Performing live is a regular part of most music careers, but booking shows as a working indie musician can be a taxing and expensive process. Luckily, live streaming offers a quick and easy way to host shows for fans and followers––and better yet, multistreaming lets you stream and reach old and new fans across platforms like Twitch, YouTube and more at the same time. And don’t worry: Simulcasting an engaging and memorable live stream for new and old fans alike across multiple websites isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
In this post, we’ll go over how to multistream to multiple platforms and the gear you’ll need to make it happen.
LIVE STREAMING FOR MUSICIANS
Say you’re already a seasoned performer and graced the stage plenty of times. Does that mean you’re ready to host virtual concerts for the online masses? Well, yes and no––you might have a tight setlist and stage routine, but there are some key differences between virtual and in-person concerts that are worth remembering:
- While you can usually expect plenty of mics, a PA and other equipment when playing a venue, the gear that you use for your stream comes down to what you own or borrow from friends.
- Unless you hire other people, you’re in charge of sound, lighting and tech along with performing.
- You’ll most likely be streaming for free or for tips, instead of the usual payout from admission and bar sales.
Thankfully, just because you’re a musician who’s never live streamed before doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch. There are also some universal rules for putting on a show that apply here, too:
- Promote the heck out of your gig.
- Interact with your audience during the show (via chat in this case).
- Above all else, relax and play a good show!
Multistreaming concerts is a great way to boost your online presence and interact with fans.
The ultimate goal of a multistream is to put on your best show for as many people as possible without working yourself to death. Sure, you can technically block out your schedule with separate live streams for each website, but to avoid burning out completely, it’s best to work smarter, not harder in this case. Plus, there are some significant pros to running a multistream you won’t get through other means:
- Reach a huge amount of viewers and build a presence across different platforms without needing to schedule multiple streams.
- Connect with fans that only use specific platforms.
- Simulcast from one source without juggling multiple tabs, windows or software.
Along with the universal benefits to broadcasting a multistream, there are also some advantages for musicians in particular. Like live shows, virtual concerts are a useful promotional tool for new and upcoming artists. With the power of the internet and some techy magic, you can host a concert for fans all over the world who may not be able to watch you perform otherwise––which is pretty cool.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Now that you know the “what” and the “why” of multistreaming, let’s get into the “how.” Here’s the essential streaming gear you’ll need to get started:
Don’t just rely on your phone or computer’s built-in camera. Built-in cameras tend to be blurrier and less responsive to changes in light, and streaming from your phone’s vertical 9:16 aspect ratio doesn’t translate well to 16:9 platforms. Thankfully, getting a dedicated webcam for streaming solves both of those issues. The Logitech StreamCam, for instance, has auto-focus, auto-framing and intelligent light exposure among other premium features, all of which will keep you looking great and your stream looking hi-def.
Alternatively, the Mevo Start streaming camera wirelessly streams to all major platforms without the need for a computer. In fact, the Mevo 3-Pack gives you everything you need to run an HD multicam live stream with nothing but your phone, the Mevo Multicam app and a few smart and sleek streaming cameras.
When looking for a mic for streaming, the main aspect you’ll have to think over is whether to go with a USB mic or an XLR mic. USB mics like those in the Yeti family are super easy to use, plug directly into your computer and give you a studio-grade sound. These types of mics are ideal if you just need one mic for a solo acoustic show or something along those lines.
XLR microphones are the most common type of mic you’ll see in recording studios and live sound. Blue offers several XLR condenser microphones, which are great for capturing a lot of sonic details and will give you clearer sound quality than USB mics. The Blue Blackout Spark SL and Baby Bottle SL, for example, are versatile mics that capture spoken word, vocals and even instruments with clarity and no distortion (and look cool while doing so). Note that if you use XLR mics, you’ll also need an audio interface––a piece of gear that lets you boost and mix your audio and converts those signals into a format that your computer can process.
There’s a reason you’ve heard the phrase “Lights, camera, action!” in movies. Just like a film set, your streaming setup will need a light source if you want to look your best on camera. Logitech cameras have built-in camera lights and auto light adjustment features, but an external light gives you even more flexibility and control. For more info on lighting techniques and setup, check out our blog post The Basics of Key Lighting and Set Design on YouTube.
As mentioned before, you’ll download or install a streaming software that supports multistreaming onto your computer. Software like Melon lets you set up your broadcast with graphics, add guests to your stream, and yes, stream to multiple websites at once. Before you start streaming, make sure you have YouTube, Twitch and Facebook accounts created and linked to your streaming platform for a quick and easy setup when the time comes.
Streaming platforms like Melon make multistreaming as easy as clicking a few boxes.
SETTING UP YOUR MULTISTREAM
Now that you have your gear, here’s how you to multistream your concert:
- Set up your mic and camera to your preferred positions. In general, you’ll want the camera at eye level or slightly above you (like the top of your monitor), and you’ll want the mic about six inches from your mouth. For specifics on how to adjust your equipment, check out our Complete Guide to Live Streaming on Any Platform.
- Boot up your streaming software and select your camera(s) and mic(s) as video and audio inputs if they weren’t automatically selected.
- Adjust your image and audio settings if you need to fine-tune anything like brightness, focus or audio gain. You can usually make these adjustments directly on the camera, mic or audio interface you’re using, and some gear (like Mevo and StreamCam) come with additional computer software or phone apps. This is also a good time to set up any graphics or other details that you want during your simulcast.
- Finally, press the “go live” button, and you’ll see an option to select which website you want as your streaming destination. If you have multistreaming enabled, then select multiple websites and start streaming.
And that’s it! These pointers will have you broadcasting multistreams in no time, but for more info on live streaming, recording and creating online music content, check out the rest of your blog here.