Sunday, February 28, 2021

NAMM BIM 2021: Live Streaming

How do you stream yourself more effectively?

Scott Stratten of UnMarketing showed us, "How to Level Up Your Virtual Communication." "Stream Deck" is used to hop between cameras. He uses a DSLR: Cannon 7D for the best quality, and always keeps his focus on the camera so the audience feels continually engaged with him. And, of course, get your audio levels right! Distortion is distracting and if you're too quiet, how will they hear you? He uses a Shure SM7b to speak into. When asked how he live-streams his DSLR: 

"I run everything through Ecamm on my Mac. The DSLR is plugged into the Mac via USB. Then Ecamm acts as a 'Virtual Camera'." 

He also shared some great tips on making your video resonate with an excellent preview picture and keeping context with text (letter boxes) shown and keeping relevance as the messages leaves the first circle of contacts. Also, what a "view" means when you see a number listed for one of your videos can be very different depending on the platform. For example, on Youtube, it is significant because it means the viewer watched your video for at least 30 seconds with little distraction. On Facebook, a view can be 13 seconds of watching and in a timeline among many other distractions within the platform perhaps without any audio playing either. If you look at the metrics, don't forget the details to get an accurate read. 

Live Stream Audio Like a Pro

Mike Zimmerlich, president of 80/20 Records and host of The 80/20 Show podcast, spoke with Brad Amick from Halocene and picked his brain about their regular live streams, type of gear they use, and challenges they come across. 

Twitch is their primary home for live streaming and YouTube acts as a more for post-produced and commercial front content. To get started, Brad recommends: 

  1. Get a camera: DSLR, webcam, mirrorless camera
  2. Get the free OBS software: https://obsproject.com/
  3. Don't use your camera's audio and get an audio interface and microphone 

When you have these foundations, you can tweak it to make it even better by getting an audio mixer and use effects. Upgrade your camera with better lenses. Get a soft box for lighting. Play with the video effects in OBS. 

You will need a good internet speed depending on where you are. If you are streaming a live show at a bar or some venue, you may get drop-outs. At home or your studio, consider paying more for upload speed if you are having dropouts. Hardwired internet via Ethernet is much more stable than WIFI. Also, consider what you can plug in directly if you are performing live. For example, do a DI input for your guitar and use electric drums to go directly in.

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