Church Livestream LOUD and then quiet – Normalize sound level?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of christinaporter christinaporter 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #93400
    Profile photo of blandified
    blandified
    Participant

    We have Mix4 set up for our church livestream’s mix. So FOH and livestream have their own mixes.

    When I run the livestream audio, I just listen intently with headphones and constantly have to adjust the sound levels…. that is to say, the singers get way too quiet for a slow song and I bring them up to the normal level, they get loud and I adjust them down. This is obviously high maintenance but it gets the job done, I go back and listen and the sound level is pretty consistent.

    When the other techs run the livesteam audio, they just let the sound levels get L O U D and then quiet and don’t bother adjusting. This makes for the viewers having to CONSTANTLY adjust their volume.

    How do I normalize the audio so we get a consistent sound level? I have tried putting a compressor on the output of Mix4, but it ends up forcing either the music or singers to overcome the other and only really allow one to be prominent.

    Even when the preacher is preaching, the audio goes from way too quiet to way too loud depending of if he is talking or getting excited and yelling (lol).

    I also tried putting pretty strong compressors on each channel itself, instead of the output of Mix4, but it hasn’t had the effect of normalizing the entire output level.

    Any ideas? I am at a loss and the other techs are unteachable so I need a dummy-proof method.

    Thank you in advance for your help. I know it’s probably a newb question.

    #93407
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    Do check that the send to mix 4 is taken from after the channels own compressor.

    Which desk do you have? Unless it’s a Qu16, then you have the option of groups to put the vocals through (with a compressor).

    As this is a streaming mix, it probably needs some compression on the output anyway to maintain the overall level, but you’ll need to use individual and group compression if relative levels of the band vary during the performance.

    #93417
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    As Mark said your overall live stream should be getting hit with some compression, actually some fairly stiff compression. Broadcast TV and radio do some extreme processing before hitting the air!

    Is your mix set pre fade or post fade and as mentioned go with post processing.

    For the main PA house mix do they ride and adjust the levels as needed?

    If they keep the house mix with in reason maybe going with a post fade streaming mix would be the best option for now.

    To do that set all the mix 4 channel levels the same, that way it will track what the main house mix is doing. You can still go into the mix 4 levels and make some general level adjustments on channels that may be consistently too high or low on the live stream mix.

    ” I am at a loss and the other techs are unteachable so I need a dummy-proof method.”
    That can be tough if not all but impossiable.

    #93420
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @blandified

    welcome to the club!

    We have that problem with speakers but not so much the music.

    Our music was too loud. compression helped that.
    Music/singers too low is rarely a problem unless the singers are under the music then their levels do need to be raised. Some songs are just less loud than others. Sometimes the piano is too loud and the singer is too soft. Less a problem on livestream than live where the piano acoustic sound does not need much amplification at all.

    The orators are too low at times and that is an issue.
    Main pastor starts low and continually gets louder over the length of his talk.

    Raising the gain can help but some of them vary too much too fast to keep up with.
    I think, and many here disagree, that if we could implement upwards compression on the speakers that we could better limit their DR and then set the average signal where we want it.

    We feed our livestream from mix56 (or mix78 not really important just a stereo mix out). The livestream PC is running livestream/OBS which is a good free program. From there final levels are tweaked then sent to livestream and also to the radio station where I presume they split the signal and route to the AM and FM transmitters.

    Normally we adjust livestream mix levels during sound check and leave it there unless the guy on the computer doing livestream requests changes. He adjusts the level out to the livestream so we dont need to ride the fader on the mix, but he cannot change the levels of individual mikes going into the mix so has to ask us for that.

    The ideal solution would be a LUFs type ap on the PC that automatically handled DR limiting as well as the average overall level.

    If you have the channel strips then I would definitely say to use compression overall and also to use upwards compression to raise softer singing withOUT raising the louder parts nor risking feedback.

    You will need to do those carefully to ensure equal delays throughout so you do not cause worse sounding problems.

    #94538
    Profile photo of christinaporter
    christinaporter
    Participant

    I’m not a specialist in this field, but I found your question to be really interesting. I did a search online on this matter, and I found out that there are some relevant articles and videos explaining how to normalize the sound level. Of course, there is always the option of hiring professionals who will solve this kind of problem. I know my relatives back in the UK faced a similar issue at their church, and they hired guys from https://www.ontourevents.co.uk/conference-audio-visual-hire because they had a very good reputation, and in the end, they did a great job. Wish you all the best!

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