Tips for live streaming a concert
In this episode of StreamGeeks Live, we talk all about live streaming concerts or music festivals. There are many reasons why live streaming is great for capturing live events and music. With over 3 years of experience, Paul Richards shares videos and experiences from working on live streaming gigs. Some of the most important ideas discussed in this podcast are about live streaming gear and setup. We discuss everything from audio connections, mixers and full band setups to video cameras with PTZ.
Our last live stream event featuring live bands was Pretty Good Fest (Third Annual). This was the third year live streaming the concerts which is an outdoor all day music festival. We review technical challenges that can come up for video productions live streaming from a music festival loctaions. We hope you enjoy this live stream and podcast all about tips for live streaming concerts.
Paul: A little bit of streaming, people.
Tess: They are fun.
Paul: Welcome everybody to Episode 3 of Stream Geeks.
Tess: Our third episode, they’re flying by.
Paul: Wow, already on our third episode.
Tess: Thank you, guys, so much for tuning in. We are the Stream Geeks. My name is Tess Protesto.
Paul: And I’m Paul Richards. Thanks for being here.
Tess: Our show is here to share with you all the tips and tricks that we know about live streaming. We have a weekly, multiple weekly live shows. And today’s topic is going to be live streaming concerts.
Paul: Yeah. And we’ve actually going out and live stream some concerts recently. We had some footage from that and we’re going to hopefully have a little free course on it. So, if you’re just picking up live streaming and you just want to learn how to live stream concerts, this is probably a great place to start. But I do plan on actually having a full course with mini, little, bite chunks and quizzes and things.
Tess: Can we get it just free to our podcast listeners?
Paul: Yes. It will all be free on streamgeeks.us.
Tess: All right. Streamgeeks.us, you will be able to get that course. Perfect.
Paul: So, what do we have lined up for today, Tess?
Tess: So, we’re going to go over all of our segments for this week. We’ve been doing the same segments every week. We might just keep them because I feel like they help with the flow of conversation so why don’t we just keep all the segments.
Paul: Yeah, we’ll keep the segments.
Tess: Do you want to just start off talking a little bit about the concerts that we’ve done and kind of what goes into it?
Paul: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I’ve got a little playlist of some video clips that this is the concert we were streaming. Let me just play a little audio so you can hear how amazing this lady’s voice was.
Tess: So, for those of you listening on podcast, we live stream a music festival. It was an outdoor event, sort of an all-day live streaming process, which posts its own challenges.
Paul: Yeah. The footage we’re showing here is basically a guy and a girl who are a tag team, solo, acoustic, the thing and we have the audio coming into our vMix live streaming system. You can see we’ve got like a joystick set-up to control the cameras and we’ve got a behind-the-scenes backstage camera, which I think really added a lot of cool stuff. So, it was a really fun, little show.
Tess: With this type of set-up, we used three cameras, three PTZ cameras that allowed us to transition between different shots of different band members and there were multiple bands that day so it was really important for us to set presets in between each band to sort of..
Paul: Oh my gosh!
Paul: Let’s explain that process
Tess: Right. Okay. So, presets with live streaming concerts.
Paul: So, when you live stream a concert and I’ve, actually the course that I’m going to be teaching, it’s going to be set-up as in three years of live streaming concerts. And what each year, things change significantly and with things changing every month in this industry. But it used to be, the way I would set it up as I bring a table, you know, a little collapsible table you can buy at Wal-Mart. I’d put my laptop or my streaming box on it, get power to it and somehow get on connections from the audio guy, which we’ll talk about.
Then I’d put two cameras on the left and right of that table like kind of flaking the table and that was kind of like a mile like attack. A camera on the left, a camera on the right, I could zoom them in if I needed to and then fade between those two with hopefully, a really good audio feed from the audio board. Now it’s like basically, the basics of what we got started with.
Tess: If we want to start talking about audio, that’s going to lead us into one of our segments for the day, which is the helpful tool of the week. You can go ahead and play that clip.
Paul: Alright, here we go.
Speaker 1: Now it’s time for the super tool of the week.
Tess: All right. This week’s helpful tool, super tool is going to be the Focusrite?
Paul: Do we have that here in front of us or…?
Tess: I don’t think we do and I should’ve thought of that.
Paul: It’s okay. We should be able to explain this personally [00:04:55] once we got podcast.
Tess: The Focusrite is…
Paul: So the Focusrite…
Tess: Go ahead.
Paul: We’ve got actually two, oh, its right there but I’ll, we’ll just grab it another time. It’s an XLR or quarter-inch input, audio-input device that converts to USB.
Tess: Okay. So that allows you to pull the soundboard’s audio into a computer essentially.
