Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
gettin' sounds
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:08 pm
Location: Denver

Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by Dubmaniac » Fri May 22, 2020 12:44 am

I need some kind of a low priced talkback system. Aside from that Samson C Control thing which does have it, but also rolls off the high end from your monitors, what else is there that doesn't kill your sound or your wallet? Or, conversely, if all I need is talkback, could I use the Samson for just that without running my mix through it?
"Stare with your ears"- Ken Nordine

User avatar
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2130
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by losthighway » Fri May 22, 2020 5:27 am

After years of having a 'talkback button' on a couple different mixing boards, my current one started acting weird, which really stressed me out about communication.

I then put a SDC I wasn't using on a tiny stand I never used on the desk and put it on a spare channel on my board following the same aux sends I send to my headphone feeds. Suddenly I wondered why I ever used the button. It's so much easier to have audio from the control room that doesn't override all of the other channels and require depressing a button at the exact right time. It gets rid of the one-way communication challenges that can make a talkback system more like a CB radio where you need to say 'over' or you're going to miss the first thing someone says in response. It also makes it easy to keep a line going when a band leader has some crazy idea and decides the best thing for it is the person in the live room tracking needs someone to direct them and say 'and 1, 2, 3, 4, NEW PART'.

User avatar
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3510
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto

Re: Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri May 22, 2020 6:06 am

I've had consoles with talkback built in but I still usually just wire up my own. Any mic into a pre and then into the pro tools session feeding the headphone mix (but not the two mix). Even better if the mic has a switch. A CB mic is great for this and fun. If the mic has no switch I use the Massey talk back plug in on that channel. It mutes the talkback channel when the transport is engaged. Unfortunately that means the mic is always on between takes so people in the control room have to remember not to talk shit about the players in the live room.
If people are overdubbing and half the band is on the couch I wire one for them as well.

My absolute favorite is the above set-up wired to a speaker in the live room. You can still communicate even if someone takes their phones off or if the session is running with no phones (my favorite).

None of this is an issue in my current one room space. I just turn around and yell at people.

User avatar
zen recordist
Posts: 9184
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi

Re: Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by vvv » Fri May 22, 2020 9:37 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:06 am
I just ... yell at people.

Sometimes I throw things, also. :twisted:
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.

moves faders with mind
Posts: 2747
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by kslight » Fri May 22, 2020 11:08 am

What about a little speaker (Bluetooth even?) in the live room and a matching mic/Bluetooth headset?

Magnetic Services
steve albini likes it
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:21 pm

Re: Inexpensive options & recommendations for talkback

Post by Magnetic Services » Fri May 22, 2020 11:37 am

At my old studio I just plugged a cheap gooseneck mic into the last channel on the board and used the mute switch as a "talkback button". Routed that signal to everyone's headphones except mine and it worked fine!

There are also solutions like this if you need a convenient momentary switch: ... 981977891!

Edit: and this too: ... _talk.html

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 47 guests