The essential guide to help you prepare for your show.
- For any streaming location, you need good “UPLOAD” speed. At least 10 Mbs for each stream you’re sending up. Bigger is better here – great to see upload speeds at or above 100 Mbs.
- ALSO – you need to use a wired internet connection using a typical ethernet cable. Wifi can work, but it’s unreliable and can be affected by a crowd arriving and watching videos, or other equipment such as turning on a microwave. Private (unannounced) wifi can work in a pinch, but you’ll still see sluggish or frozen video from time to time.
- Run Speedtest.net at the location around the time of your show (in advance). That way you’ll have some idea of the local internet traffic/demands at the time when a show would happen.
- The best locations are those that can be controlled to some extent. Loud noises, strangers walking by, etc. will make your project more difficult for lighting/sound setup.
- Controlled area or not, anything can work from a stage to a room to an alley to a bar, etc. However, you’ll want access to the space for setup, dress rehearsal, and breakdown – so you need controlled/secure access to the location for at least 3-4x the time you are running your show.
- KEY point: perform you stream test using the same exact equipment and setup that your performers will be using. So many times people test one setup and want to fiddle with it and find that someone forgot to turn on the mics or the cable fell out, etc. If you change things, test afterwards – before you stream.
- Security is important so that equipment doesn’t wander off – and so that bystanders don’t wander through and either break equipment or hurt themselves tripping on something. Place cameras and mics where crowds can’t bump them or knock them over.
- Last but not least – scope out your set location at the time you’ll be using it! A great looking site at 2 in the afternoon may be chaos at 6 PM or too dark 11 PM at night.
- Typically, there’s a sound board that is supplying a feed to the streamer. Note that the sound board is doing their best to optimize audio for the room – NOT necessarily your stream.
- It’s hard to hear the sound quality of the stream, so best to have a colleague or friend able to listen to the output of the stream and provide feedback.
- The soundboard operator should be able to tweak what is sent to you a bit – so take the time to pass through something that picks up the guitars and vocals for example, vs. emphasizing the bass and drums (typical room mix).
- Almost always you’ll want the attention focused on your artists/speakers so you’ll want to remove distractions from the background.
- You can literally hang a sheet or shoot video against the wall of a building or even a nature setting if it’s fairly constant. Less movement also means less data to transmit so that will help your stream bandwidth.
- Designate someone on the team to be in charge of props so that they don’t get lost or disappear, etc.
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