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Livestreaming your next show

January 6, 2014

Have you ever thought about broadcasting your band/event to the world? It’s been possible for quite a while now, and it’s a fairly simple process. But there are few things to think about before taking the plunge. Here are the basic things you’ll need:

Livestreaming - it's not as hard as you might think...

Livestreaming – it’s not as hard as you might think…

* A webcam. But ideally one (or more) HD cameras.
* A really fast internet connection. The fastest you can get or you may be sorry.
* A quality microphone. But ideally, you’ll want a recording direct out of a mixer so you can get the highest quality possible. And don’t forget a high quality sound engineer if you can afford them!
* A laptop. Yes, the best you can get, but basic computer competency is even more important.
* A livestreaming account. You could use a video chat application such as Skype. But definitely take the time to review livestream.com, Justin.tv and Ustream.tv, which were all well designed for this purpose. Ustream will even let you broadcast a show using your smartphone.

So setup an account, get all of your gear in order, and then start thinking about the extra touches:

* Multiple cameras were mentioned above. To make the most of those, get yourself a switcher box to cover the multiple inputs and get you in the movie (or at least sitcom) business. And then there are applications you can use to enhance the video, like Vidblaster or Wirecast that is available at telestream.net.
* With multiple cameras comes multiple responsibilities. Find yourself some quality cameramen if you can afford it. If budget’s tight, give a call to Denver Open Media and see what talent you can find.
* Test out the environment before your broadcast. You may find that it’s a little dark – get some lighting. Better yet, get some cool lighting. Better yet, cool lighting, a video backdrop or other interesting scenery, maybe a few models, a live sacrifice – you get the idea. But also consider a sponsor banner in the background [monetizing your broadcast is the next post].
* Stage presence. Yes, move around, don’t be afraid to choreograph, and even take some practice video to screen. Consider creating a script too, unless you thrive on improv.
* Broadcast and receive. Yes, you can chat with your fans. Have someone charismatic ready to handle this task. [More about this in the next post…]

We are assuming here that you are broadcasting out of the basement or backyard or other noncommercial site. But if you do take the show to a venue, remember to get their permission first. This is not one of those “beg forgiveness” situations, unless you like the possibility of litigation. But a venue could be a good way to go, especially if they support you [monetarily]. Please stay tuned…

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