Setting Up A Twitch Studio - Livestreaming Buskers Off The Grid from hairylarry's blog

When you get the creative flow going you want to keep it going. I find a new project focuses attention and keeps me involved. So sometimes you have to look to the future to try to envision new possibilities.

And that's where I'm at with livesteaming buskers off the grid. I've done a couple of failed experiments with my phone but I don't have good reception on the twitch porch so that probably doesn't mean much. I'm a lot further along with the busking equipment than I am with the livestream stuff.

There are many battery powered amps available. I chose the JBL Eon One Pro for about $500. I am very happy with the sound and the battery life. It also has Bluetooth which I use for playing my iReal Pro backing tracks from my tablet. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab A and it has good battery life.

I have a Roland Go Piano that runs off batteries and it has nice keyboard action and good piano sound. But since I've been livestreaming I notice the difference between it and my Roland FP-4. Both in playability and in sound. I could use the midi out on the Go Piano and play from a midi library on the laptop. This might not take up too much cpu.

I would rather busk with a good hammer action keyboard. There are some good keyboards that use batteries. Just not the ones I'm looking at. So I'm looking into a couple of Deep Cycle 12V batteries and an inverter. This rig would also run my pellet stove in the winter if we lose power so I am justifying the expense that way. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be an affordable solution for me. There are smaller batteries that might run just a piano and one battery and an inverter would be a little over $100.

There are also consumer battery charger/jump starters with 110 outlets. Again the multifunctionality may justify the expense.

I bought an Acer Aspire E5-576 laptop that has enough cpu and ram to livestream video. I have used it for livestreaming 720p from the twitch porch. This laptop has an exceptionally long battery life, 9 hours or more of regular computing. Unfortunately livestreaming is not regular computing and the fully charged batteries only last a little under 2 hours. Which is actually pretty good for livestreaming buskers. An inverter might extend that life to do a three hour show with breaks but I would have to see how much battery it would take to power the piano for three hours. It could be that two hour shows are more realistic.

They are certainly more realistic for my endurance. I do a two hour stream from the HairyLarryLand Twitch Studio every Sunday and I don't really want it to be any longer.

I also have a USB foot switch that I cover in the DIY chapter so I can even have two webcams and switch between them when I'm busking.

So if I happen to find a busking spot with good wifi I'm home free.

And if not? My phone has a hotspot that will hook to my computer with a USB cable. It's a 4G phone so if I had good reception it might work. More modern phones would probably work better. There are many livestreamers that stream direct from their iPhones.

There are also dedicated hotspot devices with monthly fees for bandwidth. It's kind of hard to justify this expense based on a busking income but that actually depends on what you are doing and what kind of budget you have. You may also have other uses for a high end hotspot. If you're travelling while busking and stopping where you wish a hot spot like this might be just the ticket.

And then there's always plan B. If you don't have wifi and you don't have good reception for your hotspot you can turn on record and post the video later.

Right now I have three dreams for the future of my livestream. We've streamed from the twitch porch a couple of times and I feel like that's all set up and ready to go. You can read about that in another chapter. I am looking forward to more livestreams with Bebop Beatniks from the twitch porch.

My current dream is finding soloists to collaborate with me and turn my jazz trio livestreams into a quartet. Whether they do that on their livestream or in their video or audio studios it's all good with me. My songs are licensed Creative Commons Attribution so there are no copyright issues stopping anyone from collaborating with me.

Livestreaming buskers off the grid is my future dream. So this chapter is out there. In the future. Eventually. Maybe I'll be able to do this and maybe not.

"A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s heaven for?"

 - Robert Browning



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