multiple cameras and microphones

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
jviola
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#11

Post by jviola »

heyring,

Can you tell me what video mixer and audio mixer you have?
heyring
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Video and Audio Mixer

#12

Post by heyring »

We (like most Stakes) don't have a very extravagant budget for these things, so after MUCH research we went with a fairly low cost video mixer.

http://www.ambery.com/auvimidiefpr.html

A lot of Stakes are using this one, and we took a chance on purchasing from E-Bay for $500. It does the trick after a bit of practice.

Just about any basic audio mixer will work. Something with the required number of inputs like:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Behringer+- ... &cp=1&lp=4
starkjs
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#13

Post by starkjs »

The Mackie 402-VLZ3 is another inexpensive ($130 USD) mixer that has been used on numerous occasions to webcast. More information here.
heyring
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The important part of an audio mixer

#14

Post by heyring »

That is a great suggestion for an audio mixer. That's probably why it is in the Wiki :)

The goal is generally to receive XLR mic inputs, adjust the levels to the desired volume and send the audio over a compatible cable to the webcast encoder.

There are many mixers out there that will do the minimum, but most likely there will be additional cool things that will need to be mixed and adapted.

This will be THE key component, 2nd only to microphones that will determine the audio that goes to the outlying buildings.

So many decisions - so little time :confused:
shanebankhead
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#15

Post by shanebankhead »

I thought I'd add a few comments to address your original question.

First of all, just to clarify, you asked about video & audio splitters. But, I think you may actually be looking for a video switch or mixer, and an audio mixer. Responses above have addressed both cases, so I only mention this to avoid any confusion.

If you're splitting signals, as mentioned in earlier posts, be very careful since you can mess up the signals pretty easily if done incorrectly. If that indeed is what you need to do, let us know, and we can suggest some good techniques and equipment to do that. But I think most of us are assuming you're trying to switch multiple cameras and microphones into one output to feed the broadcast encoder.

To answer your original questions about microphones and placement, I have a few pieces of advice:

The most basic way to get the audio for your broadcast is to just take the line level output from the chapel audio system. The Crown pulpit mics in most buildings do an OK job of picking up ambient sound from the choir, organ, etc. If this is your first broadcast, it might be worth trying with just the chapel feed before making the audio system any more complicated. We have done several successful broadcasts this way over the years.

If your building does not have a line level output from the sound system, then you should get one installed, and a line run to the location of your broadcast encoder- talk to your FM group about having the audio contractor come out to do that. It is very simple job in most cases, but I don't recommend trying to hack into it yourself.

That said, you can get much better broadcast audio by adding a few microphones for the choir, piano/organ, and special musical numbers.

For best results, try to keep the audo system as simple as possible. More microphones is almost always NOT better. Don't add microphones to solve audio problems. Try to use a minimal amount of mics and experiment with the type of microphone and the placement to get the results you want.

For instance, the dynamic mics ("ice-cream cone" style) that you have in the library are TERRIBLE for choir mics. It's not a matter of quality, they're just the wrong kind of microphone and just don't work very well. A condenser mic is what is usually used here. Even a cheap inexpensive one will be 100 times better than using a dynamic mic. The right placement of the mic will solve 90% of the problems that come up.

It is advantageous to have separate microphones feeding the broadcast, separate from the chapel audio system. You don't want to plug extra microphones into the chapel sound system if you only need them to enhance the broadcast audio. That will often cause feedback or mix problems in the chapel.

We have had excellent results on our broadcasts by mixing our line level chapel audio output with two choir mics (condensers) high on each side of the choir at the front of the rostrum. These are not plugged into the chapel sound system, but go straight to our audio mixer. These pick up choir, organ, and piano very well. We've considered adding additional "close" mics for the organ, piano, etc. but once we found a good placement for the two choir mics, we haven't needed to do anything more. Sometimes we'll have one more if there is a special musical number that needs extra attention.

Anyway, that's my advice- start simple, then carefully add what you need in order to get the results you want.

Hope that helps.
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johnshaw
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#16

Post by johnshaw »

I'd be interested in what kind of benefit condenser mic's hooked into the chapel system would provide? Have you tested that scenario?

