This case study shares a behind the scenes look at the Keys Vineyard Community Church live streaming and video production setup. This setup uses Ableton to synchronize all of the church song and performances with Pro Presenter to manage the lower thirds musical lyrics overlaid on top of the live video. Using Ableton with a touch screen control software called TouchOSC, Doug Lawes the church media coordinator is able to automate the entire church video production system which includes: Ableton, Blackmagic Video Switcher, Chauvet DJ Lights, PTZOptics Cameras, Pro Presentor and OBS. We promise to release more details on this setup because many churches are interested in learning more.
There is so much that Doug Lawes, the church media coordinator, has done to make this house of worship audio-visual system shine. We are already planning a follow up webinar for Friday July 13th, 2018 at 2PM. Doug has agreed to answer questions for our live audience and explain how his system uses OBS, Blackmagic Design Video Switchers, Behringer Audio Mixers, Projectors, PTZOptics cameras and much more.
Ableton Church Video System Automation
Let’s start by looking at the laptop running Ableton which is located on stage in the Keys Vineyard Church. As you can see, this Macbook Pro is connected to the LAN (Local Area Network). The networking in place allows the Macbook Pro running Ableton to connect to multiple control systems which can operate the lights, turn on a live stream, transition to OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) and much more. Furthermore, each song is set up in Ableton to work with ProPresenter which keeps the entire band in sync with the music but also displays the song lyrics over the live cameras that are being displayed on large projector screens inside the church.
In years past, Doug explains that keeping everything in sync with multiple software components was difficult to get the timing right on stage during the church service. Using Ableton Live provides churches with a single solution which we will explain in more detail throughout the blog post. Ableton Live has the ability to send MIDI notes to other programs. These programs can be running on the same Windows or Mac computer using Ableton or on another computer on the church LAN. Essentially you will need to use a MIDI loop or a MIDI network which can be different depending on whether you are using a Mac or a PC computer. These MIDI loops and MIDI networks are used to connect Ableton to other systems which could be running the lights, PTZ cameras, switching video on the Blackmagic Switcher or even starting a live stream on OBS.
Using TouchOSC and Blackmagic Video Switchers
An important part of this church video production system is the TouchOSC control using an iPad. This iPad is connected to the LAN over WiFi and therefore has access to the entire network. The TouchOSC system can send commands to Ableton to start and stop songs during the church service. As you can see the TouchOSC iPad has a custom interface designed for the Keys Vineyard Church which can start and stop various songs easily. The iPad also allows the church to play a welcome video and operate the Blackmagic Video Switcher. Operating the Blackmagic Video switcher from TouchOSC is done through a software called atemOSC. AtemOSC is a software bridge that allows touchOSC to switch the video sources inside the Blackmagic switcher using MIDI which is ideal since everything is being handled through Ableton Live which can output MIDI easily.
The Blackmagic Production Studio 4k shown above is rack mounted inside the church video production booth. This video switch has five HD-SDI PTZOptics cameras connected which are also controllable via MIDI. Therefore throughout the Ableton live songs being played on stage, the church can decide where they want the cameras to zoom into and which time AND decide which camera they would like to be on the output of the Blackmagic Production Studio. The Blackmagic Production Studio video switcher is connected to a computer running OBS with a capture card. This capture card takes the output of the BMD video switcher and converts it to USB 3.0 for easy video ingestion into OBS.
MIDI Camera Control & Video Switching
PTZOptics has recently designed a PTZ camera MIDI control application which will take the MIDI output notes from any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Ableton and convert that into VISCA over IP for camera control.
This software allows churches to control exactly where the camera will move during a song simply by dropping up to 10 camera PTZ preset positions inside the song timeline.
Including lighting control in Ableton Live
One of the most advanced parts of this system beside the PTZ camera controls and Blackmagic video switchers is the Chauvet DJ lighting control. The Chauvet DJ lights are controlled over DMX which is a lighting control protocol. Keys Vineyard church has used multiple lighting control solutions with their Chauvet DJ lights and ultimately decided to use Vista Software by Choma-Q to control the lights and automate everything with Ableton. There are now multiple plugins for Ableton which allow easy lighting control triggered directly through the Ableton Live software timeline. This further simplifies the church video production setup because as TouchOSC starts a song it can now handle all the programmed lighting.
ProPresentor and Church Lyrics Chomra Keying
Finally, we can forget about the amazing lyrics that are being displayed on the projector screens throughout the church service. ProPresenter is a great tool for controlling projectors and even chroma keying on top of the video being sent out of the Blackmagic video switcher. So as ProPresenter is triggered in sync with Ableton Live the lyrics are displayed over the live PTZOptics video cameras that are displayed on the projectors.