Recently I was asked how Greenwood puts lyrics in live worship videos on Facebook Live. I decided to create a blog post to explain the process, since I’m sure more than one person has that question.

Pre-Requisites to Showing Lyrics in Live Worship Videos

You need a lyric presentation software like ProPresenter 6. You need a Video Switching device (as discussed here) to create the video feed, and an encoding device to put the video feed onto the web in live-stream format. Optional: You may want a second computer to use another installation of ProPresenter 6 linked to the primary machine – I’ll discuss that more below. Finally, you need a license for displaying lyrics and/or backgrounds on your live stream. Some companies, like Shift Worship, offer that ability for about $50 extra per year.

Two Options for Showing Lyrics in Live Worship Videos

Now that you have decided you want to show lyrics in your live worship videos, you’ll need to decide on what price range you want to stay under. The absolute cheapest option would result in displaying the same image that goes to your in-house worship screens right in your live-stream. I think it would cost at most about $250, and look as demonstrated below (we’ll call this option 1):

showing lyrics live worship stream 1

The second option (we’ll call this option 2) is to use a second computer that is linked to the main propresenter 6 computer so that it displays only the lyrics (no background) during the worship time, and whatever else you want during the rest of the time. It involves the expense of a second computer and propresenter 6 license – along with the master control module, and a bit of know-how to key out certain things using your video switcher. I really don’t think you could do this for under about $1500. So it is quite a bit more expensive. Option two will look like what is displayed below:

showing lyrics live worship stream 2
Now that you know what the price points for showing lyrics in live worship videos, we’ll move on to the “how-to” portion.

Option 1 for Showing Lyrics in Live Worship Videos

At Greenwood, we have an output signal in hdmi format coming out of an iMac that runs ProPresenter 6. The first thing that I do with the signal is split it into two. I use the device below (the link is my affiliate link to amazon):

hdmi splitter

OREI 1×2 powered HDMI splitter. Click image to see it on Amazon.

One of the hdmi signals then goes into our hdmi matrix, which sends the source to our projectors, and the monitor right by the computer (so the computer operator can see the screen), then also to the in-building video distribution system. We use a matrix like the following (again this contains my affiliate link):

Monoprice Blackbird 4×4 True Matrix. Click image to see it on Amazon.

The second output from that first splitter goes up to my video booth. It goes through a device called a video scaler to ensure that the signal is configured properly for my finicky video switcher. The video scaler device we use is this one (again its my affiliate link):

hdmi video scaler

Sewell Echo V2 hdmi to hdmi upscaler / downscaler, pick your output resolution. Click image for Amazon Page

From the scaler, the signal goes directly into my video switcher as “source 3”. Then I use the video switcher to setup a Picture in Picture of whatever my background source is (cameras 1 & 2) with a PIP overlay of the lyrics feed (source 3).

If you are using a computer as your video switcher (running OBS), then you’ll need a capture card instead of the scaler device I mentioned above. You can then setup a scene in OBS that will overlay the lyrics as a PIP over the background camera sources. It will look like what you see below:

lyrics in live worship videos 1
Option 2 for Showing Lyrics in Live Worship Videos

This option relies less upon signal splitters and converters. Instead it uses a separate computer running propresenter 6 near the video switcher. We do not currently use this setup at Greenwood, but hope to move to it in the future.

Step one is to install the same version of propresenter 6 on both computers (both must be mac or both must be pc – I recommend mac for this application). Then you create a playlist on the main machine where your computer operator will be running propresenter. Export that playlist to a USB key (or dropbox) and load that playlist on the machine over in the video booth. You’ll want to configure the ProPresenter Master Control Module correctly so that the computer operator controls both machines with a single keypress.

Step two is to configure a lyric template with either a green screen or blue screen background that you can key out on your video switcher. You may also choose to purchase the ProPresenter Alpha Keying Module if you are using the proper equipment that utilizes it. When you have configured the template in this way, you’ll want to configure your video switcher to key out that specific color (blue or green depending on what you’ve chosen). Then the template will appear transparent except for the text. The text will remain in the specified location, as shown below.

lyrics in live worship videos 2

Of course, you can leave the video elements as they are on the other computer, so that they display in full-screen mode on the video switcher as well.

Conclusion about Showing Lyrics in Live Worship Videos

Both of these options have their advantages when you want to show lyrics in live worship videos. Option one is much more cost effective, and provides 90% of the functionality I want. Option two will allow me to do basically anything that I want do in terms of display on my video feed.

Bonus: If you choose to use option 2, then you can also create custom lower third animations that will move across your screen. You could use these as introductions or to identify on-camera personalities, etc. Once you start using your imagination, the possibilities are pretty unlimited. This sort of animation is much more difficult to pull off if you choose option 1.

As always, feel free to contact me via email anytime to talk about anything related to the Bible or Technology in churches. If you are in the DFW area I’d love to meet up for coffee sometime. You may also want to check out my podcast, or subscribe to my podcast.

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