What do I use when live streaming?
For the basic job of searching, choosing, cueing, EQing, and playing tracks, I use Virtual DJ 8 software, controlled via a Pioneer DDJ-SB2 DJ controller. I also use Virtual DJ 8 to create playlists as a basis for my sets. I say a basis, since they’re always open to change from requests and/or the vibe of the venue, audience, etc. I have found VDJ8 to be very stable, and it continues to enjoy frequent updates. The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 controller has a built-in USB interface, which acts as both a MIDI controller and a sound card on the host PC.
For a live stream provider, I use either the provided venue stream, or my own stream at Streamhood.
Voice quality is important. Whether you’re ducking under the music to talk to the audience, or making announcements, etc. A good vocal microphone is required. The Shure SM58 has been the standard in vocal microphones for over fifty years. I have this mic on a scissor boom stand, positioned over my controller.
When using a microphone over a dynamic audio source such as music, you want your voice volume level to be as consistent and even as possible. For that reason, I run the SM58 through a mixer which has a low noise microphone preamp, an equalizer, and a compressor enabled. The mixer has a USB interface which I use to feed the microphone audio to the PC. Mixing between the music and microphone is done between the mixer and the DDJ-SB2.
I run two sets of speakers. The studio monitors connected to the DDJ-SB2 allow me to monitor my live mix in real time, while the PC speakers allow me to monitor the live stream being fed over the internet. The levels can be adjusted or muted independently. Oh, and there’s a Polk Audio sub attached with the studio monitors, cos you’ve got to have that bottom end, right!?
My music library is approaching 2TB, and resides on my media server. It is mostly 128-320 kbps MP3 files, with some FLAC on there. I have a mapped network drive (oh I wish Windows could manage that crap properly after all these years) which opens my library directly on drive Z:
Zed. Of course. What else? I have four separate backups of my music library, with historical backups on DVDs. It’s a horrible amount of storage to take up with only music, but music is important. Music is life.
It’s no monster setup, but it works for me. I hope you’ve found this post interesting! See you on the grid!
(click image below for a large version)