[00:00:00] If you've been watching videos on the new Blackmagic ATEM Mini Extreme and you're thinking “man! I wish I had eight inputs on my ATEM Mini or my ATEM Mini Pro or my ATEM Mini Pro ISO” but you don't want to spend $1,000 to get them, I’ve got news for you… I’m going to show you in this video how to add three more HDMI inputs to any of the ATEM Mini hardware for just 100 bucks a pop.
[00:00:23] The new Blackmagic ATEM Mini Extreme is awesome, there's no doubt about it; eight inputs, super source, multiple DVEs… It's incredible. If you don't already have an ATEM Mini switcher and you want those eight inputs, then just go buy one of those. (Affiliate link down below!) But if you already have ATEM Mini hardware and all you really need are extra inputs, then this is the video for you.
[00:00:47] Now, if you learn something in this video, do me a favor and do subscribe, share the video, hit that Like button and all those good things because what you're about to learn… could change your world.
[00:00:55] I’m going to show you how to take an ATEM Mini — original one; just $300 — and plug this into your ATEM Mini Pro or your ATEM Mini Pro ISO or even an original ATEM Mini and add three more inputs. All you have to do is take the Program Out of your ATEM Mini, plug that into one of the inputs, like input four on your other ATEM and you've just added three more inputs. That's it… Oh wait, don't leave… You're like “what, seriously? That was your tip?” no, there's more…
[00:01:21] You see, if you just do that, the problem is switching. Technically, yes, you now have seven inputs, but let me show you; here's input ONE and then that's TWO and that's THREE and now to go to FOUR, you activate this and you turn this one on, that becomes number FOUR and then there's FIVE, SIX and SEVEN. How hard is that, right?
[00:01:39] We go like this; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Easy, right? Okay, quick go to two… Done. Okay, quick, go to six… I have to hit two things. Go to one, okay? Go to seven; got to hit both of those. Go to four… Uh, oh, just that.
[00:01:57] There's risk. There's a big risk of hitting the wrong buttons in the wrong order and not getting a clean switch. So what you really want to do is be able to control all of these at once with a single keystroke. Now, you can't actually do this in the ATEM hardware itself and you might be thinking “hold on, there's macros, can't you do that with macros?” eh, no.
[00:02:15] See, macros will allow you to program a ton of control, a ton of different changes into one ATEM but not into multiples, because the macros actually require the ATEM software to run and that ATEM software can only control one piece of hardware at a time. You can't control multiple pieces of hardware at once.
[00:02:32] So, you need a third party app and that third party app is called Companion, by a company called Bitfocus, and it's actually open source. It is free and it is awesome. It's not just for controlling ATEMs, it's actually for controlling all kinds of things like lights and switchers and sound systems and projectors, streaming hardware, displays and recorders, audio interfaces… there's a ton of things you can do with it. I’m not going to show you all of that, I’m just going to show you how to use it to control two ATEM Minis at once.
[00:02:58] The first thing you have to do is download the software. Head over to bitfocus.io, download Companion, and once it's installed, you'll see a menu item in the bar here that's called Show/Hide Window; open that up. It brings up this interface. You'll see that it's currently running and you can also choose which network interface it runs on.
[00:03:15] If you're running both a Wi-Fi and a wired network, you probably want to switch Companion over to the wired network. Even though it will find your wired hardware, it just seems to be a bit cleaner if you put it on the same network. So, I’m going to go ahead and switch this over to my wired interface and click “Launch GUI”.
[00:03:29] That launches this web interface and this is where everything happens. I’m starting completely from scratch. You'll see that I have no buttons in here and we're going to start by setting up the connections. In this interface, you set up the connections to your hardware and this thing supports a ton of different interfaces, we just need to find the one for the Blackmagic ATEMs.
[00:03:46] To do that, I’ll go down here to the search window and type in “ATEM” and there it is, tap Add and up here I can give it a name and the IP address of the hardware. So, how do I find the IP address of my switchers? Well, that's easy enough… use the Blackmagic ATEM software to find that.