Tess: So then you can grab that audio and put it into whatever streaming software or hardware you’re using and then put it out to your live stream.
Paul: Yeah. It really, in the software like vMix or Wirecaster or OBS or whatever you’re using, and we’ll talk a little bit about software in the future episode but whatever software you’re using, it comes up as a microphone, a USB mic.
Tess: It’s enough.
Paul: So if you use a USB mic, like this little blue Yeti or Snowball or whatever you’re using, Focusrite will come up. And the same with a lot of these other USB, XLR mixers, the cool thing is you can plug in like four or five microphones, all these different stuff and it just comes up as one mic in your system so you can kind of tweak it with a little hardware to turn knobs up and down and get it just right.
Tess: Right. So that’s as easy as it can be. XLR to Focusrite, Focusrite be it USB to your computer.
Paul: Yeah and the little XLR input’s really cool because it’s an XLR or a quarter-inch. So, you kind of never know what people are going to throw at you. All these mixing boards are different and a lot of times like what we’ve done in the past is they’ll give you either a left or a right channel. So, here’s a left and a right XLR possibly or quarter-inch, which are the big, they look like guitar cables [00:06:28]
Tess: This connects both.
Paul: Yeah, you can put the quarter-inch right in the middle, or the XLR will fit in as well.
Tess: Focusrite is a great option to have if you’re somebody that’s going to be freelancing and streaming concerts or somebody that does this every week to your church performance.
Paul: And the Focusrite comes in a lot of different models. The model I think you’re referring to is the 2i2 Scarlett.
Tess: Yes. That’s what I have, the Scarlett.
Paul: The 2i2 is powered over USB which I love because when you get to streaming and we had some issues with our last stream, just a little bit of audio issues and I believe it was due to unbalancing of power like having power strip on top, power strip on top, power strip.
Tess: Right. Not a good idea.
Paul: The more items that you can get that are USB-powered and you just get really secure power for your streaming computer, the better off you’ll be I believe.
Tess: What comes, what goes into live streaming concerts obviously going to be your cameras, the computer and the streaming software that you’re using and then something to pool audio into the streaming software.
Paul: That’s the bare bones if it. You can go back on the PTZOptics channel and you can see three years ago, two years ago and then this year, we have all the footage. We’re actually going to show some today. I haven’t had the chance to post everything yet. But every year, little bit more, a little bit more and I’ve learned a lot. I think next year, it’s going to be, again, completely different of a set-up. Next year, we’re going to use a lot more IP networking, Power over Ethernet stuff [00:07:53].
Tess: There’s a good question, networking. Do you need your own separate network?
Paul: In the world of IP that we’re moving toward, it will be the standard and a lot of people will go, “What? You got to be kidding me.” So, when people go out on live streaming concerts, what a lot of people will do is look at a hardware-based switcher like a vMix box. Remember that one big vMix box that has a handle on it. And you put it in a case and it has wheels, and you go on a plane, and you go to Texas and you live stream a concert. And then you come back and now, that’s what they’re built for.
But now what’s happening is people are bringing their laptops literally and it’s more than enough powerful to stream a 1080p stream, let alone just audio or whatever you’re doing. In the world where your laptop is your switcher now, whether you’re running OBS, XSplit, Wirecast or vMix, now you can pretty much run everything over a network switch and network switches can be POE, Power over Ethernet and they can actually power the cameras. It ends up being cheaper and better but is the world ready for all that change yet it’s going to take a while but next year, that’s how I’m going to do everything for sure. There’s a lot of reasons why, wish we can dig into it.
Tess: We probably won’t have the same issues as we did this year, pretty good fast.
Paul: We had a couple small issues. Overall, it was really a great stream. We streamed for about eight hours, maybe 12 hours. No, it was probably more like eight hours.
Tess: Probably, between eight and ten.
Tess: I mean, Steve was there longer but…
Paul: And we’ll talk about that, too, because when you’re live streaming a concert or a festival, it’s kind of festival season, right? It’s, you know all these festivals…
Tess: Festivals are becoming so popular.
Paul: And they’re all live streaming.
Tess: Yup and they’re all outdoors for the most part. So, lighting is something that you really have to take into consideration when live streaming outdoor concert.
Paul: That’s such a pain, wasn’t it?
Tess: Yes. We had to tweak the cameras every two hours or so. Especially it got later on in the day, the light was just going all over the place but it’s doable. Do you want to switch things up and do something fun?
Paul: Yes. Let’s do something fun.
Tess: Okay. So something we do on all of our Facebook live shows is a Facebook Live reaction question where we are able to get a response about a question from our audience viewers via the emojis.
