Widgets Magazine

Tips for Adding a Broadcast Mix to Live Events

Note: This blog is a continuation of the ideas discussed in a recent The LIVE Life podcast.
Traditionally, broadcast mixes are used for television events. However, more live event coordinators are asking for broadcast mixes to be included in their advertising and charity events. This seemingly simple request presents challenges for the standard in-house mix staff because they don’t always know what to provide or what questions to ask the broadcast team.
A typical broadcast mix is when someone other than the in-house engineer mixes the live event that is then streamed out to remote viewers watching on television or online.
Audience Microphones
When you are including a broadcast mix with your live event, you want to make sure that the people who are not physically at the event can hear the audience clapping, so that it does not sound like a static, dry event. To achieve this, you cannot keep the microphones open all of the time as you will also pick up random, distracting noise. So how do you cover audience participation? One way to do this is to leave the microphones open and put a gate on them. When there is random noise, the gate is shut and when the audience claps you open the gate to capture the noise. This allows you to capture the appropriate amount of noise so remote viewers can experience the event in the same way as those present.
As with all live events, there should be at least one test run. This will allow you the chance to set up your microphone gating and test its effectiveness. One thing to remember when there are audience microphones—consider the audio delay from the stage to the front of house console and adjust for it accordingly.
Broadcast Mix Checklist
Each live event will be different, so it’s important to have open discussions with the broadcast truck or the online web team to confirm that you are providing them with what they need to stream the content out to their audience. This checklist provides you with most common questions to ask the broadcast truck:
• In which format do want this delivered—analog or digital?
• Do you need all inputs?
• Do you need specific inputs?
• Do you have specific audience microphones for certain locations?
• How far from the event will the truck be? (Note: analog feeds should be kept under 300 feet and digital feeds can go further, especially if you combine Dante over fiber).
• What is the cable path from the event to the loading dock or broadcast truck?
• What communication system does the truck use? How are you going to interface with the truck during the event?
Want to learn other tips and ideas about how to provide a broadcast mix for a live event? Listen to The LIFE Life 23: Broadcast Mix.

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