6.1 A Case for Keeping It Simple
Now that you've thought through your strategy and more of these big-picture considerations, you can start to make decisions about what platform(s) you're going to focus on.
While in some cases the platform will dictate the tech, I'd like to make a case for keeping it as simple as possible:
- most people will be listening on their phones or other crappy speakers, so there's a lot of consumer forgiveness with sound these days (I've found that to be less so with video, but even then you'd be surprised!)
- more tech means more potential problems, which can keep you from starting, which can distract you during the stream, and which can derail or crash your stream
- being intimidated by too much tech will prevent you from starting
- it's okay for your stream to be iterative... even if it's not great at first, that's okay. You'll upgrade and tweak as you go once you figure out what's right for your audience. (Ever seen the first episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast?)
- a lot of the "bad" sound you hear in people's streams, I think, is because they're using their computer or laptop on-board microphones.
- I get better sound from my phone than some of the higher-tech options I've tried
- If you'll be doing this a lot, you'll want a simple set up so it's fast and easy to start your stream. More stuff to set up will create friction for a future-you.
After trying lots of things, I still just use my phone.
- it's reliable and fast
- I don't need to set much up
- it's always available for me regardless of my location
- it's easy to find ways to mount and position it
- the video is pretty great, and the sound is decent
You can only stream to IG Live using a phone anyway.
Streaming to FB Live, to my knowledge, from your phone will only be vertical. I think that might be a good thing right now more than ever, so you could embrace it.
(Don't attempt landscape mode on platforms that don't support it; it won't orient correctly, and it will kill your views.)
Consider what you already have and try to make that work for you.
When in doubt, test. When skeptical, test! See what works.
I think, in most cases, it's a mistake to try to recreate a "club show" with this format.
You'll likely get better engagement treating it like a Facetime or Skype hangout (with music) with your friends or family.
Intimate and casual performances in my experience have performed better, and seem to resonate with people more.
Keep your face as visible as possible, and minimize obstructions. In my experience, this performs better.
To film this tutorial, I'm using Photo Booth with my Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam and natural light from a window facing me. While the audio level is probably a little too low, I'm just talking into an airpod and it doesn't sound that bad. The video looks better btw before the compression that happened uploading into Teachable. It's not amazing, but it works! "Done is better than perfect."
While I have tried many times to make OBS work for me ('cause I yearn for fancy cards and other effects), I have never been able to get my audio and video to sync (not just for streams but for recording regular videos also). I've tried countless things to figure it out, and I haven't been able to, but I know MANY people who haven't had this problem. If you have the time and the interest, go for it!