Outside broadcasts

From Smoke Academy Wiki
Outside broadcasts are common at sports events.

Outside broadcasts take place beyond the studio. They usually require careful planning and additional equipment, but can be rewarding projects that lead to more vibrant content.

Planning

Consider the following before committing to an OB;

  • What will we broadcast? Especially for events that last multiple hours, consider whether you have enough content to justify an OB? Will you need to play pre-recorded packages, idents and music?
  • Is there a reliable internet connection? If your connection goes down, the server jukebox will kick in, but it's still not nice for your listeners.
  • Is there power? Obvious, this one.
  • Is the location good? Are you sheltered from wind noise and rain?
  • Are we visible? OBs can be a great marketing and promotional activity. Choose a highly visible location and bring along branding materials.


Larger OBs tend to occur alongside Smoke TV, and both share the same audio.

Equipment

Diagram of a typical OB setup with four microphones and a cable to send audio played by the laptop into the audio mixer.

There are several pieces of equipment needed for an OB:

  • Computer - This will run your encoding software and play sounds.
  • Encoder software - This software takes the audio and sends it on to the streaming server. BUTT is the recommended choice.
  • An audio mixer - The complexity of your OB will decide whether you need a large mixer or a small one. Either way, the mixer will need a USB interface to connect to your computer.
  • Microphones - Duh. Make sure you bring foam shields to protect against wind noise, and enough XLR cables to reach wherever you want your presenters to be.

For complicated projects, you might also consider bringing along the XLR comms system - this allows crew members to be in constant contact with each other, using headsets that are wired back to a central base station.

Preparation

You should schedule a show in Faraday, and drag the 'OB STREAM' content into it. Your OB will automatically start and end at the time you specify. You may also want to prepare some graphics, photography and plan out your social media for the day, to push people to tune in.