The clubs, stadiums, and dancehalls are all opening up, so it’s time to break out that brand new mix you said would definitely be done before the pandemic is over. We’re kidding; we know you haven’t finished it yet.
Not only are so many of us struggling with all the other side effects that come from surviving a global pandemic, but the transition to working remotely has also been incredibly difficult for most creative teams.
Working on a project together now means that you’re sending draft after draft back and forth while trying to keep track of everyone’s notes and chasing people for feedback, instead of just gathering everyone in the same room for a live recording or editing session.
Zoom has been the savior for so many businesses who need to collaborate face-to-face but at a distance, but the question remains: is there a way for audio and music production teams to do the same? Is it possible to stream a live recording or editing session over Zoom the same way you stream a meeting or presentation?
We’ve examined the features and capabilities of Zoom and Logic Pro X to see if Zoom can support live DAW streaming and make it possible for producers to recreate the feeling of gathering in the recording studio, whether they’re across the city or the world.
The Challenges of Streaming Logic Pro X Over Zoom
Put simply, Zoom, by design, cannot natively support streaming a platform like Logic Pro X. Zoom was built with the needs of corporate meetings in mind and performs best when users are screen sharing documents and web pages. There are no features that allow you to “cast” another program like Audition into the program.
Zoom was also built to accommodate large groups and provide a stable connection for each participant. Because of that, Zoom requires a lot of processing power to function. If there is not enough power available, its priority becomes maintaining the connection of the meeting, which means Zoom will downgrade video and audio quality to prevent the call from dropping entirely.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. Logic Pro X (and other DAWs like it) also require a significant amount of processing power to work effectively. Running this program simultaneously with Zoom can cause substantial problems for Zoom, which is why there are simply no native features to support it.
So, why try to fit a square peg into a round hole? Well, almost everyone has Zoom, and almost everyone knows how to use it. This eliminates costly software purchases and long “can you hear me now?” conversations with co-workers who just now finally learned how to use the mute button.
So, are there any workarounds powerful enough to allow you to stream Logic Pro X over Zoom without too many sacrifices?
We’ve compiled some common methods that creative teams use to stream video editing programs like Logic Pro X over Zoom and examined how functional they are for professional producers and mixers.
3 Workarounds to Stream Logic Pro X over Zoom:
There are three main solutions that allow you to stream your Logic Pro X workspace over Zoom. Most of them will require at least one additional piece of software, and some require other hardware as well.
Workaround #1: Two CPUs and OBS:
This solution requires:
- Two separate screens
- Two separate CPUs (for best performance)
- A broadcasting program like OBS (Open Broadcasting Software)
- An NDI (Network Device Interface)
This workaround will require you to download an NDI to the system running Logic Pro X and download OBS to the system you’ll run Zoom on. Once these programs are in place, open Logic Pro X and your NDI and use the NDI to broadcast a feed of your screen.
Now, open OBS, locate the NDI stream on the other system and set it as your video source. You should now see a live broadcast of your Logic Pro X workspace.
The last step is to open Zoom and set your camera as the feed from OBS. This will allow you to broadcast your workspace to meeting participants over Zoom as if it were your webcam.
This workaround allows you to broadcast your workspace, but beware; it may not solve the quality issue.
Create together remotely, in real time
Workaround #2: Purchase a Capture Card
If you have two separate systems and don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up an NDI, you can purchase a capture card that can receive the signal from one system and broadcast it to a second.
This is an external device that can be somewhat costly, but if you plan on using it regularly, you may be able to justify the expense.
To use it, plug it into the system running Logic Pro X using an HDMI cable. Then run the signal back out to the system running Zoom using a second cable. You’ll still need to download OBS to receive the signal and broadcast it to Zoom, which you can do after the final step above.
You’ll also need an external microphone to pick up your voice. You can configure this level with the level of the software feed inside of OBS.
A big disadvantage to this is cost and mobility. Capture cards can be expensive, and this setup will require you to have enough physical space to wire everything together and still be able to actively edit.
Workaround #3: A Second Webcam
If you don’t feel like learning the ins and outs of installing, connecting, and streaming an NDI feed, don’t want to use OBS, and don’t want to shell out big bucks for an expensive capture card, you can use this lower-tech workaround.
Get an external webcam, point it at your screen running Logic Pro X, then stream the webcam feed to Zoom as your video input. This will solve some of the Zoom downgrade issues, as most webcams stream in 1080p; however, the video quality of a webcam pointed at a screen is hardly the HD experience you may be looking for.
Also, there’s a massive problem with this workaround: sound. While there are many benefits to seeing the workspace, what you need to be able to do is hear the project with as little distortion as possible. If you’re pointing a webcam at the screen, you’ll be relying on your microphone to pick up your speaker audio, causing lots of distortion.
Also, you won’t be able to stream your face simultaneously unless you run both webcams through OBS first to combine them into a single video feed.
So the first question is, do these workarounds work? Yes, they technically do, but in real-world use, they lack consistency and quality.
If you want a truly seamless experience, you’ll need a purpose-built system for creative teams and their HD workspaces. Thankfully, there is a platform built specifically for your needs: Evercast.
Streaming Logic Pro X with Evercast
If you find yourself frustrated with the results of these workarounds, that’s understandable. The problems that you’re running into still come down to the fact that Zoom was just not purpose-built for the needs of audio producers and their resource-hogging DAWs. And you need a remote audio and video production solution.
That’s why creatives created Evercast. This platform is designed to make streaming professional-grade DAWs like Logic Pro X nearly seamless.
Evercast allows you to stream your entire workspace in full HD with ultra-low latency (less than 150ms on average) while simultaneously video chatting with your entire team. This means no lag or pixelation, just a high-quality audio and video feed that feels as close to “being there” as possible.
And we all know the hassle of trying to find that “beat” that someone mentioned. In Evercast, when participants make text notes in the chat, Evercast timestamps each message so you can quickly reference the exact segments that were being discussed.
For producers and mixers, the best part of Evercast is that everything works in one place. Once you complete the easy one-time setup, your workspace seamlessly links up with the platform and allows you to video chat, text chat, and stream your edit. No extra devices and no constantly darting your eyes between multiple screens. If you’re looking for a way to stay in your creative flow during a meeting, this platform is your best shot.
And for less tech-savvy participants, they’ll be relieved to know they don’t have to download any additional software to participate in a meeting. Just follow the link and join from any device, anywhere in the world.
If you’re looking for a better way to bring your team closer together and collaborate more efficiently from a distance, check out Evercast. We believe real-time collaboration is the key to unlocking your best ideas, and better collaboration starts with software that works with your team, not against it.