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Author Topic: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?  (Read 2351 times)

Mark Scrivener

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2020, 03:15:02 am »

I want to hear more about what you guys are doing. I'm thinking this is going to be what I'm going to have to do. I recorded my daughter's dance recital last weekend with my Canon 60D, Canon RP and a GoPro mounted on top of one of the fold back speakers. I'm not entirely happy with the results. But most of that was due to the venue (a banquet hall with flat seating and people's heads in the bottom of the image).

I've also gotten my Part 107 drone pilot's license and have started trying to do some real estate video/photography.

We frequently hear from folks on this board how lighting, pipe and drape, tables and chairs, canopies, etc are where the money is at. Well Video (esp live streaming) is going to be "the thing" for lots of events until this pandemic is fully behind us (could be years). Of course sound will be extremely important, which is where we come in, but expect video to be the asked for service.

Some general things to consider (in no particular order):

1. 1080P is the highest resolution you can stream at over any service at this time. That is not likely to change anytime soon. If you are looking at 4k cameras (or 6k, etc), do so because you plan to edit and upload, or because it is a better camera, since 1080p is the most you can stream. And services like Zoom limit you to 720 or less in most cases.

2. If you want to live stream, hardware encoders are the way to go.

3. If you plan to use multiple cameras for a live stream, you will need a switcher. The Blackmagic Design ATEM mini series is pretty much the only game in town for affordable, portable, live video switchers. They even have units that will live stream and record all the individual camera inputs. Crazy powerful little box.

4. Video sensors are getting better, smaller and cheaper, but glass still rules. Smartphones, action cameras (GoPro), camera sticks, etc are limited by their lenses. You want cameras that have interchangeable lenses. Dave's PCC (nice!), DSLRs (inc mirrorless), and the Aida's I mentioned above all can use real lenses to get far superior results. The PCC's, DSLR's, etc give you the option of running on batteries and recording in camera. POV broadcast cameras (like the Aida's) do not.

For me the driving factor was teaching my guitar students via Zoom. I wanted the best image quality I could get and multiple angles so students could clearly see what was going on with both hands - thus 4 cameras and an ATEM mini switcher into a PC for Zoom. This is set up in my recording studio, so audio is through a large analog console (via various mic's) into an Antelope converter and into my DAW. From there I use the Audio Movers plug in to stream uncompressed audio to a web browser link. Zoom is designed for speech and is terrible with music.

Going forward I see opportunities live streaming various events, either on location or from my studio. From simple talking head panel discussions to music performances, there will be plenty to choose from. I'm steaming a wedding in two weeks that consists only of the couple and me. They plan to perform several songs (both sing and play guitar) so we are doing it from my studio. In addition to video and sound guy, I'll also be playing bass on a few tunes. Should be fun.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 03:18:08 am by Mark Scrivener »
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2020, 01:24:03 pm »

But bringing this back to audio - most cameras and video switchers have 1/8" TRS jacks for stereo (unbalanced) audio. When you want to be portable and light, how are you guys dealing with the audio? Not sure if I should bring a small portable preamp and cabling or just shell out for a "video" mic (that probably isn't nearly as good as the mics I already have).

One of my camera inputs is a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB. It has RCA inputs for audio, so I use the RCA outputs of a small mixer to feed it. The mixer takes the PA feed plus a stereo mic at DSC to catch what's not in the PA. When there's no PA (usually for solo/duo acts) I just mic the performer directly as I would in a recording studio.

OBS can host VST plugins, so I can put a compressor on the audio feed.

Dave Garoutte

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2020, 03:54:45 pm »

I want to hear more about what you guys are doing. I'm thinking this is going to be what I'm going to have to do. I recorded my daughter's dance recital last weekend with my Canon 60D, Canon RP and a GoPro mounted on top of one of the fold back speakers. I'm not entirely happy with the results. But most of that was due to the venue (a banquet hall with flat seating and people's heads in the bottom of the image).

