Live Streaming Tools: Twitch

By Adrian Eitzen

Live Streaming Tools: Twitch

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    Twitch

    Although Twitch’s main audience are gamers, it is still a great live streaming service to stream your own content. People such as The8BitDrummer and laura8863 are great examples of musicians that use Twitch to stream their talents. Twitch even has categories called “Just Chatting”, “Music and Performing Arts”, “Art”, and even “Food and Drink” for people looking to watch some non-gaming streams. Even if you’ve never streamed before, you can start streaming on Twitch within 15 minutes. All you need is an account, and one of the broadcasting softwares listed below.

    Gear you'll need: a camera and a microphone.

    Any camera with good lighting should be fine. A common webcam that streamers on twitch use is the Logitech C922 Pro Stream. Though if you don't want to spend $100 on a new webcam then the camera on your laptop should be okay, as long as it records in HD.

    Again any microphone should be fine, whether it be your laptop mic or something else; if you have an audio interface we would recommend using that in addition to your mics.

    If you’re streaming with multiple people and have multiple microphones in your setup, you can easily run your audio through a DAW and send the output from your DAW straight to your stream. 

    If you don't have an external webcam or a laptop camera but want to stream video you can stream to Twitch on your phone. All you need is the Twitch app, and you can start streaming right from your mobile device. Although this is an option, it is definitely not recommended for live performances. Your phone cannot have a wired internet connection so the stream may experience latency. And even if your phone has a good camera, the audio quality of streams through a mobile device is not ideal.

    Software you'll need: broadcasting software.

    To stream on twitch you’ll need to download a broadcasting software. These softwares allow you to combine different inputs (ex. Microphone audio, webcam video, audio from a DAW, gaming footage etc.) into a customized “scene” which you can easily broadcast to a number of different streaming services. The four main broadcasting services we’ve seen used for twitch are:

    Each one offers different levels of customizability, streaming options, and are all free. So test out which one works best with your setup. 

    How to Set Up a Live Stream

    1. Get a Twitch account
    2. Download a broadcasting software
    3. Start the software and sign into your twitch account in the software, since you’ll start the stream from the software
    4. Set up your scene. Choose your video and audio inputs, and add any customizations for your audience to enjoy.
    5. Start your stream! 

    Tips You Should Know 

    • Having a fast and consistent upload speed is important to have a seamless stream. Here are some guidelines: 

    Resolution

    Recommended Upload Speed

    Minimum Upload Speed

    480p30

    3 Mbps

    600 Kbps

    720p30

    6 Mbps

    1.25 Mbps

    1080p30

    13 Mbps

    2.75 Mbps

     

    • To get a consistent speed, you should definitely have a wired connection to your computer/laptop.
    • The recommended minimum audio for streaming is bitrate 96kbps. You can change this setting in your broadcasting software but the software (usually) automatically detects and chooses the best bitrate based on your setup/internet speed. 
    • Having a consistent schedule and collaborating with other streamers are the best ways to grow an audience on Twitch. Twitch has two collaboration functions called Hosting and Raiding. Hosting allows a streamer to broadcast another channel’s live stream to their own audience and raiding sends your viewers to another live channel at the end of their stream to introduce their audience to a new channel. Collaborate with your musician friends!
    • Make sure to test your audio and video quality before going live, especially if you have any effects on your audio. Your audio can be affected by your audio interface, your DAW (if you’re using one), and the broadcasting software. So make sure your final product sounds great before going live! 

    Resources

    Written by Christian

    Profile photo for Christian



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