Live Stream Sound Tips | Sarah La Morena | Worst Singer Habits

Thinking about doing a live stream, but want to keep your set up simple? Try these three audio tips.
Originally published: October 6, 2020
Updated: December 4, 2020

Have you been thinking about doing a live stream performance? Congratulations! Live streaming from your living room (or any room, actually) lets you share your singing and stay connected with your friends and fans. Here are three audio tips for singers who want to keep it simple but sound great.

Choose a space thoughtfully

Of all the spaces that are available to you, find the one where you most like the sound of your voice. This might be the same room where you listen to music the most. Your online listeners aren’t just going to hear your voice; they’re going to hear this room. If you think your kitchen sounds like the inside of a glass bottle, and your living room is a place you never struggle to understand what someone is saying – choose the living room!

Capture everything with one mic.

Choose one spot in the room where you can capture the sound of your voice acoustically as well as whatever instrument you have supporting you. If you’re singing and playing acoustic piano, and you’re a fairly light player, you can probably have the mic at a similar distance from the piano and your mouth. If you pound on that piano until the keys run away, then you likely need the mic a bit closer to your mouth than the piano.

What kind of mic should this be? Well, you can just use the mics in your smartphone! You’d be surprised how good your sound can be from a well-placed phone. Sometimes, however, the ideal position for capturing audio is not the ideal spot for creating the shot you want in your video. In this case, you can opt to use a laptop with a USB microphone plugged into it to capture audio, so your phone is free to capture video from the ideal location. Another more pro option would be to plug a microphone into an audio interface and then into your laptop.

If your setup is more complicated, bring in your PA

If you have more than one instrument playing with you, or you want to use some effects, you are going to be wondering how to send direct signals from the guitar amp and bass amp plus your mic all into your computer. Then you are going to be wondering how to get a good mix from these direct signals to send out into the internet. Sound complicated? Uh, yeah! You’d have to have an audio interface and a sound engineer who’d have to mix on headphones, which isn’t ideal. 

The simpler way is to pull out your PA (or rent one). Plug everything into the PA system and get the sound right in the room as you normally would for performing live. Now use that One Mic as we suggested above to capture your amplified sound in the room. Remember this one mic could be your phone, or it could be a USB mic plugged into your laptop.

For more on getting set up for recording or streaming, upgrade and take Choosing a Recording Location and Setup by Vocalist, Bassist, Songwriter and Technologist Kaitie Sly.

Sing the Music That Your Heart Knows

An African American who spent her childhood in Mexico, Sarah La Morena is passionate about music from the place where she grew up and from the culture of her Mexican adoptive parents.

Top Ten Worst Singer Habits

Throat-clearing? It’s got to stop! Singing songs that are not a good match for you? Stop that right now! Singers, could you be guilty of one of the Top Ten Worst Singer Habits? Listen to Mark Baxter’s podcast and find out!

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