How to use drones for live streaming bands or concerts (Audio Syncing)

How to use drones for live streaming bands or concerts

We’re going to go over how to live stream a drone in conjunction with your live streaming production setup. So we got some really great footage and experience with this, actually this weekend, where we set up a two camera live streaming system with two PTZOptics cameras, and we also had a drone which added a lot of great footage, it added a lot of great context to the setting. It really helped bring our production to a whole nother level. So I wanted to go over how you can actually add a drone and sync everything up with audio and video and really make everything look good. So we’ve got this little presentation here I’m going to take you through, and basically it would there’s two essential things that you’re going to need. One is an HDMI output from your drone remote control, and a frame grabber. Now this is required for live streaming your drone at the same time as the cameras, and the audio and everything.

So everything is in sync this is the way I like to do it’s kind of the best way to do it, but, you could also simply take the footage from your drone, put it onto your computer, and then incorporate it into your live stream which we also did because the drones only have like 20 minutes in the air, but there’s those are the two different ways. So if you haven’t seen our video before this that where we went over our whole live streaming set up, I would suggest that you go ahead and take a look at that video first. In that video we go from start to finish setting up our live streaming set up with two PTZ cameras, a live streaming computer or joystick controller, our USB mixer, we had an external monitor, headphones, and then the part that we didn’t really dig into was the drone part.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about in this video, so if you didn’t if you missed our first live streaming setup video there’ll be a link below in the description where you can go ahead and take a look at that video first. So here’s a little picture of our setup, as you can see we’ve got a computer for live streaming we were using vMix for this live stream, but you can also use Wirecast kind of I like both of them equally.

We can see we’ve got an external monitor we were using so that we can monitor the drone on a big screen, a joystick controller so that we can control two cameras that you can see our two cameras there and, we’re set up right next to the audio board. So all of that’s explained in our video, but just give you a little a little heads-up, that video you should probably check out so you’ll understand kind of where we’re coming from with this video. So when it came time to adding the drone to our live stream, we already had two cameras going, we already had an audio input with all the microphones and all the musical guitars and basses and everything being summed into one audio stream. So we had one great dual channel audio stream coming through, so anything that we added live with the drone was going to be in sync with the audio and video, and I’ve got some test footage here I can really quickly show you guys to show you how that works.

Ok so hopefully you heard that everything was in sync, and then once the drone landed we actually took the video from the SD card and put it onto the computer. What I found was that the wireless video coming off the HDMI from our output module was not quite as good as the hard-coded SD card. So that video actually ended up being a lot better there was no fragmenting or tearing of the video, it’s much higher quality. So we ended up using that as kind of B-roll during the live stream. So here’s a couple of pictures of how everything was set up, we took USB off our pan tilt and zoom cameras, plug them into the computer, there’s our joystick there and you can see we had all of our presets, you know laid out so we go directly to the guitarist or the bassist for example. There’s a kind of a wide shot of our whole system, two cameras mainly you know the audio feed all that. There’s the sound board that was taking in all of the microphones, and instruments from the band and then here’s a picture of the drone operations.

So one of the things to know is that you can elect to show the on-screen display, which shows the height and the you know all the information about the battery life and all of that in the feed coming off the HDMI, and that’s what we were capturing for our live drone footage. It will not be put onto the actual footage itself that’s going on to the SD card, so you it’s up to you you know you have creative control over what you want to do there, just a couple tips, so you really got two ways to sync up your audio. One is to just do it all live. That’s kind of the best way, but there is video tearing with all that wireless video transmission and the absolute highest quality is actually going to be put on that SD card.

How to live stream drones

So it’s really up to you how you want to do it, you know depending on how far the drone is from the receiver the the further it gets away, the more video tearing you’re gonna see, but it’s not bad it could it’s perfect for live concerts and stuff where you actually need live video. The other way you can do it is you can match it up in post-production if you’re doing like a music video or something, and a tip for that is that you might if you’re doing a music video, you may want to actually play the actual music during the the recording so that everything stays in-sync, but that’s pretty much how we did it hopefully that gives everyone a good understanding of how to live stream drones during your live video production.


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