Except for playing Zoom open mics for almost nine months now, I was late to the livestream train. I’ve stuttered all my life and I hate talking on the phone because I can’t look them in the eye. So performing to a camera and interacting with people I’m not sure are there was a daunting task. But I’ve played live long enough to be able to get past that. It’s just that having all this freaking time on my hands has made it hard to follow a thought at times. Then there are the times I can’t stop the thoughts from coming en masse at top speed.
That’s just an explanation, not the pitfalls I was referring to. Doing a livestream from home with my home studio setup results in minimal problems. Except, of course, for operator error, which causes me to exclaim to myself out loud, “way to go, dumbass!” The reason there are few to no problems is because I control the variables. When I’m at our friend, Sally’s, house, the point is the same with the exception of occasional lapse in wifi reception.
Hotels aren’t too bad if I use my hotspot as long as they aren’t out in the middle of nowhere. The acoustics are obviously good and I can get all the light I need. At one hotel, I got a notice that there was not enough bandwidth, but it didn’t seem to effect the livestream. That was also the Monday night Songwriters Benefit for Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival hosted by Rob Case, so it was about four hours. Which would explain that.
But in places like breweries the variables increase. The noise and electricity of the brewing and cooking equipment for example. Reception even with my hotspot was dicey – it was in the mountains. The video sucked and the sound cut in and out. But I didn’t know that until I tried to watch it the next day. One of the major problems/variables is that I’m doing it myself and don’t have anyone to man the computer while I’m playing. The second brewery I tried a livestream in, the video was perfect, but the sound was garbled.
I think I know what the problem was. But I’ve already called myself a dumbass over it at least three times, so I’m not going to further my own embarrassment by telling you what it was. If you make sure what should be turned off is off, and what should be turned on is on, you won’t repeat that particular issue. That is – if that’s what it was. Which comes back to knowing the variables. Which I didn’t and don’t as far as the two breweries.
But pitfalls be damned! I’ll keep getting back on that horse. I have a livestream on Thursday, Nov. 5th at 3:30 p.m. in the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, Kansas. My cousins Tom and Beth Burns, and Beth’s daughter, Ellie, have an exhibit of their art work there. I was supposed to play at the opening, but guess what screwed that all to hell? I wanted to see the exhibit before it closes and the livestream takes place of the opening show.
There will be more livestreams. Hopefully, each one will go smoother than the last one. But, oh, those variables!
Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.
Peace be with you.