Live X Stays in the Moment With Blackmagic Monitors

NEW YORK—Here at Live X, we’re passionate about production and broadcasting, as well as the technologies and techniques that help us and our clients achieve captivating live events and video. We’re so passionate that we create and produce a weekly show to celebrate our favorites in broadcast technology called “Ready Take Live.”

Senior Audio Engineer Nick Nagurka (L) and Head of Production Aubrey Russell in the Live X control room. 

Senior Audio Engineer Nick Nagurka (L) and Head of Production Aubrey Russell in the Live X control room. 

From our 4K broadcast and streaming studio in Manhattan, each episode of “Ready Take Live” features commentary between our host in the studio and our cohosts in the control room. We offer information on different topics ranging from the history of hardware and software switchers, to producing high-quality social live streaming content, to last-minute problem solving on-set. We also share our hands-on experiences with the latest gear that our team uses in the studio and in the field. It truly is a live show about live shows.


Critical to our workflow on “Ready Take Live” are Blackmagic Design’s SmartView 4K, Video Assist, Video Assist 4K, and Smartscope Duo 4K monitors, which we use in combination with three URSA Mini Pros and five Micro Studio Camera 4Ks.

As cohost and technical director of the show, I offer commentary while live switching in real time. In the control room with me are the audio engineer and the graphics operator. We each have a Micro Studio Camera 4K on us and three Blackmagic monitors in front of us, including a Video Assist and a Smart-Scope Duo 4K.

The Video Assists are great because we can use them to view the return send of program and to white balance the Micro Studio Camera 4Ks before each show. I’ve got my SmartScope Duo 4K running the M/E 2 program feed and the teleprompter so I can keep up with where talent is. Our audio engineer has the program and teleprompter feed on his SmartScope Duo 4K, while our graphics operator has a return of their camera only, as well as a program feed, on theirs. In our main rack in master control, we have two other SmartScope Duo 4Ks that are used for waveform monitoring.

In the studio, we have a SmartView 4K with program running to it, as well as two more Video Assist 4Ks on our two wide URSA Mini Pros. This way, talent always has a confidence monitor wherever they’re looking, so they can always check to make sure they’re framed correctly. We have also used the Video Assist 4Ks for teleprompter on the wide cameras in a pinch.

We love the simplicity and ruggedness of the monitors, and that we are able to rely on them for many different uses. For example, we use the Video Assists to control the cameras, record feeds, as quick access monitors, and more. We think of them as little “video Swiss Army knives.” The SmartView 4K is also great because it has a lot of professional features like multiple SDI inputs, but it’s so affordable.

Additionally, the SmartScope Duo 4K is versatile and gives us multiple options for monitoring. These products are able to be whatever we need them to be in the moment, which, in a nutshell, is what “Ready Take Live” is all about.

“Ready Take Live” can be viewed on YouTube in 4K and on Facebook Live in 1080p30 and has garnered more than 50,000 views in total.

Aubrey Russell is head of production at Live X, a premier live production company in Manhattan. Aubrey has been the technical and supervising producer for the Times Square New Year’s Eve Webcast since 2016. She can be reached

For more information on Live X, please visit

For more information, visitwww.blackmagicdesign.comor call 408-954-0500.