Livestreaming Music: The Great Gig in the Sky
Let me describe a moment: The spotlight drenches you in blue and green lights. Sweat drips down your brow as you swallow hard and start playing. The crowd cheers you on with every note, every chord, as you seamlessly shred through fan favorites and exciting improvised solos. This is the future of live music — this is Livestreaming Music.
Over the last few years, it should come as no surprise that musicians have taken advantage of livestreaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. With a webcam and a light audio setup, performers can take requests, jam out to their favorite songs, and even record and produce tracks in real-time with an audience. Many people have asked how streamers such as ToxicxEternity, 8BitDrummer, and myself set up their computers to run a Live Music Stream – here’s your answer!
What You Need
A webcam or similar device, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation software, ex: Reaper, Cubase, Logic), a Streaming Program (I recommend OBS or Xplit), and a free plugin called Voxengo Recorder.
Setting Up a DAW
Open your DAW and create a new project/template. Add the Voxengo Recorder VST/AU to your Master Bus, the final summed output of your DAW. Click the File button to change the option to MME. Last, click the device button to choose a dummy audio source that you are not using – a computer monitor will suffice. If you do not see one, enter the Windows sound properties, right click the white-space and choose Show Hidden Devices, and enable one of your own choosing. Click Start on Voxengo Recorder when you need to stream the audio. Take note of your DAW’s latency as this number is important.
Setting Up OBS/Xplit
Open the program, and you’ll see several screens – these are different slates for you to design a stream layout. Once you’ve designed a suitable screen, enter the Options. You need to choose the same dummy audio source as your Desktop Audio and mute the Microphone Audio. Save this, and return to your stream layout. For your Webcam settings, open the options by right-clicking the Webcam’s screen itself. Enter for the lag/delay option the same DAW Latency you noted earlier and click Refresh. This is to compensate for your audio lag to keep the video/audio synchronized!
Test It Out!
Create a track in your DAW, live-monitor, and run through some basic tests! Most streaming programs like OBS and Xplit will allow you to record offline video so you can playback and check audio levels later. You may also want to look into Twitch Extensions, including the Music Requests Extension by Colbydude — this allows you to record your songs/covers into an easy list for viewers to choose from!
That might seem like a lot of information, but in a time when we can broadcast live music from our bedrooms, I think you’ll agree this is worth the tinkering. With the power of livestreaming music, the whole world is your stage. The only question is, what are you waiting for? Get busy streaming or get busy dying!