Live streaming audio when you are new to all that technology may seem a difficult task. In fact, you need a solid plan and an understanding of what you want to achieve in the end. So in this article, we’ll provide you with an explanation of how to live stream audio.
How to Live Stream Audio
Streaming audio is not the simplest thing in the world, but all good things start with a plan. If you are new to live streaming, then it would be better to be as precise as possible while planning your live stream.
After that, you need to configure your setup that reflects the needs and results that you want to achieve. To add a video or to roll without it depends on your preferences of the process. In some cases, adding a video of you playing would be beneficial if you plan to do a little concert or to show new tricks that you’ve learned.
Then it’s time to choose a suitable platform for streaming your music. When your setup is ready, it’s time to run a check to make sure that everything works properly and that you are aware of some hidden dangers. You should have some time to warm up properly so that you feel the vibe and drive before starting the stream.
Before you put everything else in motion, you should think about the streaming location. If you work from your home-based studio, you should organise your place in a way that corresponds to the reason for your stream. The general advice here would be to look as professional as possible. If you are into minimalism, then you should clear everything out except for a few things that would make the entourage. If you want to add a bit more creative touch, you can play with light, make a pleasant shade, then you get a more intimate atmosphere.
Despite that, you will look at your reflection playing or doing tricks. You should always remember that there is an audience, even if it’s not visible yet.
Then, you should think about streaming equipment. Luckily, you don’t need that much, a PC or a phone, a webcam, your musical equipment, a decent mic, an app for streaming, and a stable and proper WiFi connection.
We can’t give you any particular advice about which PC is better for the task. Though we can state for sure that the better PC you have, the better result you get. The quality of the stream heavily depends on the capacity of the computer because it requires a lot of resources from the device. Sometimes, if a PC is not an option, you can do it with a smartphone that has pretty good characteristics and can manage a heavy workload.
Having a good webcam, preferably not a built-in, is a must. Even though you are streaming audio, you still may need an audience to see you and occasionally interact with you. Doing that if you can’t see yourself because of poor image quality would be somewhat of a headache. Those who are pros in an audio streaming topic tend to invest in pricey professional cameras. But to start, you can choose one that shoots at least 1080p.
We are in no place to give you advice on which musical equipment you should use in your streams. You, above everyone else, know what your intentions are and what result you want to achieve. Therefore, you are aware of which equipment will suit you best for that matter.
The next thing that you need is a decent mic. Here, you should choose a mic that will easily catch your instruments and voice. If you’re on a tight budget, you can choose something like Audio-Technica, Blue Yeti, and Rode. If you can invest some money into the mic, you should take a look at Shure mics, which are known to be of excellent quality and very versatile.
Finally, you should choose a live streaming software that will transform the video into a digital format that is appropriate for live streaming. There are two options available, either it works in the browser, or you have to download and then install it on the PC. Before making a final decision, you have to know of peculiarities of each option.
Based on the capacity of the machine, you should make a choice in favor of in-browser software or one that needs to be downloaded. The latter usually requires more resources from your PC, and if it’s not that powerful, perhaps it’s better to check the one that runs in the browser.
Secondly, you should always check compatibility, meaning that the platform through which you want to live stream your audio should be on that list.
Next, you have to check whether you need to invest extra to use the software or if it is completely free. It can be that you need only to pay for some additional features that may make your stream more attractive in the viewer’s eyes. You should choose wisely.
Finally, check for some advanced features, such as the possibility to store your streams or multistreaming. If needed, do extra research before being absolutely sure that you are happy with your choice.
A good place to start is to make a thorough plan. You don’t have to get into very specific details, but you shouldn’t improvise if only it is not the sole purpose of your stream. In your plan, you should mention not only the details of one particular stream but also who is your target audience and what results you plan to achieve.
After that, you have to pick the room from where you would be streaming. You should remember that smaller rooms sound better because there is almost no reverb, so your audience will hear the sound as it is. You can always make a room’s acoustics better if you drape everything with blankets, especially hard surfaces. A good idea would be to invest in acquiring acoustic panels, bass traps, and diffusers. But if you’re on a tight budget, blankets will do just fine.
