Mixer / Recorder for live-streaming chamber music

Martin Naef mnaef at navisto.ch
Fri May 21 23:40:04 CEST 2021

Hi all


We are currently live-streaming a classical concert every couple of weeks,
most of the time chamber music with two musicians. Apart from keeping our
audience engaged, I found this is actually a very efficient setup to get a
good quality video production with relatively low effort for further use
(e.g. Youtube content). I am using a Blackmagic Atem Mini Pro ISO for the
live-streaming and recording of four camera streams. On the audio side, I
have Tascam DR-680 that serves as a mic pre-amp for the live-show, and
records the audio in parallel for later use. The Atem Mini Pro provides four
analog audio inputs and a decent quality channel strip and master section
with EQ, expander/gate, compressor and limiter each.


The nice part is that I can load the video recording into DaVinci Resolve
after the show, touch up the video switching, effects and colors if needed
and then export a high-quality version. If needed I combine that with a
remastered / mixed audio stream based on the multi-track recording from the


For those interested, this is how it looks behind the scenes:
and this is the result:


But now to the challenge where I am looking for input: In September I will
do the same for a concert with string quartet and piano where I want to use
more mic channels. The current setup works with a stereo pair plus a mono
supporting mic for the music, and the Rode Wireless lavalier setup for
announcements with two mics combined into a mono input, but there I expect
four or five instrumental mics plus three lavaliers. That means I need a
mixer and a multi-track recorder on set. I usually don't change audio
settings during the show except muting the lavaliers when nobody is talking
- I can do that on the ATEM if I feed the lavaliers to the second analog
stereo input.


I've been looking around for solutions, here's what I found so far and what
I see as pros and cons:


Midas M32R Mixing Desk

++ High quality pre-amps

+ Good, flexible effects, solid channel processing

+ Recording straight to SD card (all channels)

+ Full desk, full control, fast sound-check

--- heavy and large - 15kg (I already carry a ton of material to every show,
I'd rather not add more)


Presonus StudioLive 32SC Mixing Desk

(+/-) A touch smaller and lighter than the Midas, but still on the heavy
side (11kg)

+ Sound quality seems to be good, but the Midas tends to get higher praise

+ Very flexible channel strip with modeled EQ/compressors, but less praise
on the reverbs

+ Recording to SD card (all channels)


Behringer X32 Rack

+ Same software/fx as the Midas

0 pre-amp quality considered ok but a good deal below the Midas

+ Recording straight to SD card (all channels)

++ Small and light, but still with a basic UI that I can supervise and
control the device without a PC in an emergency case

+ cheapest of the bunch

(can add a Behringer X-touch to get faders / control for full access during
a show - but this adds complexity and cost)


Presonus StudioLive 16R

+ Same software was the StudioLive desk

+ Same sound quality as the desk

++ very small footprint of the rack unit

- no UI on the rack, separate PC and/or fader box is a must during the show

-- no SD recorder (there is, but only the stereo master) - PC required (see


If there was an X32 with Midas pre-amps, this would probably be the best
compromise as portability is really a high value. On a minor side, I can
also control some X32 or Midas functions using the Stream Deck. 

The Presonus 16R would fit the bill especially for portability, but I
dislike the idea of relying on a PC for the recording (I have two laptops,
so that doesn't add cost) and once I add the Faderport to the setup I
approach the cost of the full desks. Presonus also tends to get mixed
comments regarding maturity of the product.


Do you have experience with any of the setups above? Any other ideas or
thoughts? I am really torn between the sound quality and ease of setup/use
of the desks vs portability - it would feel pretty absurd to bring a full
desk when I record a solo show.




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