After over 15 years of health issues that limited my own live singing ability, I set a goal for myself to do my first live stream singing performance. While I had come a long way in my self-development and studies for my online courses to help other singers overcome the psychological barriers to singing, my work as a trauma survivor will never be over. I am continuously advancing and like many, I have had setbacks.
Primarily, my more recent experiences are in recording - a very controlled environment with low risk. I had never recorded myself on video singing before in my entire life and as a mature woman, I didn't grow up with a web-cam on me. In fact, seeing myself on camera - especially with my "singer-face" being a deep-seated fear of mine - it doesn’t help that perfectionism is the bane of many artists and trauma survivors.
I decided I had to get over myself as I watched all kinds of people put themselves out there on TikTok & Instagram...and commit to the work needed to make this happen. So, over the last year, I experimented and had many technical struggles with attempting live streaming. There are also so many Youtube tutorials giving contrary technical advice or advice only for gamers on Twitch. After realizing that using OBS with my new laptop wasn't going to work for live streams, I decided to stick with what I know - and I decided I would schedule a private streaming with a registered audience using a Zoom link.
My challenges weren’t just the technological, it was also finding backtracks that I could use legally and not get my new channel or pages taken down. I don’t accompany myself and while I attempted to learn a little piano and guitar in the past, I am much more comfortable just doing my thing. As modern artists, we are not only singing - a task that is complex to develop to a great standard, we are engineers, producers, writers, graphic artists, social media managers, and SEO gurus on a steep learning curve.
I’ve alway enjoyed the recording and production aspects but time isn’t something that we can create more of to do this work so progress can be slow as other problems come up to solve!
There was some issue with the final mix-down of cutting out some top end but I don’t think it’s noticeable unless I’m on headphones, so production wise, I think it came out OK! Certainly, my own headphone-monitor mix was not how it sounded in the final mix. Even on a real-life stage, unless you have inner ear monitors, you’re really just working on memory and hoping the front of house engineer is on your side. In any case, I’ll continue to improve my studio set-up so that I can offer a great audio experience for myself & my listeners online. Adjusting my expectations is part of the learning curve.
While I still note improvements to make on my delivery and overall physical conditioning, I was happy I still had enough inner core conditioning from previous years to support me….And no, I don’t think I’m"being hard on myself”. I truly believe it's a very good practice to watch ourselves dispassionately so we can understand what the audience hears vs our inner bone resonance. Eventually, we have to become self-correcting.
What do I mean by viewing ourselves dispassionately? I see it this way: THAT on the screen, is not ME - it is a performance. That is not my face - it is a LOOK, a creation, an image, all thanks to Sephora. Detachment is how I can analyze these parts while keeping my inner self nurtured. I am not my voice, I am not my face, I am Veronica and these are my “instruments". For example, I know my body is dramatically different from when I was younger, so my sound seems more "voluminous", I hear more "bottom end" than I'd like to hear in the future, but I'm confident that this is easy to improve with more conditioning, focus, practice with the song notes, and understanding the limitations of the online audio experience.
In my view, analyzing performance for improvement IS a nurturing act. I deserve excellence.You deserve excellence but let’s have fun getting there and celebrate the steps we take in the journey. It's how we do it and how we talk to ourselves that matters.
I learned these piano covers in 5 days but I see I could've taken more time to get it to a standard I am happy with....and yet I was impatient! At this rate, I’d never do anything if I waited for perfection. I had to set a date. It took almost a year to put together (and purchase!) all parts of my live streaming plan so I was keen to see where I was at.
We have to remember that our worst is sometimes someone's best effort or even their dream. We are all here to lift each other from where we are at, right here, right now!
So, in the hopes that it helps others, I’ve put my gear list in the notes of the Streaming Highlight reel and also here in the blog below. I would love to invite you to register on my website, soulsingercoach.com to be notified of my next Live Streaming Performance. For now, please check out my youtube videos and be sure to like & subscribe!
That’s all for now and remember: Life is hard. Sing anyway!
Live Streaming Gear-list
- Laptop upgrade to Macbook Pro M1 with adaptor for ethernet connection with zoom account (free)
- AverMedia webcam
- Hosting by my online "school" "free" course that listeners registered for to get the zoom link & other information like my Tip Jar.
- Sennheiser e855 Microphone
- Alesis Multimix8 Fx (interface/mixer/monitor/vocal effects)
- iPod via RCA cables into the mixer
- Backtracks by Sing2Piano which allows non-monetized use if you credit/link back
- Canva.com for zoom background
- paypal.com for my Tip Jar and QR code