Whether you’re a solo artist, a DJ or in a band, live streaming your performances is a great way to connect with your audience and attract new followers. BandLab is the perfect platform for your live streams. It’s easy to set up, and it gives you the power to deliver your music directly to a global audience. Let’s look at how to get your live stream up and running.
What you need to live stream
- BandLab account
- Desktop or laptop computer to act as the streaming device
- Video camera(s) – the built-in camera on your laptop will suffice
- OBS Studio software, installed on the streaming computer (get it from obsproject.com – don’t worry, it’s free)
Read More: What is OBS and why do I need it?
Depending on your setup, you may also need:
- Audio interface for getting signals into and out from your streaming device
- Your regular performance setup, including instruments, synths and mics
- Audio loopback driver software, if you’re running audio software or backing tracks on the streaming computer
- Video capture hardware, if your streaming computer does not have a built-in camera
How to set up your live stream
Hook up your musical equipment in the way you normally would for a live performance. First, be sure that everything has been mixed to stereo, either via a hardware mixing desk or by using your audio interface’s mixer.
There are many other ways that you could configure things, though, depending on the type of music you’re performing and the equipment you’re using. So go ahead and set things up for your needs – the rest of this tutorial will still be relevant.
If you’re using the built-in camera on your streaming computer, bear in mind you’ll need to position the computer/camera for the view you want. Looking straight into the camera if you’re a singer-songwriter will build rapport with the audience, but, if you’re an electronic musician, letting the camera linger on your controllers as they light up will enliven your stream.
With external cameras, you’ll need to hook them up to the streaming computer and check that the computer is receiving the footage.
Launch OBS Studio. This software mixes your audio and video sources together and streams the results to an internet broadcaster – BandLab, in our case. OBS Studio can also record your stream, so you’ll have a copy of it that you can share at a later date. Bear in mind that BandLab does not capture or save your live streams.
Configuring audio and video inputs
Each audio and video input to the streaming computer has to be added to OBS Studio as a “source”. Locate the “Sources” list in the lower-middle of the OBS window and remove any default sources by highlighting them and clicking the “–” button, which you’ll find at the bottom of the list.
Hit the “+” button to add new sources. You’ll need to add one for each audio and video input that you have. For instance, if you’re feeding a stereo mix into the streaming computer, you would:
- Add a single “Audio Input Capture” source
- Give the source a name, such as “Mix Input”
- Choose the audio device – such as your interface – that is connecting the audio to the computer
Similarly, for a video source, you’d add a “Video Capture Device” to the source list.
For those who are running audio software, like an effects plug-in, or playing backing tracks on the streaming computer, use your audio loopback driver to route the audio to OBS Studio, where you can add the loopback driver as an audio input source.
Facing difficulties configuring your OBS Studio sources? Be sure to check out the extensive help files on the obsproject.com website.
Before going live, be sure to check that the sound and video are in sync!
Starting the live stream
Launch a stream on BandLab
Log into your BandLab account and head over to your profile page. Hit the camera icon at the right of the “What’s New” box to launch a “Start New Stream” popup.
Enter a description for your stream, and when you’re all set, click “Start”.
A new window will open and the “Let’s Begin” popup will appear. This will display a server URL address and a Stream Key – you’ll need these for later.
Connect OBS Studio to the live stream
Now, you’ll need to tell OBS Studio how to deliver the stream to BandLab. To do this, switch back to OBS Studio and click on the “Settings” button at the lower-right of the window. In the settings panel that opens, select the “Stream” group in the left-hand list. Click the “Service” drop-down menu and select “Custom”.
Switch back to BandLab and copy the server address from the “Let’s Begin” popup, then toggle back to OBS Studio and paste the Server URL into the “Server” field. Repeat the process for the Stream Key. Click “OK” when done.
OK, everything’s ready, so hit the “Start Streaming” button, located at the lower-right of the OBS Studio window… and you’re live!
Your viewers will now be able to watch your stream on their BandLab sidebar. Be sure to keep your BandLab stream page visible so you can engage with viewers as they come in – even a simple “hello” will go a long way.
Ending your live stream
After your performance, it’s time to end the stream. In the BandLab streaming window, click the “Stop Streaming” button, then switch over to OBS Studio and click its “Stop Streaming” button. BandLab streams are limited to four hours in duration, which means even if you don’t manually close it, it’ll eventually expire on its own.
And you’re done! Hopefully, with new fans in tow, too.
Read More: Getting Started With Live Streaming