Remote preaching with vMix Call

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One of the great features of vMix is vMix Call, a low-latency remote video conferencing system. With only a web browser and webcam your minister can connect into your live streaming broadcast with HD video and high quality audio from anywhere in the world.

If you are unable to conduct worship services from your church building, vMix Call is a great way to connect your preacher and other worship leaders with your congregation. In our case at Deerfoot Church of Christ, we’ve used this several times in recent weeks in different scenarios:

1) Preacher leading a Bible study from his home. To keep our minister from having to split his focus between the Bible study, the computer and multiple live streams, he simply connects to my live streaming computer 30-45 minutes ahead of time and I take care of the computer and live streaming. He uses his laptop or iPhone and either the built-in mic or a USB microphone to send video and audio to me, and I send him the output of the live stream. Latency (delay) is usually around half a second. You can see an example here:

2) Pre-record a worship service. To avoid spending hours editing a worship service together, last Sunday after our live morning worship service our team stayed late to record the evening worship service. I connected the vMix computer in our control room with the vMix computer in my home via vMix Call, then recorded the as-live worship service. Once complete, I simply imported the recording into vMix and set the in and out points (a 30-second process) then set a reminder on my phone to start the live stream and countdown that evening. After the countdown video ended, vMix automatically dissolved to the worship recording. Once that video reached the out point, it automatically dissolved to a closing animation and – 15 seconds later, stopped the live stream. In other words, I clicked two buttons at 4:45 and walked away, letting vMix handle the rest. You can see it here:

Some other ways you can use vMix Call:

  • Live interviews. Have your pulpit minister talk with other ministers or missionaries all over the world.
  • Live worship services from inside your building. Don’t have cameras? Need a live camera in another part of the building or outside the building away from WiFi? Just connect your smartphone to vMix via vMix Call and you instantly have a live camera and audio.
  • Live worship services from various locations. Depending on your vMix license level, computer configuration and internet connection speed, you can have up to eight vMix Call sources live in your system. So, in theory your preacher, song leader, prayer leaders and other worship leaders could each connect to vMix. You would then control when each one appears (or display them together in multi view screens.)

Easy to Use

vMix Call is extremely easy to use. As the control operator, you simply share a link and a password with each participant. When it’s time for them to connect, they simply click the link you provide them on their smart phone, tablet or webcam-enabled computer.

The audio is hassle-free. vMix automatically routes mix-minus audio to each connection, meaning each caller will not hear themselves echoing back into their speakers or headphones.

No special app needed. Just send the remote callers a link and a password.

Triggers and shortcuts. I have my triggers and shortcuts set so that when my camera is not on screen, my microphone automatically mutes. You can do the same with each connection, automatically muting their audio when they are not on screen so that they are not accidentally heard when not visible.

Multi-views. Want to have several on the screen at one time? Easy to do with vMix.

Connections are reusable. If you have someone you plan on connecting with regularly, give them their own link to use each week.

Notes to share

When I invite someone to connect to my computer via vMix Call, I share with them the following tips to optimize success:

  • Please be in an area where you have a fast, reliable internet connection.
  • If using a mobile device, turn it sideways (landscape.)
  • If using an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, use the Safari browser.
  • If using an Android device or computer with a webcam, use Google Chrome or Firefox.
  • If indoors, please avoid windows, doors or any other bright backgrounds behind you.
  • Earbuds (wireless or wired) are acceptable and may help you.

Final Thoughts

Watch tutorials. vMix and the live streaming community have some fantastic tutorials and resources available. Two of my recent favorites are below.

Nothing is perfect. As I’ve experienced with vMix Call, don’t wait until the last minute to connect. vMix Call needs at least one minute to find the fastest, easiest connection between your computer and the remote connection. I recommend connecting at least 15 minutes before you go live so that the connection has time to stabilize.

Test ahead of time. If you want to connect multiple vMix Callers and stream to multiple destinations, you need to test that days in advance to make sure your computer hardware is capable and that your internet connection speed is adequate.

Have a backup plan. Nothing is perfect and nothing works perfectly every time. Have Plan B ready to go when Plan A fails.