How to Run a Remote Production with easylive.io

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Also during the setup phase, you’ll want to create keyboard shortcuts to simplify adding and removing multiple production elements simultaneously. You can enter Hotkey mode by clicking Hotkeys as shown on the lower left in Figure 6. This toolbar is located on the bottom left of the production interface, and it’s how you toggle into different operating windows to control various aspects of the production, like what your guests see and hear and the audio mixer.

Figure 6. Adding a hotkey. Note the toolbar on the lower left that you’ll use to switch between different control screens. (Click through for larger version)

To add a hotkey, you enter the Hotkey interface, click Add, and then perform the action you want the hotkey to perform, like adding some content or blanking a layer. Once you click back into production mode, you can activate the hotkey by clicking it, pressing the corresponding number on your keyboard, or configuring it to a button on the Elgato Stream Deck.

Audio Management in easylive.io

Before starting your tests, you should also get familiar with the audio mixer, shown in Figure 7. Note that only the audio associated with the content that’s currently live is actually inserted into the program feed. So if you have a producer behind the scenes talking to a guest who’s not live, neither of their audio feeds will make it into the program feed. You can insert off-camera audio sources using the Audio button shown on the bottom of each input. And, of course, you can control the volume coming in from each source and the volume going into the program feed on the left.

Figure 7. The audio mixer (click for larger image)

You can also mute any on-camera audio source by clicking the Mute button on the bottom left of each input and remove audio from the headphone monitoring by clicking the Headphone button. Of course, at this juncture, while you’re still in setup mode, none of your audio or video sources are live, so there’s only so much configuration you can do.

At some point, you’ll have to transition into testing mode, which spins up an instance that controls the production, and, then, you start to incur a charge. In this mode, you can test all of your inputs and make sure everything is working as desired. The first time out, you should allocate a good hour or so to get everything working. If you’re an experienced user running a regular show that uses the same setup, it should take only a few minutes.

Going Live with easylive.io

You click the Publishing button to go live; once you’ve done, the system starts recording the program stream and delivering the feeds to the selected services. Now it’s just a question of choosing the various inputs and monitoring audio. Because the system is cloud-based, you can have multiple production personnel controlling different production aspects: one mixing, one monitoring audio, and another creating highlights, which is shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Here’s what I see as the guest: my other guest on the left and the program feed on the right, plus a chat screen and my webcam input on the top right. (Click for larger image)

To create a highlight, you enter the Recording mode and click Recording, which saves the 25 seconds immediately preceding the click. Then, you can trim the highlight in the Clip editor shown and deploy the highlight back into the production or send it out to social media (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Trimming a highlight for adding back to the production or sending to social media

For complicated productions with multiple guests, there’s a multiview feature that opens in a separate window and contains windows for all inputs. This provides the event producer with a way to monitor off-
camera speakers and other contributors.

Once you’re done with the production, click End, and you’re taken into the screen shown in Figure 10, where you can download the production, create clips, and publish them on social media.

Figure 10. Once the production is done, you can download it and/or create clips for publishing on social media. (Click for larger image)

Like any multiple-input live production tool, easylive.io has a learning curve, particularly when managing multiple remote guests. But if you can drive a desktop tool like Wirecast or vMix, you’ll find easylive.io a breeze. While these desktop editors do a good job with simple two- and three-party shows, larger productions start to gobble up CPU cycles and outbound bandwidth, particularly when distributing to multiple outputs. For these types of productions, easylive.io is a natural.

[Editor's note: This article appears in the 2022 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook.]

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