Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Performing Live onto the Internet

I mentioned earlier that I play live into Second Life. This is not as tricky as it may initially sound. OK, my setup is a little more complex than when I started, but you really don't need a lot to get into it.

The most important thing you'll need is a way to take your audio and send it to an shoutcast (or icecast) server. I use a tiny free little tool called BUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool).

Now as to my setup, it's a bit more complex than it used to be and it's forever changing, but as of this moment it comprises the following.

An Acer Travelmate 7720G notebook. While I'm currently doing audio in (and out) using USB, this notebook also provides a line level stereo input, which I find useful. I've also set up a second screen off the notebook that I can see while I am playing. This allows a bit of interaction with what people are saying/typing online while I'm onstage, making for a more intimate performing experience. It can also lead to dropping me into fits of laughter in the middle of a song, but that's live music!

An Ashton MXL8 mixer feeding one channel into a Digitech RP150, which in turn connects in stereo to my notebook through USB. The RP150 does a little EQ, post compression and reverb for me (as well as the odd freaky effect on the whole shebang).



  • Vantage VW25CWSB - Electric Acoustic cutaway (I'm holding it in my profile pic). This is the instrument that I mainly use.
  • Takamine D-20 TBS Acoustic. I need to mike this one to use it. But it has a lovely tone.
  • Ibanez V302 12 String Acoustic. Again I need to mike this when using it.
  • Gibson L6-S Deluxe - Lovely to play. I bought this guitar with my first pay packet in 1986. Mine is done in the natural satin finish. Apparently there were only 2161 of these made.
Now the effects line on the guitar is pretty simple. I have a PSK CP-1 Compressor which looks to be a Korean knock-off of a Boss compressor pedal feeding into my nice new Boss RC-2 loop station.

Performing into Second Life

Most of the venues in second life provide their own shoutcast or icecast stream that will need to be programmed into BUTT. I also rent one of my own in case there are problems with a venue stream or the venue simply doesn't have one. A stream that will handle up to 50 listeners costs me about US$3/month.

I'll get a bit more into the specifics of making your avatar look like he is actually playing in another blog.

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