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norman093 18th April 2012 12:09 AM

One for the technically minded...
 
Hello all, hope not to be a nuisance here and glad to be told to move along if needs be. I am not a sound expert but am involved in podcasting/live internet broadcasting and have come across a problem this week I am hoping some here may be able to help with. A friend has asked me to do some live broadcasts of poker tournaments here in Australia and we did the first one last week. The wash up is that while sitting at a desk at the front of the venue talking was ok it would be much better if we could introduce the floor announcers, who are already mic'd up to the venue's PA system, for calling live action from the floor as well as the main desk hosting. Each tournament is held at a different venue so of course each PA set-up will be different. I am hoping to come up with a solution that would allow us to independently supply wireless mics to the floor announcers which could run through my mixing board so I could bring them in and out as required. They would also still need to be hooked up to the venue PA for the benefit of those that are on site. Having each announcer carry two microphones (one for our internet broadcast, one for the on site system) wouldn't be a problem but I am guessing it may be an issue with the mic signals from the two different systems interfering with each other? As I said, each venue will be different so I would be hoping to be able to "tune" our mics at each different venue to avoid clashing with whatever system the host venue is using. Is this even possible or should I give up now? One independent microphone would do the job but if we could have three it would be fantastic.
As I said, I'm no expert and if my question is way too dumb to respond to no problem. However, any advice, even just a pointer to a good starting point, would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance

Rod

Enzo 18th April 2012 03:56 AM

Mics won't interfere unless they are wireless units on the same channel. That is why they make different channel, you can have a whole stage full of wireless mics as long as each one has its own channel.

SO how about this idea. Take over the sound chores completely. YOu provide the announcer mics or at least take over their operation, and you mix them as needed, then you have a send available for whatever house PA system exists. (And if you are getting paid for this, have an amp and speaker system of your own available in case the venue does not.) So when you set up, all you need do is hand a cable to the venue people and say "Here, make this come out your speakers."

Is there any reason your broadcast mix should be different from the PA mix in the venues? Your mixer can send its main mix feed to your broadcast system, and another line out feed to the house PA.

If the house needs to hear the floor announcers but NOT what you add, then a mixer with submasters might work for you. All the venue mics might go to sub1, and your stuff to sub 2. Then for the house PA, send them a line from sub1, while you send to your broadcast system a main mix with sub1 and sub2 combined.

If that does not make sense in your situation, then go the other way. If the venue has floor announcers already mic'd up and mixer for the speaker system, then ask them for a line level feed for your mixer. Then you simply connect their mix to a free input channel on your mixer or an AUX return. Now you have their floor mics and whatever else they are amplifying, and you can mix in your own control desk announcer and any other sources. (Theme song music perhaps) Of course then you'd have to rely on their mix or for their announcers to self-mix.

norman093 18th April 2012 04:07 AM

Hi Enzo and thanks for the fantastic reply. Yes, there is a reason my mix and the venue mix needs to be different. I will only want to broadcast the floor announcers on my mix occasionally, (at a critical time in a particular hand, for example) but the rest of the time we will be talking about completely different things (player interviews, updates on chip stacks and that sort of thing). Effectively we have two audiences - those on site and those in "internet world" - and I need two "almost-completely-but-not-quite" sound streams to satisfy both properly. Your final suggestion sounds interesting but we will be at different venues every time and I doubt if all will have the capacity to do as you have suggested. Ideally we need our own, independent system to take stuff from the floor and the desk. The worst thing that could happen would be to turn up and discover some incompatibilty which cancels an entire broadcast. If we were just working with one venue it would be much simpler but unfortunately that isn't the case.
Again, thankyou for your response, I really appreciate it.

Enzo 18th April 2012 07:51 AM

If there is no reason for your own stuff to come out the venue speakers, then my second idea should work, asking for a line feed from their system. And you can bring that up in your mix whenever you want and turn it off when you don;t. You could call in advance of any shows at the venues involved and ask if they would be able to provide a line level feed from their mixer. If you find they all can, you are set. If one of them cannot, then make special response for them, but everyone else goes with our plan.

Any mixer that was remotely recent should have a line out or aux out or "record" out, and that would serve. Only the most crude system would just have a couple mic inputs and a speaker out and nothing else.

And if a venue didn't know if they had that capability, find out the make and model of their mixer and look it up yourself.


And if none of that will work for you, an absolute last on the list (in my mind) solution might be to carry a bunch of "direct boxes" that you could tap into their mic connections. Then take feeds from each of their mics into your mixer. A direct box essentially is placed in series with a signal - such as a microphone - and its destination (such as a mixer), and it sends a branch copy of that signal off to the side for other use. A common application of a direct box might be between a keyboard and its amp, to send a balanced line down a snake to a mixer. A bass player might put a direct box between bass guitar and amp. The amp is for him to hear on stage, the direct box signal is sent to the PA for coverage in the house.

norman093 18th April 2012 09:49 AM

Thanks Enzo, really appreciate the help. I like the sound of that idea and will get cracking on that set up with the next host venue. Will take it on a venue by venue basis and see how we go. Again, really appreciate the help.

Rod

DF96 18th April 2012 10:40 AM

Why do the announcers need two radio mikes? One radio mike with two receivers seems more sensible.

Enzo 18th April 2012 10:59 AM

That would certainly work. Unless the venue supplies their own radio mics, then keeping spare receivers to match them become problematical.

For that matter, if you have access to all their receivers, Y-cords on the output of each would allow you to tap into their signals.

chrispenycate 18th April 2012 05:29 PM

For several years I did a similar thing for churches. I had quite a collection of transformer boxes, Mic split (with ground lift) DI (with ground lift), stepdown box from 8Ω speaker and 100volt line, plus a mass of adaptor cables, Y-cords, XLR phase inversion, gender change, more ground lifts…

And connectors, cable and soldering iron to build or modify what I had…

God must have liked standards, there are so many of them…

And all incompatible.

norman093 19th April 2012 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrispenycate (Post 2990699)
For several years I did a similar thing for churches. I had quite a collection of transformer boxes, Mic split (with ground lift) DI (with ground lift), stepdown box from 8Ω speaker and 100volt line, plus a mass of adaptor cables, Y-cords, XLR phase inversion, gender change, more ground lifts…

And connectors, cable and soldering iron to build or modify what I had…

God must have liked standards, there are so many of them…

And all incompatible.


This is exactly the problem I am trying to avoid. I need this to be very portable because there are so many different venues and set-ups. If I can just bring my own "package" of gear that will work with any set-up then I'm good to go. And not being particularly knowledgable about audio set-ups (I've worked out how to use the stuff I have but don't pretend to understand how it all works) I want to keep it simple too. I will explore the "tapping into their system" idea as it sounds the simplest...one cable all problems solved and should work with just about any public address system I assume.
Really appreciate all the input guys, has given me avenues to explore which is what I was really after.
Thanks again to everyone.

norman093 19th April 2012 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enzo (Post 2990158)
That would certainly work. Unless the venue supplies their own radio mics, then keeping spare receivers to match them become problematical.

For that matter, if you have access to all their receivers, Y-cords on the output of each would allow you to tap into their signals.

This is exactly the case Enzo, each venue has their own system with their own microphones and each system is different. Some are very well set up and some are extremely basic so I'm trying to cover all bases as simply as possible.


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