Twitch has been used by disc jockeys (DJs) for years to live stream their sets, teach aspiring new DJs, and showcase their skills.
In order to successfully DJ on Twitch, you will need a strong internet connection, an account on Twitch, a computer or laptop, a mixer, a webcam, and a microphone.
Optionally, you can also purchase an audio interface.
Now let’s take a deep dive into all the nitty-gritty details about how to DJ on Twitch 🙂
Let’s start by taking a quick look at what Twitch is.
What Is Twitch?
Twitch is a live streaming platform used by entertainers as a way to reach and interact with their audiences in real-time.
Widely used by gamers, it is also the online home of musicians, do-it-yourself gurus, and many others. DJs can and have been using Twitch to reach their audiences since at least 2018.
It’s free to join, and you can start streaming immediately after signing up.
Things You’ll Need
In order to be a successful DJ on Twitch, you’ll need to download and/ or purchase some equipment first.
These include a laptop, a turntable, a web camera, and a microphone. You’ll also want to make sure you have an internet connection.
You can also purchase an audio interface, but it isn’t something you will need in order to get started on Twitch. That would be more the cherry on the top when you have set up everything else 🙂
Strong Internet Connection
Before you can stream on Twitch, you’ll want to make sure that you have a strong connection to the internet.
This will ensure your listeners hear your set in the highest quality, as well as preventing your live set from crashing in the middle of it. The best way to ensure a steady and solid internet connection is to plug in an Ethernet cable.
This is a direct line to the network and is the most reliable source. You can also get an adapter if your computer doesn’t have an Ethernet port.
If you aren’t able to use an Ethernet cable and Wi-Fi is your only option, you can optimize your connection by temporarily disconnecting other devices from your network.
This will reduce the traffic to the internet and allow for a more steady streaming experience.
You can also close any unnecessary browsers or windows on your computer, as this can also greatly slow your internet connection.
Basically, if it doesn’t need the Wi-Fi while you are streaming your DJ set, disconnect it from the internet.
As well as the method of connection, you also need to make sure your internet connection can physically send enough data for a decent quality set.
If you will be using some type of video in your broadcast, you need to make sure you have at least 2 megabytes per second and ideally 4 of Upload speed (not download!).
If you just share a static screen of your DJ software, you can get away with just 1 megabytes a second.
Account on Twitch
Next, you’ll want to set up your account on Twitch. It’s simple to join. The sign-up process is the same for creators and listeners. You’re going to need to provide the following information:
- A username
- Date of birth
- Email address
You’ll be told to pick three or more interests. Twitch will use this information to show you recommendations and tailor your feed.
This is where you can connect with other DJs that you like to watch or learn from. You can also follow their channels.
After that, you are ready to set up your channel settings (more on that later).
Computer or Laptop
To get started with Twitch, you’ll need a computer or laptop that can process information quickly and has a solid performance rating.
If you are looking for a PC, a gaming laptop could be an easy solution for you. However, you can also go with a MacBook if Apple products are more your thing 🙂 Personally, I think they are over-priced tat 🙂
There are many DJs who believe that the MacBook is superior to a PC because of its ability to process audio more efficiently. It also crashes less than PCs, so it’s less likely to interrupt your live stream.
However, if you decide on a MacBook, you will need to get a USB hub like the Lention USB C Hub in order to hook up your devices. These laptops don’t have a standard USB drive, so will you need something to convert your plugins.
When it comes to the technical side of what makes a laptop good for DJing, there are varying opinions.
You can’t go wrong with 2GB of RAM (Random-access memory), a Core 2 (or better) Intel Processor, and a hard drive with a few GBs of space to spare.
Of course, more is always better, but if you’re worried about price, these specifications will work out just fine.
Other things to consider when choosing the right laptop for you are brightness and screen size. If you can’t see the screen because it’s too dark or too small, it will make your job as a DJ that much harder.
In order to stream anything on Twitch, you have to download a streaming software. A popular choice is Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). This is an open-source software for video recording and live streaming.
It provides its users with high-quality audio and video streaming that can be set up to stream through Twitch. You can also use it to test your audio settings before you go live.
In order to live stream on Twitch, you will need to provide a video as well as audio. It is important to remember that even though a video is necessary; it comes secondary to your audio quality.
However, you still want to provide your viewers with decent visuals.