I've also gotten my Part 107 drone pilot's license and have started trying to do some real estate video/photography.

Here's a link to a live stream I did the other day, with green screen.
video
BMD PCC4K w/Sigma lenses x2,  PTZ Optics 12x, ATEM mini pro, Strata Macros to control the Atem.
Audio thru Ui24 into the cameras.
Unfortunately I had a hardware issue about halfway through,right as we were going to green screen a video behind Matt.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 08:54:56 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2020, 10:15:55 pm »

My preparation is now at this level:

Unsubscribe from all marketing and sales email.  Every one, every kind.

Dropping my Costco membership.

Eying what personal equipment to start the liquidation.

Deciding when my last day here will be.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 10:18:23 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Mark Scrivener

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2020, 01:23:31 am »

My preparation is now at this level:

Unsubscribe from all marketing and sales email.  Every one, every kind.

Dropping my Costco membership.

Eying what personal equipment to start the liquidation.

Deciding when my last day here will be.

Yikes Tim! So sorry to hear. It makes me ill thinking about all the fine folks like yourself who have lost their livelihoods during this time. I know darn well it was nothing more than dumb luck that I was not seriously impacted - none of us saw this coming. I hope you find a way to hang on and persevere - forgivable gov loans, downsizing, other revenue streams, something. I'm sure you have been actively exploring all of these. We are all pulling for you!

Tim McCulloch

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2020, 04:41:31 am »

Yikes Tim! So sorry to hear. It makes me ill thinking about all the fine folks like yourself who have lost their livelihoods during this time. I know darn well it was nothing more than dumb luck that I was not seriously impacted - none of us saw this coming. I hope you find a way to hang on and persevere - forgivable gov loans, downsizing, other revenue streams, something. I'm sure you have been actively exploring all of these. We are all pulling for you!
I'm over 60 but not old enough to retire and I really needed continuous (like in 2018) earnings to build up my S.S. and contribute to my IRA.  That hasn't happened since March and is unlikely to rebound before I reach full retirement age.  In the old days when things got shitty there were corporate gigs, trade show and exhibit work, or TV/video to fall back on.  That's pretty much all gone and competition for what little remains is intense.

The government programs were not meant for the likes of me and you.  They were not meant for mom & pop firms or those without pre-existing (and current) *commercial* banking relationships.  The most beneficial monies were snatched up by bigger money corporations and fraudsters leaving the small businesses to deplete their savings in hopes of riding things out.  The smart folks liquidated in April back when there was hope the pandemic would be gone in 90 days and there was a market for inventory and businesses.

I've been pessimistic about the whole thing since things started shutting down in March.  I was not sufficiently pessimistic.  Either way it's all beyond by ability to influence or control.  If have to get a job outside of audio/production I won't be coming back.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Dan Richardson

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2020, 02:09:34 pm »

Check out the Aida HD-100A - broadcast quality 1080p camera (they make 4k versions as well), under $300.

That's got an awfully small sensor. I went Micro 4/3. I got a pair of Lumix GX85 kits for $400 ea, including a couple decent zoom lenses, with complete access to worlds of beautiful old SLR glass. I already own a bunch of Nikon F mount lenses. For flexibility, my third camera is a cell phone gymbal. Started with an old iPhone SE. It worked, but doesn't look that great. Just ordered a Samsung S7 to go Mu-MIMO to the switcher as an upgrade. It has a burned-in screen, which doesn't bother me at all. Cost me $40.

re 1080 is enough, I run the GX85s at 4k so I can crop and zoom.
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2020, 02:54:25 pm »

That's got an awfully small sensor. I went Micro 4/3. I got a pair of Lumix GX85 kits for $400 ea, including a couple decent zoom lenses, with complete access to worlds of beautiful old SLR glass. I already own a bunch of Nikon F mount lenses. For flexibility, my third camera is a cell phone gymbal. Started with an old iPhone SE. It worked, but doesn't look that great. Just ordered a Samsung S7 to go Mu-MIMO to the switcher as an upgrade. It has a burned-in screen, which doesn't bother me at all. Cost me $40.

re 1080 is enough, I run the GX85s at 4k so I can crop and zoom.

