[00:00:00.01] Hi, I’m PhotoJoseph. Today we are talking about the Atomos Shogun 7 and how to use it as a touch-based switching device for live productions.
[00:00:13.20] Depending on when you are watching this, you are either here to see a really cool feature on the Shogun 7 where it can input four cameras, record all four of those cameras at once, live switch for the Program Out and then learn how to take that Program Out and put it on the air. Or if you are watching this during the, should we call it the “mandatory lockdown 2020”, perhaps you are desperately looking for a way to get your camera onto the Internet. Whatever the reason might be, I am going to show you exactly what this device can do.
[00:00:40.18] Now, the Atomos Shogun 7 is way overkill for this one particular purpose, but it happens to do this one thing in a way that pretty much nothing else does. What we're talking about is live switching; the ability to, with a touch-based interface, simply touch the screen to switch between different camera angles for your broadcast.
[00:00:58.11] What it simultaneously does is records all four inputs on to separate tracks so that you can then go back and remix them later. And in fact, it will even record all the switching that you did into an XML file so you can go in and have the show that you actually broadcast all edited and ready to go but that you can then go back and make tweaks to… “oh, I should have switched to this camera angle, I should switch there a little sooner or a little later”, and make those changes.
[00:01:20.29] But I might be getting ahead of myself. If you don't know exactly what I am talking about, let's take a step back and talk about, well, what we are talking about. The Shogun 7 is from a company called Atomos and it is a 7 inch touchscreen recorder designed for use with high-end cameras to record things like ProRes RAW into an SSD drive so that you can then edit that on your computer later.
[00:01:41.08] It gives you a lot of advantages over recording internally, and that is all wonderful, but that is not what we are here to talk about. We are here to talk about its switching capability, which is a feature that was added by a firmware update sometime last year.
[00:01:52.05] What you can do with this device is feed in multiple — up to 4 camera angles, (and you don't have to use all four), but feed in multiple camera angles and then use the screen to simply touch between them to send out whichever channel you want on the output called the “Program”. The Program is the output that goes live to air.
[00:02:08.22] Now, the Shogun does not itself stream to the Internet; for that you need external hardware or software and we will come to that later but as far as the switching goes, the Shogun is beautifully suited to this.
[00:02:18.29] So, let's talk about how this actually works and what it takes to put it all together. This is the Shogun 7 and it comes in at $1,299. So, not exactly a cheap product but when you consider what else it does and what it was initially designed for, it actually is a pretty good deal. But $1,299 is the Shogun 7 itself.
[00:02:36.02] Now, what makes the Shogun 7 unique among recorders is the inputs on the back. This has four SDI inputs as well as an output and a sync port. Because that is SDI, that means that you do have to convert most cameras from HDMI, which is what most cameras have, into SDI, to get it into the Shogun. To do that, you will need an adapter, and of course Atomos makes adapters, as well as some other companies. So, let's take a look at some of those.
[00:02:59.18] The first one up is the Atomos Connect Convert. This is a simple box that just takes HDMI, converts it to SDI and that's it. That comes in at $99. Atomos also makes one called the Connect Convert Scale. This one will take in your HDMI and scale the signal to a different size or frequency before converting it to SDI, and this is going to be very useful for one of our inputs, and we'll come to that later on. That one comes in at $249.
[00:03:24.03] Blackmagic also makes HDMI to SDI converters. These are a bit less expensive at just $55. And in fact, you can buy the converter for just $40 without a power supply. This can be powered over USB, so if you already have a USB power bank that you're using, you don't need another power supply. You can get this converter for just 40 bucks.
[00:03:41.16] I don't own one of these particular converters but all of these Blackmagic converters work great, so I feel confident recommending this. Blackmagic also makes a 4K version of the converter, that's the HDMI to SDI 6G which you certainly don't need for this particular setup, but if you're buying a converter that you might then want to use down the road for a 4K camera with HDMI out and you wanted to convert that to SDI for something else, then you might want to future-proof yourself. That converter comes in at $185.
[00:04:08.11] The next converter on my list is a pretty special device. I actually own one of these. It's called the Decimator MD-HX. It's a cross converter, and what this does is converts from HDMI to SDI or SDI to HDMI and it also scales and converts the frequency. So it does what that little yellow box did earlier, plus a few other tricks.
[00:04:27.11] The next one up is something I absolutely do NOT recommend. You will find these on Amazon really inexpensively — $30.00 or so — SDI to HDMI or HDMI to SDI converters, but I definitely cannot recommend them. I've purchased a few of these and while they technically do work, they tend to introduce color or gamma shifts which can certainly not be a good thing when you're trying to get your camera onto air.
