hairylarry's blog

I've been working on the chicken scratch for Ari's book of teas and potions.

m = ^
n = ^
v = v
t = +
l = |
r = \

d = /

o = o

u = u

w = w

other vowels = x

So

mint = ^x^+
lemon = |x^o^
lavender = |xvx^/x\

So it's just a substitution code but all the marks are very easy to write and, coincidentally, easy to type.
Join us tonight on Inspired Unreality open game chat. Will Ari and Caper explore new tea blends? Will the witch learn more about the silver wand King Groads gave her? Or will we just chat about games and gaming? Nobody knows??? Because we're winging it!

Inspired Unreality is held at 9:00 PM Central every Monday night in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invite for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

I posted another article about Setting Up A Twitch Studio where I discuss workflow. In any job workflow is important. In video production a streamlined workflow is essential. I know workflow sounds boring and wonky but it's not. This may be the most important article in the series.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/775

Gamer+ Gamers Do Stuff

Peter_R posted Troika Cards! Woo Hoo! to his Solo Roleplaying & Game Mastery blog.

https://www.ppmgames.co.uk/2021/02/09/troika-cards-woo-hoo

https://gamerplus.org/user/Peter_R

TheEvilDM posted another episode to his actual play podcast, The World of Arkonis Episode 51 – Evil Lair 3, is this the one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGZrFFLGH4M

https://gamerplus.org/user/TheEvilDM

If you're doing stuff let me know. I want to add your stuff to Gamer+ News.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry

hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc

hairylarry@deltaboogie.com
 

Everyone wants to buy equipment but nobody wants to think about workflow. Yet, without a well defined idea about anticipated workflow it's difficult to even know what equipment to buy.


One of the advantages of livestreaming is simplified workflow. For instance.


Prepare for the stream.

Do the stream performance.

Check your stats.


Twitch keeps your streams online and it's possible to download them if there's one you want to save. I press the record button in Streamlabs OBS and record everything. So I need big hard drives, video eats disk space. This is how workflow drives equipment purchases.


My workflow is more complicated because my livestream is also a video production environment. I am livestreaming my shows. But I am also producing song videos of me playing my original songs. This is where workflow is most important.


Because there's this thing about video production. It's time consuming. So if you're going to do a lot of video production it's important to simplify your workflow or you end up bogged down in post production. This leads to the dreaded post production backlog where you are unable to keep up and end up with unwatched video footage that you worked to make but will never see the light of day.


The only way I know of to avoid post production backlog is to finish with post before you produce more video. When your performance is on a schedule, like mine, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 3:00 PM Central, you have to be able to zoom through post production and uploading your videos. There is only two or three days until the next performance.


So here's my workflow.


Pre Production


Write songs.

Create backing tracks.

Learn the songs well enough to practice them.


Production


Perform the stream which is livestreamed over twitch, recorded on twitch, and recorded on my hard drive.


Post Production


Log the show.

Create the song videos.

Upload the videos to my peertube instance for easy viewing and to my NextCloud  file sharing site for best quality downloads.


https://peertube.hairylarry.rocks/video-channels/twitch/videos


https://hairylarryland.com/nextcloud/index.php/s/Z9RFW4QS6XGa3qo


Promotion


Share links to the songs on my blogs, websites, and social media.

Upload song videos to Youtube or other websites.


I will do an article on promotion later.


Now I want to discuss Post Production and just how I manage to produce a handful of song videos every two days.


I watch the whole show on twitch logging the songs start and end times and marking the songs that should be excerpted for song videos. I add other comments while logging. Most commonly I note where the song video should begin because I don't always hit the groove right from the top.


This takes a little bit longer than it took to play the stream. Producing the log is only part of the purpose here. I am also monitoring my stream quality as viewed on twitch and I am learning from my performance.


For editing my videos I use OpenShot because of ease of use.


I load the stream recorded to the hard drive into OpenShot and I do a rough cut of the songs beginning and end.


I zoom in and fix the cuts to exactly where i want them. I leave the spoken intros and outtros where possible.


I use templates for my title and credits screens changing only the song title. I add them to the video and I place the fades to go from title to video and from video to credits.


This goes really fast. While I still have the song loaded in the editor I do a quality control viewing. Sometimes I decide the song isn't really good enough to post. Sometimes I choose different edit points. Most of the time I am happy with the song and deem it ready to upload. So besides checking the song I am also doing another learning pass listening again to my best performances. So I play the song, log the song and select it for post production, and then I listen again for quality control. This repeated listening may be the most valuable part of my piano practice.


Sometimes I want to include the spoken intro and then start the song later in the performance. This takes only one extra cut. To avoid a jump cut I zoom in on the spoken part so it's just a video of me talking. Then when I start playing I'm back to full screen making a very natural transition. Here's an example.


