Meet Zype and the Backlight team at NAB, Booth W3157
Meet Zype and the Backlight team
at NAB, Booth W3157

Multi-camera Livestreaming: A Simple Guide

By The Zype Team on November 15, 2021

Livestreaming is one of the best ways to create regular, engaging content and build a loyal following for your brand – whether you’re a musician, artist, inspirational speaker, or any other small business out there.

If you’ve already been livestreaming for a while, you may be looking for the next step you can take to improve your broadcasts. Many of the most engaging broadcasts use multiple cameras, so that’s a great place to start. As it turns out, it doesn’t take that much to turn your single-camera livestream into an engaging multi-camera livestream broadcast.

Why Use a Multi-cam Setup?

The long and short of it is that a multi-camera setup gives you more opportunity to create engaging, exciting broadcasts. Multi-camera livestreaming is a great way to keep content fresh, give viewers better angles if you’re teaching something, and keep broadcasts engaging.

For example, you can use multi-camera streaming to switch between tight shots of the host and an overhead shot of a complex procedure such as a craft project. You can place a camera on a host and a guest, or work in shots of an excited audience at a livestream concert broadcast.

Multi-camera Livestreaming Equipment

Live video streaming with multiple cameras is simply a matter of a few upgrades to your setup. You’ll need a plan for using different angles and what you want to accomplish with multiple cameras, and you’ll want to practice switching between sources or get help when it comes time to go live.

Video Equipment

Obviously, in order to have a multi-camera streaming system, you’ll need a second camera (and maybe a third or fourth). You can make this as simple as buying a second of your current camera, or you can choose a different kind of camera. For example, you may want one camera with a wide angle and shallow depth of field for main host shots and another with great resolution to capture detailed work.

Next, you’ll need to be able to switch between cameras. For that, you’ll need a switcher, and you can do this with a hardware video switcher or software. If you use a physical switcher, your cameras will plug into the switcher, and the switcher will plug into the computer, displaying a single video source at any given time.

You may also want the ability to do split screens, picture-in-picture, or mixing and fading. These more advanced features can be done with more expensive hardware, but for modest budgets, a software solution may be better.

Audio Equipment

Depending on your livestream, you may not have to change your audio setup. If it’s just you and one microphone, and you only want to add a camera angle for interest, then it’s best to leave your audio rig alone. As you talk, you want your signal to be consistent as you switch cameras.

However, if you’ve been using the on-camera microphone, you’ll want to upgrade to one dedicated microphone so that sound doesn’t change when you switch cameras.

If you plan on adding a second host or guest, you may want to add a microphone to your setup so that each host has a dedicated mic. You can do this with simple lavalier mics, a second USB microphone, or by adding an audio mixer to your setup along with multiple XLR mics.

Multi-camera Livestreaming Software

When handling multiple video and audio sources, you may opt for hardware solutions that route all of your video and audio into the same streaming software you’re using. Otherwise, you might want to try upgrading to more advanced software.

The advantage of using software to handle these chores is that you won’t have to buy extra equipment – other than your new camera and possibly a new mic. One of the most popular and powerful options, OBS, is free, so you don’t need to come up with funding for software if your budget is low.

Other software packages like VMix, Wirecast, and VidBlasterX are very powerful and fairly affordable. And if you’re feeling ambitious, you can always combine hardware switchers, audio mixers, and powerful software to create complex setups with a range of creative possibilities.

It’s Easy to Upgrade to Multi-Camera Livestreaming

The bottom line is livestreaming can be very simple and straightforward, or it can be as complicated and expensive as you want to make it. But if you’re doing a single-camera livestream now, and you want to try a multi-camera livestream right away, just pick up another inexpensive camera and try out some of the streaming software mentioned above. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get going.

Once you’re a pro at complex multi-camera broadcasting, your following gets bigger, and you’re ready to take your channel to the next level, contact MAZ to find out how we can help build your own livestreaming platform – the ultimate way to take your content to the next level.

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