How To Start Live Streaming As A Musician (The Equipment You’ll Need)

Kendra Muecke
3 min readOct 4, 2020

With live streaming as relevant as ever, music lovers are turning to the web more often to host their online shows. This not only creates a wider avenue for artists to perform, but also to reach new fans, and learn their way around sound equipment and software. Setting up a high-quality live stream broadcast is going to take a few steps, but luckily, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Photo credit: SceenRant

Live streaming has been around for almost a decade, but it has gained a lot of traction over the past several years, reaching new heights in 2020. Since the current pandemic has temporarily closed down music venues, movie theaters, and concert halls, many musicians and performance artists are transitioning to the online streaming format with much success. It can be very beneficial for artists and creators who shine in a live video setting. Here’s what you need to know about setting up sound and video equipment for a live stream.

To get started, you will need an audio interface. Most audio interfaces contain a pre-amp, sound card, A/D converter, and an output jack for headphones or stereo speakers. The pre-amp is used to amplify the voltage of a signal from any microphones and instruments plugged in. Then, the signal is run through a sound card that provides a place for sound to be input and output before becoming a digital signal for the computer to recognize. Audio interfaces can have a number of channels, so depending on how many instruments or microphones are being used, a mixer may be needed. Let’s say for the sake of this demonstration, only two channels are needed. One for a microphone, and one for an instrument. Plug the microphone into the audio interface via an XLR cable, and plug the instrument in using either a 1/4-inch cable or another XLR, depending on the instrument.

Getting From The Audio Interface To A Computer

Photo credit: ScreenRant

Connect the audio interface to the computer via a Thunderbolt cable or FireWire, depending on the style of your equipment. In many cases, the interface will need to be installed with its own software first to establish a connection between the two. If one were going to be setting up a session to record, the next step would be to open the preferred Digital Audio Workstation.

For live streaming though, one will need to download a streaming software that acts as a platform for the audio and video to connect. Notable streaming platforms include OBS Studio, Streamlabs, XSplit, Wirecast, and vMix, to name a few. In this platform, you will be able to link your webcam and audio interface together via settings. This software will then link directly to the site for streaming. For streaming to multiple social media sites and apps at once, one will need to utilize a cloud multi-streaming service, such as Restream, Castr, or Switchboard. However, a multicast service is not necessary for those who only plan to stream to one site at a time.

In a few steps, a high-quality music live stream is easy to achieve. All you will need to get started is a microphone, XLR cable(s), a 1/4-inch cable, an audio interface, a Thunderbolt cable or FireWire, headphones, streaming software (like OBS Studio), and possibly a cloud multi-streaming service.

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Kendra Muecke

Singer/Songwriter, Writer, Journalist, Actress, Marketer, Published Author. Kendra & the Bunnies Music. Kendra Muecke. @kenbunny ❁