This new normal makes it expedient for artists and musicians to bring most of their acts online, making online streaming the new norms for most artists and musicians. If you’re an aspiring artist, the sooner you learn how to live stream, the better it will be for you.
But how do you set up for your live streaming? If you have a smartphone, you can utilize Facebook Live and YouTube for live streaming. Aside from your smartphone, you can also use your computer or laptop for live streaming.
Things You Must Know Before Setting Up Live Stream
It is a good thing that this Pandemic happened when live broadcasting or streaming is already easy to do because of the internet. Without the internet, it will be expensive to engage in a live broadcast of your shows and gigs. The minimum thing you will need to do live streaming is a smartphone with a good camera. Yet, if you want to take your live streaming a notch higher, you need to have the following four major components:
The internet connection is the most critical aspect of live streaming, without which, live streaming will be impossible for the ordinary guys. Without the internet, you will need large antennas to broadcast. Thus, if you have a stable internet connection, you are in a better position to live stream your show.
Audio and Video Source
You will need a video encoder, which is a software or device that allows for video compression. With video compression, you can reduce the digital video file’s size for easy upload to the internet.
You would need a platform on which you can stream your videos. There are many platforms on which you can stream your video.
Audio and Video Source
The video and audio source will include your computer, camera, or any other image source. Your audio source would be your mixer feeders, microphones, and other sound sources you would like to stream.
How to Set Up Your Live Streaming Equipment?
Step 1: Setting a Computer or Laptop
If you are using Windows 10, you will notice that it doesn’t come with pre-installed streaming software compatible with Live Streaming Services. To have excellent live streams, you need to install screencasting software. You can choose from dozens of packages. It will be useful to note that each package comes with different options, features, and user interfaces.
You will also need enough RAM in your computer of around 8 GB, although you can get by with 4GB. Moreover, it will help if you have an SSD hard drives to allow you quicker loading without making a whirring sound, noticeable in your live audio streaming. Besides, it will also help if your computer has many USB ports.
Step 2: Setting Up the Camera
If you want to stream using a camera, you should carefully choose the camera you will use. You can avail of an excellent camera that lets you use it as a webcam. Yet, before you can use the camera signal, you need to have a video capture device. This device will let you convert the HDMI signal to a USB signal for your computer. Many such devices are easy to use, allowing you to have a streamable video quickly. Such devices usually have limited 1080p output.
Step 3: Choose an Excellent Microphone
The microphone is an essential component of your live streaming setup. You will need an excellent mic if you want to live stream your music. You got two great options when it comes to microphones for live streaming: USB or XLR.
If you want to have excellent audio, it will be best to use a mixer. Yet, you can also connect your mic to your laptop directly. If you use a mixer, it will be useful to use an XLR mic. However, a USB microphone will be best if you want to connect the mic directly to your computer or laptop.
Step 4: Set Up Hardware Switchers
During a live broadcast, you can switch between multiple audio and video sources. Yet, switching between multiple audio and video sources is optional. If you are engaged in a multi-camera live streaming shoot, you need to mix or switch from one live streaming equipment to another to let you capture multiple audio and video sources. You can do it using hardware switchers, which let you switch from one camera to another with a single press of a button.
Step 5: Set Up Audio Mixer
You will need an audio mixer or an audio interface when you live stream. The use of these devices come with some benefits. If you want to use, for example, multiple microphones during your live streaming, you will need an audio mixer to ensure that the audio signals from various microphones are balanced. With it, you can readily adjust the volume of each mic.
Moreover, you can make use of EQ and effects to enhance the audio signals. With the audio mixer at hand, you can ensure that each audio signal from the different mics comes out at the same level. The audio mixer will also come in handy in mixing the audio signals from your instruments. Additionally, the minimum inputs you should have with your audio mixer should be two. Your audio mixer should be USB and XLR compatible likewise.
Step 6: Set Up Audio Interfaces
If you will engage in podcasting or recording tracks, you will need a studio interface. Yet, if you prefer to use software instead of an audio mixer, you can use the audio interface. You can go for an audio interface that won’t break the bank.
If you don’t have an audio mixer, you can always go for the audio interface to digitize your audio signals for easy uploading onto the internet. With the audio interface, you can play and sing while you adjust the audio levels to come up with an excellent sound mix.
Step 7: Set Up Lighting
One aspect of your live streaming that you should not overlook is your live streaming’s lighting. It will help to study the different tips on how to set up the lighting correctly before you set up your live streaming room. Your viewers will love to watch something that has good lighting, and the way you configure your lighting system will reflect your brand as a musician.
When setting up your lighting, it will be best to rely heavily on natural light. Yet, you will seldom get the best natural light if the weather is not great. So, it is better to have additional lights in your room or setup.
Make sure that your face is viewable and that no shadow darkens your face. You need to position the lights in such a way that it makes you more visible to your viewers. Thus, you will need to learn how to position the lighting for an optimal effect on your live streaming.
Step 8: Setup Video Encoders
You need to compress the video for easy streaming. The larger the file, the longer it will take to stream. Video encoding also lets you save the videos as one cohesive and fluid video. Besides, it allows you to compress files without compromising their quality. Moreover, it converts your files into digital format for easy streaming onto social media platforms.
You may have these video encoders on your computer in the form of software applications. Yet, you can also find stand-alone hardware. Moreover, you can set up all your additional hardware with your encoder to easily compress the signals coming from them.
The use of encoders come with many benefits. First, it reduces your file size, which lets you stream quickly without buffering. It also enables you to change the aspect ratio or resolution of your video. Furthermore, it changes your audio quality and format. Plus, it allows you to convert old files into modern formats. It can also make the video more compatible with other devices and software.
Musicians and artists need to be more creative to adapt quickly to the new normal to make themselves relevant in the absence of live gigs and concerts. One viable avenue through which they can reach their potential audience is through live streaming. It may be the most logical course of action for musicians and artists.
As a musician, if you haven’t done any live streaming, I think it is the most opportune time to learn how to live stream well. The return to the post-pandemic setup may not come so soon. As such, you will need to be more innovative and adaptive and find the essential gear and equipment to let you reach your potential audience and fans during this very trying time.