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How To Livestream Pro Quality Audio & Video For Praise & Worship
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
How To Livestream Pro Quality Audio & Video For Praise & Worship

Hi Gearslutz,

So I've been tasked with a challenge that is a little beyond my pay grade, and I'm hoping you can help. And it's sort of 2-fold.

I've recently taken a steady gig for a Praise & Worship service every Sunday. Just as a vocalist for some quick cash.
In light of all the craziness of Covid-19, the church is trying to quickly implement a live feed of the service via Facebook live. They've closed their doors to the public to help "flatten the curve" but they still want to maintain their community ministry outreach.
A live feed of the service is something they've toyed with for a long time, and have made a few investments toward it, but the engineer they had originally hired ghosted them a few years ago so the project was shelved. Right now they're just using the microphone built into a MacBook Air and are understandably finding it frustrating and not the best quality. So they are trying to quickly find a solution to get their gear quams.

They invested in a 16-channel Mackie Onyx 1640 as their house board, which is decent. They also have a couple camera options, which is good. The real question I have is software related. I know that there is some good software for syncing audio with video for live broadcast purposes, just not sure what to get.
I've heard there are some free options which might be best for right now, as we'd like to have it running this week if possible, but they are willing to invest in something more pro quality as they are hoping to make this a permanent installation.

So, problem #1 - what software do we need? Preferably one free option I can download now, and maybe another more permanent pro option

Problem #2
- if we are going to route a couple mics through the board and use the 2-mix for the broadcast, we're likely going to want to mic the musicians. But in a 500 seat reverb-ridden Sanctuary, how would you mic it? It's a GORGEOUS sounding room, but there is plenty of Verb and cooling vents running, so the noisefloor would be a concern.
But in terms of instrumentation, they have a full pipe organ, a grand piano, as well as 20-odd choir members. Would you use some kind of stereo pair? Shotgun mics? Some combination of mic techniques?


Thankfully I know what I don't know, so I knew to ask the experts. Any insight you can give me would go a really long way here.

Thanks Gearslutz, I really appreciate it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Here's something that may get you started in the right direction:

[2020 Update] The Top 7 Church Streaming Services - Free & Paid
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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The first issue is health and safety. There's a church choir in Cartersville, Georgia where one choir member has already died from this virus. It's not a good idea to get the choir together in person.

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/fam...cations-speaks

Search coronavirus church choir and you'll find other examples.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Have you looked at combining Blackmagic Design tech with OBS and a laptop? The ATEM switchers are not silly money and they work - they start at USD299 as a 4-way switcher with good audio inherited from Fairlight.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The first issue is health and safety. There's a church choir in Cartersville, Georgia where one choir member has already died from this virus. It's not a good idea to get the choir together in person.

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/fam...cations-speaks

Search coronavirus church choir and you'll find other examples.
YES. No choirs should be recording together right now! Anyone doing this is COMPLETELY UNDERMINING the efforts of all the medical staff who are risking their lives right now! It is everyone's duty to encourage those who are endangering the safety of the greater whole to not do things like this right now.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Have you looked at combining Blackmagic Design tech with OBS and a laptop? The ATEM switchers are not silly money and they work - they start at USD299 as a 4-way switcher with good audio inherited from Fairlight.
Just purchased an ATEM mini for myself a few weeks ago! We use the bigger ones at school too and they are fantastic; reliable, easy to operate, loaded with features. They integrate very well with the Sony PTZ’s and with the BMD micro studio 4k cams we use. Very impressed with what BMD is offering these days.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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I apologize, but I also should have cautioned to not be letting people use the same microphone or passing it around.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The first issue is health and safety. There's a church choir in Cartersville, Georgia where one choir member has already died from this virus. It's not a good idea to get the choir together in person.

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/fam...cations-speaks

Search coronavirus church choir and you'll find other examples.


Sorry, I should have prefaced that part of my post.
On a normal Sunday we have a decent size choir. As of right now as the situation unfolds, we are only having the 4 section leaders of the choir meet, along with our music director/ organist. Plus the pastor. That's why we started live streaming the service in the first place, and why a permanent installation hasn't been made. So in total we have 6 people in the building for as long as this Covid-19 virus is around. And even then we are taking every precaution possible. All 6 of us are individually social distancing/ nearly in total isolation, except for church on Sunday. And even then we have several hand sanitizer stations set up around the church, and we dont shake hands or make any physical contact with one another. And our usual seats have been moved so that even during performance we are approximately 6-7 feet away from one another.
And even after all that, as soon as one of those six parties feels even slightly ill we will be ceasing the live stream and going to a pre-recorded set of music we recorded a few weeks ago.