Tess: So you post a question and you say press heart for this answer. Press haha for that answer or whatever options you choose. So, it is Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere was last night. We’re just assuming that most geeks out there along with us tuned in.
Here’s the question of the day, “Will Cersei marry Euron?” Euron was the crazy uncle of, what’s his face? Oh my goodness! I’m drawing a blank.
Paul: Something Greyjoy.
Tess: No. All I can think of is Reek. Oh my gosh! Theon!
Paul: Oh my gosh! Theon Greyjoy.
Tess: The poor Theon!
Tess: Calling him Reek. So, will Cersei marry Euron after he brings her gifts she can’t refuse?
Paul: Oh, yes! I can’t wait for that.
Tess: So, if want to say, “Yes, she’s going to marry him,” press heart if you’re watching on Facebook, if you want to say no, press haha.
Paul: If you’re watching on YouTube, just give us your response in the chat. This is just something for those in the podcast to whoever have heard or seen about this. It’s called the Facebook Live Reaction and it is one of the best ways to get reactions from your audience. And it only works through Facebook.
I see we’re already getting some “Hahas.” I think people are on this side that she will not marry him.
Tess: Yeah. Let’s be honest that be, just wants to kill everyone.
Paul: Yes. She is quite a killer for sure.
Tess: Quite a killer for sure. She should probably seek therapy. So, that’s just a fun way that we invoke audience engagement for those of you out there looking for some tips regarding that.
Paul: And it looks like William Bacon here from Digitel saying, “A dumb switch works for connecting cameras joysticks plug and play.” And here goes Emily Richards, “Arya is going to kill her before she gets the chance.” That’s hilarious. So, it looks like, yeah, we got some votes for definitely Cersei going to….
Tess: Just a quick little plug right here. If you guys are listening to our recorded podcast wondering how we are getting answers to questions. We are also live streaming our podcast to Facebook and YouTube so you could tune in to that if you find us on Facebook and YouTube Stream Geeks if you want to be part of the conversation.
Paul: Yeah, there’s an interesting workflow that we’ve set-up. If you missed Episode 1or 2, we live stream to YouTube, Facebook, record the audio, upload to a podcasting site, which goes to iTunes, Stitcher Radio and SoundCloud. So, it’s quite a nice workflow and something want to talk about at some point which is, those people who have podcast, how can they have live streaming? And then those of us who have live streaming, we’re kind of like the younger generation, “We’re just doing live streaming,” don’t forget about all those podcast listeners out there who just want to go ahead and download their podcast for the day and listen with their ear buds.
Tess: They do not have time to sit there and watch all the time or they do not want to see our faces. I can’t blame you. Since we’re on the topic of Game of Thrones, this leads us to another segment, our live video moment of the week. It’s Game of Thrones theme today.
Speaker 1: And now, it’s time for our live video moment of the week.
Paul: That’s our live video moment and here it is here a little clip from a cool show.
Clip: Hoping to reclaim their Iron Islands from their deranged uncle Euron. Meanwhile…
Tess: This just goes to show you can make a live streaming show about whatever your passion is.
Paul: I know.
Tess: If you’re obsessed with Game of Thrones, go ahead and make a live reaction show about it.
Paul: Here’s their website fan-sided which I really think is cool. It’s called “WinterisComing.net.”
Tess: Dot net actually. Just in case.
Paul: Okay. Even dot com [00:14:01] to dot net.
Tess: It’s these two guys in here drinking a beer talking about what happened on Game of Thrones like I want to hang out with them.
Paul: Yeah, that’s a cool one. Game of Thrones, everyone’s talking about it. It was such a good episode.
Tess: I was a little disappointed. I’m not going to lie but I think it was just eager.
Paul: So, you want more like fighting or something?
Tess: Violence seeker! No, I do want more fighting but I just wanted more I think.
Paul: There was like none, there were no like cliffhangers are reveals. It was very much like now we’re back in the world of Game of Thrones.
Tess: Exactly. It was just kind of like, “We’re back.”
Paul: The cliffhanger was basically at the very end where she was like talking to Tyron
Tess: Spoiler alert!
Paul: At the very end, the Dragon queen was just like; she’s looking at a giant chessboard and so was Cersei was looking at a giant chessboard.
Tess: They were.
Paul: And so they’re both plotting out who’s going to kill who and she just goes, “Are you ready to get started?”
Paul: That was cool.
Tess: And I even turned to my husband. I turned to Steve and I was like right before that she was going to say that, I knew she was going to say that. I knew she was going to say, “Shall we begin?”
Paul: Yeah. Shall we begin [00:15:07]?
Tess: Its like, “Ooh! I’m ready.”