[00:04:50.08] So, I would avoid these. If you're absolutely looking for the cheapest solution possible, then you could go for that but if that's your objective then you probably won't be buying the Shogun 7 anyway.
[00:05:00.06] So, this is what the solution looks like; there's a Shogun 7 with a series of adapters; you'll need four of them if you have four HDMI cameras that you want to bring in and you may need to scale some of them, so there's a variety of choices there. Some cameras of course do have SDI out like this new Panasonic X2000. This isn't actually a LUMIX camera; it's a Panasonic camera from the broadcast division and it has two really cool features in it; it has SDI outputs for one, and two, it actually has the ability to livestream directly from the camera. Pretty neat. I actually kinda want to get my hands on one of these. If this is something you'd like to see me do a show on, let me know in the comments and I'll try and get one and do a show for you on it.
[00:05:36.20] Anyway, so those are the pieces that you need to send cameras through the Shogun 7 and broadcast it out. What am I actually using here today? Because, I am running this in the exact configuration that I am recommending to you. Well, let's go through all the different pieces starting with this camera right here. That is a LUMIX GH5.
[00:05:53.17] On the GH5 I have the Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens. On top of that is the XLR1, with the Sennheiser AVX receiver. And I am wearing an AVX mic right now. That camera is outputting HDMI of course which is then being converted to SDI using a Blackmagic converter. This is the HDMI to SDI 4K because that's what I happen to own, but of course we are only using it for HD.
[00:06:14.20] The next camera up is a Blackmagic camera. This is the Blackmagic Micro Studio camera, and what makes this camera particularly interesting for this setup is that it does have SDI out. Now, one of the drawbacks of the camera for this setup is that because it's not connected to an ATEM, I actually have limited control over the camera. I can go into the camera settings and control things like shutter speed and gain but what I can't do is control the lens.
[00:06:37.14] So, any electronic lens with electronic focus or aperture control, I actually can't control connected to this device. Which is why I have a mechanical Cinema Lens attached to this; a Meike 12mm T2.2 lens. That gives me full manual control over iris and aperture. Since that has SDI out, no convertor needed. The next camera up is a LUMIX S1H; that has a Canon 70mm to 200 mm f/4 lens on it which is being adapted to L Mount with the Sigma MC-21.
[00:07:05.12] That of course is HDMI out as well going into another Blackmagic Mini Converter. The last device is the laptop which is allowing me to play the slides that you are seeing through here. We are actually playing the slides from the computer as a second screen through to the Atomos, and it would allow me to play any video or movie files that I had on here notwithstanding the audio problem that we mentioned earlier.
[00:07:29.24] Now, this computer is going out into the Atomos Connect Cross Scale Split adapter. The reason for that is because I need to convert the signal coming out of here. You see, the Shogun requires all input signals to be exactly the same. And that is defined by the first device that you plug into input one. So, when I plugged in the first camera into input one on here, that defined or locked the signal at 1080p 29.97 frames per second. All three of these cameras output 1080p29.97, no problem.
[00:07:59.09] The computer, however, does not. Most computers you'll find will operate at 1920 x 1080 no problem, but their frequency is perhaps 24 Hertz, 30 Hertz or 60 Hertz. 30 Hertz is the closest, but 30 Hertz is 30.0 frames per second, it is not 29.97. So you actually need to scale that, and that's what that little yellow box is doing. It's scaling the signal from 1080p30 to 1080p29.97.
[00:08:23.04] So all four of those are being fed into the Shogun. You can see the four SDI cables coming in. And then on the right, the SDI out. That SDI out is actually feeding into another monitor, this big Sumo 19M here, which is not necessary for this setup but I figured it would be a fun way to show you what is actually switching, and, you know, you got it; may as well use it.
[00:08:43.23] And then from the Sumo 19M, I am outputting an HDMI cable because the Sumo has SDI in and HDMI out. And I am taking that HDMI into a little Ninja V up here which is just kind of a confidence monitor for me. It's not really necessary but it's there so, why not? Finally, there is also an HDMI cable coming out of the Shogun 7 going into an Epiphan video AV.io. The AV.io allows me to convert HDMI to USB. This is how I am then bringing the signal from the Shogun into the computer.
[00:09:15.12] Why would I bring this into the computer? Well, that is how I am live streaming. That is how I would live broadcast the show using software like OBS. Now, those of you that have seen my shows before and seen me talk about live streaming, you probably know I am not really a fan of streaming over software.