The Logitech C270 is a highly rated webcam that works for both PC and Macs.
When looking for a mixer, you’ll want to consider your budget, the kind of music you will be playing, and the style of music you want to make. If you are playing pop music, then you aren’t going to want a mixer best used for EDM.
You can find a list of the 6 Best DJ Mixers for Beginners. Remember to consider your music style before purchasing your mixer.
You may also want to consider getting a controller. This will control the audio of your live stream, which can make or break your audience’s experience and cause them to leave your stream.
In some cases, you can find mixer/ controller combos, such as the Traktor Kontrol Z2.
Even though you aren’t going to be in front of a live audience, you will still need a microphone to interact with your live stream viewers, especially if you are teaching your audience how to become DJs themselves.
While it is possible to use the microphone on your laptop, it isn’t guaranteed to produce the best audio quality. As a DJ, your first concern should always be about your audio. So you’ll need to make sure you have a good microphone.
As stated before, a piece of optional equipment is an audio interface, such as the iRig Stream.
This device connects your devices to your mixer and outputs the sound to Twitch. It keeps the quality of the audio from getting distorted by any background noises.
While it isn’t necessary to get started using Twitch, it can be a good investment down the line.
You can learn more about audio interfaces here.
Getting Started on Twitch
You’ve got the gear you need, you set up your account, and you’re ready to start streaming. Now what? Well, there are a few basic tips that Twitch suggests you follow to make your channel a success.
Customize Your Channel
This is your own corner of the platform. It’s going to be the first thing your listeners are going to see when they click on your page, so you’ll want to make it stand out.
You’ll want to customize your channel to reflect what is unique about yourself. Make sure you have a nice profile picture and a cover image.
Have a Schedule
Just like on TV, having a set schedule will ensure that your fans and audience know exactly where and when to find you. It will also help new audience members to tune in.
Make sure the schedule is consistent and easy to follow. It doesn’t have to run the same time of day if that is too difficult for you to commit to, but it should be the same day of the week.
Once you have decided when you will stream on Twitch, make sure you update your social media to reflect your schedule. It is also a good idea to include it in the description section of your channel.
Keep Your Viewers Informed
Twitch has “go live” notifications on your channel. When you tap the “go live” button on your video, it will push a notification to all of your viewers.
These notifications will either go to their Twitch account, their email, or to their phone, whichever is more relevant to them. This ensures that your users aren’t bombarded with multiple notifications.
Setting Up Your Stream
Twitch has a variety of videos on its website to help new streamers to set up their stream. This includes hardware and software recommendations as well as techniques to make your experience a smooth one.
Test Your Setup
Before you begin your live stream, test your entire setup. You don’t want to find out mid-stream that something isn’t working.
Types of Streamers on Twitch
Anyone can stream on Twitch, and there are three types of streamers on Twitch. These are Streamers, Affiliates, and Partners.
Your level will be determined on:
- Time streamed
- Unique days streamed
- Average viewers per stream
- Followers reached
Once you reach the Affiliate and Partner levels, you will unlock certain benefits. One of these benefits is that you can start getting paid to live stream your content.
To Become an Affiliate
In order to become an affiliate, you will need to meet the following criteria within a 30 day period:
- Reach 50 followers
- Stream for 8 hours
- Stream on 7 different days
- Average of 3 viewers
After you meet the requirements, you’ll be invited to complete the affiliate onboarding.
Becoming a Partner
Being a Twitch Partner comes with a few extra perks, but it’s harder to achieve. Just because you are eligible to be a Partner, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get accepted.
In order to qualify, you must achieve the following within a 30 day period:
- Stream for 25 hours
- Stream on 12 different days
- Average of 75 viewers
Once you are eligible, you’ll see an “Apply” button. Your application will be reviewed, but don’t worry. If you are declined, you are welcome to apply again at a later time.
Once you become an affiliate or a partner, you’ll be able to earn money through three types of revenue streams:
- Subscribers – These are a way for your viewers to support your content. You set the price they pay per subscription, and they are awarded additional perks.
- Ads – These are ads that run on your channel and that you receive revenue through.
- Bits – These are a virtual currency that subscribers use to show their support, cheer on your accomplishments, and more. They’re used in the chats of your channel, and you earn $0.01 per Bit used.
Things to Keep in Mind
Now that you have the gear and the account setup, there are a few things to keep in mind while using Twitch.
