Solved the auditorium style meeting scenario with Skype Meeting Broadcast

The challenge is to create a good experience in an audiotium and in the Skype Meeting Broadcast at the same time

When is this a challenge?

tdsweimage

When you want to have a conference talk, all hands meeting, training or product update with a good experience in the on-site auditorium and in the Skype Meeting Broadcast stream

Why is this a challenge for audio?

If you need to use a microphone in the room there is often no way to get the same sound in to the computer you are using to stream the meeting. You may be in a location where you can not integrate equipment that will solve this problem. Using a speaker device will often not give a satisfactory experience since it picks up sounds in the room, echo and the speaker may feel distant and if not speaking loud enough the speaker may be noise cancelled

Why is this a challenge for presentation?

If you want to present a PowerPoint and combine with a demo you may encounter scenarios where application sharing may break if you are in the meeting from you presentation computer, You may want to demo Skype for Business that will disconnect the meeting or you want to show multimedia with a good experience in the room and a good enough experience in the stream

Two devices are part of the primary solution

  1. Zoom H4n Recorder with two mic in and two audio outh4n
    • 2x XLR inputs from the existing microphones in the room or a system you bring with you
    • The second input can be audio from your presentation computer when you want to show multimedia
    • One USB output that you can set as the audio device in your Skype for Business client with good quality and no interference
    • One line out mini jack that you can plug in to the speaker system to get good sound out in the room
    • Supplementary devices
      • DMS 70 Quattro
        • XLR mic output
        • Two wireless microphone for two speakers or QA in the room
        • Supports up to 4 microphones
        • Update: Seems like the DMS 70 is discontinued
          • An alternative can be the Shure BLX14 Dual Wireless Lavalier Microphone System With 2 x WL185 with a XLR merger like the
            Millenium SML 21.
          • I have not tested this setup, but it has the right attributes for it to work
      • Shure A15LA Line Adapter
        • Converts computer line out to microphone sound for a good audio experience in the H4n recorder
        • Regular audio sounds terrible without this adapter
        • Now you can output sounds from your presentation computer in to the stream
  2. Magewell USB Capture HDMI devicemagewell
    • Converts HDMI output from your computer to USB webcam input for your streaming computer
    • Requires two computers, one presentation computer and one production computer which is best practice for Skype Meeting Broadcast
    • Supplementary devices
      • Standard HDMI splitter for splitting the presentation computer HDMI signal and send it to the projector and to the Magewell device

Afterthought: You may want to have a separate production computer for webcam video of the speaker, then it will be a simple task for the producer to switch between the presentation video or the speaker video

Bringing it together

Below is a gif illustrating the devices connect

solvedauditorium

3 thoughts on “Solved the auditorium style meeting scenario with Skype Meeting Broadcast

  1. Hey, thanks for a great post, interesting stuff! I remember reading that Skype’s only capabable for using one / left channel of an audio interface. Do you think it is the business version solving this or is it the H4 that sums up the two inputs into a single one on the USB, or what to make it work like described? Just thinking if this could be built with some other interface also?

    • If you use both interfaces at the same time it will not merge but have one input in each channel. So I recommend to use one source at a time. I have not tested this with a merge box though. From the H4 the usb cable will get recognized as audio device in Skype for Business and both channels comes across.

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