There’s all kinds of strategies out there for improving your live stream mix. Most require you to use a different mixer for your live stream and set up a control room. This works well, but it’s not a viable solution for a lot of churches.
How do the rest of us provide a live stream mix with excellence?
Well, I have a simple strategy for you. No new equipment needed. No extra volunteers needed. All you need is the simple strategy I am about to give you.
When it comes to a simple live stream mixing strategy, there’s a little bit of setup you have to do on your mixer. But once you get everything set up, your workflow every Sunday is going to be really simple.
Seriously, once you implement this strategy, you’ll probably end up spending less than a minute on your live stream mix each week and it is going to sound great.
So, let’s get it all set up.
First up, you’ll need a pair of bus or aux mixes to use for the live stream mix. The reason you need two instead of one is so you can have a stereo mix. Trust me, it sounds way better than a mono mix.
You’ll need to link the two buses into a stereo mix. How you do this depends on your mixer, but here’s how you do it on the X32:
Next, you’ll need to go through each channel and make sure the tap point is set correctly. The tap point is simply the setting that lets you determine at what point in the signal chain to send that channel to the bus.
In this case, we are only going to use two of the options, pre-fader and post-fader.
Most of your channels will be set to post-fader, which allows your live stream mix to mimic what is going on in the room. In other words, when you adjust the volume in the room for one of your vocals, it will also adjust the volume in the live stream mix.
For now, go ahead and set everything to post-fader and we can go back and change the few exceptions afterwards. Here’s how you do it on the X32:
This will assign all channels for that bus to Post Fader.
Now, there are three different things that work better with the pre-fader configuration. The most important is your pastor’s mic.
This makes sure that your pastor is always at full volume in the live stream mix regardless of what is going on in the room.
The other two things to set to pre-fader are your ambient mics, if you have them, and also the inputs you use for pre-service music and any videos you might play during the service.
Let me show you how to set these three channels to pre-fader:
Next, do the same thing for your ambient mics and your pre-service music feed.
Once everything is configured, you simply need to create a starting point for your live stream mix. The easiest way to do this is to use the “sends on fader” control.
In the room, you generally mix vocals quite a bit louder than everything else to make sure everyone hears them. When listening online, the vocals come across as too loud because most computer and TV speakers are tuned to make vocals sound louder anyway.
So, bringing vocals down to -5dB in the live steam bus will help them blend better online.
Keep in mind, you want all your vocals to be at the same level in the live stream bus.
We have these set to post fader, so the room mix will take care of making sure the background vocals are in the background and the lead vocal is in the front. You don’t need to do this in the live stream busses.
And now you are all set up and ready to go. But remember, this is just a starting point for your mix. You’ll need to make adjustments to the bus mix once you actually have the band playing.
Simply put on a pair of headphones, solo your live stream bus mix, and use the sends on fader control to fine tune your live stream mix.
And that’s it. Now all you have to do is take a minute each Sunday to check your live stream mix, make minor adjustments, and you’re good to go.
Keep in mind, the live stream mix is a reflection of what’s going on in your auditorium, so you’ll want to make sure your room mix is the best it can be.
That’s what Church Sound Made Simple is all about.