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Author Topic: Remote mixing  (Read 1089 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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Remote mixing
« on: August 26, 2020, 12:46:43 pm »

Perhaps this is crazy and I know it would be difficult-but is there way to remote control on iPad so that I can remote mix a livestream?

We use a QU-32 and I have an iPad and use the Qu-pad app regularly-but due to a relatively close covid positive test, I need to avoid a church service.  I can have someone fill in on media-but I do multiple things and one of those is to manage the livestream mix (someone else mixes live).

I know it would be tough and far less than ideal as there is a several second delay from the live-but I am not mixing the entire palet so to speak-just keeping piano etc. reasonable to rest of the mix-bringing ambient in for congregationals, etc.

I realize a lot will feel like we should not have live with congregationals right now-I respect that-but also understand that while what I am doing is outisde the box and would never normally be considered-it is something I am willing to try to do our best to be cautious.
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Steve Swaffer

Scott Slater

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 07:54:04 am »

Easier:  Try leaving the iPad locally connected somewhere then remotely connecting to the iPad using teamviewer.

Harder:  VPN Link - In a nutshell, you would have to find out what UDP port the Qu series uses for discovery, and then setup a VPN and ensure that that port is forwarded across the VPN.  This would more than likely have to be a router-to-router type VPN, unless the iPad has a software based solution that can do UDP forwarding.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2020, 11:42:48 am »

I remotely connect to computers all day with an excellent pro app (expensive). It works very well but connections drop a lot. I've used free apps like Teamviewer in the past and they not only drop connection more often, but they are slow.

Bottom line is that you can do it but don't rely on it and have patience.
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Bill Meeks

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 08:26:30 am »

As others have stated, there are several ways to obtain the remote connectivity. Some are simpler than others. For a one Sunday only event, I would opt for something easier like TeamViewer or an equivalent.

The much bigger aggravation is going to be the sizeable delay you will have with the received livestream at your home. It will be up to several seconds delayed because of all the processing the streaming hosts do with uploaded files. For just a single Sunday, could you maybe go in by yourself before Sunday and kludge together a suitable mix that could survive with no human intervention and save it? Would not be ideal, but could work.
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brian maddox

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 02:30:06 pm »

For Remote Mixing there are essentially three challenges to overcome.

1. Connectivity - How do i connect to the local mixer from a remote location? This essentially breaks down into 2 solutions.

          - Use a computer running console control software locally and then use remote software to control THAT computer. This is simple and straight-forward using Teamviewer or AnyDeck or several other off the shelf available solutions. The limiting factors become how much display can you share between computers and of course whatever inherent limitations the screen sharing apps have. The other limiting factor is the difficulty in doing more than one thing at a time as discussed below.

          - Use a VPN or Port Forwarding solution to connect your local computer running console control software DIRECTLY to your remote console. Advantages to this approach can include lower latency as well as the ability to leverage more screen real estate and even in some cases attach hardware fader banks, etc. The disadvantage is that setting this up is rarely simple and there is no "one size fits all" solution to make it work. It can also sometimes be quite challenging to get your Remote Software in "Sync" with your local console as many of the manufacturer's Remote Software solutions are not designed for the higher ping times that are inherent in an internet connection.

2. Control - How do i actually control my remote console in real time with anything approaching the flexibility and speed i can achieve by working on the console directly.
 
This problem is best illustrated by the simple fact that you can't control two things at the same time with a mouse. So if you want to fade out walk in music and bring up a microphone at the same time, you've got a problem, and obviously this is a pretty common thing you would want to do.  There are a couple of approaches to this problem as well.

       - Use more than one connection to your console [using either of the solutions above] to give yourself 2 controlling devices at once. Of course, it's still a little tricky to use more than one software control at the same time, but it is possible. You can also connect devices already designed for multi-touch [iPad, etc] and use that as your main controller.

       - Use some sort of external fader bank to either control your software or control your console directly. This can get very complicated and the ability to do this is VERY manufacturer dependent, but it can be an option

3. Monitoring - How do i listen to what i'm doing in something approaching real time so that i can adjust things correctly. This also extends to visual monitoring as well. How do i see what is happening so that i can "follow the action".

       - Use a virtual meeting software such as zoom to send a Video Multiview as well as the audio from the Cue Output of your console back to your remote location. With careful settings, the audio quality of these connections can be at least "good enough" for simple monitoring and the latency is often very reasonable.

       - To reduce your audio monitoring latency even more you can use a tool like Unity Connect to connect audio directly from your remote location to your control location. In the case of Unity Connect that audio can be multi-channel, Very High Quality, and quite low latency. But the cost is not insignificant.

This is just scratching the surface on this topic, and i can't emphasize enough how product specific all of this is. Some manufacturers have designed in remote control into their consoles from the beginning and so adapting them to the new "remote mixing" landscape is fairly simple. Some have limited remote control capability but can be adapted with some creativity to remote mixing over the internet. And some just flat out can't do this, at least not in anything approaching a practical way.
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2020, 02:04:15 pm »

Thank you for the responses-obviously not a simple plug and play solution.

