Atem Min Pro - recording to external HD best settings

Hi all!
This is a great source of knowledge and I’m doing my best to learn as much as I can. I’m a musician getting into the world of streaming and teaching/performing , but I’ve also discovered the recording options in Atem Mini Pro.
I’m not a novice when it comes to videography though so filming with DSLRs and now my Sony A7III is a proven setup, then into FinalCut ProX and out to the customer.
But now when I’ve gotten my Atem that I thought would only be for streaming - and tested the recording option as well, I’ve got some ideas.
I’ve got a location shoot soon and I’m opting for using the Atem Mini Pro’s recording through USB-C to a Samsung T3 SSD.
The assignment is to film my customer with two cameras and one audio, instructional video, he’d be showing some leather cleaning procedures. Why not just recording on each camera and then edit in Final Cut? Time saving, that’s why, because I’ve tested the Atem in my own scenario (teaching blues slide guitar) and the quality was really good.
The idea is to let my customer do his thing, I do the camera angles switching live, all according to the manuscript we’d agree on, then it’s only one feed into Final Cut Pro afterwards, easy to fix with overlays, titles, logos and everything.
The only (and slight) drawback I see is that I cannot film in 4K but 1080, but it’s fine. I’m only worried I’m missing something with the settings in Atem Mini Pro in order to get the highest possible video quality to the recording.
My other hardware is:

  • Second camera Sony A5100 with Sigma 16mm f.1,4
  • Stream Deck XL
  • Small HD Focus 5" monitor
  • Soon to get the two 5m long HDMI cables for the cameras
  • Late 2018 MacBook Pro 15", in this case used for the Atem Software Control

Has anyone done this and went through the process and can maybe point me to important things to think of? Video settings for this “stream” within the Atem Setup or Atem Software Control?

Thanks very much in advance!

I record from the AMP to an external Samsung T5. The resulting files are h.264 at 1920x1080/30, AAC 48khz stereo, 5mbps.

For my use (upload to Vimeo), that’s good enough. I’ve also used the files to make changes in FCPX later on, like adding overlays, making cuts, and sweetening the audio.

As for whether it’s possible to record at higher bitrates? I don’t know, I haven’t tried, because the bitrate setting you use when streaming is also the one used for writing files. The maximum bitrate for Vimeo Livestreaming is 5mbps, so that’s the bottleneck in my situation.

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There is one place to set Quality for both Streaming and Recording in the Output tab.

When recording via USB on the ATEM Mini Pro, the recording quality and the streaming quality are the same. If you are not streaming and you want to record in the best possible quality, you can set the Streaming quality to HyperDeck High which results in files/streams that are 45 to 70 Mb/s.

If you wanted to stream and record at the same time you would likely want a more conservative quality, unless you had the upload speed to accommodate that much. If you do, go for it!

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Ah, I didn’t know that. Thanks, I’ll try it tomorrow!

From the ATEM Mini manual:

* ‚HyperDeck High 45 to 70 Mb/s
* ‚HyperDeck Medium 25 to 45 Mb/s
* HyperDeck Low 12 to 20 Mb/s
* ‚Streaming High 6 to 9 Mb/s
* Streaming Medium 4.5 to 7 Mb/s
* ‚Streaming Low 3 to 4.5 Mb/s

Each setting has 2 data rates mentioned. The lower number is used for the lower frame rates of 24p, 25p and 30p, while the higher data rates are used when you are running higher frame rates of 50p and 60p.

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Thank you both Nate and Samuel, I’ll try to apply the tips this weekend!

Just to give you a real world example:

Up until today, I used the ‘Streaming High’ profile, regardless of whether I was streaming or not. Those 1080p/30 files have a bitrate of 5mbps.

Today, I recorded a class using the ‘HyperDeck Medium’ profile. That file ended up having a bitrate of 17.26mbps. One hour of video is 8GB (compared to 2.3GB for the files at 5mbps).

When I played back the video, I found it to be way darker than I’d like (I had changed some color settings today). I raised the midtones in FCPX and there is no noticeable loss in fidelity. I’m glad I recorded in the higher bitrate – I reckon that if I had tried that on one of the 5mbps files, the results wouldn’t have been as good.

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Great input Samuel, good to know before I start fooling around with it… Of course, due to the quite high volume of planned recordings, I’d need to prepare for as little as possible post-edits. Thanks!

Yeah, same here. I’m recording one-hour classes every day now, so I don’t want to spend too much time in FCPX. That’s also why I wouldn’t want to record files with a high bitrate like 25mbps, as that will only slow me down in post. When I export from FCPX, I use the 1080p for Apple devices preset which creates files that are 4.7GB per hour. On my computer, it takes about 15 minutes to export the file from FCPX. Which isn’t too bad, but with my Internet connection, it takes another 1.5 hours to upload the file to Vimeo. So it adds up.

I usually have my colors right when recording, so I don’t have to touch them in FCPX. Same with transitions. And I play my graphics from a HyperDeck live, so those don’t need to be added later on either.

Audio is the reason why I go into FCPX. On the AMP, I have levels, gate, and equalizer set up per audio source, and the mix goes fine. But the volume of my talent fluctuates. She starts a sentence speaking loud, then as she keeps speaking, her volume drops. I haven’t found a way to account for this while recording live. So I bring the recording into FCPX, then add the Loudness filter and set the uniformity to 25%. Which does the trick. So unless there’s something else wrong with the video, it just takes me 5 minutes to get the file into FCPX, fix the audio, and set up the render.

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