If you stream outdoors, you should search for a place with as little background noise as possible because there won’t be much of a point in the stream if your audience wouldn’t be able to hear you. Also, try to avoid live streaming in windy weather because a lot of microphones catch wind very well. You can use blankets to block some reflections from the floor if you play on the roof or in the backyard.
The next step is to place the mic so that it will capture the sound well. If you are streaming from a home-based studio or any other type of indoor space, it would be better to think ahead and acquire a table-mounted stand for the mic. Also, you can use a boom or mounting arm instead of a table-mounted stand if it is more convenient for you.
You don’t have to position the mic closer than 6″ from your mouth, or you risk getting the sound with a lot of plosives, sibilances, and other unfortunate sounds that would worsen your audio. The best position of the mic is in front of your mouth, or you can change the position if, in this way, you get a lot of plosives. But you shouldn’t place the microphone too far from your mouth because you risk that everything will be too quiet to hear. Ideally, you should put a pop filter on your mic before streaming, which job is to catch all unpleasant sounds and improve the sound quality of your stream.
Another good idea is to play the instruments a bit before going live. You can get as far as a little rehearsal. It would be beneficial, especially if you are a bit nervous. If you plan to sing in front of an audience, you can do some vocal exercises to loosen up.
Now, it is time for a test stream to make sure that everything works exactly as you planned, and you may catch and correct a few bugs. There is always room for mistakes, so run everything exactly as you plan to do during the actual stream. After you finish your stream, spend some time and listen to it with or without headphones and watch it on different devices. In such a fashion, you get the perspective of how your listeners will watch and hear you. Make all necessary adjustments after that to get the best live stream audio possible.
Finally, you should always be yourself during your streams. Remember that your audience chooses your stream above everything else, so they plan to have a nice time and learn something new from you. Surely, they won’t spend their precious time on someone who is too nervous about playing or singing in tune or rambling instead of speaking clearly.
Choosing a platform
While Dacast is firstly a video platform, it can be used for streaming audio as well. The rising popularity of this platform is caused by a huge variety of professional tools that beginner and professional broadcaster needs. Among the most significant features of Dacast, we can mention that you have the possibility to stream live shows, music, and podcasts, not only those that you recorded in advance.
Alternatively, you may take a closer look at Wowza, which is capable of audio-only streaming as well as audio-video streams. In contrast with other streaming platforms, Wowza supports mobile streaming. Among many useful features of Wowza, we can emphasize a live audio stream recording, which allows your audience to tweak and play from whichever part they want again, even after the stream ends.
Mixcloud is a new name among streaming platforms, but it is very profitable for musicians who are bothered by copyright laws. One of the really cool benefits of Mixcloud that we want to emphasize is that there are licensing agreements with big names in the music sphere, such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, etc. Having these giants onboard means that your audience will grow and you will prosper.
While many know Twitch as a platform where gamers post their streams, there is the good news that musicians are welcome there too. On the bright side, Twitch is a really great place for beginners who want to show off their talents to the audience, which is massive and supportive.
What differentiates YouTube Live from other platforms is that a lot of people use it on a daily basis. A lot of music producers switched to YouTube Live while it was a COVID-19 outbreak and stayed in contact with their audience and fans. There is no limit on what you can show there in terms of music, and the biggest benefit of this platform is accessibility.
Instagram Live is the easiest way to stream your music, and a lot of musicians use it daily. Technical requirements are pretty simple, you need to stabilize your smartphone, tap a few buttons, and you are live.
Facebook Live is competing with YouTube Live to be the number one in the industry, but it is a good place for artists to show off their skills through audio streaming.
If you have a lot of followers on Twitter, you can use Twitter Live to promote your music there. You may have a bigger audience through Twitter Live because there are lots of people who are using this platform to search for something interesting and spectacular that may end on your stream. Seasoned music producers, as well as beginners, are equally welcomed there.