Bunnies

https://peertube.hairylarry.rocks/videos/watch/955242be-6dd2-45f9-b2cb-a09a49b15a1a


Here's a video from the same show without the zoomed in intro.


Eventually

https://peertube.hairylarry.rocks/videos/watch/ebdd8dcb-cfde-413d-b7ec-fbbad81d6e9a


Today's Monday. My last stream was two hours on Saturday. I logged the stream Saturday night. Sunday I produced Something Blue and uploaded it to KASU. So today I get to produce eight song videos. I know I will be able to finish this today, no problem, because of my streamlined workflow.


Because tomorrow I'll be playing another show.

Tonight on Inspired Unreality join Ari and Caper in their quest for mushrooms and tea. At least that's what we did last week when Ari's cat, Tude, found a book, Ari and the witch deciphered a tea blend from one of the pages in the book, Caper went to the woods to hunt for mushrooms, the witch brewed the tea, and when Ari and the witch drank the tea they became far sighted and could see Caper leaving the woods several miles away as if they were looking through a powerful telescope. What will happen next? Nobody knows. Because we're winging it.


https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4113


Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Monday night in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Those who are Related To Geeks finally reconvened in person after over a year of getting together in Zoom and on Gather. At our Saturday family game we fought the giant ants that invaded Fair Day. On Sunday we restored a wizard who had been turned to stone. We also ate a lot and talked a lot and I played piano. Great weekend, especially that last part.

Follow Me And Die posted a new podcast, Episode 197 - Down the Rabbit Hole of UAPs/UFOs. "With the recent buzz over the release of some videos of various sensor data of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, the new term for UFO, I decided to explore "What if...." and apply it to the realm of RPGs." He also posted a companion blog post.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4114

Saturday afternoon I had my family participate on my twitch stream. I set up on the front porch using all battery operated equipment, piano, PA, tablet, laptop, and a hotspot on my phone. There were some problems. The battery died on the laptop and I had to plug it in. Webcams are not good in daylight. I am working on these issues and will discuss them in a blog post, Setting Up A Twitch Studio - Going Portable after I figure them out.

You are invited to join Ari and Caper tonight on Inspired Unreality. Please update us on your games and projects. My contact info is below or better yet post to Gamer+.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com
Tonight on Inspired Unreality Ari and Caper continue winging it. They are back with the Milyagon witch drinking tea that she stirred with her new magic wand, a gift from King Groads who is not king of the fairies but remains king of his own domain. He also gave Ari and Caper gifts. Ari can always find medicinal herbs in the forest and can always tell which herbs are poison. Caper got the same gift except for mushrooms. Caper is convinced he got the better part of that bargain but we shall see.

Join Ari and Caper and Tude (Ari's cat) as their adventures unfold. What will happen next? Nobody knows. Cause we're winging it.

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Monday night at 9:00 Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tenkars Tavern we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Here's a shout out to Follow Me And Die for 44 years of D&D. I've been playing for 30 years. How long have you been adventuring? Add your story to the comments here.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4109

I added another post to my series, Setting Up A Twitch Studio. This week it's all about free software for streaming.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/768

After I finish these blogs Megan and I will have to get back together to compare notes on where twitch has taken us. What is your experience with twitch? We'll both be glad to compare notes with you too.

Here's our links.

https://www.twitch.tv/megantopia

https://www.twitch.tv/hairylarryland

Stay in touch.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

Here's the good news for a change. The software needed to set up a twitch stream is free.


I am using Streamlabs OBS as my streaming platform. Before that I used OBS. These are both free software.  I used OBS recording audio only podcasts but for my twitch stream I wanted to view the live chat as part of the stream, and not just see the chat on the twitch interface. Streamlabs OBS supports that so that's how I get my live chat on the left side of the stream.


https://streamlabs.com/


To display my tablet playing iReal Pro on the right side of my stream I use scrcpy, also free software.


https://github.com/Genymobile/scrcpy


I had to download and install a windows driver for my Zoom H6. No charge for the driver and the install was painless. I use the Zoom as an interface between my PA and my computer.


I am planning on  implementing the ability to record multitrack to make it easier to collaborate with other musicians. Pro Tools First is a free download and Pro Tools is the industry standard for sharing audio files.


https://www.avid.com/pro-tools


I use Openshot for video post production. I like it. I even use their titling templates. It makes life easy.


https://www.openshot.org/


I am using VLC to monitor my videos. Under tools I can view the codec information to make sure I'm recording everything right. VLC will also compress your video files in case they end up too large.


https://www.videolan.org/


GIMP is my photo editor. Video producers need photo editors the same as anyone else.


https://www.gimp.org/


Some of this software is open source. Some is not. But it is all free to download and install. Which is good news because twitch can be an expensive hobby.