Paul: And it was cool with all, with the dragons, she’s back home. It’s interesting to think about your castle that was not being…
Tess: I didn’t expect her homeland to look like that. I expected to look more like southern and warm and flowers and stuff. But I forget things that were all way back from Season 1. If you even got to season 1.
Paul: Oh my gosh. I know. We’re at Season 7, right?
Tess: Yeah. All right, so back to streaming because I know you guys are here for streaming. Do you want to go onto shows to watch?
Paul: Shows to watch.
Tess: Now, we’re back to concert theme.
Paul: Yeah, concert theme streaming.
Tess: Do we have a clip for our shows to watch?
Tess: Okay. Well…
Paul: We have, no. We have viral video moment of the week.
Tess: Okay. It’s all right. We did mostly shows that we know about but I was searching YouTube to see if you could watch any free concerts live and it turns out you can. Katy Perry is having a live special on YouTube.
Tess: It’s called the Katy Perry Live Special. It will take you inside of her world revealing the experiences and emotions she poured into her all-new, soul bearing music on the eve of her highly-anticipated album launch. They’re trending.
Paul: She’s using like streaming to launch her album. Nice.
Tess: It’s very interesting and you’re going to see more of this, for example, Kevin Hart just got signed with YouTube to do some sort of live show. Something about like…
Paul: Nice. Comedy, I’m sure.
Tess: It’s comedy. It’s people jumping into a taxi with him. It’s like pranky people. Ellen DeGeneres is another one signed to YouTube. So these big names are getting signed to YouTube for live shows.
Paul: Really? Interesting. And YouTube has the muster to do like television quality, 1080p or 4k content, whereas, if you guys have been following Facebook, still on 720 but its scalability is incredible. And Facebook has just launched their television app and YouTube has all those for a long time.
YouTube’s CEO, I can’t remember her name, had said that the numbers of people watching YouTube television app are very promising and they think they can increase their overall viewership 20 to 30%, which if you can imagine the scalability of something like that.
Tess: Yeah. That is crazy. Alright, moving on to branding quote of the week.
Paul: Branding quote of the week is….
Tess: I have two.
Paul: Go ahead. [00:17:30]
Tess: They might need a little bit of explanation and they’re not from VIP people. Okay, so don’t call me out on that.
Paul: Okay, random.
Tess: The first one is, “I just think, certainly for live music, it should look as good as it sounds,” by Adam Ant.
Paul: I like that. And that goes along with the question, we have interviewed a lot of people in the industry, one of the guys we interviewed, Michael Dawson from Adventuring Canada.
Tess: I was thinking about him this whole time. I was brainstorming [00:17:57].
Paul: Because he does a lot of concerts and big shows. He’s one of the big name guys and I asked, are there any way to basically transport the audience looking on iPad with like really good headphones on, you know, on their kitchen, is there any way to make them feel as if they’re at the show? I think he said it’s, you know, you really can’t replicate being there 100%.
Tess: That speaks to our next quote. They kind of go hand in hand. The next quote is, “There’s nothing better than live music. It’s raw energy and energy feeds the soul,” by Danny Jones.
Tess: How do you translate that energy that you get from live streaming that you get from live music into the digital online world?
Paul: How do you do that? Into the digital online world
Tess: That’s a challenge.
Paul: It’s such a challenge. We’ve had this conversation on our PTZOptics Show before and one of the things that Michael said that I thought was really kind of went along with all of this is that he’d rather have another camera shot than a 4k versus 1080 or something or 720 versus 1080.
Paul: It’s like you’re kind of splitting hairs. We are talking about resolution like it’ll look good. People are looking on their phones; their iPads even if it’s 720, what he’d rather have is two more cameras that backstage shot.
Tess: Exactly. That’s what I’m thinking. It might be more important to capture, may be close-up of the fingers on the keyboard, behind-the-scene shot of the drummer, and what-not. So, that might be the key to, maybe even bringing more of an experience. It’s a different kind of experience because you’re not going to see those close-ups at a live concert where you might be able to do live streaming so there’s a trade off. Now, being there, of course you’re with the other audience members which bring us like euphoric feeling of like enjoyment.
Paul: That part, and I’m glad you mentioned that, the kind of euphoric energy in the room, how do we replicate that part of it and you can see below that we are pulling in live chats and are doing live audience engagements with Facebook Live Reaction. And we are doing live audience engagements with Facebook Live reactions.
I remember the first live stream I ever watched online. I think people are still having that first experience like they don’t know how much this is really available and happening, like you don’t even have to go to Bonnaroo anymore. You can just watch it from home for free, I believe. They might charge a little bit nowadays.
