TUTORIAL: Setting up an ONLINE show with Side Door

Side Door’s mission is to always serve artists and foster community. As such, during COVID-19 self-isolation, we are adjusting the platform to accommodate online shows. We will update this post as we make changes to make things easier!

EXISTING HOSTS

When it comes to ONLINE Side Door shows, hosts work more like Curators or Partners. We have found that many Side Door hosts are eager to stay involved, and are resourceful in helping artists to have successful shows. Every bit counts.

Obviously, we love this, and we’d encourage you to get involved.

If this interests you, please contact us and let us know!


ARTISTS

1. Build a profile

If you do not have one already, set up a Side Door Artist profile.

2. Create a show

From within your Dashboard, navigate to “Online Shows

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Click “Start Planning” to make a self-promoted show. Curated shows involve existing venues/curators from Side Door who can help you promote and plan your show. You’ll find these profiles in your Discover tab.

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Set up “The Basics”

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3. Create a private streaming link

Side Door will help you ticket the online show and manage the revenue, but you’ll need to use a 3rd party service to actually handle the stream itself. We can help!

Deciding on a streaming platform.

Zoom, BlueJeans, etc. - there are many, and they all have pros and cons.

We have had success using Zoom for a number of reasons:

  • Easy to create exclusive/private links that can be distributed via ticketing emails.

  • Flexibility with admin settings to control the technical flow of the show.

  • Feeling of community is better achieved in the environment of an online meeting vs. traditional live-streaming platforms (like Facebook Live or Twitch) which do not allow for the host to see the participants, or for the participants to see each other.


    It’s perfectly fine to use whatever streaming platform you desire, though - and we want you to use what you’re comfortable with. Side Door helps you mitigate the ticketing, distribute the streaming to ticket holders, and solicit reviews and testimonials from your audience. The revenue will be held in escrow and dispersed to you after the show.


Should you decide to use Zoom…

1. You can sign up for a free account HERE. Once your account is setup, make sure you’ve downloaded the Zoom application HERE.

With a free Zoom account, you can broadcast to 100 people for a duration of 40 minutes. With a paid account, you can broadcast for longer durations, and there are add-ons that allow to have 500 or even 1000 participants.


2. Set up a meeting:

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Set your title, date and time:

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We suggest the following settings:

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Zoom will create a calendar event:

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4. Add your Private Link to your Show

Paste the private show link into your “Platform Tab”.

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5. Ticketing

Figure out what you’d like to charge. If you’re doing an interactive Zoom show, the limit is 1000. If you’re doing a "broadcasted” show via Youtube etc, there’s no need for a limit.

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6. Finalize the details in your Show Thread

Make sure the show is set up how you like.

You’ll find the Message to guests in the Details tab. This is where you’ll want to copy/paste the Zoom Meeting ID and Password, along with any other special instructions for the show, opt-ins for your mailing list, or links to merch / videos, etc.

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7. Publish

Once you’re happy with all the elements of your show and you’re ready to put it online, simply publish the show. It is now on sale, and you can track real-time sales in the Show thread.

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8. Promote your show!

Once your ticket page is up and running, you’ll be given a unique link to promote it via socials, email, text, etc. When the audience buys tickets, that revenue will be held in escrow until after the show, at which point it will be dispersed automatically into your bank account.

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9. Audio Setup

When it comes time to broadcast, you’ll use the Zoom application (or alternative streaming service) to start your broadcast. Here are some hot tips:

  • Broadcast from an extremely quiet room that is well lit (ideally with some natural light)

  • You can use the built in camera on your computer or consider purchasing a high end web cam.

If you are using Zoom, we highly recommend you do the following in order to add production value and a better audio experience for participants…

AUDIO QUALITY

  • If you have any kind of home recording setup, condenser microphones or the like, this will unquestionably enhance the audio experience of your stream.

  • Zoom automatically engages a fair amount of audio processing to help filter out background noise, feedback and echos during spoken meetings. These functions are helpful in regular meetings, but UNHELPFUL for a musical performance and degrade the experience for listeners. Here is how to disengage Zoom’s native audio processing:

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  • Select “Audio” in the left column

  • If you will be using your computer’s built-in microphone, there is no need to adjust the Speaker (Output) or Microphone (Input) settings

  • If you are using an external microphone(s), set your input / output to whatever Analog-to-Digital interface that you use to bring audio into your computer (MBox, Avid, Lynx, Apogee, etc) - OR, if you are using a USB microphone, select your microphone as the input.

  • Turn OFF “Automatically adjust microphone volume”

  • Proceed to “Advanced”

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  • Turn ON “Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

  • Now, let’s run a test to see how it sounds…

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  • From the main window of your Zoom app, click “New Meeting”

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  • Enable “Turn on Original Sound”

  • Start Recording your meeting

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  • If you’d like, you can opt to make Original Sound (ie. NO Zoom audio processing) your default setting for various input choices. This way you won’t have to remember to apply it each time you run a show.

  • Strum a guitar, play a piano, do some singing - whatever it is that you do, as if you were performing for an audience.

  • End your meeting.

  • Zoom will convert your meeting into a recording. If you’ve recorded locally to your computer, the default folder for these recordings is in Documents/Zoom/

  • You’ll find an audio and video recording of your meeting, which you can listen to and see how your performance would sound to others

  • Here are recording samples of various configurations of Built-in vs External Microphones, as well as WITH or WITHOUT Zoom Audio Processing:

Ideal Setup:

vs.



Less Ideal Setup:

vs.

10. Show Time.

We have a few more pointers to help have the best experience during the show:

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  • At the bottom of your Zoom meeting screen, engage both “Manage Participants” and “Chat”. These functions will better help you administer the experience.

  • We HIGHLY suggest engaging the “Mute All” function. Imagine having hundreds of people unmuted with various bits of ambient noise at the same time! It is obviously ideal to funnel all engagement to the chat thread.