24 hour live webcast: Dancember BTS

24 hour live webcast: Dancember BTS

Each December for the last several years, DVEstore has donated knowhow, equipment and man hours to a charity fundraising event called Dancember. This is no ordinary charity fundraiser––It's a 24 hour live web show put on by local YouTubers  Benji Judy Travis. In 2015, we raised over $200,000 dollars for Convoy of Hope––a charity whose mission is to feed and educate kids around the world. This all happened out of Benji and Judy's house! It was so successful that we got YouTube's attention. So this year, they got involved to help support the even loftier goal of raising $500,000 dollars for Convoy of Hope.

So, yeah; double the fundraising and YouTube is watching. No pressure right!? It was up to me to design the system configuration we would need [all the equipment and how it works together] to make sure this would go over smoothly. 

Dancember 2016 Equipment Schematic

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I decided that a modular system would help prevent any one particular device from being overloaded. I delegated switching, lower thirds and PTZ control to the TriCaster 410. A Macbook Pro running mimoLive gained super I/O powers by being coupled with a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 4K Extreme. I used mimoLive for superimposing a live Twitter feed, running playlists of pre-produced video clips and for recording the entire program to a G-Tech 8TB RAID in ProRes 422 format.

mimolive with UltraStudio 4K and Vidiu Pros

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Instead of relying on software based streaming, we used two Teradek Vidiu Pro encoders to feed a 6Mb stream to YouTube Live. One Vidiu Pro was sending out the primary stream, and the other, the backup stream. YouTube Live will automagically switch to the backup stream if the primary goes down, so this gave us a nice comforting layer of redundancy.

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Part of the show consists of other well-known YouTubers calling in to interact and do "challenges" with Benji and Judy. To facilitate this, we employed a NewTek Talkshow VS-100, which you can see mounted in the rack above. This worked great on our end, but what we didn't have much control over is the equipment the Skype caller is using on their end!

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As vital as good video is, good audio is at least as important––so we went to great lengths to make sure we got it right. We requisitioned a  Sound Devices 688 mixer from the DVEstore studio and paired it with a Sound Devices CL-12 fader controller. Our wireless mics were Lectrosonics LMb transmitters, with the SRc Dual Channel receivers super-slot mounted in an SL-6.

Sound Devices 688 with CL-12

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Great audio gear only gets you to the starting line, though. Without the right talent to run it, it's potential will remain unrealized. Coming on set with us to run audio were two local Seattle pro's, Jeremiah Sheets and Chuck Kraft. These guys don't come cheap, but man are they worth it. The audio for this year's show was the best it's ever been. Having them there took a great weight off of my mind.

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It took many talented people to pull off this 24 hour live broadcast. A shout-out to Jesse Pepin for coming up from Portland to be a part of it! The really beautiful thing about all this work is the payoff. As of this writing, Dancember has surpassed their goal of raising $500,000 dollars for  Convoy of Hope!

Dancember 2016 Logo

Dancember money raised $509,260.06Benji and Judy Travis

For an additional look behind the scenes, check out the video:

30th Dec 2016 Jason Jenkins

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