Yep, I was skeptical at first, but the image quality out of these things is fantastic. And not having a big camera and lens in the way is a plus for what I do (They are positioned around my recording console, pointed at me for guitar instruction). The Micro 4/3's cameras are a great option as well, and digital cropping 4k is a nice option (though mainly for recording...not sure how that works live). Speaking of live, not all the micro 4/3's cameras output clean HDMI in live mode. I know the GX85 does, but some of the Lumix cameras apparently don't (from what I've read).

Speaking of micro 4/3's - the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras get rave reviews. They also have some pretty cool features when working with the ATEM mini. For my main application though, it was all about being seamless and out of the way while providing great image quality. The Aida's do that. Nothing to turn on or off (they come up with my system power) and just work. They also make a 4k version. But for filming or location recording, the Lumix or PCC's would be far better.

Chris Grimshaw

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2020, 02:42:12 am »

There's not a lot for me to do right now, with regards to live sound. I'm a one-man show and all the equipment is paid for, so I've closed the shutters on the storage unit, and have been doing other work to keep myself afloat.

I don't have the cash to drop on video gear, but I have been immersing myself in the field of acoustics on my days off.

Chris
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Ed Taylor

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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2020, 01:18:28 pm »

We frequently hear from folks on this board how lighting, pipe and drape, tables and chairs, canopies, etc are where the money is at. Well Video (esp live streaming) is going to be "the thing" for lots of events until this pandemic is fully behind us (could be years). Of course sound will be extremely important, which is where we come in, but expect video to be the asked for service.

Some general things to consider (in no particular order):

1. 1080P is the highest resolution you can stream at over any service at this time. That is not likely to change anytime soon. If you are looking at 4k cameras (or 6k, etc), do so because you plan to edit and upload, or because it is a better camera, since 1080p is the most you can stream. And services like Zoom limit you to 720 or less in most cases.

2. If you want to live stream, hardware encoders are the way to go.

3. If you plan to use multiple cameras for a live stream, you will need a switcher. The Blackmagic Design ATEM mini series is pretty much the only game in town for affordable, portable, live video switchers. They even have units that will live stream and record all the individual camera inputs. Crazy powerful little box.

4. Video sensors are getting better, smaller and cheaper, but glass still rules. Smartphones, action cameras (GoPro), camera sticks, etc are limited by their lenses. You want cameras that have interchangeable lenses. Dave's PCC (nice!), DSLRs (inc mirrorless), and the Aida's I mentioned above all can use real lenses to get far superior results. The PCC's, DSLR's, etc give you the option of running on batteries and recording in camera. POV broadcast cameras (like the Aida's) do not.

For me the driving factor was teaching my guitar students via Zoom. I wanted the best image quality I could get and multiple angles so students could clearly see what was going on with both hands - thus 4 cameras and an ATEM mini switcher into a PC for Zoom. This is set up in my recording studio, so audio is through a large analog console (via various mic's) into an Antelope converter and into my DAW. From there I use the Audio Movers plug in to stream uncompressed audio to a web browser link. Zoom is designed for speech and is terrible with music.

Going forward I see opportunities live streaming various events, either on location or from my studio. From simple talking head panel discussions to music performances, there will be plenty to choose from. I'm steaming a wedding in two weeks that consists only of the couple and me. They plan to perform several songs (both sing and play guitar) so we are doing it from my studio. In addition to video and sound guy, I'll also be playing bass on a few tunes. Should be fun.

major thanks for this reply Mark...
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Re: How are you preparing for the future (of live sound) during this time?
« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2020, 01:18:28 pm »


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