With many live music venues still closed, performers are taking the show online and into your home: YouTube, Facebook or on their own websites. While most of us have Face Timed or even done Facebook Lives, the challenge of getting good sound online might seem daunting. It’s not as complicated as you might think!
We recently assisted Magnolia Kids, a 4 piece based out of Austin, TX, in doing their very first live stream on YouTube, using Lectrosonics equipment and an inexpensive (<$400) analog Yamaha board:
- We started with an M2T, 3 M2Rs and two laptops, piped through the Yamaha board:
- The Aux 1 output cable was connected to the M2T to carry the monitor mix for the performers (circled in the photo). The other cable was hooked to a speaker, in case the performers’ wireless in-ears (M2R) failed. They ended up not needed this back-up.
- The blue knobs on the board correspond to Aux 1. You can create a separate mix for the performers that does not coincide with what the audience actually hears, and each musician can have their own custom mix. In this instance, the band agreed on one mix, where everyone in the band heard the same thing. It did not coincide with what the audience heard coming from the master fader and main outputs.
- The audience mix traveled from the mixer’s USB output, going straight to the computer.
- The technique to set the frequency for the wireless in-ear mix was the same one used on The Bachelor to coordinate 48 M2Rs. Instead of using Wireless Designer, which can be more time-consuming, we ran SmartTune on the M2R. We imported the settings through the M2T via IR sync. Once the frequency was set in the M2T, the settings and frequency were duplicated to the three M2Rs. This was fast and achieved in less than five minutes.
- The streaming was done through OBS, which is an open-source (and free!) platform for video recording and streaming. The OBS website is full of documentation and has a very active user forum, making it painless to set up and troubleshoot. Once enabled, you can stream more than one feed at a time. The photos below show the entire set-up.
- The second laptop is internet-enabled and connected to YouTube. It functioned as a check monitor for what the audience would see online. The OBS broadcast had a 10-second delay enabled, so if something went awry during the stream, it could be interrupted.
You can see the results of the stream here. They enabled a “waiting room” during set-up; the performance starts at 14:36.
If you don’t own Lectrosonics equipment, don’t know anyone who does, and don’t have the budget to purchase it right now, how can you do this with your own music? Lectrosonics equipment is available for rentals at a very reasonable cost! Contact your Regional Rep for a list of places to contact: https://www.lectrosonics.com/contact.html
The Magnolia Kids are Dana Marie Wygmans, Tony Mariano, Camille Schiess, and Micah Motenko. Their music floats the space between jazz, pop and R&B. You can follow them on Facebook.