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Old March 22nd, 2016, 10:25 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pembroke Pines, Fl.
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Live streaming audio question

We're using a full rig, including fast PC, Black magic tv studio, mixer..all the bells and whistles.
We've been doing Multi cam live streaming for a while, and recently did a sales meeting, in which the client wanted some viewers to call in with questions. It was pretty clunky, using a cell phone, conference service,
Muting and un muting audio mix, etc.
Does anyone have experience in this kind of set up with viewer call ins? I was told today about a piece of hardware by Getner.
Any help would be appreciated.
Bruce Yarock
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 07:03 AM   #2
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Location: Dayton, OH
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Re: Live streaming audio question

I did a stream similar to that a year ago. The only difference was that it was only one caller in for the entire time. We use a Polycom conference phone similar to a VTX1000. It had a 3.5 mm audio pin out that we put into our audio system. Also I found this on B&H, JK Audio AutoHybrid - Telephone Audio Interface, you'll have to look it up as the link didn't paste correctly. It takes an phone line in and out and has XLR in and out. This with a conference phone that you can put callers on hold might be a good solution.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 11:11 PM   #3
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Re: Live streaming audio question

Thanks for the information. I'll check with bh.
Bruce Yarock
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Old March 24th, 2016, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: Live streaming audio question

Gentner has several telephone "hybrids", as does JK Audio. JK is a bit more oriented towards use by remote reporters, but also has hybrids useful for this. Telos is the other manufacturer I'm aware of.

The hybrid has two functions; one is what you know about, get a caller's voice to a mixer.

The other is a bit more complicated. The mixer should send the host's sound to the hybrid so that the caller can hear it. But, and this is the important part, the host's sound shouldn't contaminate what the hybrid sends to the mixer, because a) everybody's voice is on the phone system, and, b) you don't want the *low* quality host audio coming back from the hybrid to the mixer. You always want the clean host, not the phone host.

This is called nulling, is usually adjustable, and its success is important, one of the things that good hybrids do well.

Additionally, what your mixer sends to the hybrid should be mix minus hybrid. That is, you don't want to create an electronic feedback loop where the mixer returns the.hybrid's signal to the hybrid.

All a bit more complicated when there's a live in-person audience.

There are a lot of human factors involved in call-in questions as well. The technology needs to be seamless, but so does the host's management of calls and callers. It's a lot of effort to go to, and there are other approaches that aren't as complex and fragile. Like a co-host who fields a question then reports it "Jane Archer from Tampa, who is a Field Sales Engineer on John's team, wants to know X, Y, and Z. Host, what can we tell Jane, and all our reps about this?"

The co-host approach can also extend to emailed questions.

This also provides an opportunity for some editing of questions. What's a host on a live feed going to do when a caller is obnoxious in some way? Or, just wants to defer a question?

The hybrid approach really falls into the "expert" category of live event audio.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old April 4th, 2016, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Live streaming audio question

Seth is spot on with everything he said. Heed his advice. Like he said we always use a dedicated audio tech to handle the Getner and all other audio. That is how it is done correctly.

If you go the Polycom route be aware not all Polycoms come with the 1/8" output anymore. Including the most common model these days, the Polycom SoundStation. A Polycom is just a high end speaker phone. The low end way of using one for a large audiance is to put a mic over the speaker to send it over the ballroom PA and to hope the Pollycom mics pick up the rooms PA for the return...they don't. I have seen groups try this Micky Mouse way of doing it and no one is ever satisfied.

Everyone wants good quality but only some are willing to pay for it. This is one of those areas that some clients are resistive to paying for it, and not for any good reason. You may have to educate them.

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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