How to Set Up Blackmagic Design ATEM Switchers

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Setting Up A Blackmagic Design ATEM Switcher

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The Blackmagic ATEM mini switchers are truly a breakthrough because they do amazing things while costing very little. They can easily bring together all the functions you need so that your live broadcasts are professional and clear. Setting up the switchers is not difficult because each comes with a user manual that is easy to understand and gives you step-by-step instructions that will have you using your mixer in no time. Even if you’re new to live production switchers, not worry because they practically set up and operate themselves.

blackmagic design atem

Getting Everything Set up and Ready to Go

Remember that these switchers connect automatically to your computer via the USB port. This plug-and-play capability means you don’t have to be a tech genius to get them all set up and ready to go. When you first look at one of these mixers, it can be a little intimidating, but you’ll quickly learn how to use all of its keys to experiencing live productions with all the fancy footwork. When you get your mixer out of the package, the first thing you’ll have to do is plug it in, and you do this by plugging the power cord into the “Power” button on the back of the mixer. Remember that each mini mixer has its power cord, and you should only use the proper one each time. Never try to switch any of the power cords with that of another mixer.

You’ll plug in your video sources by connecting your cameras with an HDMI cable. One end of the cable will go into the camera itself, and the other will go into the HDMI input on the mixer. There are usually four of these HDMI inputs. Next, you’ll want to plug in your monitor and test the inputs. You can do this by first plugging your HDMI television into the mixer by following the same rules you did for the video camera. If you press the numbered input numbers on the control panel and then see the lights switch between one another, you’ll know that the inputs are all working correctly.

Next, you’ll want to connect a microphone to the mixer. Doing this is simply because all you have to do is plug the microphone into one of the 3.5 mm audio inputs available. Many people use microphones for PowerPoint presentations and videos. When conducting an interview, you can plug the second microphone into one of the other audio inputs. If you like, you can plug a music player into one of the audio inputs, which is good for mixing music into certain productions.

Next, you’ll connect your computer by plugging the mixer’s webcam output into the computer’s USB input. When you do this, the computer recognizes the mixer as a webcam, which means you can use it when live-streaming events and using OBS Studio, Skype, or other programs. With this action, you’ll also have to set the webcam source, and to do this; the following steps are needed (instructions are for Skype, but other settings are similar):

  • Go to Skype’s Menu bar and look for “audio and video settings.”
  • Click on Camera, then select Blackmagic Design. You will then see the video from your ATEM mixer in the Preview window.
  • Finally, go to the “Microphone” drop-down menu and under Audio Source, choose Blackmagic Design.

These are the basics for getting set up and ready to go with your Blackmagic ATEM mixer. You are ready to broadcast your video so that others can enjoy it as much as you will. Naturally, there are many more fancy perks to using the ATEM mixer, some of which we’ll describe below.

Switching the Production

After you’re set up, you’ll want to install your video-streaming software, and whether you choose OBS, vMix, or any others, you can usually get the software for free. During your broadcast, you may want to switch from one video source to another, and using your ATEM mixer to do this is simpler than you think. There are several ways you can make these switches, including the following:

  • By using a cut. Once the red Input 1 button is illuminated to show that the camera is on the air, press Cut, then press the Input 2 button. Input 2 will now be illuminated in red.
  • By using an auto transition. There are several types of these, including a Mix transition and a Wipe transition. For a Mix transition, press the Mix button, press the key associated with the duration you want, press the Auto button, and press the Input 2 button to act.

As with almost everything else you do with the ATEM mixer, the process is very simple because the buttons are mostly self-explanatory. You cannot learn all of this in an hour or even a day; however, you will learn it faster than you think if you work with it a few times.

Using Picture in Picture (PiP)

With the ATEM mixer, using the picture-in-picture feature is not at all complicated. To enable this feature, here is all you have to do:

  • The video to be inside the box has to be plugged into HDMI Input 1, the default input for the picture-in-picture feature.
  • Plug your main video into HDMI Inputs 2, 3, or 4.
  • Look for the picture-in-picture button on the control panel, then press the On button.

Once again, you can understand why the Blackmagic ATEM mini mixers are so popular. Their ease of use is one of the biggest perks of buying one of these mixers, and another huge advantage is the fact that you can do so many fancy things with this mixer.


blackmagic design atem switcher

Getting one of the Blackmagic ATEM mixers set up and ready to go is much easier than most people think, and so is using some of its many fancy, high-tech features. You don’t have to be a tech genius or have a lot of experience with mixers to make this happen. Indeed, all you need is a little practice, and you’re all set to make some magic happen every time you’re a part of a live broadcast in your studio.

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