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Livestream Your Own Podcasts and Talk Shows Easily!

Luis VigilMarch 11, 20214 mins read
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While going live is easier than ever, learning how to livestream an online podcast can still be a bit difficult. Adding a guest, especially with video can be a bit tricky depending on the platform you’re trying to use. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to produce your own talk shows or podcasts, add some production values and make your life as a host and producer easier.

A podcast studio with a PC setup in the background to livestream a podcast.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Setup

We’re going to be using XSplit Broadcaster to set all this up. For the host, they just need to set the microphone device and add their webcam to the main scene. This part is pretty easy in XSplit Broadcaster, for the audio head into the Tools drop down menu > settings > Audio and select the microphone you wish to use. For your webcam, in the Sources menu select Add Source > Devices > Video > and select the webcam you wish to use.

Adding a guest really depends on the software you’re planning to use. If you’re using something like Discord, Zoom or Hangouts you’ll need to use the screen capture feature in XSplit Broadcaster to get the video feed. This is found in the Sources menu again, Add Source > Screen Capture, and either Smart Selection or Window Capture and select the program. From here you can crop and move the source around. If you have multiple monitors, I recommend dedicating one monitor to place all your video calls and be sure to set them to full screen so you can get the highest resolution from the window capture.

The only outlier to this process is Skype. With Skype you can enable NDI output, which means you can pull the video feeds of your guests as an independent NDI source. This is easily done in Skype by going into the Settings > Calling > Advanced > Allow NDI Usage, then is XSplit Broadcaster go to the Source menu > Streams > NewTek NDI stream > select the caller you’re bringing in. Also, if you’re pulling all your system audio as your main output for the stream, be sure to mute the NDI source in XSplit Broadcaster or you’ll end up with doubled up audio, this is easily done by right-clicking on the video source and hitting the “mute” button.

One pro tip, if you have an additional laptop or PC to livestream your podcast, designate that as the call laptop. You can then capture the calls from the laptop via a capture card and use an audio mixer to adjust levels. This is a bit more expensive and you should only really do this if you’re planning to invest in your online talk show.

A person sits at a desk with headphones on, talking in to a microphone as they produce a livestreamed podcast.
Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

Production Elements

If you want to add some production elements, here’s where you’d call on a designer to make some graphic overlays to use, but if you don’t have access to such resources there are some tools within XSplit that can help!

First, if you need a background for your cameras or a bar for a lower third, you use the color matte source. This can be found in the XSplit Plugin Store which can be found in the Source menu by clicking “Find More Sources” and once installed it will be found in the General Widgets section of the Source menu. Adding a Text Source (again, in the sources menu) will let you add names and other info on top of a color matte source to make a lower third! You can then group these sources together and add source effects like animating in and out during the scene changes. Source effects can be found by right-clicking on a source and selecting the “Effects” tab. In these same settings, you can also add a border around your video feeds like your screen capture and webcam source.

Combine all this with presents and/or scene transitions so you can dynamically add in or out guests throughout the broadcast. One particularly useful element is having a countdown timer before the show starts. You can easily create one of these using the text source we used earlier and clicking enable custom scripts. You can use the clock script and either use the count or timer function to set up a timer.

Two people sit on the floor with micriphones on their coffee table as the livestream a podcast
Photo by Kate Oseen on Unsplash

Recording and Streaming

Streaming with XSplit Broadcaster is pretty straightforward. Login to your platform of choice and use the setup wizard to configure your stream settings. For recording, you want to record in the highest quality and highest audio bitrate possible which can be changed by clicking on the Record drop down menu and clicking the cog symbol next to the recording profile you’re using. Enabling multitrack audio will allow you to adjust the audio levels later in your editing software of choice.

Setting up these multiple recording profiles can also be very useful when you’re recording a talk show. Basically, you can setup multiple recordings from different scenes, so for example you could set up a scene per camera source, and then when you come to edit the talk show later for YouTube you can zoom in or crop your guests based on what’s going on. You can find out more about multiple recording profiles right here.

A latte sits on a table next to an iPhone which is listening to a livestreamed podcast.
Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

Managing your show

One important final element for livestreaming a podcast or talk show is that your guests need to be able to see what’s going on! XSplit Broadcaster can act as a virtual camera which means you can display whatever the current live scene is as your camera output in programs like Skype or Zoom. This means that your guests can easily see when they’re live, when you’re on a break, or just what the focus of the stream is. It’s good to know you’re not on camera if you need to take a sip of your coffee!

Another important feature is split view mode. This mode will give you a preview scene that you can edit before pushing live. This is really helpful for cueing up your next segment or easily adding new elements smoothly before pushing them live. So, for example, did one of your guests just mention a new trend or video? You can find it and add it to your scene then push it live in a smooth and seamless way. This can be easily accessed in the top right corner drop down menu for the resolution > work space and selecting split mode.

As with most things practice makes perfect, so don’t be dissuaded if the first few shows don’t go off perfectly, we’re all at the mercy of the internet! Just stick with it and add production elements as time goes on, remember the content is what’s most important when you livestream your podcast or talk show!

Luis VigilLouis Vigil has been working on live stream productions for a variety of gaming events for over 10 years! When not broadcasting an event somewhere in the world, Louis also produces educational content for people looking to get into broadcasting on his Offcast YouTube channel.More from this Author