But I remember watching a Ryan Adams show, and I’m on my television or my computer or something. Literally, there’s a Twitter feed on the side. The people are tweeting in, “Hey, sound guy,” like you know, “turn up the mic on the left.” They’re listening to the Twitter feed.
So, like there is this world of audience engagement that doesn’t even really exist when you’re there at the show, like if you’re at the show, you’re not going to be looking at your Twitter feed and the concert at the same time. So, you do get a little bit more of a community aspect but it’s digital. It’s not actually really like…
Tess: It’s different. But to speak to that note, I think it’s also important in a different way because you have the audiences there live at your concert. But then, you’re also engaging so many other people that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to be involved in the concert at all.
Paul: They want to feel involved.
Paul: So, we’ve got to help them get to that step. I think the conversation can’t be how you replicate the on-sight experience because you can’t. But how do you take it to 95% of that experience if possible? I think you can actually take it visually beyond what someone can see at the last row and take them backstage and take them to those shots, so you can actually take them further in some respects. Plus, you know, the huge audience engagement thing with Facebook Live and all these things.
There’s a lot of benefits. And like you said, some people, they’re just not going to be able to go otherwise.
Tess: And it’s another way to make more money essentially if you’re thinking of it like that because maybe you make the live streaming version half the price of a ticket to actually be there. You’re still going to profit from a sold-out concert if you’re going to go ahead and charge few retailers who have concerts $50 to watch online.
Paul: Maybe Taylor Swift won’t even go do concerts anymore. She’ll just like literally be at her studio at home and just like sell the tickets. I couldn’t see why she wouldn’t do that. There’s so much out there, but yeah.
Now, I mean you’re never going to replace the live audience and people are going to want that. They want to really see the favorite artist in person.
Tess: That’s true. I know. I know. I’m like that with my Jesse J’s girl. It’s nothing like seeing her live. It’s kind of talking about monetization leads us to the random tech fact of the week.
Paul: Okay. The random tech fact of the week.
Speaker 1: Tech fact of the week!
Paul: There we go.
Tess: Speaking to the point of how do we make money off of our live streams, off of our live streaming concerts? We want to make it private. You know, pay per view. Well, there’s a number of private CDNs that allow you to, you know, pass or protect your concerts. Just here on paper, I have DaCast, Stream Monkey and [00:23:16]. All are options to do that.
Paul: Yeah. And that’s a very interesting thought because if you are going to monetize and make money, you can’t really use Facebook and YouTube that much because it can get out there. There link can get out there. And then, monetizing your private stream is pretty much, it’s done. You know. You can’t really go out and do that anymore.
So, you could password-protect your own website and a lot of things you can do. But with DaCast and Stream Monkey, all these places do is they literally host your streams soup to nuts. So, you don’t stream to Facebook or YouTube. You stream to them, and then, they can allow you to have it streamed to, you know, let’s say 100,000 people or kind of pay for the band.
Tess: Exactly. I’m using DaCast for a big concert, and I’m scared to say it. Because she never answered me back. So, you could surprise her.
Paul: Yeah. So, Tess is doing a giant live concert for a huge rock band. But we can’t say who until you get approval of say who.
Tess: Yeah. I didn’t get permission to actually say who was. I was hoping to before the show but really excited for it. And 2 things—the DaCast was really important for the client because it gave them the confidence that the stream won’t be compromised quality-wise because we’re paying for the proper bandwidth. It gave them the password protection that they wanted. Something cool.
It’s the first live stream that’s going to be sent to hearing aids for older folks because it’s for older. Yeah, it’s a classic rock band, which is interesting because this is something that’s starting to be a real thought about option for, you know, big-named bands that are willing to reach certain people who wouldn’t otherwise make it to their concerts via live streaming.
Paul: So, and that’s really interesting because I think when you’re talking about elderly people with hearing aids, you’re probably not wondering like, “Should we do a Facebook Live reaction question,” or, “Are they going to be like in the chat room?”
Tess: They don’t even want video for this. They’re only concerned about audio, which does make things a lot less expensive for those of you wondering. For the bandwidth, if you’re just doing audio, it cuts your price in half right then and there.
Paul: Wow. That’s good. For concert streaming, you could just stream the audio. Personally, if it were up to me, I would want to see the band. I would want to see that stage. I would want to see the keyboard and everything, and that’s where a bunch of PTZOptics cameras or a bunch of cameramen, and it becomes a bigger thing.
In fact, you know, it’d be kind of cool to just turn this monitor around and just show people what—now, of course, if you’re on the podcast show, you’re not seeing this. But for those people on Facebook and YouTube, but I’ll just show you this. This is kind of what it looks like from a streaming perspective, what I’m kind of looking at. So, we’re looking at a giant screen.
