How to Live Stream a Church Service with a Live Band

How to Live Stream a Church Service with a Live Band

It’s understandable why video gets the most attention when you live stream a church service. After all, it’s the first thing those who tune in over YouTube or Facebook Live will notice. But what a lot of houses of worship streaming for the first time don’t realize is that video is the easy part. 

The tricky part is also the most important element of streaming a church service—the audio. 

No matter your house of worship, the message is in the audio. It’s also what will keep remote congregation members tuned in. And you can’t really blame them. If the sound is garbled or out of sync, it doesn’t make for a great worship experience. 

We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to live stream a church service with audio and video quality that can rival the biggest houses of worship. 


What do I need to live stream my church service?

The basic things you need to live stream a church service include streaming cameras and tripods, a way to mix your audio and streaming software. However, you may also need a video switcher and an encoder in certain instances. 


Streaming cameras

Cameras (and tripods) are the first thing you need to live stream a church service. Many houses of worship that are just getting started may choose to use their smartphone for their first streams. While the video quality of a smartphone is typically quite good, it makes it harder to mix in audio and you’re generally limited to a single camera for a church service, which is less engaging. 

A simple but upgraded solution would be to use a dedicated HD streaming camera, like Mevo. Mevo is built for wireless live streaming, which makes setup a breeze. You can also easily stream with multiple Mevo cameras which are controlled via their multicam app


Audio interface, mixing board or all-in-one video mixer

Now that we’ve covered the video element of live streaming a church service, we should talk about audio.


For the most simple worship live streams, you’ll probably just need a microphone and audio interface. Like a capture card, an audio interface takes the analog microphone signal and converts it into a digital format that you can use in a stream or recording. You would then set levels in your encoding software to sync it with the video. 


If you have more than a few microphones—a live band, for example—you’ll need a mixing board, streaming mixer or all-in-one video mixer, also known as an all-in-one AV mixer. 


The most common option for live streaming a worship band is to use a digital mixing board. Digital mixing consoles range in size (and cost) depending on how many channels you need. If your worship service simply needs to stream a sermon and a performer with an acoustic guitar, a smaller mixer would suffice. Worship services with full bands and multiple singers will need a bigger mixing board. With mixing boards, you can send a mix you create on your board to your stream via USB.


Streaming mixers are just like standard mixers but are specifically designed for streaming. Cost generally depends on how many channels (audio sources) you need to mix. Unlike a standard audio mixer, streaming mixers like the RODECaster Pro may include soundboards where you can save audio files to play during your stream, such as a transition song or sound effect.


An all-in-one video mixer is a bigger investment than an audio interface, but it’s a hardware audio and video encoder and streaming mixer in a single package. With these all-in-one AV mixers, you can mix your audio and switch between cameras with a single device. 


What software do churches use to live stream?

There isn’t one ultimate solution for live streaming a church service. Rather, each house of worship uses whichever streaming software meets their needs and is within their budget. 


Streamlabs is an example of a streaming software. It’s free to use Streamlabs to stream to one platform of choice—Facebook, YouTube, Twitch or Trovo. If you have a multicam setup, you can use scenes to transition between one camera to another and can even do picture-in-picture. 


Church live stream video tips

Each church live stream is different—different cameras, audio routing, streaming software and more. But there are a few tips to keep in mind to take your live stream to the next level. 


Consider multiple cameras

While it’s certainly easier to stream with a single camera, using a multi-cam setup will make the live stream experience more interesting and engaging to remote congregation members. It’s especially helpful if you have a worship leader who likes to move around during sermons or if you want to bounce between sermons and your live band without physically moving the camera. 


Choose the right cameras

As mentioned above, there’s more than one type of camera that you can use in your worship live streams. The most popular options are: 


  • Smartphone camera
  • Streaming camera like Mevo
  • Webcam like Logitech Brio
  • DSLR or other digital cameras


Each type of camera has its own pros and cons. A smartphone is generally easy to use, but offers less control and makes it harder to have a multi-cam setup. Webcams can provide high-quality video, but work best when they’re close to the subject and need to be directly attached to a computer. 


You can also use DSLR cameras to live stream a church service, but they make streaming more difficult and expensive. Firstly, DSLR cameras are significantly more expensive than dedicated streaming cameras. Secondly, you would need to use a capture card and a software encoder or a hardware encoder.


Our favorite solution for streaming a church service is streaming cameras like Mevo. Streaming cameras are designed specifically for live streams, offer high resolution and have an app that allows you to easily switch between as many cameras as you’d like. 


