Four years ago, I set out to find software capable of streaming, recording, switching video and audio, and replaying video clips instant for the Husky Fast Network, a high school football company I co-created with some friends. After searching and testing a number of options, I quickly settled on vMix, a professional live streaming solution developed and sold by a company in Australia.
Why vMix? It does EVERYTHING I need and want, including:
- Multi-camera HD video switcher
- Digital audio mixer
- Live stream to multiple destinations simultaneously
- Instant replay up to four camera sources
- Video clip playlists (I use this for commercial breaks)
- Custom USB or Midi control devices
And more… lots more. And the price? The Pro version of the software is $1,200 – with future upgrades.
As I started to use the software, I discovered the secret sauce that makes vMix so much better than its competitors: shortcuts and triggers.
The software allows you to customize keystrokes on your keyboard, USB control devices, or Midi controllers to replicate a command or a series of commands. For example, one of the buttons I have assigned on my football USB X-Keys device will mute every microphone and start a playlist of pre-selected commercials. I simply push that one button and all of that happens within the blink of an eye.
When I kick off a slo-mo instant replay, the triggers automatically turn off the score board overlay and turn on the replay sponsor’s logo. When the replay clip is finished, everything automatically happens in reverse.
All of that with ONE push of ONE button. Sweet.
vMix and Churches
vMix is also my preference for church live streaming solutions.
This picture is a look at the custom USB X-Keys device I setup for the Deerfoot Church of Christ. Notice the red “Sermon Start” and “Sermon Stop” buttons. When the preacher gets up to start preaching, the operator simply pushes the “Sermon Start” button, which immediately switches the output to camera two and starts recording. When the operator pushes the “Sermon Stop” button, vMix immediately stops recording and switches to the singing preset, which turns off the sound coming from the mixer, turns on the congregational singing microphone, and displays the song leader, the audience, and the song lyrics in a triple-box on the screen.
All of that with ONE push of ONE button.
Why is this a big deal? Most churches are not blessed with a large staff of audio-visual volunteers. In fact, many churches are fortunate to have one or two people in their control room. By automating many of these tasks, you now enable one person to control projectors, sound and video streaming without sacrificing quality. It’s simply using technology to enhance worship.
To learn more about vMix, visit vmix.com.
To learn more about the custom USB X-Keys pictured above, visit piengineering.com.