Next week I'll discuss workflow and backups. Can't wait.

Tonight, on Inspired Unreality we are keeping our options open. So bring your own topic to our open game chat or we might continue with actual play in Milyagon. We've been winging it and it's been fun!

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Monday night at 9:00 Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you are new to Tenkar's Tavern, a notorious drinking hole for OSR discussion, we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Ari, Caper, and Tude survived Feyland after an exchange of gifts with King Groads. They are on Wilkin Way heading back toward Milyagon after their three fey friends helped them return. Tintee danced up a fairy circle that opened up into the rapids. Quin went through first and got all wet so when he came back Tintee danced up another fairy circle and this one went to the owl's eyrie just north of Wilkin Way. After feasting on the mushrooms Caper found (his gift was he would be lucky finding mushrooms in the woods) they said goodbye to Tintee, Quin, and Pantoo.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4099

I have added another post to my twitch series, Setting Up A Twitch Studio - Equipment. Here's the link.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/764

Have you played Keep On The Borderlands? Of course you have. At the Save Or Die podcast they discuss B2 or not B2?

"The Keep on the Borderlands! The name alone evokes images of battling monsters in caverns and wilderness in the earlier days of Dungeons & Dragons. But is the module really all it’s cracked up to be! The Sodcast discusses the good, bad, and chaotic of the most famous basic module."

http://saveordie.info/?p=1990

Post you adventures on Gamer+. Everything takes equipment whether it's webcams or miniatures. Let us know about your recent equipment aquisitions.

And have you done any role playing on twitch? Just how does that work? I am very interested in this and would like to cover it on Inspired Unreality and in my twitch series.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

It's important to know the big idea for a twitch stream before talking about equipment. Different streams have different equipment needs from top to bottom.


A very common idea is the streamer playing games while they talk to their audience in a small window. This only needs one camera but it needs a really good computer or game console.


Another popular twitch topic is DIY that streams only live video. So the computer needs are less but this type of stream might benefit from multiple webcams providing multiple scenes. A scene is a single shot or several shots combined on a screen. DIY crafts streams often benefit from a top down view so that would be a scene but another scene showing the streamer talking to the audience might also be desirable.


So this is why it's important to work towards an idea when gathering equipment for your twitch stream.


Since I play piano on my stream I opted for a single scene made up of four elements, a shot of me playing, a top down shot of the piano keyboard, a window showing my tablet running iReal Pro for the chord change and backing track, and a window for the chat box.




I have a nice T420 laptop with an i7, 16 gig of ram, and an Nvidia card. I used it to test some of my ideas and it did fine streaming from the built in webcam but when I set up multiple windows with Streamlabs OBS the whole thing bogged so bad that it was unusable. I hope to use this laptop for field streaming but that is a work in progress that I will write about later exploring the idea of running a stream wherever you want using all battery operated equipment.


So, I needed a more powerful computer. I needed two webcams. My old tablet wouldn't work with scrcpy so I needed a newer tablet. And, as always with video production I needed lights. Fortunately I already have audio recording equipment. I am using my Zoom H6 for an audio interface and an Audio Technica AT4055 for my microphone. I also have tripods and mic stands but I do some carpentry DIY for stands as well.


Here's what I got.


On ebay I bought an HP Z640 Workstation, Xeon E5-2620 2.40GHz, 32GB, 1TB, NVIDIA Quadro K2200 Video, Windows 10. This cost around $325 with shipping and taxes. Since 1 TB is not enough disk storage for an extended video project I added 2 HGST 4 TB drives in a RAID 1 configuration using Win 10 Storage Spaces. These ran about $105.


To update my tablet I bought a 10.5 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T597 32GB, Wi-Fi for about $100 used in excellent condition.


I bought two Audkey webcams for about $30 each.


And for lights I got two 8.5 inch clamp on utility lamps and daylight bulbs for about $20.


Really, that's it.


Computer --- $325

Hard Drives - $105

Tablet ------- $100

Webcams ---   $60

Lights -------   $20

                   -------

Total -------- $610


So my whole setup to implement my big idea costs less than a high end graphics card required for twitch game streams. At megantopia my daughter spent more than twice this amount for her gaming computer.


I'll continue this series next week. Future topics will include bandwidth, DIY, field streaming, post production, and more. Please ask any questions in the comments.


Also, please contact me if you use twitch to play RPGs. I am very interested in this.


Here's our links.


https://www.twitch.tv/megantopia


https://www.twitch.tv/hairylarryland


Tonight, on Inspired Unreality, we continue our quest into feyland.

