TwitchCon 2016 Education Row Day One

For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 Panel Recap post.

How to Setup the Best Audio for Streaming

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93391430
Participants: Hillary Money (Gaming Relations), Tyler Barkley (Product Specialist)

  • It’s a panel about audio from Blue so it’s hard to not immediately think this is just about marketing, although that’s not a bad thing really and that is a lot of the Education Row.
  • Blue started out in the studio with XLR mics and gear and shifted to USB mics.
  • The beginning (1:51) is talking about condenser mics. If you want some brief points about mics, this is pretty good.
  • Condenser mics, like the Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti, have a “warmer and richer sound”
  • (2:44) Hillary starts talking about mic pickup patterns. Again, very basic stuff about mics but if you’ve never heard it before, this is a good, brief message about it.
    • Cardioid = picks up sound in front of the mic
    • Omnidirectional = 360 pickup
    • Middle pattern = Cardiod with a 10 db pad.
    • This just means it’s less sensitive. I didn’t actually know that’s what pattern 2 was.
  • (4:17) Hillary starts talking about the Yeti.
    • One added pattern is stereo. Offers a more lively sound
    • One pattern is bi-directional. Good for interviews
    • Yeti has a gain control nob. If you’re quiet, you can turn the gain up to pick you up. If you’re loud, you can turn the gain down to compensate.
    • Yeti supports direct monitoring so you can hear what you sound like.
    • Yeti has a mute button
  • (6:38) Hillary starts talking about mic accessories like shock mounts and pop filters
    • Shock mounts protects the mic from vibrations created by your desk rattling or you banging on your desk
    • A pop filter protects the mic from plosives (“P” and “B” sounds)
      • If you don’t have a pop filter, you can turn the mic to the side slightly
    • If this all sounds familiar, this is pretty general, universal audio gear stuff. If ever you’ve talked about mics, this is the kind of stuff that comes up. For those that don’t know much about your mics or audio gear, this is a pretty good summary of that stuff.
  • (8:55) Upgrading to XLR
    • To use an XLR, you need some kind of interface to connect it to your computer.
    • XLR mics tend to have larger diaphragms and tend to have more detail. That means the mic will pick up more of what you want and also more of what you might not want.
  • XLR vs USB
    • An interface can allow you to have multiple XLR mics. Most computers only support one USB mic.
  • (They didn’t mention specifics with audio interfaces or XLR mics. To my knowledge, they don’t make any consumer grade XLR mics. Anything they make is probably great but probably really expensive too BUT there’s nothing listed on their shop so who can say, really. They do have an interface listed on their shop but I’ve heard nothing about it and it’s crazy expensive for what you get. http://www.bluemic.com/store/#pro-audio)
  • (12:07) Hillary starts talking about some steps you can take to improve your audio environment.
    • Record in a carpeted room
    • Put a comforter on a bed in the background
    • Put a blanket behind you
    • A greenscreen can help
    • Audio foam/paneling
    • (Basically, anything soft)
    • Don’t be in a loud space
    • Use the mic pattern to your advantage. If something is going to be noisy, try and have it behind your cardioid mic.
    • The Yeti doesn’t pick up audio from the top. If it’s over your keyboard, for instance, it will pick up less of the keyboard.
    • Know your mic and which direction the capsule is pointing
  • (17:56) Q&A starts
    • Pop filter for the Blue Snowball iCE?
      • Get a pop filter with a smaller clamp. No specific answer/product given, unfortunately.
    • How do I specifically compensate for dynamics in the mic (normally quiet with yelling)?
      • Utilize auto-gain control in something like Skype
      • Software plugins for compression
    • Follow up: Doesn’t that introduce latency?
      • Yes but it’s not that much
      • (This is Mike talking, hi! This could vary. Software plugins take processing power and the speed at which that happens is where the latency comes from so you could find that using plugins live while streaming could become an issue. I’m not saying this isn’t a good solution but keep that in mind!)
    • Recommendation for live self monitoring
      • (it’s hard!)
    • Monitoring for two people? Sometimes headphone splitters split the channel! 🙁
      • A stereo splitter
      • (or a headphone amp! Generally a powered solution will work. Always be sure to use a powered/active option when splitting a signal because, especially with analog gear, you’ll lose signal really quick! Thus, a headphone amp!)
    • Do you recommend noise cancellation foam?
      • On bare walls, some panels. Not necessarily lining the walls
      • (Very techy answer inc) High freq are singular, low freq are omnidirectional
      • (Once this starts being an issue, try and have a professional help you. What you probably want is for the room to be treated, not necessarily deadened. Putting up too much auralex foam kills all the sound and will make you sound dead as a result)

TL;DR: You need a mic, right? Well, Blue makes those!

Thoughts: No one asked for my thoughts but too bad! This seemed like equal parts Blue self-promotion (which is fine) and the Q&A turned into weird Blue tech support. If you don’t know much about mics or audio gear, the the first part could be informative. If you do know about audio gear, you’ll probably already know what they’re talking about. The XLR part seemed like a really shallow dive so if you’re at a place in your life where you’re considering XLR options, you’ll need more info than what’s at this panel.

