Guest Post by Brigitte Jacob
In-person performances breathe life into music. There’s no experience quite like seeing and hearing your favorite artist perform before your very eyes, front and center. However, like many other things in life, live performances have been put on hold due to the pandemic, with no way of telling just how permanent this change might be.
That doesn’t mean that live music is completely dead, though. The time for going live online is ripe, as the streaming industry’s revenue is expected to reach $32 million this year. Audiences are tuned in and hungry for quality content from artists, both well known and those waiting to be discovered. So if you’ve been looking for opportunities to share your music with the world online, then there’s no time like the present! Here’s how you can get started with livestreaming your performances.
Get the Right Gear
Having a great performance prepared is one thing, but having the right gear to capture and broadcast it is equally important. Even though it isn’t necessary to spend your life savings on state-of-the-art recording equipment, it’s always a good idea to have quality essentials to ensure that you look and sound good.
The first step would be to acquire a good microphone. The best mics for streaming should block out background noise while bringing out the warmth and detail of your voice and instruments. If you’re just starting out, then a USB mic is ideal since they tend to be cheaper and easier to set up than XLR ones.
You’ll also need a good camera for your audience to see you clearly. While your smartphone can get you started with decent results, it’s also worth exploring some of the best pro-level webcams that will elevate the overall quality of your livestream and give it a professional look.
Plan Out Your Set
Even the best and most spontaneous live performances done by professional artists had some level of organization to them. Start with your objective for the livestream. Perhaps you want it to be a short and straightforward introduction to some of your best songs. Others might use the entire length of the video to introduce themselves and their artistry with just one song thrown in the mix. Well-planned sets also allow you to be more spontaneous with a good structure to return to when needed.
Choose a Platform
Now that you’ve got your equipment and planned out your set, it’s time to go live! Choosing what platform to broadcast your stream with depends on your preferences. Paid services can give you a customizable and ad-free stream, but it might be better to start with free platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Instagram Live.
Some free streaming platforms will even offer previews so that you can double-check the quality of your broadcast. You also gain access to millions of users present on these platforms, a feature that may be well worth a couple of ads, especially if you’re just starting out!
Have Fun and Engage
The best part about having a livestream is engaging with your audience members, so remember not to take their presence for granted! Livestreamers create spaces where connections are formed and nurtured, and in return, they build trust and loyalty from regular viewers.
The fun and memorable interactions you have will ultimately help you land the best gigs for musicians, whether on livestreams or in physical spaces once the restrictions are lifted.
The days of live performances as people knew it might seem like a relic of the past, but who says that has to be a bad thing? As artists continue to produce, share, and enjoy art today, livestreaming proves to be a contender in shaping the live music experience. It’s an artistic endeavor that is new, exciting, and very much worth pursuing with the help of a few good tools and a bit of bravery!
Specially written for Aipate by Brigitte Jacob.