We're taking this Covid-19 crisis very seriously. We're just trying to do all we can to bring our ministry to the congregation and our community during such hard times. Hence why we're trying to come up with the best possible live stream.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Given the current public shut down there will be a lot of wasted money with poorly planned panic purchases of streaming gear. IMO the Black Magic recommendation is spot on, however professional placement design of the video cameras, comprehensive interface and appropriate audio capture are equally important. It is a whole lot more involved than a few cameras if you are going to do it very well.
Hugh
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Have you looked at combining Blackmagic Design tech with OBS and a laptop? The ATEM switchers are not silly money and they work - they start at USD299 as a 4-way switcher with good audio inherited from Fairlight.
I haven't - I've never heard of any of the things you just said! haha. Total noob when it comes to live broadcast stuff, hence why I posted here haha.

I'll definitely add that to my list of things to research.

Thank you!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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avare's Avatar
 

For a simple one or two feed you do not need specialized software. For more you need complex systems you need controlers/mixers mage Black Magic Designs, Roland, etc.

Reading several texts on broadcasting are just about a must.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Simply put, you can mix 16 channels through the 1640. Get a good mix going (with music and presenters) in a room that's NOT the auditorium (for live streaming). You'll need either capable headphones (Sony 7506 are good entry level) or "nearfield" monitor speakers (JBL and Yamaha both have decent entry level offerings).

If you are pre-recording (highly recommended) you can also track the 16 channels into a laptop to mix/remix in a computer (mine is a FireWire connection into a 10yo MacPro) and then match to the camera audio in an edit program (Final Cut, here)... but it's not a "quick learn" by any means.

If you are going live, and simple, you can feed the output of the mix (headphones... not through the house PA) from the 1640 into a single video camera (mine is a Sony Z5, with XLR inputs and HDMI out) and present the HDMI out of the camera to a streaming device. I'd not run farther than 15' for that HDMI feed. You MUST be aware of the gain structure at every point of the chain to avoid nasty distortion.

I much prefer a nice, clean presentation from a "static" single camera (not moving or handheld... you'll need a decent tripod) with very few "moves" (zoom/pan/tilt) ... compared to lots of jumpy, shakey moves. Simple is best, until you and your crew have some decent gear and "chops".

One old guy's opinion...

HB
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Assuming the cameras or switcher have HDMI out:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...SABEgLZ1vD_BwE

else there are similar boxes for SDI out (e.g. the afore mentioned BlackMagic box).

If the camera has XLR inputs, feed that from the mixer. Make sure any AGC controls are swtiched oiff, camera is set for line input, &c. That's the easiest way to ensure sync. If you are using an external audio interface, it might be off by a frame or two. OBS has audio delay for that.

Else, feed the Mackie to an audio interface on the laptop - even a Scarlett 2i2 might do it:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Then, get yourself OBS software:
https://obsproject.com/

I threw a quick OBS tutorial together for some of my educator colleagues. You can ignore some of the more complicated audio routing here. Just make sure you choose either the Magewell (if you are feeding camera) or the Scarlett (if you are feeding interface) for audio input:
https://youtu.be/C4gEBoO0Tow

This goes to Twitch, but Facebook live is similar:
https://www.facebook.com/help/587160588142067

Good luck!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Watching various services being streamed this morning, I have a different thought.

The problem with this virus is it's a exponentially growing threat. And none of us know how long it's going to persist.

At the rate this virus is spreading, you guys may want to be thinking about combining your pastor preaching from his home, your music director leading from his home, etc. via Zoom or another platform. You don't want the core leadership of your church infected. With your congregation at home, they aren't going to be shocked or offended by your leadership leading from your homes.

I believe you can offer some interaction among your membership and your leadership if someone for example wants to comment on the service or request prayer via Zoom or https://churchonlineplatform.com/

Streaming by itself only gets you so far when it comes to maintaining fellowship in your church. Maintaining community on line is going to be the next issue for churches, colleges, universities.....
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
Simply put, you can mix 16 channels through the 1640. Get a good mix going (with music and presenters) in a room that's NOT the auditorium (for live streaming). You'll need either capable headphones (Sony 7506 are good entry level) or "nearfield" monitor speakers (JBL and Yamaha both have decent entry level offerings).

