One of my friends told me about a webinar service that would allow you to have multiple people in a session, while simultaneously streaming to YouTube and/or Facebook Live.
She, in essence, created a monster lol.
I had to do this, but to my dismay, I found that it would run me $55/month. I inquired about an educator discount, but was told there wasn’t one. So, I had the idea late one night to figure out how to get it for free. Today, I got to try it out with some friends. I couldn’t figure out the FB part for free (most services will make you pay), so next time I may try with a third computer and go directly to Facebook Live. But the rest of this is free.
The purpose of this post is to remember exactly what I did to get it to work. For that reason, I won’t put in a lot of detail, but most of the stuff is Google-able.
Many thanks to my #EduMatch fam who showed up to help beta test. We do a weekly podcast, Tweet & Talk, usually every Sunday at 6 PM Eastern, but we are on Spring Break because of holidays and travel. We will return on May 7. Today, I decided to play, and wanted to document the journey so that I don’t forget what to do in a month. This is probably not the best way, but this worked. I’ll update as I find easier strategies.
Caution: What you are about to read will be extremely geeky. Again, most of it can be Googled, which is how I learned how to do this. But I will link tutorials and resources I found useful whenever possible. Feel free to tweet me @sarahdateechur with any questions.
What You Need
- Two laptops (at least one must have a webcam)
- A free Zoom account
- OBS encoder software
- A free Restream.io account
- (Mac only) SoundFlower
Pre-Work – YouTube/Periscope/Restream
- Schedule a meeting in Zoom. I think you can make it recurring, which I will do when we start using this for Tweet & Talks. Share the meeting link with participants.
- Get set up with Periscope Producer.
- On your YouTube Live page, set up your usual info like you would do in a regular YouTube Live.
- On the same page, you also need this information under Encoder Setup. Get your server URL and stream key.
- On Restream.io, when you sign up for an account, add the channels you want. I added YouTube Stream Now and Periscope. FB costs extra. You may need to manually put in the Server URL and Stream Key for each one, or it may do it automatically. I don’t remember.
- On the right hand side of the home screen, find the RTMP URL close to you, and get the URL and Stream Key.
- Download and install SoundFlower if you have a Mac (I don’t think it’s needed for PC).
- Open up the OBS app.
- Go to Settings, then to Stream, then click the drop-down menu at the top and select Custom Streaming Server. Enter the info you got from Restream.io in Step 6 above.
- (Mac Users) Under Audio, set your Desktop Audio to Sunflower (2 Ch).
- Click OK, which will close you out of Settings
- Add a new Scene and call it whatever you want.
- Under Sources, add Window Capture, and Audio Input Capture.
- Click the gear next to Audio Input Capture, and select Device: Soundflower (2 Ch).
- On the Mixer, bring the Mic/Aux down to 0. You may also need to bring the Audio Input Capture down to 0 if you end up getting an echo. Adjust Desktop Audio to your liking, so that it doesn’t peak, but still registers sound.
- You can now close OBS and everything else until you are ready to go live.
The Main Event – 20 min before showtime
- Start your Zoom meeting and have participants join about 10 minutes prior to showtime to check audio. This will also buy you time to get set up on the back end.
- (for Mac…not sure how this works on PC) Turn off your mic in your computer system settings. In Zoom, click the drop-down menu next to the microphone, and make sure to make the Speaker go to SoundFlower (2 Ch). Turn your camera off.
- Open OBS, and click on the Scene you set up in step 4 (above).
- Click on Window Capture and click the gear. Select from the drop-down menu the Zoom window with your participants.
- From the other computer: Join the meeting as a participant. Adjust the width and height of your Window Capture, to your liking. Invite other participants.
- When you are ready to go, click Start Streaming.
- Open Periscope app and go to your settings. Then click on Periscope producer.
- It should check for the source. If there are any issues, fix them in OBS, then click Preview, and then go live.
This is a lot of info, but it presumably will get easier every time. In addition, I’m sure there are some extra things I am doing that I will find that I can eliminate. I would love to hear your ideas to see if there’s a way to streamline this. I will keep updating as I find better ways. Also, I would love to know if anyone knows how to go to Facebook Live for free. Thanks for reading!