How to Produce a Professional Live Stream on a Budget

Julia Eskin
Julia Eskin
February 20, 2024
How to Produce a Professional Live Stream on a Budget

Live streaming has become an extremely popular and effective way for businesses, organizations, and individuals to engage their audiences and share events in real time. However, producing a high-quality live stream requires specialized equipment and software that can be quite expensive for those on a budget.

The good news is, with the right planning and tips, you can create a polished, professional live stream without spending a fortune. In this post, we’ll go over recommendations for affordable equipment, lighting, audio, streaming software, and other solutions to elevate your production value while keeping costs low.  

Streaming Software Options 

To stream your event live, you’ll need streaming software. When choosing a solution on a budget, it’s best to avoid expensive proprietary hardware encoders and stick to software-based options. Some great budget-friendly picks include:

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio – Free and open source software for live streaming and recording. Requires more technical skill but very customizable.

EventLive – Mobile app specifically designed for streaming from your smartphone. Extremely easy to use with great interface and beautifully designed viewing pages.

Facebook Live Producer – Free software by Facebook for streaming professional looking broadcasts to Facebook. Focentric features.

YouTube Live – Built into YouTube, this is a quick, convenient option for streaming live events. Limited in terms of options to go live from mobile (requires at least 50 subscribers).

The options above provide quality streaming capabilities at low or no cost, perfect for producers on a budget.

Choose a Smartphone for Streaming


One of the most budget-friendly ways to live stream is by using your smartphone. Most newer model smartphones have excellent built-in cameras and microphones perfect for streaming. iPhones and Android devices like Samsung Galaxy phones are great choices that offer stability, adequate image quality, and software integration options.

Rather than purchasing an expensive standalone camera, your smartphone can provide a compact, convenient streaming solution. Using a smartphone tripod mount and stand to secure your phone at the ideal angle is recommended for a professional look.

Simple Live Streaming Equipment

To improve the production quality of your smartphone live stream, some simple gear worth investing in includes:

Tripod-  - Provides stable, shake-free video by mounting your smartphone securely. Look for adjustable models that work with phones.

Gimbal stabilizer - Counteracts unwanted movement and jitter for smoother smartphone video. 

Phone mount - Holds your device at an ideal viewing angle. Get adjustable phone mount that work with tripods.

Extender pole/monopod - Lets you get unique camera angles and shots overhead or in a crowd. Lightweight affordably-priced models are available.

External lens - Add-on lenses like wide angle or macro can diversify your visuals. Lens kits are reasonably priced.

Basic gear like this improves production quality substantially without overspending. It’s a worthwhile investment for professional-looking streams.

Audio Tips for Live Streaming

Capturing the best possible audio for your live stream is critical for providing a quality experience for viewers. Some key tips:

- Use a wireless microphone plugged into your smartphone rather than relying on the internal mic. Wireless mics capture focused audio clearly.

- Make sure your mic is connected correctly and test it before the actual live stream.

- Add a windscreen on the mic to reduce background noise like wind.

- An external microphone plugged directly into the phone can also help.

High-quality audio brings professionalism to your stream. Investing in a wireless mic setup is a worthwhile upgrade that won’t break the bank.

Lighting Your Stream

Proper lighting can make a world of difference in the visual quality of your live stream. You don’t need expensive professional lighting kits to achieve great results. Simple, affordable options like clamp lights with daylight-balanced light bulbs positioned strategically around your streaming area can provide ideal illumination with minimal shadows. 

Reflectors can also fill in dark areas naturally by reflecting already available light. And don’t forget natural lighting from windows, which is free! Proper lighting makes sure your visuals are crisp, clear, and professional looking.

Additional Budget-Friendly Tips

Here are a few additional tips for boosting quality economically:

- Use a computer monitor as a teleprompter to read notes subtly off-camera.

- Add background music softly using royalty-free tracks. 

- Boost lighting with inexpensive clip lights or table lamps.

- Frame shots thoughtfully, avoiding distracting backgrounds.

- Test equipment and internet connection thoroughly before going live.

With the right techniques and solutions, it's entirely possible to live stream professional productions that rival mainstream broadcasts while sticking to a budget. Today's technology makes it easier and more affordable than ever to share polished streams that engage and impress your viewers. In particular, the EventLive mobile app provides the easiest and most budget-friendly way to get started with live streaming from your smartphone.

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Julia Eskin
Julia Eskin

Wedding Photographer and Customer Happiness Specialist. Empowering individuals and businesses to live stream with ease.

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