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Studio Build - Step 6 - Audio Signal Chain

In this episode, we will walk through the entire audio signal chain as well as discussing some of my mistakes early on. We'll also briefly touch on microphones and recorders, but we'll cover even more of that in an upcoming episode.

REFERENCED VIDEOS:

Gary Cruz: How to fix the ATEM Studio HD Audio Latency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMtaTCYz8cQ

PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Rane AD22S Amazon: https://amzn.to/2BJdzxl

Tascam Model 24 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XiLLt1

Blackmagic Design Television Studio HD Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WldDMJ

Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio 2 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WYiwvh

Tascam DR-70D Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H3Rpd1

Rode Video Mic Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XeEY3H

Rode NTG2 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EoS5I4

Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XhoKGW

EV RE-20 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XhvdBD

Video Transcript

Hey, content creators. It is David Tucker from ONEMAN.VIDEO here, and today we are talking about our studio build-out, and we are talking about audio. This episode is all about the signal chain of audio and how I actually configured that with my ATEM switcher. Then we're going to do another episode next, where we're going to be looking at all of these microphones, and the different ways that I've done audio, since I've started doing video, just to give you some insight on what we're going to be leveraging here, in the studio.

Let's talk a little bit about how things started. Just as a quick reminder, I used to record all of my audio directly on the cameras. And I actually used, in this case, I used this Tascam. This is the DR-70D to actually record straight to SD. I would take the different cameras, bring them in, bring the audio in from those SD cards, sync them all using Pluralize, and then I would drop them into Premiere and do my editing. But, what does that mean? That means a ton of post production. The whole point in my studio build was to get the point where I could actually record everything to the hyperdeck, straight to an SSD drive, and have my finished video ready to go. So, that's what I wanted to create.

So, let's talk through how I did that. I want to start off by giving you the first iteration of what I did in the studio. If we look here, you can see that, first of all, I was bringing in some different microphones into a mixer. Now, this was a Tascam DP-24SD. Now, this is really a multi-track recorder. It is not a phenomenal analog mixer by itself. It doesn't work. There's a variety of reason as to why, but for me, this was great because I was doing podcasting, and so I already this mixer, but I knew I was going to have to end up fixing that. That wasn't going to be the ideal fit. I took the output of that into the ATEM, along with all of the other inputs, like from my hyperdeck mini that I'm using to run any other videos or lower thirds, and in even camera audio and stuff you could pull in through there, but something was wrong.

So, let me explain what was happening in this process. So, when I first did this I went and did a live podcast down in Chattanooga, and I noticed that I had audio/video syncing issues. Now, my first thought was, "Oh, okay. Maybe there's just a setting where I need to go in and adjust for the two," but the more I read about the Blackmagic television studio HD ATEM switcher. The architecture really doesn't allow for there to be audio and video sync issues. It's takes the audio that comes in, the video that comes in, and it syncs them together perfectly. So, that wasn't the issue.

Here's what I learned, and this is especially true if you're using the television studio HD. I'm actually going to do a whole other video just on this issue, but if you're using cameras that are not professional camcorders, that are exporting over SDI chances are your camera puts a little bit of delay as it actually has the HDMI output coming from it. In my case, I'm using Panasonic GH4's. I have two of them in the studio, and they have about a five frame delay. So, the problem was because I'm using external audio, not through the camera, then it caused there to be that difference of delay. The audio was getting there five frames faster than the video, which was very noticeable. I knew I was going to have to do a fix.

Now, if you're experiencing this same issue, and you want to dive in and learn more about all the specifics of how I solved it, and the different things I tried, you can actually watch the video that we'll be posting. I'll update the show notes once I actually publish that video as well. So, that's coming you really quick. Let me just give you a super quick overview in terms of how I solved it.

So, if we look here at the updated audio setup, the updated signal chain, I still took the microphones ... I still routed them in through a mixer, but I switched it out for the Tascam Model 24. I am a huge fan of this. There's only few cons about this mixer. It is a great unit overall. So, this was a great fit for me. I was able to then take the audio output out of that, and you see there is a new device in this picture. That is a RANE AD22S. I needed to figure out a way to actually delay that audio, so it works with the video coming out of my DSLR cameras. I took, then, this unit, put it in there, and then put the output of that into the Blackmagic Design television studio HD ATEM switcher, along with all the other inputs that are coming in. Then I needed to take the output of that, of course, and still dump it to the hyperdeck.

This unit is really great for this one problem. Again, if you want to learn all the specifics, you can go watch that other episode I mentioned, but let me give you a super high level overview. It allows you to actually go in and configure a specific delay for the audio. It actually is used in a lot of cases as a unit that can do speaker delays. So, if you're doing large, multi-rows of speaker setups, you need to delay them by certain amounts, you can do it there. One of the cool things is, and I'll actually show it to you here in the rack, is it allows you to specify in video mode a number a frames that you want to delay. We can dive in even closer here, and you can see that I have this five frame delay configured for 2997, which is what I'm shooting at, and this all there to be just that delay that's needed.

Here's the great thing. I just put this in the rack, I set the delay, and then I forget about it. You don't have to worry about it once you have this in place. This is why I prefer this over using an external delay or configuring other units.

Now, I will say Gary Cruise, first helped me figure out what this issue was with the video he posted. He solves it in a different way, and that might work better for you. So, go watch his video. For me, this was a great fit, because now I can just plug any audio I want into the patch panel on the back of my rack and know that it's going to be delayed the proper amount.

So, this is audio signal chain. Be sure to join me in the next video where we're going to walk through all the microphones, and the all the different ways that I've done audio, and what I've settled on, in terms of what works best, here, for my studio build-out here in 2019. Be sure to subscribe. If this is helpful to you, be sure to subscribe. Tell your friends about it, and we will continue pushing through and learning how to do all of this together. So, thanks for joining me today on ONEMAN.VIDEO.