The beginners guide to streaming concerts at home
Broadcasting gigs is nothing new. But that’s only true for just the top 1% of musicians. And even these top recording artists are having difficulty adjusting to broadcasting live events online. In the meantime, technology has not just caught up with live streaming customer needs – it’s sitting there in our homes, ready to be used and, frankly, getting a little angsty. It’s about time that streaming concerts in the comfort of your own home became a standard in home entertainment.
It feels like forever ago, but usually we have to plan, and pack, and travel, and rent places to stay, and clear our schedules, and then spend hours in a crowd of people, and push, and pull, and try to get a good view of the stage to experience and enjoy live music. What a mess. And it isn’t always worth it. There should be a better way of doing it – or at least more options – in 2021.
Do you have the right sound equipment for streaming concerts?
What if your home could be a concert venue? No, we don’t mean setting up a concession stand in your kitchen, building a stage in your backyard, and selling tickets at the door to hundreds of strangers. We mean experiencing live music the way you probably already experience blockbuster movies. At home, sitting on your couch, with a fresh beverage and a bowl of popcorn.
The price for avoiding crowds is investing in the right equipment to experience high quality live concerts online. Daunting as that may have been just a couple of years ago, that equipment has become standard and affordable today.
Of course, you could start out with just a stable wifi connection, a laptop or smart TV, and some speakers. But here’s how to stream a concert at home and make it better than the “real” thing.
The new standard in home sound systems, Sonos devices come in various sizes and prices and don’t rely on bluetooth, so there’s less of a chance that the connection will drop. They’re also easier to control, as they’re plugged right into your web connection. Some other good options include BossSound and the Google Nest suite of products. A great mid-range choice with an acceptable price tag for standard-sized family rooms is Sony’s CMTSBT100 Micro Music System. In short, there are plenty of choices and professional-grade sound is now readily available in homes.
Big screen doesn’t mean better screen
Screens are just as important if you want a good view of the show. Big screens are cool, though 4K or even HD ready big screens still tend to be expensive. Projectors are quickly becoming a favorite replacement for massive television screens. Just point it at a wall or a wall-mounted vinyl screen and boom – the show is in the room with you. Just like screens, projectors come in all shapes, sizes, and prices – this BenQ projector comes highly recommended and costs between $700 and $800, while others, such as this JVC, can cost ten times as much. There are even more affordable options and it all comes down to budget and personal taste.
More important than any of the equipment you use is the room that you’ll be streaming concerts in. What size is it? Ceiling height? Does it echo? Are your floors carpeted or hardwood? All of this is relevant, since you want to make sure you have the right equipment for the space.
Where to find great concerts to live stream
With high speed internet connections and so much content available for streaming, it’s downright odd that there aren’t too many options available when it comes to live music streaming events. There are plenty of recorded live concerts to watch, usually for a fee. Those are great, but they’re not interactive, can’t be shared in real-time with friends, and just lack the live experience feel.
But live music streaming is up-and-coming and growing fast. The two most obvious venues for live shows are YouTube Live and Twitch. Facebook Live, StageIt, Songkick, and other growing platforms are also quickly adjusting to the new, live streamed world. Related ticketing platforms TicketMaster and Eventbrite are also a great place to look for upcoming live streamed music events. (Pro tip: there’s a bunch of artists streaming Christmas concerts on Eventbrite each year.)
Unfortunately, most of these platforms mostly feature and promote well-known recording artists and big-time bands. Twitch is one of the few that stand out as the platform is more prone to hosting independent artists. Last, but certainly not least, Virtuosica is launching a new platform in 2022 that offers private, custom live music streamed events – the first of its kind.
Virtuosica aside, directly hiring musicians to play a concert specifically tailored for you or your party is always an option. Thousands of musicians are streaming-ready and happy to be hired to play for you via live stream on Discord, YouTube Live, Facebook Live or your personal Zoom account. Though many of these platforms don’t deliver optimal live music sound – it sure beats the crowds at any in-person live concert.