Problems DJing with Windows Vista

After its release in 2006, I’ve decided to upgrade to Windows Vista.  While I enjoy the operating system, there are some incompatibilities with my favored method of DJing, which is by using Winamp and the Shoutcast DSP.   The Vista soundcard settings are completely different from the previous Microsoft operating systems thus breaking the functionality of performing voice overs.  While you are still able to select “What You Can Hear” as an option, the Shoutcast DPS is unable to manipulate the microphone levels, although it can be manually operated through the sound control panel.  While this issue is not particularly new, there are very few alternative to rectify this problem.  The Shoucast DSP was last updated well into the height of Windows XP usage and is not regularly updated.  The only alternative is to use a series of work around’s until until updates to either Vista or the Shoutcast DSP make this feature compatible.

The best option is to use Winamp and Shoutcast as usual but to turn off the microphone when music is playing.  To do this, go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Manage Sound Devices.  Under the recording tab ensure what you can hear is selected.  Under the playback tab, select speakers then click on the properties button.  With the Sound Properties window open, select the levels tab, and then turn up your microphone level to your desired level.  With this method your microphone is always on unless you manually switch off your microphone.  Under Vista, the Shoutcast DSP still has the ability to the volume of Winamp, allowing you to fake the functionality as it previously operated.  This additional task can be annoying, if not problematic, it is the best solution if you are unwilling to move away from the Winamp, Shoutcast method of DJing.

Other options require you to spend some money.  The best next alternative is to begin using (and purchase) SAM Broadcaster.  If you are in my position and dedicated to a file format, this switch may be harder than you with, SAM Broadcaster is incompatible with some file formats, namely ACC+ or any .m4a files.  While I have not tested SAM Broadcaster with Vista, reports indicate the users of the software prior to version 4.3.4 may experience some problems with the new OS, I highly recommend an update.  Your last alternative to performing voiceovers is purchasing a Mac and it’s popular streaming software

While those who wish to perform voiceovers must work around Vista’s changes, those who use mixers, an external audio source, or are only playing mp3’s do not have to worry about making adjustments to their configurations.  The Shoutcast DSP works properly when using Winamp as it’s source of music, and users of  Oddcast, Icecast, or B.U.T.T. are largely unaffected by these changes.

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14 Responses to Problems DJing with Windows Vista

  1. Pingback: Nexeus Fatale » OtsAV Review: An Alternative to SAM Broadcaster

  2. Steve says:

    This is horrible, im out of luck here it seems.

    The best option is to downgrade to xp, come on that's a joke right?

    I don't have much faith that we will fix the DSP for vista….

  3. I wish I was joking this is no joke. I've had to make the switch over to SAM Broadcaster. There is work on Shoutcast 2.0 but I have no clue how that DSP looks like. Who knows when that will be released!

  4. Steve says:

    I use sam as well its great.

    But for doing shows with 2 people when one is far away u use skype and getting that to work with sam is a pain. It could be accomplished easily with the winamp DSP if your still using XP that is.

    Sad indeed.

  5. Yes, very, very sad. However your right. If you had a second system I would recommend using a mixer and pump all of your audio out from the mixer, but that gets to be a bit tricker than described.

  6. nonkultur Moon says:

    Thankfully the computer I chose to broadcast has XP. I have 13 gigs in my memory left to upgrade or switch to a netbook.

  7. TheScotsman says:

    Seriously. I considered doing a short live show, but am not enjoying the fiddling to get Vista working. Pain in the butt. Wish I had an external mixer.

  8. Blorian says:

    I own a Sony Vaio, FZ-11M. I try to go live with Sam Broadcaster, and i cant ..
    No matter what i do, the microphone hears very very bad .. with loud sound when i try to speak. And i`m talking about an external mike, the incorporated one .. its useless.

  9. I think I know what your problem is. Take a look at… and look under the Streaming Software section where I mention SAM broadcaster. SAM and Microphones is a very interesting issue. See if those settings help you.

  10. Johnson Yip says:

    Shoutcast and Winamp crashes when I switch from Mic to sound card. Hopefully, Shoutcast is updated when Windows 7 comes out to fix this problem.

  11. Avni says:

    Hi there i would like somebody to inform me why i cannot in my w vista make shoutcast put on air music from my soundcard

  12. rj schwade says:

    I use sam and dsp plugin and have absolutely no problem running windows vista business. I do live shows all the time in Second Life with voice overs with now issues. I use a USB headset with mic and sounds very good going thru mixer of sam not the soundcard. If ya need any info maybe I can help. Easiest way to use winamp is to have two souncards and insure path is correct for both music and mic. I did this initially before i shelled out bucks for sam but sam is excellent investment for the serious internet DJ.

  13. Steve Kraft says:

    I discovered this also. Happens on 7 also. The Mic is always live. I use a Nady RMX 6 mixer. You turn down the channel input volume when you don't want the mic live.

  14. Steve Kraft says:

    I just built a new Machine last week. Everything works good with the DSP and shoutcast 1.98 on the server and latest DSP 2.13 I think. Everything sounds good using the soundcard mixer as the input (Music and TV App) but when i talk on the Mic it sounds like I'm 10 feet from the Mic. A strange thing is that having Windows Media Encoder running at the same time the Voice sounds fine and the same level as the Winamp DSP.

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