Over the past few weeks, there has been a surge in people using livestream platforms like Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and Twitch – and DJs are no exception. Some of the best DJs across the globe are jumping on and throwing down live sets for their online communities around the world.
With everyone confined to their homes, now is a great time to start building your online presence and growing your followers. It’s also an opportunity to practice your mixing, experiment with new genres, and just have fun! If you’re preparing for your first live DJ set, check out these six tips and tricks that will keep your livestream professional and top quality.
1. Perfect Your Setup
Whether you’re using a webcam, your laptop, or your smartphone to record and go live, the first thing you should do to prepare for a killer livestream is clean up your space. This means having a well-organized and clean display of your DJ gear with no mess in the background. Make sure there are no untidy beds, desks, floors, or other situations happening in the background of your shot.
Secondly, and as we mentioned above, there are plenty of options for recording your livestream as well. You may want to use your phone for Instagram Live, or maybe your laptop for Twitch. You can find tons of great deals on professional webcams, camcorders, and action cameras. Here’s a resource for the best cameras for livestreaming.
The last thing you’ll want to do to complete your setup is to make sure the lighting is on point. Lighting can often be overlooked but can play a crucial role in creating a professional-looking livestream. A good rule of thumb is to have your main light source coming in from behind the camera. If you don’t have access to professional lighting, use a large table lamp or perform in a room that has a lot of natural light. No matter what light source you go with, make sure to place it as close to you as you can. This will leave you with the most flattering light possible.
The key to great lighting is to test out your shot ahead of time and adjust the lighting and your camera settings as needed. For an in-depth look at different lighting techniques for livestreaming, check out this video.
2. Get the Sound Quality Up
As a DJ, what’s more important than sound quality? Poor sound quality will not only be a huge turnoff for your viewers, but they’ll likely just turn off your livesteam all together. The easiest way to avoid a sound quality mess is to do a test run before going live. Once your setup is ready to go, place your camera, laptop, or phone so that it’s close enough to a speaker to be at a good volume, but not too close that there will be feedback.
We also recommend investing in gear like the Roland Go:Mixer or an iRig interface for even better results. The Roland Go:Mixer is a powerful and compact audio mixer for smartphones that lets you plug and play with multiple inputs for a mic, musical instruments, and media players. Watch our DJ Gift Guide featuring the Roland Go:Mixer to see more.
Similarly, the iRig interface lets you plug into your iPhone and use it to play, practice, and record. The latest model has upgraded features like adjustable input gain and a 1/4″ amplifier output.
If you want to learn more about creating a livestream with awesome sound quality, our friends at Digital DJ Tips posted a great article on two ways to get professional sounding audio in your livestream. Check it out here.
3. Use Quick-Mixing and Remixes
This is more of a cautionary tip. The last thing you want is to have your livestream pulled down mid-set due to copyright infringement on the music you’re playing. While there is no guarantee that this won’t happen, the best way to try and avoid it is by quickly mixing in and out of tracks. Have fun with it!
You can also choose remixes and exclusive edits versus using original versions or radio edits to avoid any copyright issues. Lastly, try other tricks like adding in drum loops and samples, or alternating between speeding up and slowing down the tempo of the mix. Not only will these tricks make your mix more creative, but you’ll have a better chance of making it through the set without any issues.
4. Make a DJ Drop
A DJ drop is a great way to ingrain your name into the minds of your viewers. It lets people know who you are and also adds a dash of bold and confident energy to your mix. Creating a DJ drop is an investment that you can not only use in your livestream but in remixes and live DJ gigs down the road.
If you don’t have a DJ drop, now is a great time to work on putting one together. Read our article How to Make Your Own DJ Drops and add another productive item to your to-do list this week!
5. Engage with Your Viewers
Playing and performing online is a chance to capture a larger audience than ever before! By engaging and interacting with your viewers, you can gain loyal fans and create a buzz around your channel or profile. So how do you do this? Start with the basics. Ask your audience questions and encourage them to respond in the comments. Take song requests and give shout outs to people who join the livestream. In other words, be present! Don’t just DJ with your head down. Talk to your viewers and let them know you appreciate them being there.
Another tip is to stay consistent and give your users new livestreams to view regularly. By setting a few specific dates and times when you’ll be going live, you can build excitement around your set and give your followers something to look forward to. For example, if they know you’re going live weeknights at 5:00pm, they’re more likely to come back and catch another set.
Lastly, don’t forget to properly sign off from your livestream and thank your viewers for watching. The closing is also a great opportunity to ask your viewers what kind of set they’d like to see next, or invite them to your next livestream event. This leads to our final tip – promotion!
6. Let People Know
Promoting your livestream event is going to be a key part of this whole process. Once you’ve perfected your setup, tested your lighting and sound quality, and you’re comfortable and ready to start mixing live, the only thing left to do is let people know!
Self-promotion is just as important during the current circumstances as it ever was. As a DJ, you have to build a strong brand to grow your fans and a live audience. What better time to work on your brand than during this quarantined time?
You can start by simply posting a message on your Instagram Story or creating a graphic flyer using a free app like Canva or Adobe Spark. Give yourself a few days to promote the first event and send the message to your friends so they can support and share!
Even if you only start out with a few people watching your livestream set, don’t get discouraged. Now is the time to nurture your DJ business and brand. Keep at it and don’t give up!
If you’re not exactly savvy to the whole ‘live’ thing, don’t worry because we’ve found some helpful guides to get you started with the most popular livestream platforms.
Twitch Creator Camp
How to Go Live on Instagram
YouTube Help: Introduction to Livestreaming
How To Live Stream On YouTube
How to Livestream an Event on Facebook
Let us know if you have any live streaming tips to share. We want to hear from you!