4 Tips to Up Your Livestream Game
BANDWIDTH: The first thing you will need to make your livestream shine is to have internet that can handle it! Here at Kinsmen we run a router that gets 450mbps download and 130 mbps upload. The KEY here is to make sure you have fast upload because YOU are the one streaming!
Your stream is relying on you to provide enough bandwidth to run it properly. If your image is coming in pixelated this is because your computer is asking itself, "is it more important for the stream to show up crisp? Or is it more important for it to show up on time?" The obvious answer is BOTH, but your computer will pick the stream running in sync, over the image coming in pristinely. Don't let your stream suffer due to controllable circumstances! Buy enough bandwidth through your internet provider.
LIGHTING: A great camera is a great first step to a professional picture, but to really make something stand out you need video lighting. There are lights that you can buy on B&H or GVM that are cheap and will make your stream look professionally produced.
Take a look at some YouTube videos on film lighting. These will be a great source of inspiration for capturing the mood of your stream. Are you looking for a clean, crisp image? Maybe the three-point lighting technique is right for you. Looking to add some depth? Try two lights in front and one behind you, illuminating a back wall. You will pop out from the background!
SOUND: The oft-times most over looked aspect of a production is sound, and live-streaming is no different. Make sure you have a good mic to talk into. No on wants to listen to someone who sounds like they're coming through a computer speaker. If you are streaming from a static position maybe you pick up an Shure SM58. If you are moving around perhaps you pick up a Sennheizer LAV mic, or even consider hiring a sound guy to follow you with a boom! Make sure you don't overlook this necessary step!
Another hugely important aspect of good sound is microphone PLACEMENT. Have a friend help you with this. Stand in front of the mic and have your friend listen to you talk via headphones. Does it sound like there is too much "room" in your voice? If so, move closer. Are you too bassy/boomy?If so, move back a few inches. Microphones are sensitive instruments that take a while to learn. Take the time to learn your microphone and test your sound. Your audience will thank you for not sounding like the manager at your local supermarket, calling for, "who?" to clean up isle, "what?"
MONITOR: Have a production team. It can be two interns that you ask to watch OBS for you. It can be a full production team that knows the ins and outs of professional live-streaming. The big thing here is to make sure that your team is monitoring your audio and video. BOTH are needed to make the stream work.
What we do at Kinsmen Sound is one engineer monitors the direct input of the video and audio, checking for "clicks", "pops", and dropped frames. This engineer streams the content while a second engineer monitors the actual stream, giving feedback on the resultant audio levels and A/V quality. Ending your stream with a customized lower-third and a fade-to-black is a clean, simple way to end your stream. The last thing you want is to have to walk back to the computer to fade the video your own.
There are also graphic components of a livestream that can be added live by a production team member. Implementing GFX and custom transitioning adds value to your livestream. These will be a source of information for your audience and will keep them engaged in the content you are streaming.