Going Live in 5 4 3 2 1….

Facebook Live is the new way to engage your fans. It’s simple, load the app on to your phone or tablet, log in and start filming. My first time using the app was just recently. We had a promotion and my partner in crime filmed the event for me. Here are the valuable lessons we learned.

Take the time to play around with the “ Live “ setting before hand. This will give you time to work out the kinks. Make sure you have a strong signal. We had to actually have the venue reset their wifi so we could pick up a signal. And lastly do some research. What time is the most optimal for your fans. We launched at the worst possible time and had ZERO viewers. We did collect some views afterwards though. With so many musicians using this new feature we decided to reach out and learn more about this new form of broadcasting. We caught up with Greg Drummonds who plays both covers and originals took some time to give me the low down on Facebook Live. Both of us are constantly trying to improve our presence along with expanding our knowledge in the music industry, so if you have any tips or feedback on this interview feel free to leave us a comment.  Also, make sure to check out Greg’s music and bio.


What motivated you to us Facebook Live?
GD : One night, I played a gig where a live camera was focused on the stage and it was streamed on their website. I received some great feedback from strangers that found my website from the live videos. I decided to try incorporating a live feature in my gigs, however when I used the live stream feature from a different service provider, it was highly unreliable and the bandwidth was choppy at best. One night, I received a notification on my phone that a friend “was live” on Facebook. The next day I did a cover from my living room on Facebook Live.
How many times have you been live on Facebook and have you learned anything from the experience?
GD : I’ve been going live for the last couple months. I’ve learned that camera/phone position is key to viewers. Originally I had a stand on my mic which displayed the crowd the entire time. I noticed viewers were only staying for a few minutes. I’ve started setting up the camera to be near the monitor/speaker at a good audio angle, while pointed directly at my performance. The nice thing about this, is I’m able to see viewers comments during the gig. I’ve had viewers make requests directly from the live stream.
Are you strictly doing cover music when you stream or have you added in your originals?
GD: I’ve done both covers and originals. I’ve had viewers that remembered me from previous bands and asked that I cover my previous originals!
Do you use any audio adjustments on your PA when you are live?
GD: I prefer not to mess with my live sound to accommodate live stream. While the live stream is nice for viewers at home; the main audience is the people at the venue. I have improved the sound quality of the live stream by adding a Zoom iQ6 mic and foam cover to avoid feedback and peaking.
Are all of your Facebook Live streams recorded at gigs or have you tried implementing the live feed in various places ?
GD: So far my Facebook live streams have been entirely at my gigs, with the exception of the initial cover to test the sound and video quality. My future plans are to embed on my website both a YouTube channel for production and fan videos; as well as incorporating live stream covers on Facebook.
After your video has been aired have you noticed if the stream still collects views?  If so, are you re-posting the stream or are your fans finding it on your timeline?
GD: One limitation of the facebook stream, is I am not able to see a list of individuals that have viewed the stream. I am able to see the total count of views; but the users are restricted. I have had individuals contact me later saying they went back to my video to listen to my version of a cover again.
With the maximum time limit being 30 minutes has this made you rearrange your setlist?
GD: I haven’t noticed a time limit. Last week I recorded a 57 minute live stream of my entire set.
Does a catchy headline help when you are describing your  live stream ?
GD: I like to keep the headline simple with the location / venue. When I do shows in an area like South Tampa; I want people to get interested in coming out to the venue to see the show live. My title is usually as simple as “Live at World of Beer South Tampa”. Once I start doing single song live streams from the house, I’ll come up with something catchy.
Have you considered sponsorship or endorsements when you are going live?
GD: This is a great idea! Facebook offers statistics for the live stream and the views range between 300 – 500 each stream the last couple months. I haven’t looked into sponsorships, however I have been researching an online tip functionality / link built into the Facebook status. Something along the lines of Venmo, to allow people online put tips in the online tip bucket!
Do you feel more connected with your fans after each Livestream ?
GD: Absolutely. I feel more connected after and during the live stream. I usually make a plug to the people in attendance that we’re going on live on Facebook. This has been an easy way to promote my music page to the patrons. I’ve had people live at the venue hop onto the livestream and make comments / song requests. I have friends / fans in other states that have watched a set from their living rooms.
If other social media outlets move over to a live feed will you utilize any of them ? GD: When I think about the social media outlets and how they rank against Facebook, it would take a highly superior app to migrate away from Facebook live. One thing that is tough with views, is you rely a lot on people stumbling upon your livestream from scrolling through their news feed. Facebook is one of the few social media sites which people constantly are looking at updates. I mean, it’s Facebook. If a superior app came along, chances are Facebook would buy them out and plug their technology into Facebook.
What advice would you give to a rookie who is about to launch her first Live Stream ?
GD:If you’re going to use your phone or tablet, Facebook live stream reacts nearly identical as your devices audio mic and video. Before going live on Facebook, test different device positions in regards to your sound and video feed. When I first used Facebook Live, I had my iPhone too close to the PA system. The result was muddy and peaky, which isn’t the sound you want when trying to reach a new fan base. Also, I would invest in a microphone designed for your device. Depending on your budget, you can create a production level to your liking. I went with the Zoom iQ6 because it’s compact and easy to transport, it provides me better sound quality than the device microphone, and it doesn’t over produce the sound. One of my favorite parts of live music, is the raw production level. My goal with a microphone was to allow me to target the music, but still allow plenty of ambient bar noise without compromising the live sound. I want the viewer at home or anywhere mobile to get the vibe of being at the bar, and not the vibe of watching a music video.
Live WoB
About Greg Drummonds :
Greg Drummonds, born in central Florida raised in the East Tampa area of Brandon/Valrico, I have been in the live music scene for 16 years since my first high school garage band. After many different projects, I went on a 5 year hiatus from music, I found myself one night at a local bar they had open mic night . After a few too many drinks, I borrowed a guitar and played an original piece. I was invited to do a full set the following week; and suddenly was in the music scene again. Over the next 3 years, while chasing dreams of becoming a professional golfer, I started performing an average of 10 shows per month as an alternative income means. Over the last year, I’ve returned to the corporate world and reduced my gig schedule to a couple gigs per month. I still do a lot of writing at home, and I’m always looking for new ways to expand my sound. I like to make my own renditions of popular songs, and you can find some of my cover material and original material on my Soundcloud page, which can be accessed through Gregory Drummonds.
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