How to Live Stream a DJ Event with Zoom
Virtual events are on the rise, and people are looking toward technology to find ways to stay connected. As virtual events have risen in popularity, the challenges and shortcomings of some of the software available has become apparent, especially when it comes to streaming audio. If you want to create a virtual DJ event, then look no further as we have figured out how to do a zoom live streaming 🙂
A quick note on why this guide was created
Last month NomadX hosted a 24 hour long Virtual Exstatic Dance event with 20 DJ’s, and 2000+ participants from all over the world. It was both a challenging and rewarding experience, and we definitely learned a lot. We worked with each DJ for weeks before the event to ensure that they were properly setup to stream, read guides on how to manage the event with Zoom, and worked through countless technical hurdles. Even with weeks of preparation, once we went live we quickly ran into issues that we weren’t prepared for. One of the big ones, was that we were Zoombombed for about 15 minutes and weren’t properly educated enough on Zoom to know what to do. Thankfully, we figured it all out in the moment, and made some quick changes to the settings in Zoom and gain control back. With this complete guide, you will be fully prepared and ready to manage the stream and avoid these situations.
With everything we’ve learned we are excited to do it again next Friday, April 24th! If you are interested in joining us for another 24 hour long virtual party, register at www.exstaticdance.com to get the Zoom link!
RVSP on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/233871474627740/
How to read this guide
This guide will be split into two sections:
- Section I: How to create and manage your live DJ event through Zoom
- Section II: DJ setup guide
Section I will cover the technical details required to run the virtual event with the best quality. It is meant for the event organizers, or admins.
Section II is meant for the DJ’s that will be playing your event. If you are a DJ, jump straight to Section II.
Section I: Manage your stream through Zoom
Zoom has become the standard for virtual meetings and offers many great features for hosting a virtual DJ event. With Zoom you can do things like highlight videos of people dancing, password protect your party, and even simultaneously live stream your event to facebook from Zoom. Most importantly, Zoom allows more interaction between the audience and can give the feeling of true human connection.
Problems with streaming audio with Zoom
Although Zoom will be the platform used for hosting the event itself, it is far from perfect and you will need to use a mix of tools to ensure the best stream audio quality. When it comes to live streaming audio, Zoom doesn’t do a good job with buffering the audio in real time. This causes the audio to cut in and out constantly throughout the stream, and isn’t viable for a professional event. The way around this problem is to have the DJ use two tools: OBS and Twitch. I’ll go more into detail about each of these below, but in short OBS is used to customize what the viewers see on your stream (logos, extra cameras, etc), and Twitch will be used to host the live stream and handle the audio feed. Then, the host of the zoom event will share the audio/video from the DJ’s twitch stream to the rest of the attendees. If this is overwhelming already, no worries it will become more clear as we get further.
OBS -> Twitch -> Zoom
The solution to aforementioned problem is to have your DJ’s stream through Twitch, and manage the stream through OBS.
At a high level this is how it works:
The DJ downloads OBS and configures it to stream to Twitch. Once the DJ is live on Twitch, their live stream can be easily accessed by going to their Twitch url. With OBS, the DJ will configure their audio and video for the stream. With Twitch, they will air the stream live. Twitch has powerful audio and video processing capabilities, so we will take advantage of those and feed the stream into the Zoom room.
Broadcast the Stream through Zoom
Once your DJ’s are all setup and live streaming through Twitch, you will need to know how to share their stream to the rest of the room.
Here’s what you do:
First, open your web browser and navigate to the Twitch url of the DJ that is live streaming. Once the DJ is setup and streaming on Twitch, they will have a unique url you can visit, something like twitch.tv/nomadxstreamer.
Next open Zoom and start your new meeting. From Zoom, click on the Share button at the bottom nav. Select share screen and make sure to select the screen with the Twitch stream running. Most importantly, make sure to select the checkbox at the bottom left of this menu to Share sound from your computer. This will ensure that your audience sees both the video and audio from the Twitch stream. The rest of the attendees will hear the audio as if they were watching the stream directly from their own computer, maintaining the perfect audio signal.
Finally, click the share button from the menu and then you will be LIVE! At this point your audience will all be enjoying the same audio/video feed from twitch and the audio quality will not be compromised
Tips and Tricks for managing your event
Even when you are setup and running your event perfectly, there are a few things I wanted to mention to help further:
- Password protect your event -. You can do this when you first create the event in Zoom.
- Disable annotations – Annotations is a feature within Zoom, that allows the participants to draw onto the screen for everyone else to see. While I actually love this feature, its dangerous to allow this in an open event, because there could be bad players that will draw offensive images on the screen. Zoom has limited features when it comes to kicking people out, so its recommend to disable this.
- Disable automatic waiting room for new participants – Since Zoom has risen is popularity lately, so has “Zoom Bombing”. Zoom bombing is when a group of bad players, decide to crash your party and try to ruin the fun. Since this has become more common, Zoom has a setting enabled by default that will force all of your new participants into a waiting room, ,and you will have to give them permission to enter each time. If you are running a larger event this will not be practical so make sure to disable this feature. To do so, click the Participants button on the bottom nav. You will see a new window open on the right side of zoom, that shows all active participants. From here, click the more button, and you will see the option to disable automatic waiting room there. See the image below.
