The Ultimate Guide To Streaming DJ Sets Live pt1
Mixing for yourself is a very a very different game to mixing for a crowd. The art of DJing is a skill that is gained from years and years of practice, the catch is that the practice is practicing in front of a crowd/room or venue. Once you have spent the hours getting your mixing tight and crafting your library in your studio or bedroom you’ll be ready to level up and take on controlling the mood & vibe in an uncontrolled environment. Streaming DJ sets is a getway to this valuable experience.
With DJing being a skill that no one can really teach you, it’s something that you have to teach yourself, the basic concepts can be shown to you the hours of honing the skills and developing a style are a journey you have to take on your own…
How do you make the transition from bedroom to gig?
With the rise of technology, it is easier than ever to add some pressure to your practice sessions. Our last article discussed the benefits of hitting the record button for each (and every one!) of your practice sessions. The next step & in the same vein of benefits would be to make a video recording your sets. You will be able to see your methods for the good & bad mix wise, & performance wise.
Do you wince when you make a mistake? Do you spend too much time on your computer? Could you use your mixer more efficiently?
Filming yourself is easy with smartphones and there is a whole range of platforms that are easy to stream your practice sessions & performances. Streaming your set online is a great way to add a crowd to your bedroom performances, and creates a deliberate practice. It’s a bit like the recording yourself with the added pressure of competing for the attention and feedback from the listeners. Not the same pressure as playing a gig, a solid step in that direction though.
Why stream your mixes?
The rise of the DJ mix & the playlist is taking over the way people consume music, people rarely listen to track these days. Radio shows, DJ mixes, and curated playlist are our go-to’s when we are streaming music, online radio stations all over the internet and the result is creating an underground culture & following for music scenes that we wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. NTS has been operating out of a small studio in Hackney, Rinse.fm went online and The Boiler Room all beginning in 2010/11.
And then there is, of course, Mixcloud, a huge online resource focused on DJ mixes & Radio shows, the curated playlists that are Spotify’s bread & butter, & cue.dj is a newer mix platform for DJ’s. So many options without even mentioning YouTube is the king of the video stream.
It’s the perfect time for us DJ’s to be creating our online presence, getting our sets listened too and honing in on our craft. Not too mention the hours and hours of content you’ll have. As well as brand development and performance confidence, loads of priceless benefits.
The online streaming landscape is going from strength to strength is constantly changing – there are many levels of the scene that are useful and available for you to use as a DJ. Today we are focusing on Facebook and Instagram. Both have added a “Live” functionality which allows video streaming for up to an hour to your existing social networks. These services are restricted to a degree, they both stream in mono and Facebook has quite a strict copyright algorithm that can take your set down if you get flagged. There are so many options for streaming as a DJ, YouTube has the “go-live” functionality also and the streams are then saved and broadcast to your channel.
With Facebook and Instagram both using only your mobile phone its possible to stream from your bedroom, studio, or club gig… Anywhere anytime.
What steps can you take to get yourself to this point?
Facebook, Instagram & Youtube you need the App on your phone.
You need this equipment;
- Your phone
- 1 Rode SC4 TRS to TRRS adapter
- 1 RCA 3.5mm jack Aux cable.
- A tripod/mounting system
Depending on your mixer, and you may need a DI or attenuator to drop the level going into your phone. When playing out on Pioneer you’ll need A DI. Here is a quality and affordable, local option from AVE.
This is another option from Fentronix in the UK, and it uses 3.5mm jacks for input/outputs…
If you are recording from a dedicated out such like the Booth Out you can drop the volume to an appropriate level.
I am going to assume we are at home and I’ll give you a complete rundown of the setup I have used with success.
An old Android Phone, Huawei P8.
The inbuilt camera wouldn’t recognise the external mic and so I downloaded the free app Open camera and changed my default camera to Open Camera, then restarted my phone.
The Rode SC4
Twin 1/4 to aux cable, which came out of my booth and into the the SC4
I had the level turned down very low about -30db
To mount my phone I used a Gooseneck from Gravity in the largest size XL. I mounted it onto a microphone clamp, that was screwed onto the edge of my work desk also from. For a high, over the top of my decks vantage point with a super small footprint.
In this case, to mount the phone I used an iKlip Xpand a Universal smartphone adapter for mic stands a little on the ex-y side, there are more cost effective months that will do the job as well.
When mounting your phone you can use whatever you have already, a phone mount from eBay… This one from Manfrotto is quality, I would recommend using a tripod that will let you have a high vantage point.
Follow these steps and you’ll be Live before you know it…
Happy Mixing & watch out for Pt 2 of the series 🙂