Tess: Basically, with more streaming software, you have a preview and then an outgoing shot. The previews would be what would have a next, and an outgoing is whatever is live on your show. That’s what we’re displaying here on our streaming software interface. Below, we have a bunch of different inputs.
Paul: There’s is a bunch of inputs and outputs. This just gives you an idea of what it looks like. Basically, if you’ve got 100 cameras, you’ve got 100 little previews of live cameras and you can switch between them and just display which one you want to get live. I just thought I’d show that really quick. I don’t know. I don’t even remember why. But that is just a little look at behind the scenes of what goes into producing what you’re seeing on Facebook and YouTube.
It’s usually some type of piece of software where you can pick cameras and titles and overlays. And live streaming music concerts is really fun.
Let’s show a couple of more clips, Tess. So, we can kind of respond to the clips of what we streamed last week.
Tess: Are we going to get audio for this? Is it music?
Paul: This is just going to be clips. We’ll talk about them.
There’s a camera. So, that’s zooming in to the— this is the whole list of clips. Some of these, we were taking for fun but you can see we usually go out with 2 or 3 cameras that are robotic because we’ve got a small crew. We can’t hire actual cameramen, you know, like the really high end.
Tess: The budget gets really high if we’re going to do that. If you’re a one-man-show, a two-man-show like we are, you’re going to need these types of cameras.
Paul: Yeah. You’re going to want to have. This is me flying a drone. You can actually bring live footage in from a drone into your concert. That’s awesome for having the ability to fly the drone up really high. Chris is asking if we’re using vMiX. Yes, Chris, we’re using VMX.
We actually had the live drone footage of the band, and it was a big festival. We flew it up in the sky, and you could see hundreds and thousands of people.
Tess: It added to the production quality.
Paul: There weren’t hundreds and thousands of people in this show. But if you did, it’s really kind of a cool way to do that.
Tess: Especially to show you your viewers what’s going at the show, how many people are there, what’s the grounds look like so they can put themselves in that position. That’s where kind of having a lot of different angles and shots is kind of ideal for a live streaming concert.
Paul: You got to have, I would say, at least 2 cameras and we kind of mentioned the magic of 2 cameras. That’s our set-up there. You can see Tess is operating the cameras. I’m up on the stage mounting. This is our behind the scenes camera in which added so much production value to the show. The drummer, it was right above the drummer. It looked damn.
Tess: It was really cool.
Paul: It was so much fun.
Tess: Basically, for those of you, because when I first got this job, I didn’t even know what a PTZ camera is. We may have some really beginner beginners listening on podcast. PTZ camera, Pan-Tilt and Zoom camera. This camera allows you to do all those things controlled by a remote or you can purchase other things like a joystick.
We have applications that allow you to control the cameras. But you can also set presets on these types of cameras. You just press a button, and the camera automatically zooms or pans and tilts to whatever position you want to tune it. It cuts out people. It allows you to just do a one-man-show.
Paul: We mentioned this very at the beginning–the presets–how we had to re-do them for every band. Hopefully, if you’re live streaming a band, what you would want to do is try to figure out where’s the main singer going to be, where’s the guitarist, the bassist, the drummer and what you can do is you can set up on a little note pad next to the joystick and write down the presets. Preset 1 is, you know, the singer. Preset 2 is the bassist. Preset 3 is the drummer.
Tess: Simple tip, but writing stuff down is really important in getting the job done for you.
Paul: You can see in this video coming up. Tess is working with. Basically one of the things you can do is you can split up the tasks. You can have one person doing the video production. They’re actually choosing which cameras are going live and stuff like. That’s what you did most of the time, Tess.
Then, you can have another person operating the cameras, which is usually the best case scenario. But once you go to IP, you can actually have the cameras automate control through those streaming software from vMIx or Tricaster can do it.
You could actually go out and almost do it all by yourself, which is the dream. But you would have to do everything over networking. So, you know, I think that still, to this day, I think that it’s really good to have probably about two people–one for switching and streaming and one for the camera operation.
Tess: Plus you’re not, you know, lonely and bored there by yourself for eight hours. At least you have someone to talk to.
Paul: At least you have someone to help with set up and everything.
There were some really great bands there. Now, another tip here that I’m thinking of is that we basically just handle the streaming of the media and there was a completely separate audio guy. When you go out and live stream a concert or a music festival, audio is so intensive and it’s such a professional-level thing. I think a lot of people are going to find there’s already an audio band there. You’re just going to go in and say, “Hey, I’ve got the cameras. I’ve got the streaming gear. I’m going to stream this to YouTube and Facebook for you but you go ahead and handle just all the video.”
