Depending on where you’re reading this from, your circumstances might (hopefully) be different. But Melbourne has just entered stage 4 lockdown, and our favourite nightclubs won’t be re-opening any time soon. That being said, it looks like live stream DJ sets and DJ at home videos are here to stay, at least for now!
If you’re reading this under COVID-19 lockdown, let’s face it. A live stream DJ set is the only type of gig you’re going to get for a while. So you’ll want to make sure you execute it as best as possible.
In this article, we’re going to list 10 mistakes you need to avoid if you’re thinking of giving live streaming a go. If you’re already doing it, keep reading, and hopefully you can tweak a thing or two to make your streams even better!
- Bad quality sound
- Neglecting your backdrop (link to effect lighting)
- Boring Visuals
- No Context
- Not Using the right platforms
- Lack of promotion
- Ignoring your audience
- Copyright issues
- Not Using your namedrop
- Not making money
Bad quality live stream sound
The first and most obvious mistake made by DJs who are doing live streams and videos at home is having poor sound quality! With so many options available to you, there’s no excuse if your sound is too quiet or lacking in quality. With a few simple tweaks, you’ll ensure you get a bigger audience as well as much longer retention.
If you’re looking for a quick and simple solution to making sure your streams sound great. The easiest way to go about it is to pick up a RODE SC4 or similar TRS to TRRS adapter and run your controller from the booth output to the mic input on your mobile device. Whether you’re making short DJ Videos at home for TikTok, or live streaming to your favourite platform, this solution will work in most instances.
Check out our ultimate guide to live streaming, or watch the video below for a more detailed look at how to get your stream sounding pristine!
Backdrop & Lighting
Next up is a mistake I’ve seen far too many times while tuning into live stream DJ sets. That is, neglecting your backdrop!
Nobody wants to see your messy room or a pile of washing on the floor behind you. It looks incredibly unprofessional, and you’d be surprised at how many people subconsciously click out of your stream because of it
So if you know you’re going to be doing a DJ live stream or filming a mix, take the time beforehand to make sure things are looking good.
That means cleaning things up, closing doors and closets, and making sure your camera angles are looking the best they can! You want to try and make sure both you, and your DJ Controller or Turntables are in the frame!
On top of that, if you have any DJ lighting or Smoke Machines, now’s the time to set them up! It’s going to add so much production value to your video or stream and increase your chances of people sticking around! It’s important to note that if you’re using lasers, make sure the beams aren’t hitting your camera’s sensor directly. You risk causing permanent damage to your camera.
Lack of or boring visuals
Unless you’re streaming on Instagram, most other platforms allow you to use software like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) to broadcast to each platform. With this comes the ability to add things like multiple camera angles, screen recordings, as well as custom visuals and overlays to accompany your stream.
If you’re planning on doing multiple live streams it might be worth hiring a graphic designer to come up with some distinct branding you can use each time. This way, when your live stream pops up as people are scrolling down their feeds. They’re going to notice your live stream straight away and there’s more of a chance they’re going to tap on your stream rather than keep scrolling.
There are also a number of free overlay templates you can find online
They’ll also know to expect the same quality of sound, lighting, and format. Adding to your personal brand and recognition as a DJ that will hopefully continue into the future when gigs start showing up again!
Not having any context
Something that you can definitely work into your visuals above, it’s important that you give your live stream some context. Remember, not all your followers are going to be DJs, so you need to let people know what to expect when they click on your stream. Are you going to be playing Hip Hop? RnB? EDM? Party tunes?
Let people know what they’re tuning into and you might just end up building an ongoing live stream show with a host of loyal fans.
Using the right platforms
With so many platforms available with live stream support, you need to make sure you’re using all the best platforms to get your content in front of as many people as possible. It is possible to use techniques like multistreaming which will allow you to stream the same content across a number of platforms.
Although in saying that, it makes sense to keep to platforms where you already have an audience. Because there’s no use streaming to a platform you’ve only just signed up to just for the sake of it.
But above all, you want to make sure you’re going live on the platforms where your fans are, and where there’s a possibility of growing your audience.
For instance, COVID-19 has seen a massive jump in the number of users using platforms like TikTok, especially with DJs at home. You also have a higher chance of discoverability. So it’s a great platform to take advantage of and grow your audience as a DJ. You don’t just have to go live either, you can record short mix videos at home and upload them alongside your live content. You’re missing out if you don’t!
Promoting your sets
Another mistake DJs often make when live streaming is not promoting their sets. You need to treat your live stream just like any other public performance or event.
That means, making up flyers, artwork and the likes, and sharing them across all your platforms. Post it on your news feed, and announce it on your Instagram stories, you want to make sure your followers know when you’ll be spinning. Then, when you’ve finished your set, remind your fans when you’ll be next going live.
Ignoring your audience
Something that can easily be looked over if you’re spending your live stream time in front of the decks is ignoring your audience. It’s a big deal if people are spending their valuable time tuned into your live stream, you want to make sure you’re interacting with them.
If you’ve got people commenting through, asking questions, or giving you praise. You want to try and make sure you’re responding to as many of these as possible. There’s two ways to get this done. Either spend the time during transitions typing out your replies or plug in your microphone and talk directly to your audience.
Unless it’s really not your style, I definitely recommend giving the microphone a workout. Not only can you reply directly to your comments, but you can use the mic to hype up the crowd just as you would during a live show. Because in these uncertain times of COVID-19, “hit the thumbs up button” is the new “put your hands in the air”! But this does work especially well if you’re broadcasting using something like Facebook’s new Watch Party feature. So you can see and interact with your fans as if they were in the same room.
It’s almost impossible to completely avoid it, but there are definitely some steps you can take to minimizing the risk of your streams getting taken down.
Firstly, you might want to consider the platforms you’re using to broadcast. Facebook is notoriously tough on copyright, while Twitch & Mixcloud Live (100% Legal Streaming) gives you a much better chance of staying on the air. You can also do a number of sneaky things within your mix to throw off the algorithms. Such as not playing the entire song, playing mashups or originals, speeding up or slowing down, and adding effects
For a detailed look into avoiding copyright issues, check out our in-depth blog post here.
Not using your namedrop
If you’re DJing at a wedding or even a night club, it might not make sense to constantly play your namedrop throughout the night. However, we’re talking live stream DJ sets, it’s definitely an appropriate method of self-promotion. In fact, we recommend using your name drop at least a few times during your set.
It’s going to leave your audience with your name on their mind. While even doing an extra little bit to throw off the copyright algorithms.
Not making money
With clubs a no go, and a lack of income coming through; there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making some extra income through your live streams. Again, there are a number of ways you can go about this.
Firstly, if you’re using a streaming service such as Twitch, your audience can make easy donations throughout your stream. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips either. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help out struggling artists during these times!
The Final Say
That’s it! If you’ve got a live stream DJ set in the works, be sure to use this article and pick up a few little extra things you can do, or things you should stop doing to maximise the value of your streams!