[00:00:00.00] Blackmagic has just done what we've been asking for since the ATEM Mini came out; they've added manual audio delay to the microphone inputs on the Blackmagic ATEM Mini and the ATEM Mini Pro. Let's get into it!
[00:00:26.00] Just in case you don't know why this update is important, let me give you a little bit of background; the ATEM Mini and the ATEM Mini Pro both have four HDMI inputs and two dedicated audio inputs. The HDMI inputs bring audio with them; they’re AV inputs, or audio and video and the audio only inputs are, well, just audio.
[00:00:43.10] Now, because of that, you actually have six audio inputs on the ATEM Mini; four that are audio and video, and two that are just audio. Normally, if you want to make things easy, you bring your audio in with your video; you attach your microphone to a camera and you bring the audio and video in together. And that not only makes things easier but it also ensures that everything is perfectly in sync.
[00:01:02.15] If you want to bring your audio directly into the ATEM Mini, perhaps off of a sound board or off of a wireless microphone or anything that you want to attach to the ATEM itself, the problem in the past has been that you could not delay that audio. That audio always came in real-time to which you might think well, of course you want the audio to be real-time, however, any video coming in over HDMI is always delayed.
[00:01:23.07] This is an inherent issue with HDMI; it requires time to process the video from the sensor over an HDMI path and send it down the pipe. And because of that, you end up with video that is coming in often just a few frames, but ever so slightly, later than real-time audio.
[00:01:38.25] So, going back to why you want to send your audio through the camera to make things easy, at that point, the audio and the video are both in sync, meaning that they come in together — delayed, but they're in sync. So, this has been the way to solve this problem; simply send your audio and your video in together. But sometimes, you have to send your audio in over the audio input.
[00:01:56.22] And without a way to delay it, you really couldn't do it and keep things in sync. Which if you were just mixing in music, it would be fine, but if you wanted to actually have your primary microphones coming in over there, you couldn't.
[00:02:06.20] So, this is an update that we have wanted since the very beginning of the ATEM Mini and it was not addressed in the ATEM Mini Pro but now it has. So, I have not yet installed this. Let's take a look at how to download this, how to install it, how to update your ATEM… if it requires a hardware update, we're gonna find out, and then we'll see how it works.
[00:02:23.23] Visit Blackmagicdesign.com and then click on the “Support” tab, and depending on when you're watching this, it may be right at the top… there it is, ATEM switchers 8.2.3 Update. You can see, release today. Or if it's not there at the top, just go up here to where it says “Search by model” and type in “ATEM Mini”.
It doesn't matter which one you select as they're both the same, but if you click it, it will bring it to the top of this list. Go ahead and download the one that you need for the macOS or for Windows.
[00:02:48.11] If you haven't registered your product yet, you definitely should but if you have, just click on “Download Only”. Once that's downloaded, just double-click it to mount it as a disk image on your desktop.
[00:02:56.21] Here's the disk image that I just downloaded and you'll see that I've already got my Blackmagic ATEM software open on the right here. I'll go ahead and install it… just double click here and off we go.
[00:03:07.01] Alright, the update has completed… let's go ahead and close the Installer and I'll start by opening up the ATEM Setup. This will tell us if there's any update needed for the hardware itself.
[00:03:15.24] Click on this button here, and sure enough there is. I'll click “Update”, you'll hear the fan spin up on your ATEM mini or ATEM Mini Pro. The ATEM lights will do a little dance when they're done and we're ready to go.
[00:03:28.06] I don't think there's any changes in here, so I'll just go ahead and hit “Save” and launch the ATEM software. And here's what's new; you can see these little icons right here, that must be the audio delay.
[00:03:39.07] Here's what this looked like before the update… and back to what it looks like now. If I click on this, I get a mic input settings, I can adjust the delay up to an eighth frame delay, that's fantastic, and there's also a Stereo Simulation… Hmm, interesting.
[00:03:53.13] So, how do you know how much of a delay to program in? You could just… guess. You could just move the slider until it feels right. Watch the video, listen to the audio and adjust it until it seems like it's right and you know, for a lot of use cases, that's probably fine.
