Mixer / Recorder for live-streaming chamber music

Matt Picone matt at mysticworks.com
Sat May 22 02:29:31 CEST 2021

I would say that the X32 rack is the most ubiquitous, but that's all I 
can contribute.


On 5/21/21 5:40 PM, Martin Naef wrote:
> 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 Tascam.
> For those interested, this is how it looks behind the scenes: 
> http://ilonakocsis.ch/index.php/news/18-live-streaming-hinter-den-kulissen 
> <http://ilonakocsis.ch/index.php/news/18-live-streaming-hinter-den-kulissen>, 
> and this is the result: 
> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTMFGfX06cTxh--WeJC3Bag/ 
> <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTMFGfX06cTxh--WeJC3Bag/>
> 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 above)
> 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…
> Regards
> Martin
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