I get asked by several streamers to review their channel so they can make improvements. Sadly, I don’t have the time to complete all of these requests and I feel horrible because I want you all to succeed as you deserve it! So, I figured I’d explain what I’m looking for when I review channels for improvements. RedStalkerr volunteered to write this up for you.
Many streamers ask the same thing when they are starting out or starting to look at how to improve their stream; “How do you stream successfully and what steps do I take to improve the overall quality of my stream?” These 3 steps are by far the most important; if not the most important aspects to look at when trying to improve your stream.
When you going into a stream for the first time; what is the first thing you notice? Audio quality. No one wants to hear tons of heavy breathing (at least not on stream), anytime you shift in your chair, the microphone cutting in and out, or static. Audio quality has to be one of the first things you sort out. Even the worst of mics can be improved simply by setting up noise gate and tinkering with the sensitivity of a mic. Remember it’s not just about your mic, but it is also about the game audio; are your levels correct or is the game audio louder than you? Can you even hear the game audio? These are things you need to keep in the forefront of your mind every time you start to stream. I would suggest to run a quick 5 min recording of you talking/playing before the stream starts to test out your audio levels. Notice I said record and not stream! You can’t always count on the public to tell you when your audio is wrong; most people will just leave. So if you want more people to watch you and stay you will need to improve the overall quality of your audio so it’s clear, crisp, and level.
Let’s all be honest, no one likes a blurry pixelated picture, black bars or stuttering when it comes to video quality. When you set up OBS and or X-Split, you will need to have everything set correctly. If you need a reminder how to set it up you can check out this blog post. You will need to have the upload bitrate set so it doesn't buffer and you’ll want to have the resolution set correctly for that amount of bitrate. 360p will look better than 720p if the 720p is a blurry pixelated mess, and 360p looks clear. You also don't want to have your encoder set so it uses too much CPU which would cause it to chug. I’m shocked at how many people don’t have their OBS set correctly so this is extremely important. Do your research on how to correctly configure OBS as a lot of streams fail to do so. The number 1 mistake people make is putting insane amounts of max bitrate making it too high of a for people to watch and enjoy. So ask yourself a few questions when you are setting the bitrate and resolution. Will a large majority of the people be able to watch this? Or is it only limited to people with high bandwidth internet?
When streaming, even if you have a Blue Yeti, with the fastest internet, and the best gaming setup, if you are not able to communicate well to your viewers while streaming you will be hindering your channel of any growth. Being funny, witty, sarcastic, or even intellectual is a form of commentary, and I like to call it “finding your voice”. So what is your voice? Ask yourself, are you more of a yell and shout non-stop into the mic person or are you more of a calm spoken streamer who only talks with sophistication. Whatever type of “talker” you decide to be you need to make sure you are constantly talking or communicating to your viewers.
~BONUS~ Viewer Interaction
Interacting with your viewers is one of the reasons Mixer is so great, it's one of the best selling point to Beam (along with the low latency), if it was not for viewer interaction you might as well watch “Let’s Plays” on YouTube. When viewers come in and say hi, they expect a timely response from the streamer, don't make them wait. We as streamers should be asking questions and starting conversations that go beyond the typical What’s everyone doing this evening? or What games have you all been playing? Remember, an active chat is more welcoming to newer viewers even if they are just lurking.
If you get these areas fixed and fine tuned on your stream then you will be miles ahead most streamer. Remember you’ll get out of streaming what you put into it.
Until next time…