Minnesota Open Mic (MNOpenMic.com) is a collaborative project focused on the development of low cost broadcast solutions for creative spaces. This website is a research and testing platform that may undergo various changes to its layout and content based on fine tuning, improvements, and technological discoveries.

The website, network, servers, audio, and video processing gear used to power Minnesota Open Mic is funded by Garrett Guntly and current services provided to participants and venues is complimentary.

The Hardware

The goal of this project is to identify the best ways to process audio and video in real-time. Mobility is one of the largest challenges, as breaking out from a single studio space introduces an enormous amount of technological challenges. To prepare for any venue, most of the broadcasting equipment is installed and pre-configured in one mobile and modular rack. Fixed wireless radios can perform back haul connections to 4G LTE modems and other camera sources.

Over time the demand for a more specific and lightweight solution yielded a smaller sized mobile rack capable of four to five inputs. As technology evolves, so too will the ease of implementation.

The Software

Easily the most volatile component, the goal will be to utilize as little software components as possible. In other words, it will hopefully be possible to improve the automated process of producing content using just HTML5, PHP, and VPN connectivity to deliver MP4 files in an easy to navigate site, as opposed to relying on FFMPEG or similar libraries to process and deliver individually wrapped content.

OBS Studio, WireCast, XSplit, and others will be used to test live mixing. From there, the live video feed will be sent to the venue’s preference and the separate MP4 files will be sent over a VPN connection in real-time to the MNOpenMic web server.