[00:04:02] In the ATEM setup software, locate your device and then click on this button here to show the IP address. This one is 10.0.1.105, that's my ATEM Mini Pro ISO, so I’ll need to remember that. I’m also going to want the IP address of the ATEM Mini, which in my case is 10.0.1.101. So, 101 and 105.
[00:04:23] I’ll switch back over to the software and let’s go ahead and put in the ATEM ISO to start. I’ll give it a name so I can identify it later, “ATEM ISO”, and that was 10.0.1.105. Under model, you can leave it at autodetect or if you want to you can choose the model, I don't think it really matters, and then click Apply Changes.
[00:04:41] Under Instances, we'll see that that ATEM has been added and now I’m ready to add the other one. Back to search, ATEM again, there's the ATEM, we'll call this one “ATEM Mini” and the IP address for this was 10.0.1.101. Apply changes, back to the instances and I’ll see both of them here and their statuses are both okay.
[00:05:03] If the statuses are not okay, then you probably enter the wrong IP address or there's something else going on in your network, I leave that up to you. Next, to set up the buttons. Go to the buttons page and here's all the blank buttons that I can work with. I’ll go to the first one here, from Set Button Type, I’ll choose regular button and then I’ll give it a name. I’m going to give it the name of simply “1”, because the goal here is to set up a simple clean interface that looks similar to this but is numbered one through seven and actually switches these as one through seven.
[00:05:33] So, here we go; this is button one, I’ll go to “Add Key Down on Action”, I’ll type in “ISO” to start, (that just brings up only the ISO commands), and the one that I want is at the very top, “Set Input on Program”. I want to set the input on program to camera one, so that's there by default.
[00:05:49] If I tap on this though, you'll see that I can choose between camera one, two, three and - wait a minute, what's that? ATEM 4–7. Well, when you first set up your ATEM, you may have noticed that the cameras were called camera one, two, three and four; that's it. But you can actually rename them and I’ve already done that.
[00:06:04] I’ve renamed button number four to be ATEM 4-7 and then I’ve also renamed the buttons on the ATEM Mini where number one is input four, number two is camera five and so on and so on. Let me show you how I did that.
[00:06:17] Go over to the ATEM software, I’ll click on the actual ATEM software control and here you can see camera one, camera two, camera three and then four to seven. If you click on the gear menu down in the bottom left and then tap on Labels and Input, you'll see the names. There's Camera 1, CAM 1, Camera 2 and so on and then this is the one that I renamed ATEM 4-7 and a label just 4-7.
[00:06:39] So, that's what I made there and then if I switch over to the other switcher by going to the Connection menu, choosing the older ATEM Mini, you'll see here that these are already labeled as CAM 4, 5, 6 and 7. And once again, under the gear menu you can see the labels under input for camera 4, 5, 6 and 7.
[00:06:56] You can of course call these anything you want; “overhead camera”, “close-up”, “computer”, whatever you like in there, I’ve just named them cameras 1-7 just to make it easy for this. I’ll save that and go back over to the Companion menu.
[00:07:08] So, once again, we were just setting up button one. So, there's button 1 set for camera one. Now let's just test it out… there's a button up here called Test Actions, but first let me make sure I’m off of input one, so there's one, I’m on four, so we're ready to go. I’m going to go ahead and click on Test Actions and it immediately sets that to input one. So this works!
[00:07:26] Now we just need to replicate this for all the other buttons. To do that, go to the Copy option, select the button you want to copy; that's number one and then click where you want to paste it; right there. I’ll select that, change this to number 2 and then change the input to camera two as well, and I’ll just repeat that for the rest of these.
[00:07:43] Let's switch this to three, I’ll copy that over, call that “3”, set that to three and then we'll copy again. Tap on that, make this 4 and now we're going to set this input to ATEM 4-7 and now I need to also add a command to switch the second ATEM to input number 1, which is my Camera 4.
[00:08:05] This is where Companion shines. I can add multiple commands to be executed at the same time so that I can have the ATEM Mini Pro ISO switch to input 4 and the old ATEM Mini switch to input 1 together. To do that, I’ll simply go in and add another action. I’ll type in Mini this time to filter by just the Mini, set input on program and now that one is set to camera four.
