Although live-streaming is now second nature to so many music creators around the world, going live for the first time can still be a daunting prospect. Learning everything from using OBS to designing the graphic overlays for your show can be overwhelming for newbie streamers. . But the good news is we’re here to simplify the process for you. 

We launched “Mixcloud Live Studio” for this reason; to make live streaming more accessible for beginner music creators who are unfamiliar with the current process (OBS or Streamlabs). With Live Studio, you can stream with one click, with all the settings ready to go, directly from your web browser. If you’re entirely new to livestreaming — and streaming music specifically — there are a few things you need to know. 

1. Let’s start with some essential equipment

First things first, you’ll need a laptop and a stable internet connection to start live-streaming. If you’re a beginner and planning to use Mixcloud Live studio this is all you’ll need, but we recommend some extra gear for optimizing your streaming experience and audio quality:

  1. An audio interface or soundcard (routed to your music-playing device like a CDJ controller or instrument) 
  2. Headphones 
  3. Speakers (a.k.a Monitors)

Optional:

  1. Microphone 
  2. Mixer 

Whether DJing or playing an instrument, an audio interface will help ensure that you’re streaming higher-quality audio. Also known as a soundcard, this device mediates between your monitors, music-making devices, and your computer. Having a separate device processing your audio (rather than relying on your laptop's in-built sound card ) also safeguards your computer from overheating and your stream from glitching. 

Some interfaces we recommend are Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2, or Steinberg

Here’s a guide on how to set up a soundcard. 

2. You need a streaming platform 

There are three ways you can stream on Mixcloud:
  1. Go live directly from a web browser with Live Studio. Head on over to the live stream setup page (by clicking LIVE, and then broadcast live) and click go live from your browser to start your stream. This option is best for newbies who aren’t familiar with OBS or Streamlabs. Read our FAQs for a clear step-by-step to get started.

  2. The most common method thus far relies on external software (like OBS, or Streamlabs) functions based on stream keys Mixcloud provides. This option is built on Real-Time Messaging Protocol (commonly shortened to ‘RTMP’)

  3. If you have either of the above-mentioned software on your phone, you can go live from your mobile device as well. But since Live Studio is still in Beta, it’s only available on desktop for now. 

What you’ll need to get started can be as simple as a stable internet connection and a device capable of recording video. But if you want to upgrade your stream for DJing, there’s a lot of hardware to consider. If you’re DJing it’s useful to have a separate audio source, like monitors. 

3. You need to understand copyright basics

Live-streaming music is a different ball game from live-streaming other types of content (e.g. a video game). When you play music on a live stream, the chances are that you are using copyrighted content that belongs to someone else. Legally, you need the permission of those copyright owners to use that music. Usually, that also means paying the owners for the use of their work.

This is not practical for most people to handle by themselves, so they rely on their streaming platform-of-choice to handle the music copyright for them. Unfortunately, most platforms like Twitch or Facebook don’t deal with music licensing, and will actively mute or delete content that uses copyrighted music; the dreaded DMCA takedowns.

Mixcloud is different. It is purpose-built for music, uses fingerprinting technology to identify tracks, and pays royalties accordingly your behalf. When you stream on Mixcloud, you can use any music you like and the artists played get paid.

That’s it! 

Remember, the more you practice the more likely you are to find the gear and set up that suits your creativity. Start simple, you can always upgrade as you evolve down the path of live-streaming. 

Good luck!