Fan2Stage Equipment Test – OBS and Stream Deck

Fan2Stage Equipment Test – OBS and Stream Deck

This test of OBS and Stream Deck is one of the series in which we test different live stream configurations. We test how well they work with Fan2Stage and the OnStage system for Live Streaming. If you want to start a live stream or live podcast check out all of our tests so you can decide which works for you. Most of our tests are done with YouTube Live Streaming at Ultra Low Latency unless otherwise noted in the show notes.

Test Rack – Macbook Air M1, 50″ HDTV screen, OBS, OBSbot Camera and Stream Deck with Thunderbolt Port Expander and external speakers.

Elgato Stream Deck

Limitations – The primary limitation is the ports. The MacBook Air only has two USB-C ports so you need to have a port expander. The OBSbot camera has a USB-A cord but didn’t like sharing the USB port with other devices. We had to dedicate one USB port for the camera.

The Stream deck, Keyboard, Mouse and 50″ screen were all plugged into a Thunderbolt Port Expander. The Stream Deck lets you quickly insert graphics, change cameras and do all kinds of quick tricks when you are running your own show. We all want a team but they get expensive quick. The stream deck from elgato makes it a lot easier.

The Benefits

One key to success with the Stream Deck is that you need some pre-show time to set up all of the buttons. I have tried just doing “scene 1”, “PIP 1” and then use a script to know when to press the buttons. It is much easier to label a button “skateboard” for the skateboard insert.

With OBS the media doesn’t always autosize the way you want it to. You may need to size all of your extra media in advance as well. For instance in the season finale for CoolToys® TV season 4, we had some 4K video from NAMM. We needed to scale it to 1080p to fit the window, otherwise we had some very odd close up’s.

The Bottom Line

Overall OBS and Stream Deck is a great starter set up on a budget. It won’t keep up with dedicated hardware integrated systems like Black Magic, but it is only one tenth the cost. OBS is essentially free and the Stream Deck is under $150 for the small one. Most live streamers will do fine with just the small OBS unit. Having the big screen to run OBS and the small screen on the Mac as the screen for the “OnStage” web application worked great. I think a second screen is almost required to make this work right.

By using the external speakers the crowd input from the Fan2Stage Virtual Audience System was loud enough to be picked up by our microphones so the fans can hear it. There isn’t a way to loop the audio directly back into OBS that we could find. It might be possible to create and audio capture out of the browser window, but you might end up with a double pickup. Also you would have no control over the volume. A second microphone and a mixer could be a cool addition but we haven’t tested that yet.

Why Do I have to Select Live after I “Start Event”.

It is a two step process to allow you to set up your systems once the graph is on screen. Some performers may have the ability to display on larger screens or do picture in picture. This allows them to set everything on screen ready to go before making the show live. When you select start event, you are telling the system you are about to go live, We plan to make an option where you can put up a timer or other card on the screen as you get your set up ready to start the show.

Live Fans For Every Stage ™

Live Fans For Every Stage ™

When we started trying to solve the problem of bringing a live audience to live streaming, we realized there is more. What we were really doing was building a pathway of Live Fans For Every Stage.

Performers need live fans

One of the great truths of human performance is that it is elevated by fan energy. It doesn’t matter if you are a comedian, musician or athlete. The roar of the crowd as Foreigner called it in their hit “Juke Box Hero” is something every performer dreams of. Now they can have it on every stage.

Late night talk show host Steven Colbert lamented how he “missed the laughter of the fans” during is lockdown at home shows. The interesting part is that the fans missed the laughter too. Laughing alone at home and not hearing others laugh isn’t nearly as fun or therapeutic. We all need a good therapeutic laugh, isn’t that why we watch comedy?

Live Fans Need Each Other

Sitting alone at home cheering on your favorite sports team isn’t as fun as cheering them on with friends. Fan2Stage lets you see and hear the reactions of other fans no matter where they are or where the game is. Just like live fans can elevate the performance of the show or the game, live fans also elevate each other.

With Fan2Stage you can watch an event on a train and cheer quietly without disturbing others or you can host a game party and everyone can cheer on the team.

Going To NAMM?

If you are going to be at NAMM this year, our founder will be wandering the aisles once again. For the first time he won’t be there working for another company. If you see him wearing a Fan2Stage Jacket, stop him and say hello. He’ll have free Fan2Stage Stickers to hand out and maybe some other goodies. NAMM runs Jan 25-28th 2024.

Fan2Stage 2.0

Fan2Stage 2.0

For the past 24 months we have been working hard on the latest version of Fan2Stage, Fan2Stage 2.0

What Does This Mean To You?

Fan2Stage 2.0 is a complete revamp of the main website and the user apps. As of now we only have an app for fans, LiveFan and it will be available on the app stores shortly. For everyone, logging into Fan2Stage.com will be the same.

Our new servers are faster which reduces latency delay for your shows. Less delay keeps the show more real and most importantly more live. One of the biggest challenges we had with our former servers was that the delay was up to 4 seconds, added to the delay of video streaming services and for comics and other non musical performers it was honestly buzzkill.