Test your internet speed

Live streaming a church service takes up a lot of computing power and internet bandwidth. To have a successful live stream, it’s important to make sure that your internet connection is as fast as possible—ideally plugged directly into ethernet—and that you clear up computer processing power by closing unnecessary programs during your stream. 


Consider an all-in-one video mixer

The more advanced your live-streamed church services get, the more complicated the setups become. An all-in-one video mixer combines and streamlines both the video switching and the audio mixing. Some of these mixers even have pads in which you can store transition music and scenes, sound effects and more. 


Make sure audio and video are synced

Syncing audio and video in a live stream is easier said than done. It’s not uncommon for the video feed—which requires more processing—to have an issue with latency. Thankfully, most streaming software allows you to add a delay in your audio or video signal so you can manually pair them up. When in doubt, do a test recording!


Getting great audio for live streaming church

Congregants don’t come to your house of worship just to see their worship leader—they go to hear what the worship leader has to say. While great video quality can draw remote congregation members in, stellar audio will keep them engaged. 


Invest in quality equipment 

High-quality audio equipment has a reputation for being expensive, but there are many great options for microphones, cables, mixing boards and more that are affordable for even smaller houses of worship. 


Cables and microphones are easily found in used marketplaces for fair prices. Members of your congregation may even have well-regarded microphones, XLR cables and instrument cables that they would be willing to donate. 


If there’s one area where you shouldn’t cut corners, it’s when selecting a mixing console. Instead of using a years-old console donated by a well-meaning member of your community, consider purchasing a new digital one. Digital mixing consoles are more affordable than you might think. Brands like Allen & Heath, Mackie, Soundcraft, Roland, PreSonus and Avid offer robust digital mixing consoles that can fit any budget and space. 


An added benefit of digital mixing consoles is the ability to store presets or “snapshots.” Presets are a huge time saver if your worship service is similar each week as you can simply pull up the previous settings. Plus, digital mixing consoles can be operated from a computer or wireless tablet for added mobility and have plenty of built-in effects, which are especially helpful in a silent stage setup.    


It starts with a great mix

Having high-quality microphones, guitar amp modelers, singers and more is great, but the mix is where it all comes together. Spending some extra time dialing in the mix will pay off and create an overall better experience for in-person and remote congregation members. 


Some houses of worship dial in a single mix for both the in-house speaker system and their live stream. If you’re utilizing a silent stage (more on that soon) you can probably get away with this. But if your worship band is using analog drums without a baffle and guitar amps, using a single mix might sound unbalanced. 


Move to a silent stage

A silent stage is a bit of a misnomer. There’s always going to be some sound on stage, but silent stages ditch loud guitar, bass and keyboard amps for direct options. In other words, instead of using an amplifier, each instrument is sent directly into the mixing board and then sent out through the speakers. 


One thing you need to implement a silent stage is an in-ear monitor system for church. Since the stage is silent (including no wedge monitors), musicians would rely on in-ear monitors to hear themselves and their bandmates. In-ear monitors like UE Pro IEMs are incredibly popular with musicians because they offer personalized mixes, total clarity and impressive passive noise cancellation.


Mind ambient noises

Regardless of whether or not you have a silent stage, you should keep the ambient sounds of the room in mind during your stream. Noisy children in the daycare, HVAC systems and the noise of traffic can be picked up over microphones. 


There are a few tricks to minimizing ambient noise, including muting all microphone inputs when they’re not in use (e.g., mute the worship leader’s microphone when the band is playing and vice versa). 


You can also buck ambient noise by using a dynamic mic with a cardioid or supercardioid polar pattern. Dynamic mics pick up less room noise overall, and those two polar patterns are highly directional, so they mostly pick up the voice of the speaker instead of the room. 


If you’re still picking up room noise, consider using noise reduction software, like a gate or high-pass filter. A noise gate cuts out any noise under a certain threshold. Too much gate can create a fluttering effect on the vocals, so use sparingly. High-pass filters will completely cut any sound created from lower frequencies, such as sound from trucks rolling by.  


Don’t be afraid of compression

Compression reduces the dynamic range of your stream, and that’s not always a bad thing. Some fluctuations in volume are good and can evoke emotion, but too many changes in volume can be frustrating. Just think about how much of a pain it is when commercials are louder than TV shows—you have to ride the volume pad on the remote, and your virtual congregation probably wants to sit back and enjoy the service.


You can use compression on a per channel basis and across the entire mix. We recommend applying compression to any input that can have major volume changes, like an animated worship leader, enthusiastic drummer or powerful vocalist. 


Using compression on the final mix is the last step to really polishing your live stream church service’s sound. By lightly compressing the entire mix, you can really smooth out the entire service, from sermon to song and back again. 

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