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Streamer How-To

So you want to stream your writing? Excellent, you’re in the right place! 

OHHOW events are all about streaming while we write. They run for days at a time, running around the clock and around the world, with each streamer picking up a 2-hour slot and passing the baton to the next streamer when they’re done.

What You Are Signing Up For

What’s required of everyone who signs up to stream during an OHHOW or WOWW event:

  • Stream yourself and your writing for 2 hours on Twitch
  • Connect with your mods on Discord at least 15 minutes before your stream is due to start
  • Stick to the timetable and let the admins know ASAP if you can’t make it for any reason
  • Add the required mods to your stream ahead of the event
  • Do a test stream to verify your setup
  • Have a plan for your stream
  • Abide by:
  • Coordinate with OHHOW admins and mods to help things run smoothly

Your stream must include:

  • Required OHHOW branding
  • Something visually dynamic and engaging – remember this is a video medium and people will be watching you for 2 hours!
  • Writing sprints between 5 and 20 minutes long each
  • Something aurally engaging – people will also be listening, so make sure there is something for them to listen to, even if it’s background noise or typing during a sprint

See also the Essentials sections of this guide:

  • Getting Started covers what you must do in advance of the event
  • Streaming covers how things will run on the day and what you are expected to do

How to Sign Up

To sign up for a streaming slot, look for when the volunteer signups are open for the next event! Our schedule shows when the signups are open, and keep an eye on the announcements in the OHHOW Discord server for the link.

You will also be able to pick which streaming slot (or slots!) you want. Once we have all the volunteers signed up, the schedule is opened up for everyone to select a slot that suits their time zone and schedule. Keep an eye out on our Discord server for notifications so you know when to jump in and grab your slot.

Stream Timing and Requirements

Before the Event

Before the event, you need to:

On The Day

Here’s how it runs on the day:

  • 15 minutes before your stream starts: make contact with your mod on Discord in the #green-room channel
  • 10 minutes before your stream starts: start your stream and confirm with your mod when you’re ready to go
    • If we have not heard from you on Discord, the admins will activate a backup streamer to cover your slot at this point
  • Stream start time: the previous streamer will raid everyone over into your stream. Welcome them and get rolling!
  • Stream end time: raid everyone over to the next streamer. 

Also check what you signed up for, so you know what’s expected of you.

Getting Started: Essentials

You can use any software you wish to stream to Twitch. For OHHOW events, we recommend using Streamlabs OBS.

The information included on this page assumes you will be using Streamlabs OBS, from setting it up to using it during the event.

Windows Setup

This video covers downloading Streamlabs OBS, adding sources and scenes, webcams and audio, and tons more. Everything you need to know on setting up Streamlabs OBS from scratch is included.

Next: complete the General Setup

Mac Setup

Setting up Streamlabs OBS

This video covers downloading and setting up your Streamlabs OBS on a Mac.

This video is a handy resource for how to use Streamlabs OBS on a Mac.

Setting up Your Sound Capture 

If you want to stream music while you're writing, you'll need to set up the desktop audio capture.

Note: you don't need to do this to capture your mic; Streamlabs should do that automatically or do the mic setup. You only need to do this if you want to stream sound from any of your computer apps, like a browser or Apple Music.

If you're getting an echo from your mic, you can put your music through your headset instead.

To do this, set up your Multi-Output Device as follows:

  1. Uncheck the Built-in Output option first.
  2. Select your headset.
  3. Select the Blackhole device you installed.
  4. Check the output in Streamlabs to confirm this is working.

Next: complete the General Setup

General Setup

Here are the instructions for things everyone needs to do to complete their setup for streaming, regardless of what OS you are using: 

Things You Need to Know

Ensure you are familiar with:

Setting up Twitch

Ensure you have a Twitch account set up, if you don't already.

Setting up Your Mic

Here is a video on how to add a mic to your Streamlabs OBS. This will also help if you have a few different audio input captures. There's also a quick tip on adding noise suppression if you are having any issues with that.

