Broadcast Audio for Webcasting While Also Mixing FOH

A closer look at how to create a mix using matrixes and also how to fashion a mix through aux sends.

Broadcast Audio for Webcasting While Also Mixing FOH
If you are still running on an analog desk, you’ll want to run your broadcast mix through an external mastering compressor or whatever you have around. This, like treating your levels internally from the FOH desk, is designed to reduce the dynamic range for your listener.
Broadcast Audio for Webcasting While Also Mixing FOH
If you are still running on an analog desk, you’ll want to run your broadcast mix through an external mastering compressor or whatever you have around. This, like treating your levels internally from the FOH desk, is designed to reduce the dynamic range for your listener.

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While most of us would like to think our church experience should be about an organic relationship with Christ, the truth is, we are in the 20th century and technology, and very specifically media, is all around us.

Visual media is king, and number one on that list is video. With that in mind, we have to consider how to capitalize on this medium being a high impactful part of getting your church’s message to the world.

But most churches are not megachurches, and you want to leverage this medium, but you can’t afford broadcast staffing or the expense of a broadcast studio and a separate console. That’s OK. You can - with some smarts - create a good broadcast product with your FOH console.

So let’s start there with one console that is doing everything.

There are two methods in which you can send audio to your broadcast. You can create a mix using matrixes and also create a mix through aux sends.

I’ve been very successful at both, and I’ll walk you through how to do each. You’ll find some consoles, whether digital or analog, may or may not have a feature mentioned, which is why you are going to see a few ways you can work on developing your broadcast mix.

Visual media is king, and number one on that list is video.

Broadcast feed thru matrixes – To use this method on your console, you will mix a blend of stems with your main house mix. Why are we creating stems? Well, mostly to balance out the difference between the music portions of the service, which lets just put a number on it, is averaging 95 dB in the house. Then your pastor comes up and he is only averaging 75 dB in the house. On a broadcast mix, that means the pastor is extremely quiet and will need a bit of a “boost” to match the level of the music content.

So the first group we will make what is called “Boost,” and we will put all spoken word mics in there, such as your speaking pastor, host, welcome, and anyone who can grab the handheld mic, etc.

The next group will be “Playback,” which includes playback sources from iPods, playback from your local Mac, videos.

The last group will be for Room Mics.

Now let’s put this together. Build in your matrix mix the groups Boost, Playback, Room Mics and your left-right mix. This will take some time, and if you have the ability to run a virtual sound check, it’ll speed up your process. But the goal here is to have all of your sources sound nearly at the same level as your final product.


More About Debbie Keough
Debbie Keough is currently a freelance audio engineer based in the Orange County area of Southern California. She has held FOH, lighting, media and technical director positions from the largest megachurches to smaller local churches. Additionally, she is an instructor at The Recording Arts Center in San Diego, California. She loves mixing and her heart is to teach, encourage and raise up the next generation of technical artists in the church. She can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @debbiekeough.
Get in Touch: debbiekeough1@gmail.com    More by Debbie Keough

Latest Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
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Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Visual Arts · Video Production · Broadcast · Consoles · Frequencies · Matrixes · Mixing for Streaming · Playback · All Topics

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