Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
cyberrick
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Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#1

Post by cyberrick »

So we are trying to figure out the best and easiest way to broadcast sacrament services in each of our wards in the stake. I think we have narrowed it down to either Google Meets (we have been using it for Stake Pres Meetings) or to YouTube live. We have been able to use a Webcam connected to a laptop and it broadcasts fine but the sound is not so good. On a scale of 1-10 it's probably a 4. The sound seems weak and we're not sure our growing over 70 population will be ok with that. We'd like to find a way to use the comtek unit to imput the sound into the system. This will make it for clear with better volume. However, I don't seem to be able to find a way or adapter to input microphone sound into the laptop.
The comtek has a 3.5mm female and we need to connect that to the laptop somehow.

We don't want to have to pay to go high tech so we want to find a work around for getting the sound to from the comtek to the laptop. Any ideas?

I'm the STS but more of a computer wiz than audio/video wiz so any help would be appreciated.
drepouille
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#2

Post by drepouille »

I gave up on the Comtek receiver. I plan to try using a Lavalier mic tomorrow, which I have taped to the podium mic boom.

My laptop has a 3.5mm TRRS jack, so I bought a "Headset Splitter, iNassen 3.5mm Audio + Mic Stereo Splitter CTIA Audio 4 Pole TRRS Splitter 3.5mm Male to 2 x 3.5mm Female Jack Y Cable"
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08D3PP1B9
So instead of a 3.5mm female TRRS jack, I have one 3.5mm female TRS jack for audio input, and another 3.5mm female TRS jack for headphones or earbuds.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
russellhltn
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#3

Post by russellhltn »

The Comtek receiver needs to see a dc resistance of 100 ohms or less to turn on. Your computer isn't going to provide that.

I've seen the suggestion to use a "Y" cable so you can plug in earphones as well as your audio feed. That could work, but I'd be concerned the earphone would also act as a microphone and badly color the sound.

Also be aware that I've seen the transmitters fail in such a way that they cut in and out. Unless you have users of the system, yours might be failing and you don't know it.

I'd think drepouille's idea has a better chance of success.
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cyberrick
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#4

Post by cyberrick »

drepouille wrote:I gave up on the Comtek receiver. I plan to try using a Lavalier mic tomorrow, which I have taped to the podium mic boom.

My laptop has a 3.5mm TRRS jack, so I bought a "Headset Splitter, iNassen 3.5mm Audio + Mic Stereo Splitter CTIA Audio 4 Pole TRRS Splitter 3.5mm Male to 2 x 3.5mm Female Jack Y Cable"
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08D3PP1B9
So instead of a 3.5mm female TRRS jack, I have one 3.5mm female TRS jack for audio input, and another 3.5mm female TRS jack for headphones or earbuds.
Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, my dell inspiron laptop does not have a 3.5mm jack. It only has USB-A and USB-C ports. I think that's the same on most laptops (at least ones I have seen, my wife's HP doesn't either). However, I like the lavalier mike idea. Are you having to use some extension cables or are you setting on the stand with the laptop to do this?
drepouille
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#5

Post by drepouille »

I don't know what the Lavalier wireless range is. The mic and transmitter are on the podium, and I sit with my laptop and the receiver at a small table in front and off to the side of the podium. I know, it's rather silly that I have the receiver about three feet away from the receiver's antenna. I may as well just run a really long mini-microphone cable from the podium mic boom directly to the laptop.

My Dell Inspiron 5770 laptop has a 3.5mm TRRS jack, a USB-C port, and three USB-A ports.
My Dell Inspiron 11 3180 laptop has a 3.5mm TRRS jack, and two USB-A ports.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#6

Post by Mikerowaved »

cyberrick wrote:Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, my dell inspiron laptop does not have a 3.5mm jack. It only has USB-A and USB-C ports.
USB audio adapters are cheap and work great.
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drepouille
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#7

Post by drepouille »

drepouille wrote:I know, it's rather silly that I have the receiver about three feet away from the receiver's antenna. I may as well just run a really long mini-microphone cable from the podium mic boom directly to the laptop.
So I took my own advice and ordered a lapel microphone with a 16-foot cord and both TRS and TRRS 3.5 mm male plugs.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DPQJQ2L
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
gyoungberg
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#8

Post by gyoungberg »

Comtek device to a 3.5mm headphone splitter, splitter goes to an earpiece (headphones) on one side and a 3.5mm male-to-male cable on the other. Cable goes to an external usb sound card with a microphone input. USB plug goes into the computer. In the audio settings of the software you are using to broadcast, select the USB microphone as your sound input device and set volume manually rather than automatically so it doesn't modulate throughout the broadcast. Make sure you've got fresh batteries in the Comtek device. Short of a direct line-out from the sound system this will work the best of everything I have tried as a stake tech specialist involved in webcasting stake meetings for over 10 years.
cwcahoon
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#9

Post by cwcahoon »

gyoungberg wrote:Comtek device to a 3.5mm headphone splitter, splitter goes to an earpiece (headphones) on one side and a 3.5mm male-to-male cable on the other. Cable goes to an external usb sound card with a microphone input. USB plug goes into the computer. In the audio settings of the software you are using to broadcast, select the USB microphone as your sound input device and set volume manually rather than automatically so it doesn't modulate throughout the broadcast. Make sure you've got fresh batteries in the Comtek device. Short of a direct line-out from the sound system this will work the best of everything I have tried as a stake tech specialist involved in webcasting stake meetings for over 10 years.
I used basically this same solution yesterday (although we were using a Mevo Start Camera with a 3.5mm audio jack, so we didn't need the USB sound card) and it worked well. There was an occasional low volume popping noise in the background that was annoying, but not a deal breaker. I suspect it was because the comtek volume was turned up too high, but I'm going to test it out this week to try and perfect the setup. Anyway, just wanted to confirm that I was able to use the Comtek with pretty good sound quality. We have an older building in our stake whose hearing devices are, shall we say, old and unreliable. I just ordered a 50-foot audio cable for $11 on Amazon and I am hopeful I will be able to you the old "Record out" jack that this building has. I'll be curious to see how the sound quality compares. As long as the signal I get at the camera is loud enough, the camera's app has a simple audio mixer I can use to control the volume of the broadcast output.
cyberrick
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Re: Using a Comtek for sound when broadcasting Sacrament

#10

Post by cyberrick »

Ok, so we have decided to use YouTube live to broadcast out sacrament meetings. It seems to have the best user experience and video that Google Meet, or Zoom. We figured out the right adapter to use - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IR ... UTF8&psc=1 and the right cable to go between the ComTek and the laptop. The trip was in using Mono cables. The stereo cable would not turn on the ComTek. When we switched to a mono cable it worked. Also the usb adaptor should be mono as well. The adapter i mention here has a mic input and output for headphones.

We are setting up on the side of the chapel opposite the sacrament table. We just didn't want to interfere with the passing. You can test placement based on the layout of your chapel. We're thinking of putting the tripod in the middle of the seating so at home members can see the bishopric on the stand better. Haven't done an actual broadcast yet. Fingers crossed.

As far as the second hour goes, we're thinking each teacher will need to decide what they are comfortable with but we will probably suggest using Zoom since it will allow interaction with the teacher.
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