SQ6 with Pro Tools & ATEM for live church broadcast

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of KeithJ A&H KeithJ A&H 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #109679
    Profile photo of Luke Smyth
    Luke Smyth
    Participant

    Hi guys, I’m wondering if anyone can help and give me some guidance. Here is my current setup:

    DX168 x2 > slink inputs FOH SQ6 > tie lines to Broadcast SQ6 > Broadcast SQ6 direct outs USB >
    iMac running Pro Tools > Pro Tools Master out via USB 1/2 Mix Extension in on Broadcast SQ6 > Mix sent out via XLR to Jack into ATEM Constellation. (Post pre amp only for broadcast SQ6 so nothing is being done to the signal from Pro Tools).

    Basically I am peaking as normal in Pro Tools at -3dB, everything seems normal, coming into the Mix Ext. In on SQ red hot also at about -3 and into the ATEM which reads -5 at peak volume. However, online on YouTube, I am only hitting about -8dB and it feels like I’ve somehow lost a sense of fullness by the time it reaches there.

    Questions:
    Does USB effect audio in any way differently to say mini Jack to stereo Jack out of the iMac instead?

    Is mix extension in the best method?

    Any tips or advice for Youtube volume/normalisation?

    Any help would be appreciated. Everything works fine but I get a sense of what I’m hearing in the box not filling translating online and just wondering if there’s a step in the process that could be effecting it.

    #109681
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    You mentioned taking the XLR out of the SQ6 to the ATEM. Are you using just one input on the ATEM and are you using a single output on the SQ6?

    #109692
    Profile photo of Luke Smyth
    Luke Smyth
    Participant

    It’s stereo xlr from the SQ to stereo jack in 1/2 on the ATEM. It doesn’t have XLR in unfortunately.

    #109693
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    Are you mixing in Pro-tools or only using it for plugins? I realize this isn’t related to your actual question, I am just curious.

    As far as your question…. have you checked the Youtube normalization of your videos? This article is a few years old, but I think it is still valid. https://productionadvice.co.uk/stats-for-nerds/

    #109694
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    It’s stereo xlr from the SQ to stereo jack in 1/2 on the ATEM. It doesn’t have XLR in unfortunately.

    There are no true stereo XLR pairs on an SQ, main L R is by default sent to 11 12 but that can be re patched as well.
    A single XLR does not provide a stereo output

    Just wanting to make sure there is not a physical interface issue.

    At least the ATEM Constellation series have 1/4 inch balanced connections and not the 3.5mm unbalanced stereo inputs like the ATEM Mini series does.

    #109705
    Profile photo of Luke Smyth
    Luke Smyth
    Participant

    We are live mixing with plug ins 🙂

    #109706
    Profile photo of Luke Smyth
    Luke Smyth
    Participant

    Yes I know what you mean. We have patched local outputs 3/4 to be the USB 1/2 coming from Pro Tools and being sent to the ATEM.

    #109798
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    @Luke Smyth
    (Thanks for joining the stream today!)

    There are a few things to unpick here.

    Mix External In – These are for an external input to a mix (rather than an input for an external mix). They add unprocessed signal from an input socket or sockets (analogue or digital), without any processing or routing options, so no EQ, level or mute for example.

    If you’re just wanting to take a signal from pro tools and convert it to analogue (to convert back to digital in the ATEM!) then Tie Lines are probably your best bet.
    Tie Lines route any input socket to any output socket, so you could send your master mix from Pro Tools on USB inputs 1&2 straight to jack outputs A&B for example, and then use a common 2x 1/4″ jack to 1x 3.5mm stereo jack to connect to the ATEM.
    (Make sure your ATEM is set to line input)

    As far as the differences in sound and level, no, you generally wouldn’t see a drop of level, or thinning of sound because you used USB.
    If anything, it’d be the contrary – USB is carrying the signal digitally, so generally it will either work or not work (or maybe if only some of the data came through, perhaps cut in an out), whereas analogue cables have a lot more ‘in between’ states of working, which could affect frequency/level/distortion.

    I’d definitely recommend checking the signal at every point along the chain, so you can find where it’s going wrong, but with the information you’ve given, It might be that you’ve got the original signals (inputs in your broadcast SQ) going to the LR mix, then, using the Mix External Input, you’re adding the Pro-Tools-processed signals back in alongside these???
    If this is the case, then due to the latency introduced by the loop out and back from the computer, you’d be adding similar signals which are not time aligned/coherent. This can cause phase cancellation and comb filtering. It would affect particular frequencies depending on the latency time as well as level, kind of like you describe.
    (if you’re interested in really fun graphs… https://youtu.be/LjPXMSlW8aM?t=905)

    The easy answer to that would be to either use the SQ audio as is, or send everything to Pro Tools and use only the Pro Tools output, but not both alongside each other.
    Slightly more involved would be to use inserts on the channels (if using less than 32) and have each channel in Pro Tools used as an insert on each SQ channel. Then ensure Pro Tools is phase aligned and that all SQ channels have their inserts on, so latencies are matched.

    If everything you’re monitoring by PAFL’ing the mix output on the SQ or listening to the input on ATEM sounds fine though, it would suggest something strange downstream from the SQ.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Keith.

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