Streaming tips for your live mixes from home
We’ve put together some useful streaming tips to get those live broadcasts out to your fans in this dire time.
The music industry is facing tough times, so as a DJ or performer what are the steps needed to streaming online?
In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, health officials are urging people to stay at home to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
Many countries have enforced bans on events; among other social gatherings and this has a major knock-on effect on many industries – including of course the music industry.
Artists around the world have taken to social media to stream their performances, and it’s something that I suggest a lot more of us start doing – if we are to get through these tough times.
Here’s some key streaming tips you need to know to get started streaming your performances online.
Choosing the right service
Whether to stream on Facebook, YouTube or Twitch is a very widely debated topic, and honestly, I can’t give you the exact answer – but I will try to give some insight on the topic.
Each platform has pros and cons, and understanding what those are might give you an idea of which is the best for you and your audience.
Twitch has a wide instant reach of new viewers, however, the longevity of a post is short and it’s mostly geared towards gaming – the thing is with music, you probably want people to enjoy the performance for some time to come.
Facebook also has a wide reach, although it relies heavily on your existing network – it is a great place for new streamers to start because they most likely have some friends and followers on the network already.
YouTube is my preferred platform for various reasons – firstly it’s one of the most popular services for streaming music (despite it being a video network), the longevity of posts is insanely long and you have the possibility of monetizing your content in various ways. The downside is that it may take some time to build a network on YouTube, albeit worthwhile.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a service called ReStream which allows you to stream to all of the above platforms at once, although it is a paid service.
Video is important
We’re in the audio industry, so it’s a given that a clean audio signal is essential – however one thing most don’t think about is how important the video is too, and with today’s technology it really isn’t hard.
Your audience wants that personal connection of seeing you and your instruments or gear, that’s why they attend the show – so give them that experience online.
What software you need
The software I recommend for streaming is called OBS Studio, it’s free and offers a huge array of features for switching audio or video inputs, scenes – the whole works.
All of the above platforms use an online stream manager, you simply need to punch the code it supplies into your OBS settings.
What hardware you need
Aside from your music gear, you may need some additional hardware to get your stream going.
I suggest getting a WebCam – the Logitech C922 is really good for the price, otherwise, if you’re on a budget you can set up a Skype call with yourself from your phone – and add another video source to your OBS scene.
Alternatively, if you have an interface for your mobile device, you can stream directly from that to most of the above platforms via their mobile app.
Some soundcard drivers don’t play nicely with OBS’s desktop audio capture, so I use an additional soundcard – this also allows me to plug in a pair of headphones to monitor the audio to the stream.
If you have a second computer, it may be a good idea to get one to manage the stream while you perform on the other – the extra load on the CPU might cause some issues during the performance, so keep that in mind.
Making money from streamed performances is not as easy as the traditional method, but keep in mind it’s something you can do from the comfort of your home, no extra travel or accommodation expenses.
Platforms like YouTube and Patreon allow you to stream exclusively to a fan base of loyal supporters, this is a nice way of giving back to those who support you directly.
It may take a while, but the possibility of making more than traditional gigs is there.
You can start streaming your performances today for free, and you should.
Use these streaming tips and stay active. This too shall pass and when it does you’ll be happy you remained productive.