Lesson 05

How to prepare your first live broadcast on your online radio?

You have just chosen your equipment, set up your radio studio and are finally ready to broadcast live on your Internet radio station for the first time. The stress is rising and it’s completely normal, in this course we will see how to succeed every time you broadcast live.

By the end of this course, you’ll know everything there is to know about:

Preparation: an essential step before a live broadcast

You may be tempted to grab your microphone and start broadcasting live on your online radio station straight away. However, doing so without preparing your live radio show in advance will most definitely mean that your show is missing something. Performing a live Internet radio broadcast requires planning if you want to offer your audience the best possible listening experience.

When should you broadcast live?

Broadcasting live on your online radio station requires time and concentration, so it’s important to get organized.

Depending on the concept of your radio, you won’t have the same way of approaching live broadcasting. On FM stations, morning and early evening shows are very popular on weekdays, but you don’t necessarily have to follow these examples. In any case, an essential element to remember for a successful live broadcast is: regularity. Choose a time when you want to broadcast live and stick to it.

You could choose to broadcast your show live every Wednesday, or to go live from 2 to 3 in the morning. No matter what you decide, it’s important that you stick to your commitment! There’s nothing worse than blowing off your listeners at the last minute.

You may, of course, choose to create special shows for particular events. In this case, it’s important to emphasize on the uniqueness of the show, as it’s a great way to attract more listeners!

Whatever the nature of your live broadcast, remember to announce it on social networks. Don’t forget to tag your guests or take pictures of the studio a few minutes before the live broadcast to get the excitement going.

Prepare your radio show

Live radio is great, but you have to know what you’re going to say to your listeners and how to say it.

You should already have the type of show you want to produce in mind. Will you be using live coverage to keep your listeners informed of the latest news? Are you going to do any interviews? A debate? Each type of show is different and won’t require the same preparation.

In any case, you must always have a plan for the show. The plan, (also called a radio script), allows you to know where you are in your show, what music should be played, when to let your guests speak, etc. Always keep your plan within reach to keep control over your live broadcast.

Be careful not to write too much at the risk of reading it, which could make your speech sound unnatural. Speaking isn’t the only part you need to prepare. If you decide to broadcast music, remember to prepare your tracks in advance as well.

First, check that the tracks you want to broadcast are the right ones, as well as their duration…. It would be a shame to broadcast the wrong version on air after announcing the title. Then, download the music for your live broadcast in advance. If possible, use the Queue function available on most broadcasting software solutions.

Finally, don’t forget to include the times when your titles will be broadcast in your plan. This will help you keep on track, and respect the timing of your radio show.

Personal preparation

This may seem obvious, but doing the proper research on your radio topic will help you feel more confident when broadcasting live. The better you know your subject, the easier it will be for you to talk about it. For example, if you’re interviewing someone on your radio show, make sure that you have taken the time to read about their background, or their current situation.

This will also make it easier for you to improvise or bounce back off of ideas that your guest may share. Remember, the more comfortable you are with your subject, the more natural you will seem when discussing it!

Another way to better prepare yourself for your live radio broadcast is to practice beforehand. Record yourself talking about the topic at hand so that you can listen back to it and correct any errors before doing a live broadcast. You may notice that you have a habit of repeating a certain word, talking too fast, or saying too many “errrs” and “ummms”.

By putting yourself in your listener’s shoes, you will most likely pick up on things that you didn’t even realize you were doing! It’s a great way to make sure your live broadcast has a professional feel to it, plus it will help you become the best radio presenter you can be.

Enhance your live broadcast

Now that you are ready to start your live broadcast, let’s look at ways to spice it up so that your radio show is unlike any other.

Add sound effects

To spice up your live broadcast, don’t hesitate to add sounds. Indeed, sound effects are welcome to help embellish your show. There are several ways to integrate them.

Beds: a type of background music on which the host speaks over. This ensures that the transition between the jingle and the live broadcast is not too rough. A bed generally reflects the theme of your intro. Don’t forget that the volume of the bed should always be a little lower than your other music so that your speech can remain audible.