RIP Photoshop. How Strexm’s Overlays Will Make You a Better Streamer

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93391811
Participants: Chris Slight, LTZonda, Gareth Reynolds, Jon Young

  • Starts at ~3:30
  • Strexm provides fully featured web-based overlays
  • All your overlay elements and alerts in a web page vs multiple obs sources
  • The overlays are edited through a web-based interface
  • V1 has about 60. V2 has about 150. V1 is mostly paid, V2 will be all free
  • Game-based overlays that work around the game’s UI
  • If 150 doesn’t sound like enough, you can upload your own designs
  • V2 features customizable overlays
  • New in V2: Goals! Follower/sub goals are now in the editor
  • (The V2 editor is very reminiscent of the Stream Pro overlay)
  • https://strexm.tv/beta – you can sign up for the Strexm beta

TL;DR: Do you need an overlay but can’t pay an artist? Try out Strexm.

Thoughts: I really like Strexm V1 so a better version of that seems good. I’ll need to get my hands on a live version to have a better opinion on it.

sPwn – New Live Streaming Booster

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93392172
Participants: Uri Marchand, Timer Harry

  • Pronounced “spawn”
  • Overwolf
    • “Add features to games”
    • “Teamspeak integration, in game browser, replay”
    • (You can check out more on Overwolf and the game features here, for reference: http://www.overwolf.com/ )
  • “sPwn: Streamers with attitude”
    • Help monetize and engage with your audience
    • Effects that happen in game/on stream based on viewer interaction. Some can be paid effects
    • They kept showing this plane that would swoop in when you won a round of CS:GO
    • “Each streamer has their own app store… He decides what’s in their app store”
    • I think this is the actual sPwn alpha http://store.overwolf.com/app/Homage-sPwn
    • JK, this is the link they mentioned: http://www.spwn.tv/
    • It shouldn’t interfere with the game
  • Effects are tied to broadcaster commands. Eventually, they want there to be chat-based effects.
  • In order for this to work you need to: Download Overwolf and the sPwn plugin, create your app store page(?), add the plugin in to Xsplit/OBS, then direct your followers to your app store page(?)
    • You have to have a green screen to use it
  • “What kind of cut do they take…” -Twitch Chat

TL;DR: If you think follow notifications aren’t enough, you can make more stuff happen!

Thoughts: Making your viewers jump through a bunch of hoops to get this stuff going seems like too much. Especially when what you get looks cheesy or is super distracting. I’m boring though so maybe I just don’t like fun. If this was somehow built into the chat or built into the Twitch page, maybe it would be cool to me but as it stands, it’s a seems less than cool.

Ingest Whatever, Edit However, Publish Wherever with Maximum Security

VoD Link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconedu/v/93392719

  • Easy Live (http://www.goeasylive.com/)
    • Cloud based broadcasting solution
    • Ease of use, security on feeds, automation, multi language, media and graphics management
    • Connects to just a few live streaming destinations (it looks like Dailymotion, Youtube, Twitch, Facebook)
  • Experience in corporate, sports, and esports (CapCom, Vain Glory)
  • The ingest you can use is any local encoder you already use (OBS, Xsplit, Wirecast, etc)
    • They do encoding on their end. If you want to stream at a high setting for whatever reason, they will do a secondary encode on their end?
  • Supports multiple destinations. You configure stream/video settings up front for every platform.
  • They have pre-made designs on their end but you can upload your own overlays. They even mentioned HTML elements (Stream Pro and TwitchAlerts mentioned by name).
  • The dashboard supports lower thirds with widget-like elements. Like a Twitter feed as a lower third. Also has  things like scoreboards.
  • API driven.
    • Automate the entire process
  • Easy Live provides 3 levels of backups
    • Main backup
      • Main stream recording
    • Live Clipping
      • Similar to twitch clips?
      • You can cut a part to pull out. Frame perfect
      • You can use these as an animation
      • You can also publish the video to your service of choice
    • DVR
      • 2 hour scroll back
      • Multiple DVR recordings can be going at once
        • The example given was for street fighter. At a tournament, you can record the first round of games of the day, the first set, and the first game all at once separately as different recordings.
  • They guarantee the feed wont go down
    • In the event your computer crashes, Easy Live keeps going
    • You can have a video play/load other media while fixing your local problem
  • Detailed analytics
    • When connections were made/lost between you computer, EasyLive, and Twitch.

TL;DR: Cloud-based broadcasting is now.

Thoughts: I have a lot of questions about Easy Live, mostly relating to price. This does a lot of cool stuff but I also know that features like this on any local encoder are expensive from either a money or processing power perspective. Also, Capcom Pro Tour and Vain Glory are very esports so you know this is some serious stuff.

Generally speaking, this kind of software is probably a little bit too complicated for your average streamer. You probably want to just turn a thing on and get going and whatever you use now should do that fine. I think the direction this is going is cool though. Reliability is the main thing you’d want especially in a cloud based solution since it’s much harder to debug a cloud based problem but especially since this combines a local source in Xsplit/OBS and cloud based encoding, this is probably a great option.

3 COMMENTS