[00:04:06.15] But if you want it to be really accurate, you would use a Sync Test.
[00:04:09.14] Hey there, pardon the interruption from PhotoJoseph from the future… listen, the technique I'm about to show you is great, totally valid, accurate, a bit technical. But it totally works. However, there's a better way… the YouTuber Aaron Parecki did a video on this update already and in his, he shows two different ways to measure the lag between the video and the audio.
[00:04:30.21] The first is a very simple clap test, which is basically what I'm going to do, I'm just doing it in a more technical way. However, he has a second way that to be honest, I kind of wish I had thought of. It's really clever and it's a lot easier, and I'm not gonna give it away. I want you to go watch his video.
[00:04:45.15] Now, I'm gonna put a link to his video at the end of this one so you can just skip the rest of this if you don't want to see the really technical way, just scrub to the end and grab that, but I am going to also talk about the new feature in the DVE functionality. So, you might want to stick around for that.
[00:05:00.04] But if you just want the easy way, just feel free to skip the rest of this video, go to the end and watch Aaron's. God, I wish I'd thought of that! You would use a sync test. Now, there's a bunch of these on YouTube already, but I decided to make my own just so that I could freely give it away to you.
[00:05:13.07] So, I've actually created a series of sync tests, add a variety of frame rates; 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 59.94. And these are all linked below… not only can you play them on YouTube, but you can even download them. Which I actually recommend you do.
[00:05:27.16] Download it and put it on to a laptop or onto an iPad or something to play on so that you don't have to worry about there being any kind of weird audio/video delay in the YouTube playback itself that could mess up your calculations. So, I've already got it on my iPad here, so let's take a look at how this works.
[00:05:41.10] This is my audio sync test. Since I'm working at 29.97, I'm gonna go ahead and play this one back. You'll notice here that what's happening as I scrub through frame by frame, that each frame of video puts that red dot, the red speaker dot, at some position over a series of dots underneath it.
[00:05:55.17] At the zero frame, right there, you'll hear a beep, and that beep only lasts for that one frame. What you'll do is hold this up to the camera to make sure that it can see this clearly and also make sure that your microphone can hear the beeps coming out of the iPad as well. Then record a few seconds of footage, copy that into your NLE and drop it onto a timeline and bring the playhead to where you see the beep in the waveform, and then look at where that is in relation to the frames of video.
[00:06:19.19] It'll tell you on the chart by how many frames you're ahead or behind, and in this case you'll always be behind and that number of frames is what you need to program in. And incidentally, if you're using an external device to program the delay in instead of using the ATEM Mini and you need to know what the delay is in milliseconds, that's on this chart to. Just take a look at the chart, see how many frames you're out of sync and note the time and seconds or milliseconds next to it, and that's what you'll program into your hardware.
[00:06:42.08] So let's try it. I have here a wireless microphone kit, I'm going to go ahead and plug the receiver into the back of the ATEM Mini and see what happens.
[00:06:54.02] You're going to need to record your video off of the ATEM itself, so grab your SSD drive and plug that in. I just lost the connection to my Switcher because I was connected to it over USB. At this point, I need to connect to it over the network so, to do that, I'll go to the ATEM software control and select “Connection” and then I should see the ATEM Mini on the network here.
[00:07:18.29] Connect to that and we're back in business. I'll go to the Switcher, go to Output and this is where I'm going to record the stream. You'll want to make sure your camera is set to whichever camera you're syncing to, in this case Camera 1. And then under audio, turn off the audio for that camera's input and turn it on for the microphone.
[00:07:35.24] Now, I happen to know that this Sennheiser is pretty quiet on here, so I'm gonna crank the gain all the way up. Now, it's time to start recording.
[00:07:43.05] I'd get that microphone up near it so you can ensure that it is going to be heard and seen and just shut up for a minute. Now to copy that file into the computer… I've just plugged that into my Mac… I'll import that media… create a new timeline and add this to it. And here on the waveform, we can see that beep.
