These days we have in the palm of our hands all the tools needed to broadcast to the entire world. Thanks to apps like Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live, you can see what’s happening anywhere and everywhere in real time. But what good is widely sharing your thoughts with the world if every word can’t be clearly heard and understood? What good is experiencing a live a concert from another country if the music sounds distorted?
It’s easy to overlook audio when live streaming, but if you really want people to experience what you’re seeing or feeling, then your stream needs clear audio. Fortunately, we know a thing or two about good audio here at Shure. Below are some tips that you can apply to help every word and sound you broadcast be heard accurately.
1. Get a Good Mic
The video quality on our phones is better than ever, but the onboard microphones have not been improved at the same rate. The most important tip to achieving quality audio for your live stream is to invest in a quality microphone. There are lots of options on the market depending on your situation, budget and smartphone, including some great mics from our MOTIV™ line.
If you’re just filming your own personal musings, we suggest the MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone. It plugs directly into your headphone jack and clips on your lapel. If you’re streaming a live event with an iOS phone, the MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone plugs directly into the Lightning® port and captures pristine audio, especially in loud settings like a rock concert. If you have an Android device, you can use an MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone or an MV51 Digital Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone with an additional OTG cable accessory to improve the quality of your audio.
2. Use Airplane Mode to Avoid Interruptions
The last thing you want during your live broadcast is to be interrupted by incoming calls, messages, or other distracting notifications. The best way to cut off these distractions is to set your phone to Airplane mode. To get the best streaming performance, most social streaming services suggest you use WiFi instead of your 4G connection, if available.
Simply switch on Airplane mode, then establish your WiFi connection. If you’re using a microphone that attaches directly to the end of the phone, like the MV88, Airplane mode will provide the added benefit of keeping any GSM interference noise from marring your broadcast.
3. Do a Sound Check
The best way to make sure everything will run smoothly and sound great is to do a sound check or rehearsal.
On Periscope, click on the Lock icon in the Broadcast screen to set up a private broadcast with a friend who can let you know whether everything is sounding as expected. Facebook Live allows you the option of sharing with only yourself so you can do a quick air-check.
Alternatively, you could rehearse your stream in full. Either way will set you up for success before you start broadcasting to the world.
4. Monitor the Process
The hardest part of streaming is that you don’t really know what your audience is hearing on the other end of the stream. To make sure that everything sounds as good as your sound check, have a friend follow along on the stream on their own device. They can keep you posted if anything goes awry.
These are just a few tips to help your next live mobile broadcast sound great. Do you have any tips that we missed? Share in the comments below.