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5 Tech Essentials For Starting An Audio Streaming Channel

Streaming eliminates the need to download large media files, which means you save storage space for other stuff like games and documents.

One fall out is that streaming may be interrupted due to various factors, which results in negative user experience – driving your audience away.

With the right equipment though you can ensure a seamless flow. The rest depends on the quality of your content.

Here, therefore, is a checklist of essential equipment you will need for setting up an audio or video streaming channel.

#1 A Decent Microphone

Poor audio quality is neither easily forgiven nor forgotten, so right off the bat, you should have great audio, and the first thing you need for this is a good microphone.
USB microphones that plug right into your laptop don’t cut it. There are many options depending on the number of people involved, the room size, and whether the people are stationary or moving around. In the latter case, configure the distance from the microphone too.
You can opt for lapel microphones for each individual or a single multi-directional tabletop mike. If there are just a couple of people, a bi-directional microphone, which is cheaper, will suffice; or a uni-directional one if there is only one person.
If you want to mix sound effects into the audio, you will need an audio mixer. If you also plan to stream video, you will need a good quality camera with a tripod.

#2 Audio Mixer

Don’t confuse this with an audio processor. A mixer (also called audio console) takes sounds from various inputs and packs them into an audio stream.

This is pretty much what a processor does, too; with a mixer, though, you can enhance or fade out certain sounds before streaming. 

Mixers come with multiple input ports, so check to see how many you need. It’s best to go with some extra ports to take care of any future needs.

If you need to tote your mixer around for live programs, better go for a smaller size device.

If you are setting it up in a studio, you can go for the higher capability expensive devices to take care of any future requirements – budget permitting.

It is advisable to invest in a mixer that has USB output capability so that you can process the output directly into your server for streaming. 

Also, think about what you are likely to do in the near future, and include those capabilities even if you are not likely to use them anytime soon. After all, it is a big investment, and you cannot keep trading in your console.

#3 Streaming Server

According to Techopedia, nearly all personal computers are capable of serving as network servers.  

A server is, therefore, merely a computer with high-end capabilities, specialized software, and a dedicated and secure internet connection. It is used exclusively to serve web pages and other internet content. 

Most computers today come with high RAM and Hard Disk capabilities as well as high capability processors. Hence almost any computer can be used as a Server.   

This is the most important piece of equipment you will need. It’s where everything comes together. It’s also where your output resides and from where you will stream it out to your audience.

You might think that most laptops come with Intel i7 or above processors with a minimum of 8GB RAM. Many have a Solid State Drive (SSD) and multiple USB ports – so there is no cause for worry. 

However, that’s exactly where the trouble may be brewing, at least if you don’t know your tech well.

After all, you don’t want your audience hanging around while you call your tech person to fix small issues. They’ll tune out and move to a competitor channel.

#4 Software

There’s no sense investing in high-end microphones, mixers, and computers if you don’t have the right software to go with it.

The software takes your audio or video input, blends it, and converts it into a stream of data that travels over the internet and reaches your audience

It allows you to embed your logo, backlinks, and other stuff into your live stream. You can also insert advertisements from sponsors or clients into your stream.

In short, the streaming software helps you prepare the media for streaming, and this is what your audience will hear or see.

You can use several downloadable software, free or paid, as well as online software for streaming. 

Some considerations when selecting streaming software include the functionality and capabilities you need, the configuration of your own desktop or laptop vs. the configuration required for the software you select. 

At the very least, you should know how to install programs and troubleshoot minor problems on your OS, such as problems with devices, drivers, version compatibility, and web access. 

If you are paying for the software, check for expiry of the license, and frequency of updates to get a sense of how long you can use the software.

It may be a good idea to include some capabilities that you may not need immediately but are likely to use in the near future.

#5 Processor

A microphone processor, also known as an audio interface, is a device that takes your live sound input and sends it to your computer or device for streaming. Most units have multiple input ports. 

You can check the number of inputs you need depending on whether you are hosting an interview or a group discussion – and a USB output that plugs directly into your computer. 

While some may say an audio interface is not necessary – you can simply plug in your microphone into your computer – an interface can help maintain audio quality. So, if you are hoping for anything close to professional, an audio interface is an essential part of your setup.

Audio and video are not only an integral part of digital marketing but also gaining popularity as a medium for distance learning besides being the obvious choice for entertainment. 

Conclusion

With more and more people opting to use mobile devices, streaming has assumed great importance. We hope this guide was helpful in setting up your recording and streaming facility. Connect with us for more information.

About the author:
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices yoga via Youtube. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

 

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Intelligence delivered from Rich Finney
Original article from Music Think Tank (primary) RSS updated 3/3/2020

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