[00:09:28.14] What I would really like to tell you to do right now is to go out and buy one of these. This is the Epiphan Webcaster X2. It is a $250 box that takes HDMI in and then streams to the internet. Streams to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch; whatever you like. The problem is, Epiphan discontinued this product. It was end-of-lifed not that long ago at all. And when they planned to end-of-life it, they manufactured what they thought would be enough to last them until something comes out to replace it. (I have no idea what or when anything is replacing it. I don't even know that something is, it's a guess, but I am sure it will.)
[00:10:02.10] But unfortunately, they didn't manufacture enough because of this whole [beep] oh, I am not allowed to say that. Because of this whole “stay at home crisis”. So, those things sold out; they are really hard to get right now. You can actually find them on Amazon and I will link to them down below but they are being marked up quite a bit.
[00:10:20.07] You're looking at paying at least $100 over list for them. But if you need it and you don't mind paying a little extra, you can get your hands on one. So, instead of going out to the X2, I am taking the signal from the Shogun through the AV.io and into the computer and feeding that into software like OBS. Now, you don't have to use this for live streaming, you could use this setup and feed the signal into software like Skype or GoToWebinar or Zoom or anything that is normally looking for a webcam because your computer will see the AV.io as a webcam.
[00:10:50.19] And by the way, this device isn't the only one that you can use; there's lots of HDMI to USB converters on the market but like the X2, they are a little hard to find right now. Again, depending on when you are watching this. So, if you can get your hands on an HDMI to USB converter; (and we are not talking about a little $30 cable. Converters starting at $100, more like $200 and go up), again, I'll put some links to some different options down below. Then that is what you need to get this HDMI signal into the computer.
[00:11:17.26] Incidentally, you can also buy SDI to USB converters. They tend to cost a little bit more but they might be more readily available right now. And of course, the Shogun does have SDI out; in this case I am feeding it into the Sumo but I could be feeding that into an SDI to USB converter and bringing that into the computer for whatever we may want to do. Okay. So, now that we have seen how this setup goes and what's required and how I've got mine set up, let's take a look at the actual device here and how it works.
[00:11:44.06] So, first of all, to switch cameras, all I have to do is tap on the screen as you saw before. I just tap, tap, tap, tap, and that is switching the output. I do however have some other controls that I can change in here. So, let's go into the settings and check those out. Now, to do that, I am actually going to have to stop recording on the Atomos here. And now that I have done that, I will jump into the settings and we'll start off at the top here under recordings.
[00:12:06.09] I can choose to record all of my inputs or just some of them. So, let's say I am not using camera 4 or maybe I don't care about recording camera 3, I can turn on or off the ones that I do and don't want. I can also choose to record the “Program”, that is the final show going out or not if I don't want that. I can go either way. I'll go ahead and turn all these back on. Underneath that you have your audio controls.
[00:12:27.04] Now, this is audio control for the switcher; for what's going on the Program Out. All the audio channels can be recorded and that's actually a separate control but this is specifically about the live switching and what is going out the “Program Out”. You can choose to use the analog audio input. So, if you're using an external mixer, you would use that. I don't have anything plugged in there so it's not lit up.
[00:12:47.09] And then over here we can choose to have the audio “Follow Switched Source”, which means as I switch from camera to camera, the audio switches with it. So, if I had a mic plugged into that camera, and one into that camera, and one into that camera, as I switched, it would switch to that. The problem with that being of course in a situation like this, my mic is in that camera only so I wanted it to stay on that camera, in which case I don't have it “Follow Switched”; instead, I choose which one I wanted to use. In this case I'll say, use Channel 1.
[00:13:14.29] Now that means that it's going to use audio from Channel 1 for the broadcast. This is where we run into the problem I've mentioned in the beginning where I can't then in the middle of the show switch over to the computer because once this is recording, that cannot be changed. So, it's again, one of the small limitations here.
[00:13:30.21] Okay. I did a terrible job of explaining that, let me try again. On the Shogun 7, you have four video inputs which means you have the four audio inputs to go along with it plus you have the analog audio. So, you have got an extra input there. When you're doing the live switching, you can choose to either have the audio follow the video, meaning as you switch from input one, two, three, to four the audio goes along with it, which is generally not what you want because you probably want to have the audio from a single source, a microphone going into one of the cameras that is used all the time.