CMAF Was Step 1

As we noted last year, the introduction of CMAF was a huge step in live stream video. Since everyone agreed on a single streaming video solution, the delay times of streaming services dropped from a high of 90 seconds (Facebook) to almost zero on many services.

Last year we tested the speed of video services to see which service worked best for our artists and performers. We will be revisiting those tests in the coming weeks and creating a new list so you know how to keep your show truly live.

Account Transfer and Server Move.

Over the New Years Holiday weekend we are migrating to the new servers and on January 1st 2024 only the Fan2Stage Version 2.0 servers will be available. All existing artist accounts will be migrated over the weekend. New event registration will be unavailable during that time.

While you are waiting for the new live fan mobile app, all of the features of the new versions will be available on the web app starting January 1st 2024. The back end of Fan2Field is now also complete so look for that to launch in the spring just in time for your kids little league games.

We look forward to seeing you at the show with Fan2Stage 2.0.

Fan2Stage 2.0a Screenshot

Fan2Stage helps start LSPANA

Fan2Stage is proud to be a founding sponsor and partner of LSPANA. Pronounced El-Spana, LSPANA was founded to create a common place for live streaming artists and vendors to share ideas and problems to move the live streaming world forward.

Live streaming exploded during the pandemic and has continued to grow at double digit rates. When we were approached with the idea of a specialized industry association focused only on Live Streaming, we knew that now was the right time. With LSPANA you will get coverage of the latest gear and techniques to make your live streaming events better than ever. With giant flat screen TV’s in almost every home, why make your fans sweat in traffic when they can join you live from anywhere?

Even if you have a small exclusive audience you can expand your shows reach by using Fan2Stage and other live stream technologies to create a super show. Live Stream and live shows, the best of both? If you live stream consider joining LSPANA today.

Fan2Stage 2.0a Screenshot

Try The New Fan2Stage 2.0a!

For the past year we have been working on the next version of Fan2Stage®. There are several significant improvements in overall performance and the fan experience. The Alpha release is currently in testing and you can give it a try.

The Small Screen Gets Bigger.

One of the trends over the past couple of years is that mobile device screens have gotten bigger. With the Fan2Stage 2.0a both the artist and the fan can display the video stream on the same screen as the input buttons. Now you can take the show every where you go. We could only do this with the introduction of Chunked CMAF.

For the artists side that means that you can use a single device, mobile, laptop or desktop workstation to host a show. No need to have your phone plugged in next to your computer to make it work. This also expands the places that Fan2Stage can go and where you can host or be part of a show.

Better Servers = Better Service

We have also made a major upgrade to our servers as we prepare to split out the sports version, Fan2Field. While sports events are also shows, they have different requirements so they are getting their own servers this Spring. Our new servers are based in the US and Europe to get them closer to your show and make them faster.

There are also some new features. Instead of only getting a tip at the end of the show artists can now sell tickets to the show. We are working with video streaming services to create private shows that can only be accessed by paying fans. Look for that feature soon. No more hoping for a few pennies from ads. Artists can always record the shows and post them for ad revenue later but that just isn’t the same as live and we all know it. That is why we created Fan2Stage in the first place.

If you want to sign up and take a sneak peak at Fan2Stage 2.0a and join the next episode of CoolToys®, click here to sign up as a fan and be the first to get the new Fan2Stage LiveFan® App. I look forward to hearing from you at the show.

Scott



Support live music with the Live Fan App by Fan2Stage

Support Live Music – From Home?

Live Music is something that brings us all together.  After a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio, I realized how much of an impact live music has on our lives.  With the introduction of high speed internet and video live streaming, live music can happen anywhere any time.  The problem is that live-streaming a show, isn’t the same as a live show. Now you can be a part of the show and support live music even from home.

An artist or performer can use a meeting program and see a bunch of tiny faces on the screen and get distracted by the chat boxes, hand raising or funny emoji’s or you can get Fan2Stage. Fan2Stage supports live music because the performers hear real cheering from real fans without distracting little screens.  How does it work?  Simple.  After building a profile and posting a link to your show on your socials, your fans start the connection.  All you need is an android or apple mobile device with an audio out connector.  Basically a headphone jack or adapter.  

The headphone jack plugs into your soundboard, speakers or however you want to hear the fans and voila, you have a live audience in the room with you.  

How Do You Hear The Fans?

The fans at the other end watching your show on a smart TV, computer or even a tablet simply use the Fan2Stage® Live Fan® app to connect to the show.  With the app they have six reactions, clap, cheer, boo, whistle, aww and laugh.  As they press the buttons faster and harder your live audience sounds grow exactly the same way they would if the fans were in the room with you.  No tiny faces on the screens and no chat boxes to try and read that distract you from the show.  Just real fan feedback that you need to be your best.

If you live stream, don’t do it without Fan2Stage.  Sign up for free and make your show truly alive! If you are a fan and want to support live music, download the LiveFan App and let your favorite live-streaming performers know you want them to hear you cheer!

Fan2Stage The Virtual Audience System

Fan2Stage Launches The First Virtual Audience System, Bringing Virtual Fans To Any Show!

