic to the speaker that's broadcasting your soundboard, however, often produces nasty audio feedback and may cause degradation in the quality of the sound. Instead, reconfigure your computer's recording device so Skype broadcasts the same audio that's also playing over its speakers.

Handsome focused radio host moderating
Radio deejays often use soundboards for promotional messages or during prank-calling bits.
credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Incorporating Soundboard Software on a PC: Enabling Stereo Mix

Step

Launch your PC's Sound options. To get there, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move your mouse downward, select "Settings" when the Charms bar is exposed and then click "Sound."

Step

Select the "Recording" tab in the Sound window that appears in order to switch to the Recording screen. If you typically use your microphone during Skype communications, it's likely the microphone is currently selected as your default recording device.

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Right-click anywhere within the list of recording devices and enable both the "Show Disabled Devices" and "Show Disconnected Devices" options.

Step

Select "Stereo Mix" -- which is disabled by default but should now appear in the list of available devices -- to enable it. Provided your sound card supports it, this option will now share any audio that is played over your speakers -- making it ideal for recording your voice in combination with other audio elements, such as the soundboard.

Incorporating a Separate Soundboard Device or Soundboard Software on a Mac: Using an Auxiliary Cable

Step

Plug one end of an auxiliary cord into your sound source. If, for example, you're using a software-based soundboard on a Mac computer, this simply means plugging the cord into the computer's headphone jack. If, on the other hand, you're using a separate soundboard device altogether, plug the cord into its headphone jack or Audio Out port.

Step

Plug the other end of the auxiliary cable into the computer's microphone input jack.

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Switch your computer's recording device from "Microphone" to the "Line In" setting. To do this on a Mac, launch System Preferences and open the "Sound" option. On a PC, expose the Charms bar by pointing your mouse to the top right of the screen and dragging downward, select "Settings" followed by "Sound," and then switch to the "Recording" tab in the window that appears.