Oh boy, this was supposed to be quite the special episode and oh, did it turn out special—but not in any way I wanted…
The plan was to play a set from a hotel room at the Baltic Sea because it was my wife’s birthday and we decided to take a short vacation. So last week I tested the equipment which went quite well, and I spend all of Tuesday evening packing up all the stuff.
Luckily pretty much all of that fit into that little transparent plastic box (oh, SAMLA, how do we love thee!) but there’s so much more I needed to take…
Oh well, it doesn’t look like that much of a problem on a picture, does it? It all fit quite effortlessly into the little car I had rented and I was able to leave for the Baltic Sea at about 10:30 which is a bit later than I planned to but was still well within limits.
On arrival I unloaded it all and started putting it together in the hotel room. (I have completely forgotten to take any pictures of the setup! ) Plugging everything together locally went without any bigger problems, my wife had a hand in camera placement to be able to avoid them easily, and accord to Ookla’s speedtest.net the hotel’s wifi was fine as well; 40 mbps down and 11 mbps up should be more than sufficient!
Twitch has a nifty “bandwidth test mode” that you can enable on your connection. It will accept whatever you send it but you won’t go live so nobody else will see it so you can test your setup, and OBS supports that by means of a simply checkbox in your stream settings. I activated that checkbox and started streaming…
The first couple of tries were disastrous. The stream dropped frames front, left, and center even though the bitrate should have been way below what the wifi could handle! I experimented with the resolution and bitrate, turning everything down and more down until I arrived at something that the wifi seemed to be able to handle. It probably looked like shit but luckily OBS doesn’t show that to me!
I let that test run for quite some time and by all accounts it was fine. The ratio of dropped frames was acceptable (somewhere in the 0.0%–0.1% range) so I felt confident that the stream would work and went to dinner with my wife.
And then 19:00 rolled around and everything went to hell in a handbasket. OBS had completely forgotten how to connect to Twitch. I couldn’t stream at all! The error message pointed to a bug that should have been fixed a couple of versions ago, re-authenticating was impossible, and simply using a stream key instead of logging in with OBS also didn’t work.
At this point (we were maybe 10, 15 minutes into the show) I was already ready to pour some gas over the gigantic pile of hardware and set it ablaze, then go to the beach and watch the hotel burn down from there.
I tried a bunch of different things instead; I updated OBS to the latest patch version of the version I had, I updated to the next minor version, I updated to the next major version but nothing I did was able to restore the connection to Twitch. And in addition to not being able to stream anything, one of the plugins I use for scene switching was now also broken. Yay. Plus, because I have cursed so much in the process of doing all this, my wife has left the hotel room and went to the sauna instead…
I tried to see if I could get some other streaming service up and running on short notice and without any preparation (account creation, OBS settings) but didn’t really get very far. If I ever try this again I will have a backup plan for this situation!
A whole while into the set I remembered that I have an icecast server available so even though nobody can see me through that, people could still hear me! I popped the ShoutVST plugin into the REAPER instance that managed audio, entered the connection data and I finally had a stream!
Now, ShoutVST works quite okay if you have a stable internet connection (I have used it successfully to stream demoparties to SceneSat) but apparently the hotel wifi was anything but stable and the stream disconnected every 10–15 minutes or so. And because I couldn’t see the display of the stream machine from where I was playing, I never noticed when the stream went down—except for the one time when the whole machine shut down. I had the one DMX light I own with me, and as DMX lights usually turn off when they don’t get a signal for 100 msecs and the stream machine was also responsible for controlling the light, the sudden darkness in the hotel room tipped me off rather immediately that something wasn’t quite right! The issue was the USB-C power plug which has slightly slipped from the USB-C socket on the MacBook so the battery was empty. Easy fix!
A second easy fix was moving the phone away from the surface of the DJ console as apparently the missing or insufficient shielding of the console allowed the common annoying mobile phone interference noise to penetrate the audio signal which I could not hear locally because the phone was lying on the top right corner of the console but the headphones get their signal from the lower left corner and apparently the interference is quite localized.
Yes, well, so, that was pretty much it. A show I will definitely remember for quite some time but for none of the right reasons…
A big thank you to everyone who made the effort to listen to this show, anyway.
You can download the show here, and this is the playlist:
|D-Gor, Marc van Linden
|Claas Inc., NicAr
|Cosmic Gate, Diana Miro
|Hear Me Out
|Cambodia (Talla 2XLC Vocal Mix)
|Kaimo K, Tiff Lacey
|Happiness (Sound Design 2nd Treatment Original Mix)
|MaRLo, Roxanne Emery
|Kiran M Sajeev
|Through It All [Nim]
|Found a Way to You
|Chris Element, Peter Santos
|Darren Porter, RAM
|The Calling (XiJaro & Pitch Remix)
|David Forbes, Susie Ledge
|Silent Waves (Factor B’s Dark Waters Remix)
|Conjure One, Sinéad O’Connor
|Tears from the Moon (anamē Remix)
|Make Me Feel
|South of the Stars
|IanT, Woody van Eyden
|Sean Tyas, Victoriya
|Perfect World (Amos & Riot Night Remix)
|Audrey Gallagher, Ciaran McAuley
|Purified (Giuseppe Ottaviani Retouch)
|Aly & Fila, Billy Gillies
|Kings (FSOE750 Anthem)
|The Only Way
|RRAW!, Talla 2XLC
|Kinetica, Paul Skelton
|One More Day
|Hello Peter (Giuseppe Ottaviani Retouch)
|Need You Here
|Maarten de Jong
|Atom (138 Remix)
|Bryn Whiting, NG Rezonance
|Why We Fall
|Alex Sonata & TheRio
|Breath of the Wild
|Ferry Tayle, XiJaro & Pitch
|Lost in Memories (David Elston Remix)
|Freak of the Week
|Metta & Glyde
|Anywhere with You
|Arkham Knights, Markus Schulz
|RAM, Susana, Tales of Life
|The Power of Love
|The Space Brothers
|Forever (ReOrder Remix)
|Omar Sherif, Susie Ledge
|Here with Me