If you are pre-recording (highly recommended) you can also track the 16 channels into a laptop to mix/remix in a computer (mine is a FireWire connection into a 10yo MacPro) and then match to the camera audio in an edit program (Final Cut, here)... but it's not a "quick learn" by any means.

If you are going live, and simple, you can feed the output of the mix (headphones... not through the house PA) from the 1640 into a single video camera (mine is a Sony Z5, with XLR inputs and HDMI out) and present the HDMI out of the camera to a streaming device. I'd not run farther than 15' for that HDMI feed. You MUST be aware of the gain structure at every point of the chain to avoid nasty distortion.

I much prefer a nice, clean presentation from a "static" single camera (not moving or handheld... you'll need a decent tripod) with very few "moves" (zoom/pan/tilt) ... compared to lots of jumpy, shakey moves. Simple is best, until you and your crew have some decent gear and "chops".

One old guy's opinion...

HB

Going the simple route, is there a way to tell Facebook live to use the feed coming from that camera, or would we be better off hosting the stream from another platform like YouTube?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt.campbell View Post
Going the simple route, is there a way to tell Facebook live to use the feed coming from that camera, or would we be better off hosting the stream from another platform like YouTube?
Remember... the audio in the second example is blended with (and fed through the HDMI output jack with) the video portion. You would NOT want to try to synch "wild" audio (not embedded within the video's timecode) especially from a second streaming source. You would be feeding the HDMI output of the camera (video from the lens and sensor, audio from the Mackie 1640 feeding the XLR inputs) from the HDMI OUT jack, into whatever device you are using to livestream (a computer, or something like the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Stream Switcher, seen here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...QaAgmUEALw_wcB).

The church I work with most Sundays I'm in town, where I do audio for the "contemporary" service (same timeframe), which is not streamed, captures and sends a switched 3-camera video stream from the "traditional" service through a NewTek "TriCaster" device directly to their YouTube channel. The cameras are remotely operated, and the audio for that service is a blend (within the TriCaster's audio mixer) of a pair of AKG C451 room mics and the L/R output of the main mixing desk's PA mix for the sanctuary. It's not great... but it's been satisfactory for the past decade or so. You can see the current model here: ( https://www.newtek.com/tricaster/400-series/ ). The TriCaster is about $18K, plus three cameras, camera controller wiring, install, video and audio monitors, and a back-up/storage hard drive. They probably have $40K in the system.

Hope this helps.

HB
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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ATEM mini and the Magewell are out of stock at the usual sources that I've checked. Even inexpensive computer webcams are going out of stock.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
ATEM mini and the Magewell are out of stock at the usual sources that I've checked. Even inexpensive computer webcams are going out of stock.
This, too, shall pass.

We hope.

Easiest and least expensive (and lowest "acceptable" quality) would be iPhone/iPad direct feed. Ultimately, it's the content that's important, audio primarily, video secondarily. Bottom line: the message is in the audio... the rest is eye candy.

Finding an affordable solution that has clear audio and a decent picture is much simpler than trying to "produce" a "pro" production value. For newbies, simpler is better. The learning curve to a high production value output isn't quick, or easy. It's not impossible... it simply needs to be approached with research, understanding, testing (and testing, and testing), and appropriation of the gear necessary to move from iPhone on Facebook to Hillsong.

I was the Vidiot on a multi-year tour for a Christian speaker in the late '90s. At every event, the screens, CG video support and IMAG were (for then) pretty cutting edge... but anyone could tell you that if audio failed, there was no event. Audio without IMAG video was far less "cool"... but the message (and the musical component) could still have been effectively shared with the audience.

One old roaddawg's opinion, of course.

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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I watched two services on line Sunday. One had a camera of some sort, a mixer and a couple of mics, but their mic levels were inconsistent and distorted. Camera work was ....yuck. They should have set the camera and left it alone.

The other service looked and sounded like it was streamed from a smartphone. It was actually easier to watch.

