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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If the overall broadcast mix bus seems too low with the above starting points, feel free to shift all of the send levels up to compensate. Just make sure you’ve got modest headroom in the bus, so you won’t clip. You can always make up the gain in your bus compression later.

The next step is to add the audience mics into the broadcast aux mix, but these will need to be sent prefader. That is, of course, because we never want the audience mics to feed the PA, so those channels will be turned down in the main mix. To be extra safe, also unassign those channels from the main mix. You will have to experiment considerably with finding the amount of audience that is just right: too little, and it won’t be adding much to the broadcast experience; too much, and you’ll wash out the rest of the mix.

Finally, use bus compression to keep the broadcast mix confined to a narrow dynamic range. FOH mixes are often quite dynamic (and I believe they should be!), but remember that we don’t want that for broadcast.

Your live stream will benefit greatly from nice, consistent levels, so spend some time experimenting with this part of the signal chain, until it sounds natural. You’ll probably want a long release time (several hundreds of milliseconds or more), and adjust the attack time, until it sounds transparent (a few milliseconds or so).

If you don’t have a stereo auxiliary bus to spare, don’t fret. You can, instead, assign music and vocals to a stereo audio subgroup (an actual subgroup, not a DCA), and place speech in another group. Do not route those subgroups to your main FOH mix, but instead, send them to a stereo matrix, and turn the speech subgroup up more than the music one (similar to what I described above in building an aux mix). This matrix will be your broadcast mix, except that we still need to get the audience mics to it.

Some consoles will let you directly route channels to matrix outs, but you may need to route your audience mics to their own stereo group (if you have enough available). Or you can always route them to one of the other broadcast subgroups in a pinch. Because we’re not using auxiliaries in this example, however, you will have to turn the audience channel faders up, so that they will actually feed the subgroup (as subgroups do not have a “prefader” option). Before you turn up those faders, though, double- and triple-check that they’re not also routed to the main mix.

Getting a great broadcast mix can seem daunting at first, but it becomes natural as you experiment and gain some experience.

Keep steady in your pursuit of worship tech excellence. Your web stream viewers will thank you!




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 · Console · Dynamic Range · Experimenting · Front of House · Hypercardioid · Levels · All Topics

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