Samplers: small sound pads that are used to enhance radio shows. They can be used to illustrate a point, or even become a comic element depending on how you want to use them. Any sound can become a sample, a cult replica of one of your hosts, applause, etc.

Top Tip: Keep your sound effects within reach in your broadcasting software by creating a special folder.

Broadcast your listeners live on air

What would a radio show be without listeners? Many radio shows base their concept on their listeners’ live participation. Why not let your listeners express themselves on your Internet radio station. To do this, there are several ways to get your listeners live on your radio.

With a mixing desk: The simplest technique to broadcast a listener live is to connect your phone directly to your mixer using a 3.5 MM RCA/mini-jack cable. However, bear in mind that with this method, your listener will hear you through your phone’s microphone.

Via Skype & Voicemeeter: Don’t have a mixing desk? No worries, even without a mixer it is possible to put your listeners on the air. To do this we will use Skype.

You will also need to download a virtual audio interface: VoiceMeeter. VoiceMeeter is only available on Windows, if you’re on Mac an alternative (not free, but easier to configure) exists: Loopback.

In order for VoiceMeeter to be fully up to date you will also need to download 2 software programs: VB-Cable & Hifi-Cable & Asio-Bridge. Once these 2 software are downloaded, unzip the archive, open the folder and run it, then click on Install. Repeat the manipulation for the second software. Once this is done, finally open VoiceMeeter, it should look like this:

In the 1st column (1) select the microphone input you are using.

Then in the Hardware out column (2) select KS: VB- Audio Hi-fi Cable.

Are your Voicemeeter settings done?

Now open Skype and go to the Audio settings in the Speakers field and select Hifi Cable Input. There you go! Simply open your favorite broadcasting software and configure in the input devices: Hifi Cable Output. 

Remember: If you don’t have Skype, this setup also works with Discord.

Broadcast live via your smartphone

Sometimes you may want to broadcast live in the heat of the moment without having all your equipment on hand. Well, that’s not a problem because you can also easily broadcast live via your smartphone. For that, all you need is your smartphone and an application specially designed to broadcast live.

Once you have downloaded the application on your phone, you will need to configure it just like a regular broadcasting software. You can follow the steps in our tutorial. Once that’s done, you’re good to go!

Broadcasting live and much more…

Retransmit your live broadcast via video streaming

It’s no secret that filmed radio has already conquered major national radio stations. Simple solutions exist if you also want to get started, such as: Youtube, Facebook Live and even Periscope. The choice of platform will mainly depend on the consumption habits of your listeners, as well as your own preferences.

In any case, one streaming software is essential: OBS. This software is free and will allow you to broadcast your radio live and even film yourself via your webcam. OBS may seem difficult to tame at first, but it will also prove to be a valuable ally if you are considering making filmed radio. It will also allow you to create scenes, where you can broadcast images, text, etc.

Remember: Whether you choose to broadcast your online radio station on Facebook, Youtube or Periscope, be very careful with music broadcasting because these platforms are very strict on this subject. Opt to broadcast talk shows with royalty-free music.

Create a podcast of your live broadcast

So, your live broadcast is over and it was a huge success! No wonder you want to share it with those who couldn’t listen to it live. Don’t worry, you can always offer your fans the chance to listen to it again as a podcast.

First step: Retrieve the recording of your live broadcast. Before starting your live show, remember to launch the recording. Most broadcasting software offer this option, so don’t forget to activate it before you go live.

You can then choose to offer a direct replay of your show on your radio website if you have one, or on podcast listening platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, etc. For this option, you must provide the RSS feed of your podcast.

What is an RSS feed? It’s is a link that contains all the information of your podcast: the name, title, etc., that allows platforms to retransmit your program to your listeners. The easiest way to generate the RSS feed of your podcast is to use a specialized podcast host.

There are several of them, it’s up to you to choose the one that suits you, such as: Ausha, Soundcloud or Spreaker for example.

To sum up


The preparation before your live broadcast is an essential step.

Broadcast a video

Feel free to offer a different type of live broadcast by adding a live video for example.

Have fun!

Relax and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

We’ve reached the end of this lesson, thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed this course and that it provided you with answers to your questions before starting your internet radio station. You can now move on to the next lesson!

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