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After a month of piloting Facebook Live lunch rehearsal concerts to my network of friends, this week I unveiled them on my Facebook page!
Setlist: Shake It Of w/Shake Your Body Down (to the ground), A Few Bars of Goodbye, Saving Grace, a totally off-the-cuff and unrehearsed cover of Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons, Bucket Seat, Saving Grace, and a special encore duet with EV on We Are The Crystal Gems (the theme from Steven Universe)
With my first solo performance in a LONG time under my belt two weekends ago, I’m starting to get a feel for my solo repertoire again.
For me the standout here is “Status Quo.” I invoked it in this year’s anniversary post, and this is one of the strongest versions of it I’ve performed. It has all sorts of extra ornamentation I’ve never done before. Definitely wish I had that one in studio quality!
“Shake It Off” was a decent rendition, and I’m starting to get the muscle back to pull off three whole minutes of those hammers (seriously, it’s a workout).
I was really focused on keeping “A Few Bars of Goodbye” on the slower side since I tend to gain speed on songs in 3, but the tempo focus distracted me from some of the lyrics. That said, it’s great to hear it at the right speed (and I got the final chord right)!
“Million Reasons” was a bit of a train-wreck, but that’s the fun of doing this live and not as some big studio project where such things would never sneak through. Early Trios featured plenty of beautiful wrecks. I need to take the key slightly up from there to get to a better place in my range for sustained notes – you can hear how much trouble I’m having with breath management. It’s a statement to how damn good the song is that the quality still shows through my shaky performance.
FB Live presented an interesting technical challenge, because FB offers nary a means of broadcasting video from a desktop device. I tried for a few weeks by using my phone, but discovered that the cap on its WiFi upstreaming capabilities meant that live music just didn’t sound great.
After a bit of research, I found a magnificent walkthrough on JoelComm.com that explained desktop-based streaming and even included an applet to generate your streaming key! Once I installed the excellent open-source software OBS I was ready to stream (the next best solution is hundreds of dollars).
The next hurdle is achieving studio-quality sound. The sheer volume of me clips any standard cellphone or laptop mic, plus those mics aren’t great with dealing with reflections and echo and can make even the most pitch-conscious singer (which I am not) seem out of tune. Unfortunately, OBS doesn’t play very nicely with my studio setup, or else this would already be a solved problem. It’s a work in progress.