Mixer / Recorder for live-streaming chamber music

Martin Naef mnaef at navisto.ch
Sat May 22 23:53:43 CEST 2021

Thanks, Joost!


There is actually a version of the X-Air available with higher quality Midas pre-amps (Midas MR 18). Worth a thought, though the lack of on-board recording bothers me a bit. I’ll keep it on the long list for now, the price is quite attractive.


As for the next jam – the The Hague jam is actually on the same weekend as the two concerts, so I won’t be able to make it this time.





From: music-bar <music-bar-bounces at lists.music-bar.org> On Behalf Of Joost Schuttelaar
Sent: Samstag, 22. Mai 2021 11:50
To: Music-bar <music-bar at lists.music-bar.org>
Subject: Re: Mixer / Recorder for live-streaming chamber music


Nice vid quality Martin! I know who we need as mixmaster for the next jam :) 


For portable recording, I quite like the X-Air 18. The iPad app to control it is not bad too. Cheap! The EQ, compressor, noise gate and limiters are fine, but don’t expect much from the reverb and other effects. Fun is that everything is controllable using OSC.


No on board recording though. Could always use a Raspberry Pi for that. If you use the X-Air’s wifi access point you can even use your iPad to SSH into the R-pi to ensure it’s recording (I’d write a systemd daemon which simply always records all USB audio or something).





Joost Schuttelaar
The Hague, NL 

On 21 May 2021, at 23:40, Martin Naef <mnaef at navisto.ch <mailto: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> 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…




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