With all social media apps and platforms, there is a list of guidelines to be followed to give everyone a safe and entertaining online experience.
Twitch regularly updates its community guidelines, and it is suggested that every new creator reads through them before beginning their channel.
Along with their guidelines, Twitch has a list of dos and don’ts on their etiquette page.
These are suggestions that help everyone enjoy their time viewing your content and the content of others. It maintains a safe space for people to connect and communicate.
Terms of Service
Another good resource to look at is Twitch’s Terms of Service, which they also update regularly. It’s good practice to read through this carefully, so you are informed on what Twitch is legally allowed to do with your content.
Avoid Copyright Issues
A major issue with streaming music online is the copyright issues associated with it. Twitch’s guidelines for music are meant to avoid these issues. However, there are a few ways to avoid this problem for DJs:
- Quick mixes – Instead of playing an entire song, mix it into the next song quickly.
- Mash-Ups – Use your creativity and combine two songs and create a different sound.
- Special Effects – Adding different effects or scratching different sounds into the mix will help avoid any copyright problems.
- Speed – Changing up the speed of the song is another way to avoid issues.
Another practice to get in the habit of is announcing any music that doesn’t belong to you.
Other Useful Tips and Suggestions
Here are other ways to improve the streaming experience for your viewers.
To start out, you’ll likely only have one camera, but having more than one is ideal. If you have the budget for more than one camera, you can always use your computer camera as one and an external webcam as another.
When placing your cameras, it’s important to think about your viewers when figuring out the right placement.
Since people are social and like to make connections with people, it’s a good idea to place the camera so that it captures your face. It’ll make you relatable to your viewers and easier to connect with them.
Another consideration is angling your camera to show your mixer. This is especially helpful if you are using Twitch to teach new musicians how to DJ. They’ll want to see the mixer to see your techniques and learn what works.
It might not seem important, but don’t forget about your backdrop before you start live streaming. This will give you a professional and clean look to your overall video.
You can either use an actual backdrop or simply straighten up the background by closing any open doors or picking up extra equipment.
This will keep your viewers from being distracted by what’s behind you and focused on you and your music.
You can also add a green screen behind you and the chroma key function of your streaming software to give yourself an image as a background or make your background transparent.
Gaming Careers has an excellent video about this below.
You’ll want to make sure that your set is well lit. This is both important for your viewers, but also for you.
You want your viewers to see you and your booth. This goes back to the connection that people like to get from other people. It also helps you see what you are doing and everything you need to work with.
You can use regular lights, or you can decorate your booth with some LEDs behind your gear or around your backdrop.
In addition to LEDs, give your booth a bit more of your personality by decorating it with whatever fits you. You can put out some plants, hang some garlands, make signs.
Bring a little of you into the booth. It’s another fun way to connect with your viewers.
Engage Your Viewers
Make sure you are acknowledging new subscribers and interacting with people in the chat. Your viewers want to connect with you in real-time, and the best way to do that is to be engaged.
The most important this is NEVER GIVE UP!! It can seem like you are DJ’ing to a ghost town in the beginning. But by sticking to a regular schedule you will soon start seeing viewers come in 🙂
- YouTube: Should DJs Use Twitch to Live Stream?
- Twitch: Creator Camp
- Digital Trends: What is Twitch?
- DJ Tech Tools: Cutman’s Ultimate DJ Streaming Guide
- Medium: How to Live Stream DJ Sets on Twitch
- Reddit: Streaming DJ Sets to Twitch
- Apple: MacBook Pro 13
- Amazon: Lenovo Ideapad L340
- The DJ Pro: Why Do DJs Use Macs for DJing?
- Digital DJ Tips: 8 Little-Considered Factors When Choosing a DJ Laptop
- Amazon: LENTION USB C Hub
- DJ Top Tips: A DJ Mixer Guide for 2020
- Native Instruments: Traktor Kontrol Z2
- Help Twitch: A Tour of Your Channel Page
- Help Twitch: Joining the Affiliate Program
- Help Twitch: Achievements
- Twitch: Community Guidelines for Music
- Copyright: FAQ General
- DJ City: Guide to Live Streaming Your DJ Sets
- Beat Match Guru: What is a DJ Booth?
- Digital DJ Tips: 10 Livestream DJ Set Mistakes You Can Easily Fix
- Twitch: Bits and Subscriptions