Fan2Stage has created the first true Virtual Audience Servers and apps and is now seeking artists and fans for testing.

Fan2Stage today announces that it is launching the first true Virtual Audience Servers. Fan2Stage was founded by people with a very long connection to the entertainment business as both entertainers and technicians. The goal of Fan2Stage is to keep live shows live no matter where the host or fans are. Creating an engaging show virtually just got made easier by Fan2Stage with it’s new Cloud based server and app for iOS and Android.

The Inspiration:

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Fan2Stage has been working on a Virtual Audience Server. As a Best Selling Author and sought after speaker, founder Scott Bourquin said this: “Talking to a camera in an empty room isn’t the same. The chat box on most live streaming video systems was simply distracting and two way video was distracting and used way too much power for an average home studio. I needed the audience energy and feedback without distractions.” Solving the problem of fan energy led to the creation of the first F2S app and server.

After creating a small server that he could use at home to livestream CoolToys® TV episodes, Scott created an app for fans to participate as an audience. Those two pieces created the V.A.S. or Virtual Audience System. After testing with neighbors in the music business, Scott realized that if the V.A.S. server could be cloud based, anyone with a home studio could perform live for a real live audience. Adding a tip button gave those at home artists a way to generate a little income too. As Fan2Stage launches a Virtual Audience System. As testing expanded, Scott found that fans enjoyed the simplicity of the F2S app and hear what the other fans are doing.

Keep Live Shows Going

The Fan2Stage system is unique in that it provides artists with both visual and audio feedback. Comedian Steven Colbert said “I can’t wait to hear fans laugh again”. With Fan2Stage he wouldn’t have missed that laughter. Even better the other fans wouldn’t feel alone laughing at home. Fan inputs are translated by the server into real audio feedback. That audio feedback can be part of the show with a simple speaker that can be heard by the same microphone the artist is using.

“We want to provide entertainers at all levels a way to really stay connected with fans during live events. Thanks to our patent pending technology they can now do exactly that for less than a cup of coffee each month. We also created way for artists to generate income from these virtual events.” said Scott.

Artists of all sorts can benefit from the Fan2Stage system. Comedians, Musicians, talk show hosts and live podcasters can all enjoy the cloud based version for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month. The larger studio systems can divide the audience into zones, allowing for feedback based on camera angle or host interaction. Sports events can have a home team and visitor zone so the players know who is cheering for who. Even as the economy opens back up, world security and health concerns have changed how we are entertained and interact with other people. The virtual world is here to stay.

About

Fan2Stage is a company dedicated to keeping the live shows alive with real live audiences even in a virtual world. We give everyone a way to stay connected no matter where they are. Originally part of the Bourquin Group LLC, Fan2Stage Ltd became an independent company in April of 2021 with one focus, connecting fans and entertainers.

Fan2Stage

Is Your Network Ready For Fan2Stage

Getting your network ready for Fan2Stage isn’t very hard, but it is important.

Having a computer that can handle video streaming is just the first step to hosting live shows from anywhere. If you want to have a great looking show, not only does the computer play a big part in making sure you put on a quality show, the network does too. In this video Scott talks about a good solid set up for live streaming.

Scott is the host of CoolToys® TV and he will talk about the exact network set up that he uses, the computers and the gear. He’ll also talk about options that he has set up for others and how you can start live-streaming on a budget.

Live streaming is a big thing and trying to manage and understand your audience is an even bigger challenge. That is why we created the Fan2Stage Virtual Audience Server. You get real feedback from real people when you are hosting live shows.

Those that do will get the audience, those that wait will be fighting for the scraps. Get your network ready for Fan2Stage. CoolToys hosts Scott and Josh also put out The Easy Guide to Internet and Network Stuff to help you keep track of all this stuff the easy way.

The Gear We use in the Studio and the Easy Guide Book:

Virtual audience for any studio

Fan2Stage VAS Servers Now Called OnStage®

OnStage is the new name for the Fan2Stage Virtual Audience Servers.

Fan2Stage has split into OnStage and Fan2Stage. Well not really split, we realized that naming the app Fan2Stage and the servers for the hosts was creating a little confusion. The cloud based OnStage virtual audience server is now available at OnStage.f2s.live.

OnStage Virtual Audience Server
The OnStage® Virtual Audience Server

Venues that want more than a single channel input for the fan experience can now use an OnStage Server. With up to 10 audio zones available, Fans feedback can now come from the areas where the fans buy their virtual seats. Home team advantage anyone? How about audience participation competitions? You can now do it virtually with an OnStage® server.

The other benefit to having your own OnStage® server is the ability to private brand your fan app. Custom options area available for House of Worship and other markets. What different fan reactions? Want a different way for fans to send money? That can be done with private branded app.

Keep live shows going even if the audience isn’t all there. Better yet, expand your reach across the country or around the globe. Smaller venues can now host bigger audience with a virtual audience server by Fan2Stage. We also offer consulting to make sure you set up the cameras and mics for your virtual audience to get the best live show possible.

Get the Fan2Stage App Today!