Sound help for church.

Im putting in a PC in our media department. The goal is to both record from the sound board and live stream to the web. I plead ignorance to what I will even need to do this. I am somewhat familiar with Audacity as I have used it on simplier projects. I am familiar with live streaming programs. I am not familiar with the hardware/software neccesary to do what I am wanting to do. The PC is pretty good, Windows 7, quad-core, 8 gb ram. But it does have a standard sound card.

What do I need besides a cable adapter from the board to the PC ? Is it possible to both record and livestream at the same time? What if I wanted to record 8 different channels and then adjust/mix them on the PC ?


Generally, you post the finished show and let somebody else stream it. If you do it yourself, you’re going to be limited to the upstream speed of your internet, which unless you’re a corporation, is usually slightly better than dialup and changes in capacity over the day.

it does have a standard sound card.

Such as what?

If it’s a full-on soundcard, you can just buy a straight interface cable and go into the Blue or Line-In connection.

If the soundcard is sucky, then you might invest in an external card. That’s UCA202.

Multichannel (3 or more) is more interesting. Those are special purpose soundcards and it’s a little hit or miss.


Is it possible to both record and livestream at the same time?

I’m going with yes, but I don’t know how. On the linux-based systems, you can totally run a web server in the background and touch up your Photoshop portrait and calculate a spreadsheet at once. You could run into problems if you tried to produce a multi-channel show at the same time that fifteen people are trying to download the last show.

You got Windows Server, right?

If you leave a computer with its fanny hanging out on the internet, plan on sweeping up the burned-out hulk later in the day. If you don’t get a burned out hulk, it’s only because the machine is also serving p0rn for somebody.

Tell the IT guy to look for unusual activity in the logs.


Also see

The second link suggests using online services for streaming, but the ones mentioned seem to be video and audio.

You can use VLC/VLS as a standalone streaming solution - see “VideoLAN streaming solution” on .


People have been known to post a still image of, say, the church on YouTube, and post the sound track behind it.


I’m not familiar with streaming software…

The simplest way is to simply plug the P.A. mixer’s line-out into the soundcard’s line-in. You might need a Y-adapter if there is only one line-out and it’s going to a power amp.

The problem with that is, usually much of the music is acoustic, or there are separate instrument amps, so what you are hearing in the church is not exactly what you hear from the P.A. Even if there are choir mics, much of the choir-sound is not coming through the P.A. You also don’t get enough of the congregation through the P.A. So, simply recording the P.A. mix wont’ give you a good result.

To help with that you can get a 2nd mixer (and additional mics) for the music and congregation. You either run the P.A. mixer output into the 2nd mixer, or you can run the “split” the existing P.A. mics, running those mics into both the P.A. mixer and the recording-streaming mixer.

Or, you can get a high-end mixer with multiple buses (sub-mixes) to create separate P.A. and recording-streaming mixes.

It would be very helpful if you can have one guy (or gal :wink: ) running the live sound, and another with headphones running the recording-streaming mix.

What if I wanted to record 8 different channels and then adjust/mix them on the PC ?

You can get a multichannel interface ([u]example[/u]) and [u]DAW software[/u], but I don’t recommend it. Multi-track recording is great if you are going to spend a day, or a week, in post-production getting the mix just-right. Live mixing is a different animal.

One last thought… Computers are the must unreliable things we own! :frowning: When there is no chance for “take two”, I strongly recommend a back-up device recording in parallel. (It can be a 2nd computer, a digital recorder, or even a VHS recorder.)

even a VHS recorder.

And before you look up in horror, We used VHS-HiFi for several years as the best quality any home enthusiast could get short of renting a large pro reel to reel machine. VHS HiFi uses FM embedded into the video tracks and has similar, some might say better, quality compared to FM radio. You can tell when a tape machine drops back to the older analog tracks because it suddenly sounds terrible and muffled.