We are a small church community who are still hiring (unfortunately) a sound tech company for our live events. FOH sounds great. However, the livestream is rubbish. The supplier says "it's complicated" and it comes with a cost. Instead, our director purchased a Behringer Xair18 for us volunteers to use it specifically for livestream.
Is it possible for us to split the source signals via a splitter snake to connect to two mixers? Signals come from dynamic mics (wired and wireless), electronic drums and instruments.
Thanks for your inputs.
P.S. We really can use a limited budget for this year that's why a splitter snake is what I have in mind.
ART S8 is as good as most of us need and comes in 2-way and 3-way flavours. I’d definitely go for a box which can be put away when not needed and the extra XLR cables put back in the box.
You have a few more issues to consider than just a simple "splitter snake". That may be fine, depending.
#1) "Signals come from dynamic mics (wired and wireless), electronic drums and instruments."
Electronic drums, keyboards, acoustic guitars, etc., may be unbalanced Hi-Z devices using TS cables, which will be affected by distance. Also, a snake would have to have the ability to use them, as in 1/4" jacks, instead of only XLR. This all depends on how far away each are of the stage sources, the FOH mixer and the livestream mixer from each other.
With the mixer(s) way out in the audience at some distance, if you're trying to connect one of those devices, then you'd need a way to covert it to balanced Lo-Z, using either TRS or XLR connectors/cables to the input of the snake. You'd want them converted before going any distance. They may need some passive or active conversion devices to work adequately. Without knowing the setup, it's impossible to state with certainty what to use. A Hi-Z unbalanced signal going much distance will degrade the further it goes.
#2) "...a sound tech company for our live events".
Nobody in here knows for certain whether you are hiring just a tech to run a permanently-installed mixer you own, or if you are hiring the equipment AND tech? A good guess would be that they are bringing the equipment? Whether it's theirs or yours, depending on the mixer configuration, it might be possible to use direct channel outs of the FOH mixer connected to the Behringer for an independent mix for streaming.
Nobody knows what mixer they are using, so nobody knows if that is possible. If that mixer had pre-fade TRS direct outs for each channel, it would simply require a 1/4 TRS cable from each of those to the inputs of the Behringer, if both mixers were close to each other.
The problem with that, if it is their mixer that they bring in is that they'd need to be OK with it, and it will require extra setup time to connect your stuff after they have set up their stuff, which will lengthen their time.
#3) If the solution turns out to be a splitter snake, you'll need to determine which type would be best.
A simple passive single XLR input wired direct and split to two XLR outputs will have both outputs dividing the signal to each to their destination inputs, and that will degrade the signal to both mixers.
They also make transformer-coupled passive splitters that would be a step up from the former. I think the ART S8 mentioned is one of those? Those may run a direct signal through the primaries of the high-quality transformers of each channel to one set of outputs per channel, and use the transformers to decouple electrically, but the signal will be induced from the primary winding into the secondary to connect to the paired output of each channel. That keeps the direct signal from being split and weakened, while still providing an adequate signal for their paired outputs.
Then they make active mic splitters. Those must be powered, and are much more expensive for good ones. They are basically preamps, themselves, and will provide the strongest signal to the inputs of the mixers. A cavaet is that a lesser-quality one may degrade the signal going to any mixer that they may have higher-quality preamps, so you'd lose the advantage of those higher-quality preamps by feeding it a "cheap equipment" signal.
I just searched for info, and this S.O.S article explains it fairly well.
There is ALWAYS more to consider. You may get even more-relevant answers to your particular situation if some of the holes in the info are provided.
Best of luck,
The live sound is great and the live stream is rubbish? Why? I'm guessing but maybe if you think the live sound is good, it's because what people are hearing is a combination of the sound sources without amplification, plus the quiet things amplified? Drums and brass are always loud, compared to the voices - so the PA has the brass and drum faders on off. The desk and system just brings up the quieter sources till they are balanced. Live streaming this weird mix would be horrible. Your idea, if I read it right is to split ALL the sources, and do a mix for streaming in hopefully a room that is quiet? The reality is that the old way of just using splitters might be improved on. For instance, with many modern systems, you could have a Dante card and direct all the mics out down network cable. Or, if the brands are the same (like X32s) you can share the stage box. At worst, you could use ordinary mic splitters (as in Y splitter cables, two maless, one female) but that gets tricky as said, with phantom. What else? You could, depending on the PA mixer - group things into stems - so they send you the drums and brass, even though they don't route them to the PA - but that's a snag because if they cannot hear them, they can't balance them. Transformer splits that send you every source without the powering issue would work, but costs money.
The other thing is people. If you are hiring in equipment and operators, then this is because I assume, you don't have the equipment and people yourself? So who will take charge of the system for recording and do the mix? In almost every case, there are ways to do this - if you have the skilled people. If you don't, then maybe you'll need to get your PA people to bring in more gear and more people to make it work?