Looking more at the ATEM mini, it looks like a neat piece of tech, but good luck to the OP finding one at the moment.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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foamboy's Avatar
Lots of really good suggestions. I looked at this https://www.vmix.com/
a while back because it seemed to work well with multi track audio. I was thinking of putting a mobile a/v setup to record local acts. The one thing I will say, is that the developer is very active and busy. It seems like there is an updated version with new features about every 60 days. They really seem to support the product line a lot.

Good luck.

fb
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
... Looking more at the ATEM mini, it looks like a neat piece of tech, but good luck to the OP finding one at the moment.
I've been on Roland products since buying a V440HD about 12 years ago, to the V-1HD that moved me from VGA/RGBHV world into HDMI/SDI land. Saves about 200# of VGA cable weight in the pack, and upped the resolution and image clarity for conference presentations markedly. It punches well above its weight and price point.

H
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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loranoyd's Avatar
 

Many thanks, RobAnderson, for the excellent tutorial. Much to digest. Tried OBS in the early days (when you had to route screen capture through VLC) and ended up tearing out what little hair I had left. I am definitely going to try it again, thanks to your terrific tutorial!

--Lloyd
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Your initial request was for "PRO Quality Audio and Video" for live streaming. When the current shut down passes, and it will in the very near future, the panic rush to create a streaming capability will also pass. I would speculate the first major hurdle your church will need to overcome is a satisfactory audio FOH to deliver to the worshipers decent music and the spoken word transparently. What I am recommending is retaining pro help to design and set up an appropriate audio system. Until that is achieved no amount of $ spent on video will take you where you need to go!
Hugh
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Your initial request was for "PRO Quality Audio and Video" for live streaming. When the current shut down passes, and it will in the very near future, the panic rush to create a streaming capability will also pass.
It will abate, but it will not pass. There will always be a pool of ill, infirm and aged members of church communities who can't attend services.

Traditionally these people have been served by audiocassettes, videotapes,CD-r and DVD-r recordings of services....so the current trend to live streaming may have been a small revolution for them ?

With the return to normality the churches will fill again, but for this always-present group the live stream represents a real time viable alternative to the hard copy media. I predict that what's now a necessary adjunct will become a fixture for those communities who see the value for their immobile members.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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Over the past 20 years working with the building and worship committees at Boone United Methodist Church I have learned the following.
1) Shut in ministry does not require a streaming capability: in fact there are much better quality protocols that are far more dependable.
2) The primary reason to stream a worship service is for world wide coverage and the potential advantages that coverage might offer. Production quality requirements and high level inter-net delivery is an involved and expensive broadcasting endeavor. Unless an exceptional worship experience featuring outstanding music and the spoken word (like the Marble church in NY city with Michael Brown as an example) this type of live delivery is seldom worth the effort. No church with empty seats in the sanctuary on Sunday morning should contemplate investing in streaming.
3) The most dependable community shut in electronic ministry is to video an early service and carry it to the local cable system for broadcast @ 11:00 AM.
A GH5 and Atomos recorder with a FOH stereo feed can deliver a better video than most entry level streaming systems. The Black Magic offerings are very good but require a skilled operator and more than a small investment. In fact an I-Phone capture on the front row would probably be better quality than some of the streaming I have recently observed. There is no magic in live local streaming and there are many bumps in that road.
Hugh
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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FYI, for those of you on Facebook, QSC is offering some free online tutorials this coming week, including two from the improbably named Golden Dawn Preciado (her explanation: "what can I say, my parents were hippies") that may be relevant here, especially on the audio end:

1. Tuesday, March 31, 2pm Pacific Time: Live Streaming Tips
2. Wednesday, April 1, 2pm Pacific Time: House of Worship Tech Talk

Facebook link below:

Quote:
QSC - Play Out Loud (at home) Facebook Live Event Schedule... | Facebook



Play Out Loud (at home) Facebook Live Event Schedule at QSC! Tune in next week for some great music, discussion and encouragement!
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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A good many churches have problems with their live audio as it is. The additional difficulty of recording a decent broadcast mix is a problem for many.

What may happen to smaller churches with less tech expertise is their members may start watching better quality services elsewhere for the time being.
Old 2 days ago
  #28
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Blackmagic just announced the ATEM mini pro for $595 US which includes a built in hardware encoder, the ability to record over the USB port to a hard drive, and a bunch of other stuff such as start/stop control, color adjustment, and timecode for certain Black Magic cameras.
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