Sometimes you can also enable a microphone boost in Windows. It depends on what kind of capture device you're using and apparently if you have the right updates and drivers installed.

Setting up Your Webcam

Here's a quick video on how to add a webcam window to your Streamlabs OBS. 

Next: complete the Pre-Event Preparation.

Pre-Event Preparation

The following items are required for the event. If you stream regularly, you likely have the above setup already completed. All streamers: please ensure you do the following to update your setup ahead of the event.

Required Graphics

When you are taking part in the event, please ensure the The OHHOW logo is clearly visible in your stream:

Adding Mods for the Event

You must add the mods assigned to your stream to your channel. Check the event schedule to see who your mods are!

You also must add the admin team, so they can step in if there are any issues:

Add the required mods to your channel:

  1. Log in to Twitch.
  2. Click on your photo in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Select Creator Dashboard.
  4. Select Community on the left hand side.
  5. Go to Roles Manager.
  6. Click Add New.
  7. Type in your desired mod's user name.
  8. Select the box for Mod.
  9. Click Save.

Alternatively, check out this handy how-to video.

Planning Your Stream

You should plan how you will fill your 2-hour streaming slot. Include:

  • Breaks at the beginning, middle, and end of your slot
  • Writing sprints
  • How long each portion will be

Additionally, please do not let any game or non-writing plug in (like Stream Raiders) take up more time in your stream than your writing activities do.

If this is your first time taking part in an OHHOW event, please run your plan past an admin ahead of the event.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Have an idea of what you want to talk about. This will help prevent you getting stuck and enable you to get started with more confidence! Some suggestions to get you started:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Your writing history and experience
    • What you are working on
    • How you prepared for what you’re working on today (planned story? Already wrote the first draft and are rewriting/revising? Had an idea and are winging it?)
    • Ask questions of the audience
    • Remind people to hydrate
  • If you get stuck with anything, talk to your mod! They are there to help.
Doing a Test Stream

It is essential that you do a test stream before the event to make sure everything can run smoothly on the day and to have it verified by an admin.

The admins will set a deadline to get this confirmed by, after which untested streams will be removed from the schedule: make sure you stay connected so you don’t miss out!

When you test, make sure you:

  • Use all the equipment you will be using during the stream. If you change anything, run another test.
  • Run the test around the same time you will be streaming. Part of what you’re testing is your bandwidth, so it’s essential that you run it at the right time of day. If possible, try to run it on the same day of the week as well, as network loads can vary by day as well as time.
  • Do everything you will do during the stream, including:
    • Normal speaking/presenting
    • Writing sprint mode
    • Changing between different modes/scenes
    • All sounds elements and balances
    • All visual elements and plug-ins
    • Any other elements you intend to pull up or enable/disable during the stream

See the troubleshooting section for things you can do to improve your stream, if you encounter any problems.

Getting Starts: Extras

Optional things you might want to add to your stream

General

OHHOW Overlay Template

The OHHOW overlay template is set up with pre-stream, during stream, and post-stream views for you, along with the OHHOW logo.

All you need to do is download the template and follow the instructions in this video to import it into your OBS/SLOBS setup.

Obfuscating Your Writing

Many writers don’t want to show the words they’re writing, even though they’re doing a writing stream. It might be because they are writing something inappropriate for the audience or because they simply don’t want anyone to read their raw, unfiltered words. This is fine! 

Ideally, you’ll show your writing window to some extent, so people can see that you are writing, even if they can’t see the words themselves. There are many ways to obfuscate your writing window.

Adding Alerts

This video shows how to customize and set up your alert box in Streamlabs OBS.

Adding Sprint Timers

There are several different ways to set up timers. We recommend that you use one of these so people watching your stream know what’s happening when.

