Live Streaming: Fix the Mix on a Shoestring Budget
Broadcast audio is a different animal from live audio, with ambient sound all around you being a key difference during service, versus listening at home.
Streaming NewsStreaming: Take the Time to Test To Learn What Works Getting Started on Streaming: Begin By Building A Strategy Online Church: Overcoming the Fear of Technology Stage/Sanctuary Lighting: How Best to Serve Your Ministry’s Needs
Streaming ResourceFive PTZ Camera Brands Worth A Closer Look
The most important thing, though, is to recognize that cameras allow our worship services to reach beyond the four walls of the local church.
Imagine with me for a moment about a “hypothetical” scenario.
One seemingly calm Thursday morning, you receive an email from your pastor relaying to you that he would like to start live streaming your worship services. The technical gear-house that is your mind immediately starts thinking, “We need another console. We need an isolated split for all the inputs. We need a broadcast audio room. We need, we need, we need…”
Then, all of a sudden, your daydream of the perfect broadcast audio setup is interrupted by a follow-up email from your pastor with two additional criteria: “We need to start this weekend. And there is no budget.”
Immediately, the planning daydream for the ultimate broadcast suite turns to shear mayhem and panic. Being the technical MacGyver that you are, you quickly pull together the string of 17 different adapters and random cables needed to make it happen by Sunday.
Then, life moves on because Sunday is always coming, right?
A few weeks, maybe even months, down the road you get another email from your pastor. A friend of his was watching the live stream and commented on how hard it was to hear the pastor teaching, and the drums and acoustic were the only things he could hear during music.
Your new charge: Fix the mix … still without any budget.
Where do you go from here? To start chiseling away at the difficulties plaguing your streaming mix, you must first understand a few principles about broadcast audio vs. live audio.
Broadcast audio (which is the term I most often use, because streaming is a broadcast) is an entirely different animal than live audio. In the worship center, during a service, you have the luxury of experiencing the energy (ambient sound) coming from the stage as well as the congregation singing around you. A person watching your broadcast only receives the energy coming through their earbuds or computer speakers.
The most common practice for overcoming this is using room mics. Place a microphone somewhere toward the front of the stage, pointed back toward the congregation to give the online viewer the feeling of really being there. This will allow for the pickup of the voices of people singing, as well as the ambience of the room, without too much direct interaction from the PA. This room mic (or two if you are doing stereo) can be added to your broadcast mix via an aux send or matrix, depending on your signal flow and console type.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.