Tess: Exactly. For the concert that I’m doing in August, we’re basically working hand in hand with the audio guy. That’s kind of going to be your number one contact for the event. We’re being set up right next to the audio sound mixer so we can work together. Streaming and the audio mixer guy or girl have kind of your right hand man. They go hand in hand.
Paul: Chris Ripka is jumping in here. See, Tess, we’re finally getting some comments.
Tess: People like us.
Paul: I remember our first show. We were like, “Okay. There’s no one to chat.” This is normally when we would take some questions, but Chip is saying he loves the concept of Stream Geeks and he would love to upgrade to PTZOptics systems. He still uses jibs, arms and dollies. But it all works, loves the project.
Tess: Thanks, Chris.
Paul: Jibs, arms and dollies–those are basically where you put a really, really nice camera on a dolly. It really flies across above the crowd and everything. It zooms in.
Tess: Hey. That sounds cool.
Paul: It is really cool. And that’s really high-end stuff too. That’s some serious high-quality stuff.
I think most of the people we work with. Of course, the stream that you’re doing is not as high-end as it gets.
Paul: But we can’t tell anyone what it is yet. So, it’s kind of like a teaser.
Tess: It’s going to be branded by Stream Geeks, so I’m going to be rock and all my Stream Geeks stuff.
Paul: You mean pictures and stuff, and if you probably know the band, you might figure it out, but who knows? We can’t talk about it.
I mean these are just some clips again. The back stage camera made this. Every year, I was saying. We’ve done this for three years this festival that we stream. The first year was two cameras with an Epiphan Pearl, which is a dedicated hardware switcher.
The next year, I used my laptop with vMix because I definitely was thinking computer streaming is the way to go. It’s able to use Drop Box and all the stuff on my computer and I liked it a lot more. Now this year, we still brought a laptop. We brought a bigger focusrite and we brought a third camera and the third camera was behind the band. That made all of it different.
It looks so cool when you could switch to— when it was just an acoustic person, literally, you could see the crowd and just behind the back of your head and the guitar of the person strumming the guitar and it really turned out great.
Tess: You know what else is cool to have? Sometimes, we would shy away from the band themselves. And also, just focus in on something that some of the audience members were doing. I felt like that really added to the whole feel of it.
Paul: To have the ability to pan the camera around there.
Tess: We caught these kids playing with the big bubble machine. Remember that? We just panned over to them and it made for great intermission.
Paul: There’s the HD-SDI and RS232 cablings. So, for those of you getting into streaming, HD-SDI is a very high-quality video cable that has a locking connector on the back of a camera. It’s very reliable. Then, RS 232 is a camera control cable that plugs into joysticks that you can daisy-chain. But from what the world is going towards, it seems like we’re getting very close to going everything over IP. A single Ethernet cable can do your video, your audio, power the camera and control it.
Tess: Saves you a lot of time, a lot of wires, that’s for sure.
Paul: And Ethernet cables are cheaper than HD SDI and RS 232. Here’s a apart, I want to take second to talk about, we do this right now, this is the vMiX playlist feature where you can pick 3 or 4 cameras and just have them rotate and fade on a given amount of time.
Tess: That’s something good to do before each set of particular camera shots. We did one on the bassist, and the electric guitarist. It’s like one on the singer, one wide shot, set them on a playlist, press Go once a performance begins, and you essentially don’t have to switch cameras at all.
Now, that’s what this particular software, of course, it’s depending on which software you use. But it’s just a cool option to think about when you’re trying to do these types of productions. You know, on low manpower.
Paul: Especially in an all day stream that we did. One of the other things, we have some videos on our PTZOptics channel, is that if the cameras were on the network, which they weren’t this time—that’s the next big upgrade we’re definitely going to do next year is that you can actually have preset positions like zoomed in all the way to the strummer and zoomed in all the way to the piano player and have those in the playlist so that cameras will actually move by themselves.
If you’re a one-man show, and you’ve got 2 or 3 cameras, you can have like 10 or 20 or 30 or 100 different camera angles with the robotic cameras. You can have them in a playlist and decide how long you want them to fade and then back and forth. Learning this stuff can save you so much time especially if you’re a one or you’re going to have one or two people, you need to know these tricks or you’re going to get in a lot of trouble.
The other thing, Tess, you started talking about a little bit was trying to adjust the cameras the whole time because the lighting was difficult all day.
Tess: That was definitely a challenge for us.
Paul: We talked a lot about color matching, telling you the color’s right. But when you’re outside and the light of day is changing all the time on you, the best thing to change is the iris.
Tess: We kept opening up the iris a little bit more, like every 2 hours or so.
