I hope you and your families are well. We are all having to find other ways to make our lives happen in the best manner possible. I am used to performing for audiences two to four times a week. Well, I don’t see that happening at least for a few more months, maybe more. So, I went on a mission last week to find out how I could live stream. I figured there are thousands of people doing this for all types of learning or sharing everyday and I could potentially do it too. Since, I don’t want to invest a lot of money into something I don’t know how much I’ll actually do, I did a bunch of research. Hopefully, you may find some of it helpful.
You may already know that Facebook and YouTube offer streaming free. Facebook has Facebook Live and YouTube has YouTube Live. Facebook doesn’t require much setup at all. You just need to go to your “Create” line and click on “Live”. You get your streaming key for that stream session and plug that into your steaming software. In YouTube you need to enable your account to live stream by going into your settings and then you need to verify your account. A text or phone call from Google allows to get a verification code and then you input it. You will need to wait 24 hours for it to be ready to use.
I chose to learn how to use OBS Studio, or Open Broadcaster Software. It can do video recording and live streaming. It is free and it is flexible and easy to use. It works seamlessly with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and many others. (If you plan to live stream on Instagram you will need a little piece of software called YellowDuck. It is also free.) OBS is open-source, so developers create plug ins and useful tools as they see fit. I highly recommend getting the Advanced Scene Switcher plug in so that you can sequence your screen shots the way you like. I plan on using two cameras and am currently looking for another Logitech webcam that will work well with my Logitech 9000. The reason being is the built in camera on my Mac Book Pro behaves completely different and is not adjustable. The two camera shots look too different. I know there are a couple of pieces of software that can address that, but I am opting for a similar camera so that I can use them both with other computers I have. I found a free piece of software from phoboslab.org called CameraControl. Logitech has no software for Mac OS and the Logitech tends to over expose the shot. With CameraControl you can adjust the exposure, white balance, and gain. That’s just enough control to improve your picture.
I also did some learning, courtesy of YouTube tutorials, about lighting. This week I will be getting a lighting kit so I can set up a three point lighting system. Proper terminology is the “key light”, “fill light” and “back light”. For improved audio I will be using a Samson Go Mic, which is USB.
I also wanted to create a watermark for my videos. That’s for branding and copyright purposes. I took a .png of my logo and made a transparency out of it. That took a while as my logo has a lot of nooks and crannies. I am familiar with Photoshop, but I chose to use a free open-source piece of software called GIMP. Again, thanks to YouTube and a couple of tutorials, I was able to complete the task! With YouTube you are able to upload your watermark and then it will automatically be placed on all your uploaded videos. With OBS you can also layer your watermark on your live streams and recorded videos.
If you want to live stream on multiple platforms at the same time you will need another tool. A simulcasting host. This will cost you on a monthly basis and the prices are varied. Castr.io seems to have the best pricing and if you pay annually you can save 20%. Ok, That’s enough for now! Good luck and be well!