Virtual Concert Questions

02020-05-02 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

I received a lot of requests for online performances and am trying to get an understanding of what would be involved on the technical side to make this happen. It is interesting to figure out what could make virtual concert a unique new format. There is the possibility of reaching an international audience in locations where we are not likely to tour anytime soon. There is a chance to make the concert more personal by answering questions after a concert. Perhaps I can add visual elements, too, like a slideshow of my images for example. Throw out any ideas you might have in the comment section. Have you experienced streamed concerts recently? What works, what doesn’t? What would you like to see. Here are the main points I came up with:

  1. Which streaming service should I use? This is what I am looking for:
    • possibility of creating a background for the performance, e.g. a slideshow of my photos… or perhaps a separate window I can fill with images
    • ability to chat, so that members of the audience can leave questions for me to answer at the end of a concert – to differentiate the streamed performance from a regular concert
    • ability of musicians to perform together from different locations
    • seamless audience payment processing
  2. What kind of internet upload speed would I need for decent quality? I currently have 300 MBPS download, but only 11 MBPS upload
  3. Camera & microphone recommendations – I imagine an iPhone would make a fine camera, but I should use an external microphone for the guitar


  1. Victor H.

    I’ve seen a bunch of virtual concerts in the last month. Many of them had poor audio and video straight through a mobile device. However, the more enjoyable ones for me were those that seemed raw and unrehearsed.

  2. Denise

    It will be very nice to see you there

  3. JaneParhamKatz

    A wonderful opportunity. Some thoughts popped into my mind, which I jotted down:

    Since there are many videos of your performances out now on YouTube, consider a different sort of presentation for your online concert. I believe your fans love you as a person as well as a musician, so I think they would appreciate an insight into yourself…offered by you rather than pulled out via questions put to you. The current “Rona” situation with its quarantine and political stress begs for encouragement and a reminder of the beauty of life. I’ve seen several of your interviews and know that you express yourself beautifully and easily: your voice is sweet and resonant, eyes magnetic, smile warm, and you speak brilliantly.

    Sitting in your studio, while showing slides of your photography, you could share what it means to you to make bread and even show a couple of freshly baked loaves. You could share how meditation could benefit us especially right now. You could share your love of Santa Fe and how it influenced your music. Say what Köln
    was like, and some things about your mother and father. ETC. Use a good, concise script. Include a laugh or two. Then you could pick up your guitar and share some interesting points on inspirations for songs, or something of your process. End with a statement of care for our well being and continued effort to stay healthy.

    Then, if possible, Jon and Robbie(?) should come in and join you. Introduce them and have them say a few words. Tune up and begin the glorious music. I think Luna Negra positioned a few feet apart would be acceptable. It just would not be the same magic to have them piped in remotely.

    I can’t speak to the technology details or the set, but you should have a professional looking video with good lighting and sound.

  4. MTCallahan

    Apple’s USB-3 camera kit adapter works very well for attaching a USB microphone to an iOS device. It allows power to be connected to the line so there are no issues with battery life or power hungry microphones. No additional software is required with the Blue Snowball mic I’ve been using.

    I do worry about streaming video with your upload speeds. Some testing might be in order. A prerecorded performance would take that issue out of the equation but would spoil the organic element.

    Maybe both need to happen?

  5. Steve

    I recently (Sunday, 20200503) watched a concert of The Julia Hülsmann Trio from

    There wasn’t any special effects or whatnot … just 90 minutes (or so) of amazing improvisation.

  6. Cesco Derendinger

    Hey Ottmar

    It’s a great idea and in my case, the only way I will ever see you live, I’m afraid…

    Recently I was watching a live gig of Dermot Kennedy and yea, it was okay. Don’t get me wrong, his voice was on spot as always BUT on the technical side it was lacking… well almost everything. A mobile or a webcam mic is build to record spoken voice and not different instruments playing together. I really think the way to go is:

    a proper mic setup for every instrument —-> audio interface —> mac

    But we’re not there yet… Next problem is the streaming service and how to stream the recorded sound in the best possible quality. The keyword is audio-routing! The idea behind this is, that you can route a recorded sound directly to your streaming service. An example with Skype: usually Skype sets its recording device to a build in mic of my laptop or a mic connected with USB. That’s fine as long I’m only chatting but if I start playing guitar, Skype’s limited bandwidth and ridiculous compression will turn everything in a muttering chaos. With audio-routing though, you will be able to change the standard recording device of Skype. I’ll add you some links:

    and their homepage

    There are tons of FAQ videos out there, that will guide you in the right direction

    I’m slightly skeptical when it comes to your connection speeds though. But what do I know, just test it with someone. Try different picture resolutions. As long the sound quality is good, we’re all gonna smile like happy babies over here…

  7. Boris

    They are presenting some virtual concerts:
    They stream it via YouTube.

    Personally, I think that inserting a slideshow would be great, but I wouldn’t need to chat. Wherever I saw chats recently, at webinars (Zoom, Webex) or virtual sundowners, all the organizers could do in the end was pick out 2-3 questions. But maybe that would suffice anyway?

    It would be great to see a virtual concert – my last real one was the one in Istanbul, I think, the one with the chair incident :-)

  8. Linda W

    Another plus for iPhone recording of video is a Steadicam.. It lets you put the phone onto a gyroscopic “handle” with full video control under the thumb. (Mine is an “Isteadi” Gimel made for iPhone 11). no matter what happens in the room the video is steady and the Zoom in and out is clean and clear. the MIC on the iphone is incredible actually.

  9. Denise

    I saw the wide eyed open dreaming concert last month and I loved the detail of the candles, they added a nice atmosphere to the concert, I loved it when you played the electric guitar too, at the beginning of the song. I enjoyed the concert, I had not seen it before, I think the candles are a nice touch, they don’t have to be many, only if you like the idea? And I have also seen interviews and I admire your wisdom and I can perceive a peace in you, that I do not see in other artists, perhaps it is through the practice of meditation, I would like to know, how did you start practicing, what motivated you to do it? And I would also like you to tell us how do you find the inspiration to create a new song? There are so many beautiful songs that I love


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