Ok, I’m a Geek Part C (Tek speak)

Technical aspects of gigging in SL

There are a few things you need before you can gig in-world.
1. A desire to get your music to a new and gracious audience

SL may feel like a game and it is, but remember there are real people behind those avatars. Real people who you can direct to your website who are interested in listening to new music.

2. Broadband

Don’t even think about trying this on dial-up

3. Audio interface

You need a way to get your live music into your computer. You can also stream pre recorded content but the live performance is what people come to hear. My system is the same gear I use to record. I have a small mixer, a nice preamp/compressor chain for my large diaphragm condenser mic. I play my guitar through my regular guitar processor into the mixer along with the microphones. One for my voice and another to pick up live acoustic sounds from my guitar. the mixer out put plugs into my computer’s audio interface.

4. Streeming Software

Once the audio is in your computer you need to send it out to a server that is connected to Second Life. This server is the responsibility of the venue in world. But to send your audio to their server you need software. I bought a program called Simplecast from Spacial Audio It will streem whatever you have going through your sound card’s output directly to any servers you are connected to. It is kinda spendy, $60 US I was able to get a discount by asking for a coupon through their site’s contact link. 10% .. better then full retail. This software has level meters on it which is the only way to tell if your streaming audio is clipping. There is a 20 to 30 second lag from the time you transmit and the time you are heard in world. This lag makes it hard to monitor your output to the web. Leaving you with just those meters so stay out of the red.

5. Second life

If you want to converse with you SL audience you will need to be running Second Life. You will need an account to do that. You will need an account to talk to venue owners to set up your gig. everything is done in world. It is just like real life, You need to get face time with owners and managers. Give them a demo usually your myspace account. If they like your music they might set you up for an audition where they give you stream information and stage time to test your stuff.

6. The performance.

Would you step on a stage to play a gig without your guitar or keyboard? Of course not. If you are playing for tips don’t forget your tip jar. These things you can buy in world. The people listening to you arn’t just passively listening. They are chattering in the chat window watching your avatar, Talking about what they like/dislike about your performance. They expect to see someone on stage playing an instrument. If they like what they hear they might want to give tips and check out a link to your website. They expect that be ready for it.

7. Be ready to have fun and share your show.

Your Stream will be available on the Internet for non second life users. once you have your server log-in info you can build a link to that stream that anyone can plug into their media player, winamp, musicmatch… player of choice and listen. be sure to send links to your friends.

I don’t pretend to know everything this is just what I have learned from my experience so far. I hope you found it interesting.

Ronnie

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2 Responses to “Ok, I’m a Geek Part C (Tek speak)”

  1. With the 20-30 second lag, didn’t that make interacting with the audience difficult? Or did you just talk to them and hope they didn’t talk back? 😆 Can you hear/read what they say about you in their chat windows either real time or later? (I can’t imagine reading chat while playing and singing.)

    So, where is that link to your stream for non-second life users? 😀

  2. I think everyone is aware of the lag. So people don’t expect you to talk back in real time. instead I give a shout out to anyone who tipped or comment on something I see in the chat in between songs. I like to read the message log after I get done.
    basically you need to remember whatever you see in the chat was typed while they are listening to what you said/sang 20 seconds ago. It’s a hoot, you don’t really read the chat while you are singing but you catch things sometimes. “Woot RONNIE!” streams bye and you get it without “Reading” You just can’t let it distract you.
    It would be nice tho to have someone who can run your avatar and proxy for you in chat. someone who can start and stop your guitar animation to coordinate with your lagged stream. they could tweak your on-line sound and listen 30 seconds for the tweak to come through. all that stuff you can’t do while you’re performing

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