Paul: Yeah. And on our joystick, I was just looking for our joystick. I’m not sure where that went.
Tess: At some point, it can get kind of fuzzy though.
Paul: It can. You have to be careful. Shutter speed is probably something you want to keep standard. If you can, you want to use aperture priority because when you’re on live streaming sports where there’s a ton of motion but you know, there’s fast moving guitars and drumsticks and everything, and it’s okay for it to be a little blurry if the drummer is going crazy. But you probably want to be 1/130 of a second or 1/160 of a second or 1/120 of a second to look the most natural so you start there on your shutter speed and then you adjust your iris throughout the day to let more light in as it gets darker and darker.
That’s probably your best thing, and if it gets really dark, then you have to go into wide dynamic range and gain, which if you do too much gain, it kind of gets noisy.
Tess: Yeah. Hopefully, depending on the level of, not experience with the concert, but the size of the production, you might already have adequate lighting set up on the stage and what not. It’s not an issue. But if you’re doing that sort of low-budget, you know.
Paul: It becomes even harder. There’s that and then, there’s color matching to do color grading.
Tess: Great question, Jim. Jim brought up weather. How can you be prepared for unexpected weather?
Paul: Oh my gosh. That’s a good point. Well, we do always have a cabana because usually, these summer time festivals, it gets hot out, and you at least want shade.
Tess: Luckily, we had good weather this year. We never had a rainy day.
Paul: We never had a rainy day. In fact, a lot of times, these festivals, not all the time but a lot of times, the festivals will have a rain date. Like this festival that we do locally, if it was raining, they’re just like, “Alright. We’ll do it the next day or the next weekend.” That actually did happen where it got bumped week. I guess inclement weather–that’s tough. A lot of cables can stand the inclement weather, and a lot of times—
If you’re running microphones with soundboard, no one does wireless audio. You can do wireless video, but again, for these things, you probably just want to have hard-wired everything. There is always a cable path from like 100 feet back, you know, where the studio guy is sitting. There’s that booth there. There’s a mixer and everything.
Normally, the video guys get to kind of sit next to them. And so, you’re always under a cabana and then, all the cables are run on like a cable path whether it’s up above or all the way a straight shot with a bunch of maps over it. Whatever, however it is, usually, the cables will withstand rain, and then, you’re just your technology, you just have to shield them as much as possible.
Tess: As much as possible.
Paul: I’ve never had to deal with rain, and that would scare me, actually. I’m not even sure what I would do.
Tess: Basically, you’re screwed if it rains.
Paul: That’s a great question. And yeah, the weather is tough, but you could probably get great shots of people dancing in the rain and Woodstock as mudslide.
Tess: I feel like we would have been okay depending on how bad it got.
Paul: I would be pretty scared with our set up and the rain.
Paul: Because we were running off of a computer. And you don’t want a computer to get rain in it. All of our power strips were on the ground. We would have been screwed if it rained. I’m not going to lie. I’d have never really prepared for rain. I’m not going to lie.
Tess: We get questions about that with our cameras often. Don’t we have enclosures? We do set outdoor enclosures. Are they ours?
Paul: No. They’re from a company called DotWorks.
Tess: Do we sell them on CRS though?
Tess: We just have one that we recommend. There are options.
Paul: There’s like a heater-blower kit that can go in there. Because if it’s really hot out, it can actually get like a condensation on the glass so they’d put a blower inside to blow air like air-conditioning camera.
Tess: That’s funny.
Paul: What do we have? That was the show.
Tess: That basically covers our segments for this week.
Paul: Awesome. So, hopefully, we gave you a lot of good ideas. We showed a lot of clips, and we’re going to have a free course on concert.
Tess: Yes, if you’re listening to this, then you are going to have access to our free concert streaming course, which we’ll announce on our further show how to get that because we didn’t actually post it yet, right?
Paul: We’ll probably post it in our user groups, so if you go to Stream Geeks Facebook page and join our user group, that’s where we’re probably kind of put cool free.
Paul: Yeah. I’ll put all the coupon codes because I already have like 15 different courses that we have for free. But the concert one in particular, I think, is one that we can add some special unique value to when it comes to really learning how to do it.
Tess: Hi, Nick. That’s my sister. Hi, Tara. She loves the new t-shirt.
Paul: That does look good.
Tess: To all of your listening on podcast, be sure to find us on Facebook at Stream Geeks and if you want to see our faces, head over to YouTube Stream Geeks. Facebook, Stream Geeks. Everything, Stream Geeks. Thanks for listening, guys.
Paul: Bye, everybody. Thanks for tuning in and that’s the show. Okay. That did really well on the, the web capture did great.
Tess: That was a good one.