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Live stream viewers complain of low audio volume

As my post will testify, I am really lacking in knowledge in regards to the audio aspects of WireCast.  I would be grateful for some advice and guidance with this issue.

I live stream church services each week from my small church.  I have a very basic setup and I use only the basic features of WC in my work.  The video portion of the streaming exceeds my expectations (and those of the viewers).  But I have frequent complaints that the audio levels in the stream are too low even with the viewers' devices volume maxed out. I have two audio sources that I stream.  The pre-recorded music shots and the pastor's microphone shot that is accessed by an AudioBox USB interface to my MacBook Pro.  No one complains about the volume of the pre-recorded music (some say it is too loud).  But there are many complaints that the volume is much too low when streaming from the microphone shot.  I can't understand why this is the case. The  peak audio levels on the output meters range between -12 and -5 when streaming the pre-recorded music.  If I set the gain on the AudioBox to keep the pastor's peak levels at about -6 to -4 with occasional excursions to 0 the viewers complain of low volume.  If I set the gain a bit higher then viewers report improved volume but there is serious deterioration in the audio quality because of clipping and distortion.  By monitoring the streaming I can confirm the findings that viewers complain about.  The quality of the audio is excellent (except for relatively low volume) when the gain is kept low enough to avoid clipping.  But a modest increase in the AudioBox gain leads to terrible degradation in the quality of the audio.

Thanks for any help you might offer.

John

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  • You need to look at the audio meters in Wirecast. Peak should be under 0db. -6db is still reasonable for peaks.  

    If you increase volume at the source and it adds distortion it means there's a source based issue ranging from preamps to other electronics as well as the level hitting the computer.

    Keep in mind viewers also have controls from browser audio levels to their computer audio levels.

    If Wirecast audio peaks are between -6db and 0db then the audio levels are OK going out of Wirecast.

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  • CraigS 

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  • John Baughman CraigS I understand these basic concepts. I think the problem was due to the wide dynamic range in the broadcasts. Much of the audio is -12 or lower amplitude. But there are frequent episodes where the audio peaks out if the fader is set too high. I’ve been working with the dynamic function in WC and I think I have come up with a profile that works pretty well. 

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  • John Baughman Yes dynamic range can be an issue. As you may have discovered, Wirecast Pro specifically has audio processing filters in the Audio Mixer.

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