Mixing for Streaming: Right Mics, Placement Crucial to Quality Stream

Your live stream will benefit greatly from nice, consistent levels, so spend some time experimenting with parts of the signal chain, until it sounds natural.

Mixing for Streaming: Right Mics, Placement Crucial to Quality Stream
When working on the right mix, recognize that from your front-of-house console, the FOH mix and a broadcast mix have a couple of big differences between them.
Mixing for Streaming: Right Mics, Placement Crucial to Quality Stream
When working on the right mix, recognize that from your front-of-house console, the FOH mix and a broadcast mix have a couple of big differences between them.

Mixing for Streaming News

Mixing for Streaming: Aiming for Smooth, Consistent Broadcast Audio
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Mixing for Streaming: Right Mics, Placement Crucial to Quality Stream
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Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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Whether you choose to hang microphones or place them on the platform, make time to experiment with getting the placement just right, as it makes an incredible difference. And, if small-diaphragm condensers don’t seem to be giving you good results, you may want to try using shotgun mics instead, for their ability to reject excessive ambiance. These are a common choice, but they can also overly focus in on a handful of people, if you’re not careful.

Once you have the placement of your microphones settled, a judicious use of EQ (particularly with aggressive high-pass filtering) will usually get you the rest of the way there. You might start with a high-pass frequency of 200 Hz, but I’ve previously had to sometimes push that up to 500 Hz in some extreme cases. You might also have to scoop out some midrange, or boost some high end, or both.

Don’t worry if your channel processing doesn’t “look” right. It must sound right.

In a nutshell, you need to 1) find the right distance from the congregation, so the mics have the right blend of people and room ambiance; 2) make sure the mics are pointed so that they reject the PA; and 3) use plenty of EQ (particularly, getting rid of low end) to get a “clean” sound.

Now that we know how to get the sense of ambiance just right, let’s talk about how to get a good broadcast mix from your front-of-house console.

As I had mentioned in my previous mixing for streaming article, there are a couple of big differences between an FOH mix and a broadcast mix: 1) broadcast mixes typically have much more limited dynamic range, and 2) speech and music should be at roughly the same level in broadcast (which is not typical in most FOH mixes). Considering that we also need to get our audience mics to the viewers, you’ll need to use a stereo bus, to build an alternate mix for the live stream.

If you have an available stereo auxiliary bus, this will give you the most flexibility. Begin by sending every music input channel to this bus at -20, postfader. For your speech mics, however, you might start with an initial send level of -10 (also postfader) or higher to get speech levels to match the music. You’ll have to experiment with these speech levels, of course, but this should get you started.


More About Brad Duryea
Brad Duryea is an audio engineer based in Houston, Texas, where he is the director of audio technology for Lakewood Church. He can be reached via Twitter: @bradduryea.
Get in Touch: brad.duryea@gmail.com    More by Brad Duryea

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Congregational · Console · Dynamic Range · Experimenting · Front of House · Hypercardioid · All Topics

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