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Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide To Streaming DJ Sets

  • Live Streaming DJ Set

  • Why Live Stream

  • Who else is doing it?

  • Avoiding Copyright Issues

  • Best Platforms for Live Streaming

Alongside Podcasting, Live Streaming is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for DJs putting out and consuming content. If it wasn’t already gaining momentum, thanks to the Coronavirus it seems like nearly EVERYONE is live streaming right now. So if you’re sitting at home self-isolating, what better time than now to give it a shot!

With your favorite venues, clubs and events all (unfortunately) closed, it’s time to take the party online! The best part about it, there’s no chance of spreading or contracting the virus; and your audience won’t have to pay a door fee or put up with ridiculously high drink prices! But what exactly does a live stream entail? Why do you need to be streaming? And how do you connect your DJ controller up in order to get the best out of your streams?

In this article, we give you the ultimate guide for live streaming, covering everything you need to know, and why you need to start today!

Why Should You be Live Streaming DJ Sets?

To put it simply, Live streaming refers to broadcasting content that’s being simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. Generally, DJ Sets are live-streamed and shared through a number of streaming platforms; and given that venues are closed and fans are home bored, there’s no better way to get in front of your audience. All while providing an outlet for your fans to enjoy the music and stay connected with one another.

So during a time where you’re unable to physically get on stage, it’s important to use this period to grow your presence and social media following as a DJ. Especially since your followers will almost always get a notification when you begin streaming on social media, so there’s an even better chance of your audience tuning in. Hence why live video tends to significantly outperform uploaded video according to Facebook statistics.

Staying relevant during times like this is paramount to you coming out a better and more in-demand DJ when things blow over! It will also ensure you’re continually practicing your craft and ensuring your skills are up to scratch!

It’s also easier than ever! In 2020, the chances are you already have everything you need to pull off a professional quality live stream that will keep your audience entertained!

Who else is doing it?

I’m writing this article during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, and nearly every DJ with an Instagram or Facebook account is doing it. Which is exactly why you should too!

Arguably, the trend has skyrocketed since Hip Hop DJ D-Nice of BDP (Boogie Down Productions) started live streaming for up to 11 hours on end. Attracting hordes of famous headliners including Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Diddy, DJ Khaled, Mary J Blige, and many more. In regards to hip hop, big names such as DJ Premier and 9th Wonder have also bucked the trend. But it doesn’t end there. There are endless amounts of DJs streaming sets, and producers streaming beat-making sessions. Including the biggest EDM acts such as Diplo, Calvin Harris and all the underground acts including Carl Cox, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos (There’s literally HUNDREDS more. The ones listed all just happen to be streaming at the time of writing!).

Best Platforms For Live Streaming

When it comes to streaming platforms, there are a number of options at your fingertips. The most popular of which we’ll list below!

  • Instagram Live – Instagram is definitely the place to be if you’re a DJ. With the majority of big-name artists taking advantage of the social network to stream their sets to the masses. It would make sense to follow suit!

  • Facebook Live – The biggest of the social networks, although Facebook is notorious for its strict copyright algorithm when live streaming. So you’ll have to be careful!

  • YouTube – If you’re an active YouTuber with a large following, YouTube is a great place to stream your sets and typically allows for higher quality streams.

  • Twitch – Twitch is another great platform, and although it’s typically targeted towards gamers; many DJs have also taken advantage of this platform for streaming. So if you already have a following there, it would make sense to make use of it!

  • Zoom – Zoom is yet another popular platform, although is generally more suited for things such as business meetings. As well as teachers making use of remote teaching.

Above all, if you’re a modern DJ, you’re likely going to find the most success by using Instagram or Facebook Live. Although you’ll definitely need to take a few things into consideration to ensure your streams don’t get taken down. Alternatively, if you’re a gamer we’d recommend Twitch, and if you’re teaching remotely or working from home, we’d recommend Zoom.

Avoiding Copyright Issues

It can be a tricky situation when you’re a DJ trying to live stream. Trying to find the balance of entertaining your fans while avoiding being taken down for copyright violations. You’ve probably noticed that some DJs can go hours and hours streaming without being taken down for playing other people’s songs. While other DJs get taken off air after only a few minutes. Why is this?

Well, there are a few reasons. We’ll focus more on Facebook and Instagram given that they’re the most common platforms used by DJs today.

Firstly, Facebook is notoriously strict when it comes to copyright. So you’re likely going to have a slightly better chance of staying on the air by using Instagram. But even then, you’re still going to need to be careful.

The fastest way to get your live stream pulled off both Facebook and Instagram, is by playing complete songs and radio edits. To avoid this, you have to do your best to throw off the copyright algorithms, which you can do in a number of ways.

How can you avoid copyright?

  • Quick Mixes – Rather than playing an entire song, try to limit the length you play it for by quickly mixing out into the next one.

  • Mash-Ups – Mashups are a great way to flex your creativity, as well as keeping your live stream going for longer. If you’ve never made a mash-up before, now’s the time to learn, and you’re in luck. We’ve already written a complete guide for creating banging mashups!

  • Effects – Whether you’re smashing your effects pads, or scratching vocals into the mix; these things will all go a long way in throwing off the algorithms!

  • Speeding up / Slowing Down – Whether you’re slightly speeding up a song, or slightly slowing it down, altering the BPM is another way to make it slightly easier to sneak through the algorithm.

Above all, there’s no guaranteed way to stream risk-free, especially if you’re playing other artists’ songs. However following the tips above is a sure way to increase your chances of staying on the air!

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