I only have a couple more broadcasts from this building before I have a new stake center, so I don't want to invest too much. In my previous broadcast using the chapel system, I was stuck taking RF through a vcr to separate the component and composite signals, but the audio I still had to run through a line reducer. It worked for that broadcast, but the choir was totally absent as we only used the input from the chapel mic. I'm hoping to have a direct composite / component out of the satellite system instead of having to use the internal RF.. hopefully that will increase the quality and reduce the line levels a bit.
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#17

Post by russellhltn »

jshawut wrote:I'm hoping to have a direct composite / component out of the satellite system instead of having to use the internal RF.. hopefully that will increase the quality and reduce the line levels a bit.
I'm confused - are you saying you hope to get a composite out from AV Rack from the camera? Otherwise it seems you're talking about a "live" conference vs. one broadcast on the satellite system - apples and oranges.
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johnshaw
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#18

Post by johnshaw »

Sorry about that...

The direct connection out of the satellite system meant to be (the satellite Rack - mounted in our media center) There is a single U (row) of that rack that contains 2 RF outputs, and a video and audio out (RCA type connections). Right now my RCA connections don't go anywhere which forces me to come out of the RF into a VCR. Our satellite rack has 2 channels defined, the internal video/chapel audio (chanel 12) and the church broadcast (chanel 3) - I want to get the Internal Camera and chapel sound - Chanel 12 audio and video setup as the output there.
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#19

Post by russellhltn »

jshawut wrote:Right now my RCA connections don't go anywhere
On our system, it's the output of the VCR.

Someone would have to install a small video/audio distribution amp to make them a chapel output. Right now I'll bet the incoming video and audio goes directly to the modulator so there's no spare connection.
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shanebankhead
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#20

Post by shanebankhead »

jshawut wrote:I'd be interested in what kind of benefit condenser mic's hooked into the chapel system would provide? Have you tested that scenario?

I only have a couple more broadcasts from this building before I have a new stake center, so I don't want to invest too much. In my previous broadcast using the chapel system, I was stuck taking RF through a vcr to separate the component and composite signals, but the audio I still had to run through a line reducer. It worked for that broadcast, but the choir was totally absent as we only used the input from the chapel mic. I'm hoping to have a direct composite / component out of the satellite system instead of having to use the internal RF.. hopefully that will increase the quality and reduce the line levels a bit.

Yes, we have tested that scenario, and it was not good. Our condenser mics are pretty hot and have a wide cardioid sensitivity pattern, so just plugging them into the chapel system causes feedback problems and adds unwanted ambient noise to the chapel audio when the choir is not singing. The chapel system does not allow you to attenuate or mute the extra mic inputs, so you have to put them through a mixer or attenuator before plugging into the chapel system. We tried this, but we couldn't get enough gain before feeback to really help much, so the whole process just wasn't worth it in our case.

However, in our building, the acoustics are OK and we have never had any complaints that the choir was too soft or didn't sound good. We only wanted the extra sound reinforcement for our broadcast audio. The existing chapel system works fine for the local congregation. This was why I suggested that it is best to treat your local and broadcast audio systems separately.

But every case is different, so if you want or need to add some sound reinforcement in the local audio system, then you would need some XLR splitters. (you have to get a special device to do this, they're about $30-$40 ea). You would split the choir mics two ways: One way into a local mixer or attenuator so you could adjust the gain and mute where appropriate so it sounded good in the chapel. The other way would go to your mixer that feeds your broadcast encoder.

But that's more complexity than I prefer in this kind of broadcast unless you really need it. If I could design my own system here's what I'd do- I'd get the audio contractor to come out and add a separate audio input (for choir or general sound reinforcement) to the mixer. The mixer would be programmed so the new input would not be mixed into the chapel feed, but would be mixed into the cultural hall, overflow speakers, RF Modulators, and broadcast line-out. This way you could add sound reinforcment for all of the areas that don't get all of the acoustic volume in the chapel, without making it too loud up close to the choir where the ambient volume is normally just fine, and you would avoid feedback problems.

But, I haven't really had the opportunity to pitch this idea yet. We are also getting a new stake center soon, so I may see if we can try something like that with the new system. But I'm discouraged that the system they're installing is still the same old circa-1980 modulator-based system that isn't very friendly to our broadcasts and multimedia presentations. But that's another topic entirely. I've been meaning to start a new thread to vent about this, so watch for that sometime soon...

Anyway, I hope that helps,
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