If you’ve shopped for a small live audio mixer lately, you know there are some great choices out there. Some of these boards are so good, you might be tempted to use one to produce radio content. Unfortunately, several essential radio features are missing from these products, and up to now, getting these features meant buying a mixer designed especially for radio. Enter the Talkshow Gadget.
The Talkshow Gadget adds useful broadcast features to your live mixer. LED illuminated buttons give you instant activation and deactivation of four microphones, allowing you to get the mix right, then leave the faders in place. You also now have speaker volume control and a second input for listening to an external source. Your monitor speakers will mute automatically to prevent feedback when any mic is hot. And speaking of hot mics, the Talkshow Gadget even provides logic to illuminate an ON AIR signs or mic arm tallies to let everyone know you’re on the air.
Now, with one of those cool little live mixers and your Talkshow Gadget, you’re ready to host your own radio show! At a fraction of the price of a purpose-built radio mixer.
Connections are simple. There is a defacto standard most live mixers use for microphone inserts. This uses the same standard. A cable with a ¼ inch TRS connector at both ends is all you need to connect each microphone insert to the Talkshow Gadget. The same type of cable can usually be used to make the other gadget connections also. The Talkshow Gadget can accept balanced or unbalanced audio sources.
The audio signal path is completely passive, with sealed switches and gold-contact relays. The push buttons have long-life LED illumination. On the logic connector, dry relay contacts are provided which activate when the monitors mute to drive an ON AIR sign or lamp to alert others that microphones are live. A mute override logic signal is provided for each microphone if you do not wish it to mute the monitors.
Timing may not be everything, but it can be pretty important in the studio. The Talkshow Gadget mutes the monitors 50ms before opening any mics. This imperceptible delay gives room reverb a chance to decay so it doesn’t end up as a noise burst on the air. And we insert another 50ms delay when unmuting the monitors after all the mics are turned off, just to make sure the relays have time to mute any possible noise – just one example of the many thoughtful details that go into every Gadget.