I realize there is a several second delay and challenges there.  I have put together a mix that is reasonable -90-95% of the time.  Mainly by using an even greater delay-listening to the archived service and critiquing the mix.

I have no intention of trying to do anything other than fine tune the livestream mix.  In other words, livestream is second mix essentially slaved to the main mix by being post fader.  However, certain sources need much more in the livestream (for example out piano)-a vocal group-quartet or ensemble- is fine mixed.  I am not dealing with a band, so I don't have widely different instrument dynamics-we do have some brass instruments that accompany, but they're are not really essential to the mix.  I hadn't considered just getting audio real time-for what I am doing the video really isn't necessary-the tech mixing the service is in control of the sources anyway.

Where I have run into problems lately (and this probably should be another thread) is we added some guitars with DI's into the mix for a wedding (that I was not present for).  Somehow, they were set such that (forgive my kludge of a description) they drove the compression on this mix in such a way that vocals completely disappeared-literally it sounded like the mics were taken out of the mix.  I am not sure how they did this, since I am sure the live mix sounded good.  My thought is, that as long as we are using substantially the same mix instrumentally speaking, yes it can be almost set and forget. If that is not the case live mixing is needed, sometimes just changing pianists upsets the apple cart-at that point the conundrum becomes getting isolated enough from the live mix to hear the stream mix while still being able to adjust the stream mix.  I am using sound isolating headphones-and they certainly help-but it is tough to get right.

Since the covid situation and need to take precautions doesn't seem to want to go away, I am just wondering if we shouldn't be/get prepared as best we can to make the best of a tough situation.
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Steve Swaffer

Bill Meeks

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 04:17:24 pm »

Where I have run into problems lately (and this probably should be another thread) is we added some guitars with DI's into the mix for a wedding (that I was not present for).  Somehow, they were set such that (forgive my kludge of a description) they drove the compression on this mix in such a way that vocals completely disappeared-literally it sounded like the mics were taken out of the mix.  I am not sure how they did this, since I am sure the live mix sounded good.

I'm not familiar with the A&H Qu mixers, but your description sounds like a classic "sidechain ducking" setup such that the mic channels were getting ducked by another signal. I use a Yamaha LS9-32, and every input channel has the capability of using a sidechain ducking effect. The sidechain input can be one of several MIX buses or any channel in the grouping of 8 in which the current channel resides.

I have, once before, accidentally shot myself in the foot by having a misconfigured (and unnoticed) sidechain ducking setup active on a channel. I was looking at everything everywhere during the live service to try and figure out why the heck that mic was cutting in and out ... LOL! Found it at the end of the service when doing an "autopsy" to see what was wrong.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 04:20:19 pm by Bill Meeks »
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 05:00:58 pm »

I'm not familiar with the A&H Qu mixers, but your description sounds like a classic "sidechain ducking" setup such that the mic channels were getting ducked by another signal. I use a Yamaha LS9-32, and every input channel has the capability of using a sidechain ducking effect. The sidechain input can be one of several MIX buses or any channel in the grouping of 8 in which the current channel resides.

I have, once before, accidentally shot myself in the foot by having a misconfigured (and unnoticed) sidechain ducking setup active on a channel. I was looking at everything everywhere during the live service to try and figure out why the heck that mic was cutting in and out ... LOL! Found it at the end of the service when doing an "autopsy" to see what was wrong.

I don't suspect "sidechain" compression, I suspect the main bus compression kicked in with the screaming loud guitars and compressed everything else in the mix down. This is one reason I am not a fan of bus compression, particularly in these days where we have compression available on every input.

Mac
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brian maddox

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2020, 12:51:51 pm »

I don't suspect "sidechain" compression, I suspect the main bus compression kicked in with the screaming loud guitars and compressed everything else in the mix down. This is one reason I am not a fan of bus compression, particularly in these days where we have compression available on every input.

Mac

i concur

[As usual whenever Mac posts anything....]
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2020, 01:08:21 pm »

Makes me feel better that both of you agree-that was my initial assessment.  I felt like I proved it in one of the next services-the choir mix was great on their first song, second they were buried by the piano (different pianist)-turning the piano down resolved the issue.  I have made a few tweaks since then to make it less touchy. 

I've wondered about compressing individual channels, as Mac suggested, but in this case, I am compressing the mix for livestream-really don't want to mess with the main mix-though the piano uses very little sound reinforcement in the room.  Would a main mix that is compressed "properly" eliminate or minimize the need to compress the submix?

Perhaps if we upgrade the QU to an SQ-7, then I can move the Qu-32 to a dedicated livestream mixer  and we can get the desired results.
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Steve Swaffer

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Remote mixing
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2020, 01:08:21 pm »


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