[00:08:06.26] Now, you'll notice that the beep does not begin and end exactly in that one frame. And the reason for that is because when you hit play on the iPad or laptop or wherever you're playing it from, you are not necessarily starting at the same microsecond that that frame of video is starting.
[00:08:21.15] So, when you hit Play that might be somewhere between frames of what's being recorded. So, you're always going to see a little bit of variation in here, but just get it as close as you can and that's going to be fine.
[00:08:30.15] With my playhead here just where that audio's beeping, if we look at the video, we'll see that I'm out of sync by 5 frames. Minus 5 frames out of sync. And of course, if I needed to know that in milliseconds, I can see that that's about 167 milliseconds.
[00:08:42.11] All right, let's go back over to the ATEM software, back to the audio tab and dial in “5 frames”. It looks like you can go partial frames but you can't… it just snaps back to the nearest one. So, 5 frames is where we're at and now we need to do another test. Let me grab the hard drive, plug it back in and we'll do this all over again.
[00:08:59.15] Go back to the Switcher, hit Record again, repeat the test. I'll import that new clip, drag it onto the timeline, zoom in close to where we've got the beeps and it looks like we've got a little bit of variance in here.
[00:09:15.20] Now, I got to be honest, this is not something I completely understand but I have absolutely seen this before. What I would recommend is looking along the time line at a couple of different spots on it. See if it is the same sync or out of sync everywhere. And if so, make some more adjustments.
[00:09:31.09] It's a little bit weird and if someone can explain to me why this is the case, I'd love to hear about it. But for now I'm just gonna take a look at other spots at the timeline and then adjust and test again.
[00:09:43.05] Yeah it looks like it's still about 2 frames off. So, let's go back into the ATEM software control, back to the audio and let's give it a couple more frames. Let's go all the way up to 7 and we'll try again.
[00:09:57.21] There we go. We can see at the first beep on here, that if I go just before the beep starts, I'm in sync. You can see the green band up here that shows me that I'm in sync. If I go one frame forward so that the frame is splitting that audio peak, it shows that I’m one frame too late.
[00:10:13.18] So I could have gone with either six or seven frames here. So, I think I would go ahead and adjust this back one frame. So, we're gonna call it 6, being the final number here and of course, at that point you could test again.
[00:10:23.16] So, that's all there is to it. Now, I do again realize that it's a little bit odd that you may have to fine-tune that a couple of times and again, I have experienced this before. It certainly is an odd experience and once again, if someone out there could explain this, I would love to hear it. But this is the basic idea and it works.
[00:10:39.00] Now, do make sure that you're using the appropriate frame rate for whatever you're playing with. So, if you're shooting at 29.97, make sure that you use the 29.97 video and so on.
[00:10:48.10] So, that's an important part of it because if you're using these for example at 25 frame but you're actually at 30, it's definitely not going to work properly. So this is just one of the updates in the software. There was another one to the DVE where apparently you can now make things over 100% in size. Let's just take a quick look at that.
[00:11:02.28] If you go to the Palettes and then open up the Upstream Key, switch over to Luma key, and this is where you would set up a picture-in-picture. So, that would be a Flying Key and here's the Size which used to have a maximum of 1. You could go smaller, but you couldn't go bigger, but now you can. Look at that…
[00:11:19.20] Let's see how much bigger you can go. Can I go to full 200%? I can. 300? I can. It looks like I can go up to 99.99… that's a hundred times bigger than the incoming source. I'm not quite sure why you'd want to do that, but now you can. Excellent!
[00:11:35.17] Well that's it folks. That's what I wanted to show you in the new update so now you see how to install it, you see how to get your audio into sync and I got to tell you this couldn't have come at a better time because I actually have a live streaming gig this weekend where I'm going to use this.
[00:11:47.10] As always, I hope you enjoyed the video. If you haven't already, make sure you Like and Subscribe, it's always appreciated. And I've put a bunch of my other ATEM Mini videos into this playlist right here, so, if you haven't seen those, be sure to check those out.
[00:11:58.16] Thanks a bunch again for watching and I'll see you next time. Bye-bye.