Section II: DJ Setup
This section will cover how to configure your live stream to Twitch. Whether you are using software to DJ such as Traktor or Serato, or DJing only with decks and a mixer you will need to get setup with both OBS and Twitch.
First we will go over how to download and setup OBS to live stream to Twitch, then we will discuss what is needed for specific setups.
Getting setup with Twitch
Twitch.tv is a streaming platform with amazing audio and video processing capabilities. Getting setup with Twitch is surprisingly easy.
First, go to https://www.twitch.tv/ and click the sign up button on the top right menu. Fill out the information required to create your account.
Once you have created your account, go ahead and check your email to finish your account verification. The next step will be to go to your Twitch account settings, and look for the Channel and Videos tab. This is where you can set or change your username, and twitch url (i.e. https://www.twitch.tv/nomadxstreamer), if you haven’t already done so when you created your account.
The last thing you will need from Twitch, will be to find your stream key in the settings menu. A stream key is a unique key that allows you to stream from your account. It is unique to you, and allows anyone with the key to stream from your account, so do not share it with anyone. Remember where to find your Twitch stream key in the settings, because we will need to paste into OBS shortly.
And thats it for getting setup with Twitch. I told you it would be easy!
Getting setup with OBS
OBS (Open Broadcast Software) is a free open source software, that has become an industry standard for live streaming. With OBS you will be able to configure the audio, and video of your stream. To be honest, I was a little intimidated the first time I opened OBS. At first glance, it’s a lot to look at but it’s actually easy and powerful to use. For the purpose of creating a live DJ stream, there are only a few things you need to know.
Here’s what you need to do:
First, download and install OBS at https://obsproject.com/
Once you have OBS installed, open the application and you should see a blank screen with a menu at the bottom with several options
The bottom menu is broken down into 5 sections – Scenes, Sources, Audio Mixer, Scene Transitions, and furthest to the right is where you can start and stop your stream, and add your twitch stream key in settings (more on that shortly). I highly recommend taking some time to read the OBS documentation and fully understand each section, but for the sake of what we need to, we will focus only on Sources, Audio Mixer, and Settings.
Sources: This section allows you to add various sources. We are going to use it to setup the video feed.
Audio Mixer: This is where we will configure our audio source.
Settings: Where we will enter our Twitch stream key.
First, lets go to the Sources section, and click the + and add a new Video Capture Device.
Next, it will ask you to give it a name. Since we are going to set this up as a camera for our stream, we’ll name it Camera 1. Tip – you can setup multiple Video Capture Devices.
Lastly, select the input you want to use as your camera. If you have a computer with a webcam, select it from the dropdown menu. You should see the video feed appear on screen. Drag the corners of the red box, to resize and reposition that camera.
Now you have your video setup. Next let’s talk about configuring the audio input in the Audio Mixer section.
The Audio Mixer section is where we will select our audio source, which should be a direct feed of the music you are playing This is where your selection will vary, depending on your setup. For example, if you are using an audio interface to connect your mixer you can select the audio interface from the dropdown. Depending on what controller you are using, it may be available to select as well.
To set this up, click the gear button at the bottom right of the Audio Mixer section. From the menu, select Properties.
From the Properties menu, select your audio source. If you are a Traktor or Serato user on Windows, you will see the option to select them here. If you are using a Mac with Traktor or Serato, you will need to download another software to allow this. I’ll go deeper into this in another section below.
Now we have both our video and audio setup and ready to stream! The last step is to simply add your Twitch stream key to OBS.
To do this, click on the Settings button at the bottom right section in OBS. Once the Settings menu is pulled up, click the Stream tab on the left. Next, cope your stream key from your Twitch account settings, and paste it into the Stream Key field in OBS.
And thats it! You should be ready to stream live on Twitch. To start your stream, simply click the Start Streaming button and you are live!
To check test your live stream, just open your web browser and visit your twitch url. If the audio or video isn’t working as intended, double check the audio and video configuration with the steps above. If everything is working properly, then congratulations on setting up your live stream with OBS and Twitch! You are now setup and ready to get great audio quality for zoom events.
Important extra step for DJ’s using Traktor/Serato with a Mac!!
If you are like me, and use software like Traktor or Serato with a Mac then you will not be able to setup your audio input with OBS. To get around this issue, you will need to download another software to help with routing from your DJ software, to OBS. There are paid options like Loopback($99), or free options like Soundflower. I have found that Loopback is my preferred option of the two, and its extremely easy to setup and get working. This guide will cover how to configure your audio with Loopback.
Once you have Loopback installed, and opened. You can add an application under sources. This means that you can select the DJ software you want to use, and Loopback will handle routing the audio for you.
Once you have selected your DJ software under sources, your configuration should look something like this.
If you are using a controller, you can select its driver in the Monitors section to ensure you can hear what you are playing. Since the audio will be directly feeding into Twitch, you will want to set up a monitor.
Now all we have to do is simply select Loopback Audio as our audio input in OBS and we are good to go!
If you are still having issues after reading this guide, feel free to reach out to me directly and I will do my best to help you through it.
And dont forget! If you are interested in joining us for another 24 hour long virtual party on April 24th, register at www.exstaticdance.com to get the Zoom link!
RVSP on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/233871474627740/
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