Tutorial on Live Streaming & VR Shows for Musicians
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on any of the below topics, these are my opinions and research into them. This is also an open document. Please feel free to contribute your methods, patches and resources to the article and tutorial. Please email those to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can do this all for free.
- You can do this with just a laptop.
- If you DON’T have any external gear, you’re OKAY. You can still do this. If you do, you just have more options.
- You DON’T need a camera. But I would suggest making some animated visuals to keep the eyes entertained. There’s also VJ programs like VVVV and Resolume.
- It’s possible to monetize it.
- I’m going to focus this tutorial on Twitch, rather than YouTube or Instagram because Twitch currently has the best program in place to help musicians, it is possible to have followers start subscribing to your channel after 30 days, and they can “tip” you with Bits (more info below). On YouTube, it’s 12 months, and Instagram doesn’t even offer any type of program like that. To be frank, neither of the latter options work for us musicians in our current situation. Having said that, I have talked to affiliates over at Twitch who have assured me that Twitch’s music team is moving full speed to bring you in-depth tutorials, and possibly new and faster ways to monetize your stream and music. On top of that it’s already possible to embed your Bandcamp onto your Twitch for you followers to directly purchase your music and merch.
- Despite Instagram’s lack of a way to monetize your hard work, I will go through a way to stream from your Mac or PC to Instagram. But seriously, if music livestreaming is going to work, we need to adopt Twitch. It’s easier if fans/followers feel like they have a common place to go to view their favorite artists. So just use Instagram for sneak peaks or alerting your followers. /OPINION
STREAMING TO TWITCH/YOUTUBE/FACEBOOK (MAC)
- To livestream on a Mac, it’s a couple extra steps compared to PC, due to the closed Apple ecosystem for developers. To start, you need to download two main programs:
- Install OBS Studio
- This video can guide you, but just make sure you choose ‘Optimize for Streaming’ during the installation process.
- Make sure you have accounts for the platforms you want to stream to.
- For the remaining setup I would suggest watching this video.
- When you begin streaming to either platform, don’t forget to have the website or desktop app open, so that you can see who’s viewing your stream and communicate with them.
STREAMING TO INSTAGRAM (MAC)
At the moment, this can be done in two ways but in my opinion, neither are really convenient nor effective.
- YellowDuck allows you to stream from OBS Studio to Instagram, however you can not directly interact or send messages to the people viewing the stream. Instead you have to create another Instagram account to view your live stream and see people’s comments on your phone.
BOOTCAMP WINDOWS METHOD
- This method installs the Windows operating system on your MAC and allows you to use OBS Studio and Loola.tv to stream to Instagram (and other platforms simultaneously). With Loola.tv you will be to communicate and see messages from viewers from all platforms. It’s pretty cool, actually.
- It requires that you have enough disk space on your hard drive to create a partition (basically, separate it) so that the Windows operating system can be installed and booted on a Mac.
- Follow this video to set up Windows using BootCamp Assistant
- Go down to the PC Users section and follow the instructions from there.
STREAMING TO TWITCH/YOUTUBE/FACEBOOK (PC)
This is super straight forward. No other software is required besides OBS Studio and one of their plug-ins.
- Download and Install OBS Studio
- Make sure you have accounts for the platforms you want to stream to
- Download and Install OBS VirtualCam
- Run OBS Studio and run the automated set up
- Further set up instructions can be found here
STREAM TO INSTAGRAM (PC)
The method I found best was using Loola.tv, with Loola.tv you connect all your social accounts, and then you can simultaneously stream to multiple social platforms. You can even respond and communicate to every one of your followers on each of the platforms. Super helpful.
- Follow all the instructions above for PC USERS STREAMING to TWITCH
- You have already downloaded Virtual Cam, but for this to work you will need to additionally install Virtual Cable
- Here are the instructions to set up the two plug-ins for Loola.tv
- Once you have everything installed and all your socials connected with Loola.tv, go into OBS Studio, click Tools > VirtualCam
- Refresh your browser in Loola.tv and select OBS Camera as your source and you should now see your OBS capture in your Loola.tv preview port
- Click Go Live in the top right of Loola.tv when you’re ready to stream, also make sure you’re not monitoring the audio from Loola.tv otherwise you will get some cool feedback loops.
Twitch offers several guides for musicians, such as Twitch Music: Getting Started guide along with their dedicated resource page.
We also invite everyone to visit our discord to ask questions and help each other.
Posted on March 20, 2020