Ari and Caper were joined by Droggin the dwarf and Quinthalas the elf on their quest into feyland. The Milyagon witch has a message for King Groads, who is only a king on his own property. We meet our friends the fairies from our previous quest to Wilkin Woods and they don't have much use for the pretend king. But we still get along with them fine and they do show us the way. We are standing outside his gate hoping to complete our quest and hurry back home. Feyland is nice ... but dangerous.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4093

Join us every Monday night at 9:00 Central for Inspired Unreality open game chat held in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

ZDL has big news. "The greatest epic fantasy movie put to video has finally been released!" Baelin (Rowan Bettjeman), a simple background NPC in the video game, Skycraft, has been walking the same route for as long as he can remember.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/4094

I wrote a blog post about Setting Up A Twitch Studio - The Big Idea. "It's all Megan's fault. When she set up https://www.twitch.tv/megantopia Vivian and I started watching. Before that I knew it was a popular site for live gaming but twitch flew under my radar. Once I saw what Megan was doing and I started to understand how twitch worked, and how it can be used for videos that are not about gaming, I became interested."

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/761

Are you on twitch? Have you watched a good video or read a book? Have you ever been to Feyland? Let us know on Gamer+.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

It's all Megan's fault. When she set up https://www.twitch.tv/megantopia Vivian and I started watching. Before that I knew it was a popular site for live gaming but twitch flew under my radar. Once I saw what Megan was doing and I started to understand how twitch worked, and how it can be used for videos that are not about gaming, I became interested.


The problem with video production is post production. Post production is a lot of work. It takes a long time. There's always a few more tweaks that can make it a little bit better. It can wear you out.


Live streaming takes post production out of the equation. Like the evening news it happens in real time, it's as good as it is, and it's done when it's done. There's no post production and even when videos are excerpted from the stream post production is minimal.


The tradeoff for no post production is the setup. Sure, you can stream with just a laptop, phone, tablet, or game machine. But since it goes out live with no post that can be dull. The goal is a live show that's entertaining. It can be high energy or chill but it can't be boring. So you have to put a lot of thought into the desired look of your stream and then figure out the hardware and software to achieve that look.


The key element is OBS, Open Broadcaster Software.


https://obsproject.com/


I have used OBS for recording podcasts on Discord but I didn't realize it's real power until I started using it for twitch videos. OBS is free and open source. The good thing about that is that it's legal for others to build on it. For my stream I chose Streamlabs OBS because of the ease of setup and features like the onscreen chatbox and the ability to include running programs in the stream. You can do these things with OBS too and there are other options to explore but my most direct route was Streamlabs OBS.


https://streamlabs.com/


I watched several videos on Youtube about setting up streaming for DIY streams and other streams that use live video instead of gaming screens as their primary focus. This opened my eyes to what is possible and led me to dream about what I actually wanted to do and how I wanted to setup my screen to be helpful and interesting.


So here's my big idea.


The name of my stream is Hairy Larry Practicing Piano. A big part of why I wanted to do the stream is to add discipline to my piano practice. I practice every day and sometimes for several hours a day. But what I was missing in my practice was scheduled rehearsal of a specific repertoire. My twitch stream provides that.


And choosing my repertoire I decided to practice all songs that I wrote. This avoids copyright issues and it allows me to tailor the repertoire to the stream. Practicing improvisation is easiest with short changes that have one or two interest points. Baby steps.


And so once I decided what I wanted to do on my stream I began to visualize the screen. I wanted the central focus to be me, practicing. I wanted to be able to pull a microphone over to talk to the audience and sing but I also wanted to be able to push it off shot for instrumental numbers. I wanted an angle shot that would show my hands on the keys. And I wanted it to feel like a live jazz show.


There are many musicians teaching jazz piano on the internet and they almost always have a top down view of the piano keyboard across the bottom of the screen. I like that, it's helpful and visually appealing. So I decided to include that in my screen layout.


I am using iReal Pro for my backing tracks providing bass and drums. The iReal Pro screen shows the chord symbols and highlights the chord being played. I wanted to include that screen as part of my display.


Twitch uses text chat for the audience and voice chat for the performer as it's standard chat format. The performer can also type but it's easier just to talk and shout outs from the performer to viewers in the chat box are the way it's done. So I wanted to include the text chat on the screen to provide context for my shout outs and other responses to the ongoing text chat.


And I wanted to be chill. Many people use twitch as background noise while they go about their business. I wanted it to be easy for people to just let my stream play in the background, enjoying the music, without having to be fully engaged. Kind of like Bob Ross or Mr. Rogers but practicing piano instead of painting or telling stories.


So that's my big idea. In future posts I will discuss equipment, both purchased and DIY, software setup, extracting videos from the stream, bandwidth issues, and even home renovation.


In the meantime you can enjoy my stream here.


https://www.twitch.tv/hairylarryland

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