  • This video shows how to create a timer in Streamelements(.com) and then import it to your Streamlabs OBS.
  • This video shows a different timer if you'd like to use it instead. This is the timer a lot of us used in Nov 2020.
  • This video shows yet another way to add a timer!
Automating Info Sharing

Here is a video on how to set Streamlabs Cloudbot to post a message to your chat at regular intervals. This could be super helpful in automatically sharing the link to NaNoWriMo or the links to either your Streamlabs charity fundraiser or the OHHOW fundraiser (if we are running one).

Tip: Don't schedule posts too frequently, or they can swamp your chat and make it difficult for viewers to have discussions! Give people plenty of time and space to chat.

Adding Music and Background Sounds

There are a few different ways to play sound during your stream, which can be a good way to fill up the quiet of a sprint. Make sure you have some sound during your sprints for people to listen to; silence leaves your viewers wondering what is happening and isn't engaging. Viewers can mute your stream during the sprint if they prefer silence while they write.

You can leave your mic live and broadcast your keyboard sounds if you wish! Or you can add music or background noise (such as storm sounds or crackling fires, etc) to your sprints.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REMEMBER TO USE COPYRIGHT FREE MUSIC AND SOUND SOURCES

Please also check if attribution is required for any sound source you use.

Here is how to add a sound file that you have downloaded and set it to a specific screen/scene.

This video is specifically for adding Spotify to your Streamlabs OBS. However, this also works for iTunes, or Pretzel, or any music player that is open in a separate application window.

Here are some copyright-free music sources for you to try:

Note: Twitch Soundtrack includes music licensed only for live use, which means Twitch removes it from any recordings or on-demand viewings of streams. For this reason, we have not included it in the list above.

Here are some copyright-free background sound sources:

  • Ambient Mixer - sounds you can use with attribution; you must credit the service along with the individual sound and template authors
  • Tabletop Audio - ambient audio

Charity Setup

When you are streaming as part of an OHHOW event, you can raise money for charities or non-profit organisations only. You can include other collection or credit systems that do not involve money if you wish.

Please ensure you:

  • Do not do any other money-related offers or collections during the event
  • Abide by any laws or regulations local to you
Streamlabs Charity Campaigns

Here is a video from Streamlabs themselves about how to use the new Streamlabs Charity Campaigns! This video goes through setting up your fundraiser for a charity AND shows you where you can set up personal alerts for your Streamlabs OBS alert box!

Here is a quick video for setting up the fundraiser that shows the new team option.

Here is a quick video showing how to join the Charity Team, add the Streamlabs Charity to your Streamlabs dashboard, and then how to add that donations bar to your set up.

Auto-Moderation

Setting up Auto-Moderation on Twitch

Here's a quick how-to on filtering your stream chat on Twitch. The first half of this video is how to enable automod in Twitch itself. The second half is a very quick how to set up auto-moderation through cloudbot.

Setting up Auto-Moderation on Cloudbot

Bots

Setting up Streamelements Bot

If you choose to use the Streamelements.com bot, check out these videos for:

Setting up Cloudbot

Streamlabs have a full playlist of all of their Cloudbot 101 videos. Most of the videos are under 5 minutes and are super helpful! If you'd like to know more about how to set up and use Cloudbot, definitely check this playlist out!

Streaming: Essentials

Information for during your stream

Raiding

Raiding moves all viewers (and the streamer) over to the next person’s stream. The mods for both channels (from and to) will coordinate the raid, to make sure all parties are ready and good to go.

Check with your mod to make sure the next streamer is ready for the raid. Raid no earlier than the top of the hour (don’t raid early, even if the next stream is live!).

To raid to the next streamer, use the command: /raid streamername

Here is a handy video for how to raid another streamer from your channel/stream.

If the next streamer is not ready to raid to at the end of your slot time, talk to your mod. If the next streamer needs a bit more time, it might be a good idea to run another sprint - your mod or an Admin may ask this of you!

Troubleshooting

Dropped Frames

If you are having issues with dropping frames or maintaining a strong stream, this video has some good tips to help stabilize your stream.