LIVESTREAMING HAS RAPIDLY GONE FROM NICHE TO MAINSTREAM, AS GAMERS, DJS AND COUNTLESS OTHERS PROVIDE A STEADY FLOW OF INFORMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT THAT IS REPLACING TV FOR MANY PEOPLE.
READING THE ROOM
Put simply, if you’re making content, you should probably be livestreaming it too. But unless you’ve got a space specifically set up for streaming, your room is likely set up with style and comfort rather than acoustics and connectivity in mind.
Condolences to minimalist interior design fans out there, but having plenty of ‘stuff’ in your room is a great way to make it sound better. Plants, clothes, cushions – all of these are good for diffusing sound.
Stream over a hardwire internet connection if you can. It’s bound to be better than Wi-Fi. Certainly avoid using your phone’s wireless data – that is, unless you happen to have a telecom mast atop your house.
Choose the right spot for your streaming: a quiet space that doesn’t have noisy appliances nearby. So don’t broadcast next to your fridge – even if it is a convenient source of mid-livestream refreshments.
Minimum upload rates for streaming resolutions: 720p (30 fps) 3 Mbps | 720p (60 fps) 4.5 Mbps | 1080p (30 fps) 4.5 Mbps | 1080p (60 fps) 6 Mbps
YOU MIGHT HAVE MASTERED FORTNITE, COUNTERSTRIKE AND MINECRAFT, BUT WITHOUT THE RIGHT AUDIO SETUP NO ONE IS GOING TO WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT.
The biggest issue for livestreaming gaming is usually the room you’re in
and the noise around you. For that reason, a dynamic mic like the SM7B or MV7 is ideal, because it will only pick up your voice and not button bashing.
Set up the mic on a desk boom stand if you can. Why? This will not only cut down on vibrations and noise, it will also ensure your beautiful mug isn’t blocked from the camera if you’re streaming with video.
ASSUME THE POSITION
Your mic should be in front of you and pointing directly at your mouth (maybe slightly off axis to stay out of your shot). If you’re using a dynamic mic, it should be about an inch (2.5cm) away from your mouth. For a condenser mic, the distance is more like six to seven inches (15cm-20cm).
SIT UP STRAIGHT
If you want your voice to sound full and not reedy, you need to do as Mom told you and sit up straight. That way your breathing apparatus is all lined up and your voice will have way more depth and range. Slouch over, and you’ll sound like ... well, like you’re slouched over.*
*But maybe that’s the vibe you’re going for?
WHETHER YOU’RE SHARING POLITICAL INSIGHTS OR UNBOXING PRODUCTS, MOST LIVESTREAMS ARE PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD TO SET UP. BUT THERE’S STILL A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE YOUR VIDEOS STAND OUT.
PHONING IT IN
The kind of mic you need will depend on what you’re using to film. If it’s a mobile phone, you’ll need a USB mic like an MV88+. Plug the mic into your phone and aim the microphone barrel at your mouth. Set the input level so that your voice falls in the -12db – 0db range (make sure it doesn’t hit 0db, or else your voice will sound distorted).
If you’re using a DSLR, you’ll want to use a shotgun mic that clips onto the top of your camera (usually on the bracket where a flash would go). Plug the mic directly into the DSLR and set the input level so that your voice falls in the -12db to 0db range.
For interviews, you can either go down the lavalier (lapel clip-on style) route or use handheld mics. Lav* mics are good because they free up your hands, while the sound quality from a good handheld is usually superior (plus, there’s no chance of the mic falling down someone’s shirtfront).
Probably the best bit of advice for content creators is to speak slowly. It will make you easier to understand and also give you an aura of being cool, calm and collected (and who doesn’t want that?)
*When someone talks about their go-to lav, it’s not their favorite bathroom.
LESS IS USUALLY MORE WHEN IT COMES TO STREAMING A CONCERT. AVOID OVERLY COMPLEX SETUPS AND PRODUCTION UNTIL YOU’VE DONE A FEW ONLINE SHOWS.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
For solo performances, a stereo mic like an MV88+ should be enough. For bands, set up a pair of room mics, either as a spaced pair or in the X/Y configuration, besides any vocal extra microphones you might need.
Always monitor your audio with a good set of headphones or in-ears.
If you are using multiple mics, check for phase issues. Learn more about phase cancellation in the MIC BASICS section.
If your video and audio don’t sync up, your set will look more like bizarre performance art than an actual concert. Check your upload rate before you start to make sure your connection can handle the video resolution you’re using.
If you’re really worried about your connection, consider pre-recording the concert. Yes, it’s technically not livestreaming, but it can save you a lot of stress, and you can do a live intro and outro before broadcasting your performance.