[00:08:27] So now, the command is going to both switch the ATEM ISO to the fourth input that I’ve labeled as ATEM 4-7 and the old Mini over to camera four. Now, let's do this for five, six and seven. Copy number four to five, rename that five and set the input to camera five. The switch over to ATEM 4-7 is already built into it. Copy 5 to here, select that and 6, set this to camera six and finally copy six to seven, select that. We'll call it 7 and switch this to camera seven as well.
[00:09:06] Now we're ready to test it. To test these, I can click on the test actions button on each interface but there's actually an easier way to do it. If I hold down the shift key, then this interface here becomes live buttons. So, now as I click on each one of these, you'll see the inputs changing. So, there's input 1, 2, 3 and then 4 brings up 4 on the ATEM Mini Pro ISO and number one on the ATEM Mini.
[00:09:28] And then there's 5, 6 and 7. And I can switch around these as much as I want. I can jump to two, jump to five, jump to one, jump to four and all the inputs change simultaneously, and that's all there is to it. Now, who wants to actually do the switching by holding down the shift key and clicking on a web page button? Nobody. So instead, we can actually move this interface over to the iPad and there's a custom view to do this, to make it even easier.
[00:09:53] On the left hand side of the page here, you'll see there's two options; there's the Web buttons option that gives you a nice web friendly view or there's also the Mobile buttons option which gives you a very mobile friendly view. Just copy this URL and then open up your iPad or other mobile device and type into the URL, that same URL or in my case I’ll just paste it because it's copied over from iCloud copy and paste; and there it is, and there's the buttons.
[00:10:19] So now as I tap on these, I can switch from camera one to two to three to five to two to six to seven and back to one again. Fantastic! Now, there is one thing missing from this; you'll notice that if I tap on the buttons, we actually see a button color change and that's great, that's very handy to know which button you have tapped on; which angle is currently live.
[00:10:39] We can actually replicate that in software as well. Let me show you how. I’ll go back to Companion and now under each button, I want to turn on something called Instance Feedback. This allows me to provide feedback through the button depending on the state of the button.
[00:10:53] So, in this case, I want to have it go red, just like this does, when that camera angle is active. I’ll go in here to add feedback. This is the ISO and the one I want is right on top, ATEM ISO change colors from mixer program tally. That's what we're looking at, it's the program, the program input, what's on the air and the tally is its state.
[00:11:12] I’ll select that. By default it's set to red and it's set to camera one which is what I want for camera one and that's it. Let's do it for camera two as well… Put this in here, add that in, set this to camera two and now let's test it out. We'll go back over here and if I tap on two here, we'll see that goes red and it switches over here as well.
[00:11:32] Let's go to one and two and so on. So now, let's go ahead and update the rest of the buttons as well. Number three is easy, we'll go to three add this in here, set that to camera three… And then for the rest of these, four through seven, we're gonna have to set it to be looking at the ATEM Mini not the ATEM Mini Pro ISO. So once again, with four selected, we'll go down and add the instance feedback.
[00:11:57] I’m going to type in “Mini” to make sure I’m filtering by just the Mini commands. It's right on top and it's set to camera four. Number five, set this, Mini program tally, set that to camera five, six, Mini tally six and finally seven, Mini tally seven. There we go.
[00:12:27] Now they're all set up, let's see how they work. There's one, there's two, there's four, there's six, there's two… Now, you'll notice that you can get into a situation where multiple buttons are lit up at once, just like on the actual hardware. There might actually be a way to work around that where it ignores one and only looks at the other. I haven't dug that far into it but for now at least, it's easy enough to know that number three is active, one is active, five, seven and so on. You know that you've tapped it, you get that feedback and you know that that angle is up.
[00:12:55] So, that is how you can add three more inputs to your ATEM Mini, your ATEM Mini Pro or your ATEM Mini Pro ISO for just $100 a piece. An ATEM Mini is 300 bucks, add that in and away you go. Companion is free and that's all you need.
[00:13:09] Now, if you want to add hardware switching you can actually get an Elgato Stream Deck which will allow you to take these buttons and move them back into hardware which is really cool, but that's something for another video. If you like this video, you know what to do, subscribe, hit the Like button, tell a friend… Thanks for watching, we'll see you in the next one.