[00:13:58.00] That's fine for most use cases. However, if you want to play video from something like a laptop and you have that video have audio with it, you have no way to switch to that audio input while you are recording. You would have to actually stop the recording on the Shogun to switch the audio input.
[00:14:15.19] So, if you want to have two audio inputs going simultaneously, you can't. So, what that means is the only real workaround is to go through an external mixer. To take the audio from your microphone and the audio from the computer or whatever's playing video, route that into a mixer and then route that back into the Shogun.
[00:14:33.28] So, it definitely adds to the complexity of it. It can certainly be done but that is something you will have to consider if you're using it for a live show. Okay. I think that explains it. Back to the edit.
[00:14:43.25] I am going to go ahead and leave it on Channel 1. Then you have your switching. What type of switching are you doing? “One Touch hard cut, no cue” is the default standard and this is what most people are going to want to use. What this means is when you tap on the square, it immediately switches to that camera angle.
[00:14:59.16] You can also switch this over to “Two touch hard cut, with cue”. And what this means is every camera switch requires two touches. You touch once to preview it, that puts a green box around the signal telling you that that is what is going to go to air next and then you tap it again to actually cut to it.
[00:15:14.03] Now because this device doesn't have an ability to put a preview monitor out, its usefulness is a little bit limited, but if you really wanted to have that security of touching on the image twice to make the switch, you could certainly do that. Now, these are hard cuts. You can also have a dissolve in there… sort of.
[00:15:30.25] See, the dissolve is only going to be recorded in the XML. Meaning that the actual dissolve will not show up on the broadcast out over the Program Out. So, if you turn on dissolve as you're switching, your live audience is not going to see the dissolves. However, that dissolve, that timing will be saved in the XML file which will then show up in your NLE.
[00:15:50.27] By the way, you can bring these into Final Cut Pro X which is what the XML file was designed for or you can bring them in to Resolve which will also read the .FCPXML file. The .FCPXML file will not natively go into Premiere but you can actually modify the file and bring it into Premiere. There is a workaround for it. It's on the Adobe help page and I'll actually link to that down below as well.
[00:16:10.16] Anyway, let's get back to this. So, from here I am going to switch it over to XML dissolve. And I can choose between a manual or a preset time. We'll go ahead and leave it at Auto and set it to one second and we're ready to go. I am going to go ahead and start recording the show. And now to do a switch, I tap, we see we get the green box telling me that it's preview and I see the dissolve set to auto for 1 second, I hit go and it makes the dissolve.
[00:16:33.19] Now, if you are watching this screen here, you will see that it is just a hard cut. So, let me go back to the other angle… go… and it's just a hard cut over here but you will see in a moment when we bring this into Final Cut that the dissolve is in place. You can also do a dissolve where you are doing the timing manually.
[00:16:50.01] So, I go to manual and then I drag my finger along this slider and however long it takes me to drag that along is how long that transition will be. Now, if you drag it back and forth, you are not going to be sliding back and forth, it is simply an A to B transition. And if you go faster or slower, that doesn't make any difference, it's simply how long it took you to get from the beginning to the end that is recorded.
[00:17:11.13] And that's pretty much it. I can stop recording now and what we just set will be in there in the XML file. So, with that said, I want to take this into the computer and take a look at this project in Final Cut. But there is a couple more notes that I want to throw at you. This device, the Shogun 7, can be run off of battery power. Your cameras of course can be run off of battery and the scalers and converters can actually be run off of a USB power supply, which means this whole thing can be completely portable and wireless.
[00:17:37.13] You can take this rig into the field and do your live switching and recording on-the-go. And if you actually want to broadcast live in the field, then you could use a device like the Teradek VIDIU. Teradek makes a series of live streaming encoders that are battery-powered. This one actually has its own battery internally that will take an HDMI signal in and then broadcast that out over to the internet.
[00:17:57.22] You just need to get onto a cellular connection which you can do by plugging in a cellular modem to this and then you are live on the air from anywhere, completely wireless. So, that is pretty awesome. The last thing is that the Shogun itself does of course, need something to record to. You need some kind of an SSD drive. Those can be expensive however, you can actually get one for free when you buy a Shogun 7.
[00:18:17.24] There's a special going on at Atomos right now for their ten-year anniversary. And of course, depending on when you are watching this, this may or may not still be available. But you can get either an Angelbird AtomX SSDmini drive. That is this little one I have got plugged in right here to record to, plus a sun hood which could certainly be handy if you are using this out in the sun. Or if you don't need those, you can get instead a Shinobi SDI monitor. The Shinobi SDI is a small monitor, kind of like the Ninja V here, but it's just a monitor not a recorder. And it has SDI inputs on it.
