[This article was written by guest contributor James Wasem from Gigee.me] Sounds a little sinister, doesn’t it? While streaming live gigs online isn’t inherently dangerous, there are some consequences for not getting it right - namely, your fans tuning out and leaving the event.
Want to prevent this from happening? There are three key steps to getting this right and avoiding the common sins of live broadcasting.
These steps are not hard to do well, but if you don’t pay attention to the details, messing up any one of these three things can ruin your online performance.
If you’re a musician that has done any home recording or live sound, this one is often the easiest variable to get right. Use a good room mic if you’re performing acoustic music. Consider multiple microphones with a mixing console for more dynamic music or multiple instruments. I really like USB mics and mixers with USB outputs that can send a digital audio signal straight into the computer. Just take the time to set your audio mix levels, confirming that you have clean audio and no clipping or signal peaks that distort the sound. Don’t forget to check the audio input settings on your computer too (many people forget about this setting).
Sin: not doing a soundcheck.
Camera placement is a big deal. You want to give your online audience a front row seat. Try to avoid steep angles when positioning your camera - I don’t want to be looking down on the top of your head or staring up at your chin. Also, make sure you get a good “field of view”. Frame the camera image and window so that your performance space is tight and reasonably up close. As a viewer, I want to get a nice feel for the room and ambiance, but I also want to make sure I can see you up close as you perform. Most webcams do not have a great zoom feature, so placing the camera in a good location can sometimes take some experimenting (hint: a tripod helps). Just take your time, preview the camera image and framing, and make sure you can see all of the performers on stage before going live. You may have greater flexibility in camera placement if you are using a professional camera or a digital camera with a zoom lens.
Sin: placing the camera too far away from the performance area.
This is probably the most obvious variable to adjust, but few people take the time to get it right. The worst thing you can do? Have a bright light behind you as you perform. This will cause severe shadowing on anything in front of the backlight, including your face or anything else in the foreground you want to capture on camera. Remember, what looks good visually in the room does not always translate well on camera. Spend a little time making lighting adjustments and previewing how the image looks on camera. Make sure that your paying audience can actually see you!
Sin: backlighting is too bright.
Oh, and there is one other big sin that will trip you up before the show even starts.
Get this one wrong, and nobody shows up to the event that you’ve worked so hard to put on. Promote early and often. You should probably treat this like any other live event, scheduling a series of promotional posts and updates before the event. And even with the best promotion, you’ll likely find that most people buy tickets just before the show starts, so be sure to heavily promote the day of your event. Use all of your social media channels and email list to promote the show. The world will not know about about your event if you don’t promote it!
Sin: only sending one email or sharing one post before a live event.
Live streaming your online concerts doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take some attention to detail. Get these details right, and you’ll have an engaged audience that will want to see you perform again and again.
Looking for a way to reach your global audience online? Check out www.Gigee.me to learn how to get started streaming your live events and make money doing it!
To your broadcasting success,
James & the gang at Gigee
James Wasem is an audio/video engineer and drummer, as well as a co-founder and technical director at Gigee.me. Gigee provides an easy-to-use online platform where artists can broadcast their own live ticketed events, and make 80% of all ticket sales. Learn more at www.Gigee.me