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The Ultimate Macros Guide: Live Streaming Automation!

Luis Vigil
August 24, 20214 mins read

Automation makes life easier, so why not make your streaming life easier as well with macros! Live stream automation with macros means you can do all sorts of things! From your camera zooming in when you scream playing a horror game to triggering a timed scene change. So let’s discuss how macros and automation can make your streams easier and more powerful!

What are Macros?

Macros are an extension built into XSplit Broadcaster, if you don’t have macros installed, you can go into the plugins store (which can be found by going to the Tools menu and selecting Plugin Store), search for macros, and install it easily. The first time running macros you will need to give permissions so be sure to click OK. This is the first step to full live streaming automation!

Macros are basically scripts or a series of commands that are run when a basic condition is met. So the condition is when something happens, it can be on pressing a key when the audio is at a certain level, when a video stops playing at a specific time, there are really tons of possible event types and you can write your own custom scripts.

The Macro menus open in XSplit Broadcaster which makes live streaming automation possible.
An example of the Macros Plugin (remember to enable event listener!)

So when you set an event type, you can then select an action to happen. This could be switching to a scene, starting a stream, opening a projector, or event running another macro. You can have multiple actions happen after an event. You can even have multiple macros running simultaneously, which really means if you timed everything right you could add automation to almost all of your stream!

You can test your macros and they will only be active when the event listener is enabled. Now the possibilities are endless with macros, but I’d like to talk through some cool examples of how you can use them. For all the samples I show here, I’ll leave a link below each section to download the macros so you can import them into your own presentation and try them out.

A close up of a phone next to a gaming mouse and keyboard on a desk watching a live stream, adding live streaming automation could help you!
Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

Automate Live Stream Commercial Breaks

So if you’re producing a live show, timing is everything, and live stream automation can help! You don’t want to miss a cue and cut back to talent too early or too late, so why not set a macro to automate your ad break? As Forbes said, streaming is presenting more opportunities for brands so getting this right could be important! If your ad break is running a series of videos in a playlist, it’s simple to automate this.

First set up your ad break scene. If you have a series of video and image ads, I recommend using your video editing software to stitch these together into a single file. Then in macros set up a macro for on key down. Then just set the key. Then set the action to switch to a scene, and select the scene with the ad break video. Enable the event listener and then set up another macro. This time the event is when a media source stops. Select your ad break video file then set the action to switch the scene to whichever scene you go to after an ad break.

You can add more macros to make this more complex like cutting to the ads intro video after a break or implementing custom stinger transitions.

Download this macro here

Making your camera zoom in on a loud noise is another great macro!

Starting a stream on time

If you need to start a stream at an exact time, regardless if you’re ready or not for a client, then this is a useful macro!

For the event, set the scheduled time and select the time your stream needs to start. Then set the switch to the scene and select a scene with a standby graphic that’s safe to start the stream with. Then set an action to start the stream. Make sure the event listener is on and you’re ready to go!

Download this macro here.

A person wearing an RGB gaming headset streaming on their gaming PC, adding live streaming automation could make their life easier.
Photo by Fredrick Tendong on Unsplash

Always stream and record

So one of the mistakes I always make when doing an event is not starting the recording when I start the stream. Depending on the format of your show, this can be an absolutely devastating error if you promised your client a high-quality archive or if your internet goes out and you want to keep capturing a live event for later upload.

So, you use macros to set a hotkey that will activate your stream and recording. This is especially useful if you’re planning to stream to many different platforms or record multiple scenes.

Download this macro here.

IRL Live Streaming Automation

A lot of IRL streamers actually relay the stream from their IRL backpack to a cloud PC running broadcasting software. This is to keep their stream live when they go into an area where their cell reception is cut off. This can also be managed by macros.

Set an event for when a stream source is online, this is the RTMP feed source you’ve added to your IRL backpack. Set the action to switch to the scene with the RTMP feed. Then set up a macro for when an RTMP source goes offline. Have it switch to a standby screen for whenever your stream feed re-connects.

This solution can also be used as a backup system for always keeping a stream online if you’re doing a project for a client, you would just need to set up an RTMP server to output an RTMP to this relay system.

Download these macros here.

There are really endless ways you can use macros for live stream automation, this is only a small sample of use cases. The possibilities are endless so play around with the extension and see what you come up with! What’s the most inventive use you’ve found for our macro system? Or if you’ve never used it before, what do you think this might be helpful for? Let us know in the comments below!

Luis Vigil

Louis 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