[00:18:47.03] Which means you could take the SDI out of the Shogun 7, plug that into the Shinobi and even mount the Shinobi on top of the Shogun, as a little tiny confidence monitor over here, that will show you your Program Out. And then, the Shinobi has a SDI loop-out so you can then send that out to another monitor, to a broadcast system, or whatever it is you might be using.
[00:19:05.03] So, pretty nice solution worth about $500 and you get those for free. All right, with all that said, now let's take the SSD drive and get that XML file into the edit bay. Oh, wrong movie. Got to plug in the SSD.
[00:19:31.29] The first thing I am going to do is copy the media from the Shogun over to the internal RAID. The project I want is number five. And it's important to copy it over because if you don't, then you could end up inadvertently importing the XML file from the SSD and then it will lose track of the media once you eject that drive. So, make sure you copy it over first. Let's take a look at what we've got in here.
[00:19:52.28] There are four different ISO files. There is ISO one, two, three, and four, the four different cameras, the program, and then the XML file. You can open the XML file by just choosing “Open With” and choosing Final Cut Pro. Or if you are already in Final Cut Pro, you can simply go to the file import menu and choose XML. Choose the XML file and you go. It's going to create a new Event to import the Project into. And the Project is right there.
[00:20:21.02] If I double-click it to open it up, you will see all the cuts that we made in here along with the transitions. There is the really long one that I did, and that's pretty much all there is to it. So, now let me give you a few tips on how to edit multi-cam inside of Final Cut so you know how to handle this once you've got it in there. You can see up here in the top left I have all four cameras open.
[00:20:38.15] But if you don't have the angle viewer open, go to the View menu, Show in viewer and choose Angles or hit command shift+7 to open that up. This shows all four different camera angles. And on here I can see the angle that has been chosen.
[00:20:51.04] If for any shot I want to change the angle, I can right click on it and from active video angle choose the different angle that I might want. So, let's say I want to switch that to the over-the-shoulder view looking at the Shogun itself, there it is. You can of course do this with keyboard shortcuts as well. I can while it's playing hit the number key to change to that angle. So, there is angle two, angle three, angle four and back to angle one again.
[00:21:14.09] If at any point you want to change an angle, instead of right-clicking on it, you can hold down the option key and hit the angle that you want to change it to and that will change that entire shot without making a cut there. So, for example, this one here I will hit Option-2 to change that to angle two. I will scroll over here and hit Option-1 to change that to angle one. And you can see from the thumbnail that the angle has changed to that camera. I said before that it's really easy to add transitions in Final Cut, so it might be better to just not bother with transitions during the edit.
[00:21:39.17] If that is your choice, then here is how to do it. Simply select all the edits that you want to add a transition to and hit Command-T and that will automatically add a transition. The default duration for that is setting your preferences or you could at this point select each one that you want to change, hit Control-D and type in a new duration like ten frames.
[00:21:56.09] Now, as I play that, I have a really quick transition. Finally, let me show you one more tip for getting the media into the Project Browser. Because you may have noticed that over in the browser, all I saw in here was the Project itself and none of the media. It's easy enough to make it show up though. Simply select any clip and hit Shift-F on your keyboard. That command is to reveal the clip and by doing that, it automatically forces it to show up in the browser.
[00:22:20.28] If you wanted to see the individual clips, you can double click on the multi-cam clip at any time and you will see all four of the clips perfectly lined up. And then you could select each one of these and hit Shift-F on each one forcing it to load it into the browser. That's the Shogun 7.
[00:22:39.23] As far as using it as a multi-cam switcher, it's pretty great. The fact that you can simply touch on the screen to change the angles and have it record not only the program but also the ISOs and give you that final cut XML file is really fantastic.
[00:22:52.21] It's just kind of the best of absolutely everything when it comes to live streaming. All you need to do beyond this of course is get it onto the air, and we talked about how to do that. If you have any questions about this, be sure to drop them into the comments below. I would love to hear what you think of this solution. As only a live switching solution, it is a little bit on the higher end pricey side but of course it does quite a bit.
[00:23:10.16] So, depending what you are doing, it may be totally worth it. I hope you enjoyed this and learn something today. Be sure to give the show a thumbs up for me. That would be awesome and subscribe if you haven't already. And be sure to check out my live show as well. Every Wednesday at 10 A.M. Pacific, I go live on YouTube just to talk about whatever you want to talk about. It's a great place to get your questions answered. We'll see you there you.