A Musician’s Guide to Livestreaming

Hey y’all! As musicians figure out what to do during a time when our regular venues are shut down, many of us are turning to digital concerts. We’ve been doing this type of thing for a while, and I’ve had a lot of folks reach out and ask about what equipment is needed to get the best possible audio quality for a Facebook Live. The intent of this post is to put all the info you need in one place. If you have some basic tech skills and a couple pieces of gear, you can get a quality video stream going!

Step One: A Computer and a USB Audio Interface

I think most know the basics about streaming from a phone. In order to get pro-quality audio on your live video, you’ll need a decent PC or Mac and a USB audio interface to connect your mics and instruments to that computer. I use a Presonus Audiobox, but there are any number of choices from Focusrite, M-Audio, and other companies around the $100 price range. Don’t worry about the number of inputs on the interface; if you have a mixer, you can just run everything through that and connect the stereo outs on your mixer to the interface.

Step Two: An iPhone, iPad, or a Webcam

For the video portion, you’ll need a device that easily connects to your computer. Any of the devices I mentioned above will do the trick. If you’re using your phone, get a mini-tripod designed for mobile devices. You can pick one up just about anywhere.

IMG_20200316_143556 (1)

Step Three: OBS Studio Software

To put the video/audio together, you’ll need to use software. Fortunately, there is a FREE software available, and it’s easy to use. Here’s the link! It’s compatible with both PC and Mac, and the help section will teach you how to use it. It’s very intuitive.

OBS Studio

If you’re using an iPhone as your camera, you’ll need to download the OBS Camera app and connect it to your computer via Lightning or Lightning to USB.

Step Four: Facebook Live Producer

Of all the social media platforms, none make it easier to do this than Facebook. If you click the “Live” button from the home screen of your Facebook Business Page, you’ll be taken to their Live Producer studio. From there, you can link up your software, do a test stream to make sure everything is working properly, and even crosspost to multiple pages. This is a huge advantage compared to just broadcasting from your smartphone.

FBLivestudio

Voila! You’re streaming live with pro-quality audio.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions, and if this information was helpful, I have a digital tip jar up on our website! Good luck!

-Brian Keith Wallen

About Brian Keith Wallen

Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Indiana. Proud dog dad.
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2 Responses to A Musician’s Guide to Livestreaming

  1. Gerry Mulvenna says:

    Have you experienced the horribly compressed audio you get if you stream directly through Facebook Live Producer on a PC? What is going on there? I’ve been using Facebook’s mobile apps on iPads for years, so only just noticed how bad this is. Obviously your OBS direction is the way round this but it is strange and off-putting for anyone taking their fire steps into this now.

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