Mixer / Recorder for live-streaming chamber music

Ibi Sum ibisum at gmail.com
Sat May 22 12:35:02 CEST 2021

> Cheers,
> -- 
> Joost Schuttelaar
> The Hague, NL
>> On 21 May 2021, at 23:40, Martin Naef <mnaef at navisto.ch> 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, and this is the result: 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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