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MeDroiD teaches you how to stream v2.0

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Riot MeDroiD

Community Manager

Follow MeDroiD on Twitter

06-04-2013

MeDroiD helps how to stream v2.0

Acknowledgements:
ApocTV: http://www.apoctv.com <http://www.apoctv.com/> (http://www.apoctv.com)
TechnicalMonkey: http://thetechmonkey.blogspot.com <http://thetechmonkey.blogspot.com/> (http://thetechmonkey.blogspot.com)


We teach you to stream!

Welcome!

We know a growing number of players want to share their achievements in the lands of League of Legends with others, which is why we have created this guide, in which we describe, step by step, how you can offer the highest possible quality to the viewers that wish to watch you.

This guide will explain how to stream by using Xsplit software, althouth there are many alternatives to Xsplit; you'll be able to apply this guide to other streaming software though.

First of all, bear in mind that in order to stream you must be registered on a website devoted to streaming. The website that broadcast the LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) is provided as an example. www.twitch.tv.

When visiting the site, you'll need to click on "Sign up" and provide the requested information.

Once you have registered it is crucial that you check your email, as you will be sent a message with a link that you need to click on to confirm. If you omit this step you will not be able to move on to the following ones. Once verification is complete, you need to request access to a streaming channel. So… how do you do this?

Once you have registered on one of the websites offering this service, you need to enter your account by clicking the "Log in" button. Type in the username and password that you selected earlier and log in to the site as a member. Once you are logged in, you will need to do the following:




Twitch.tv:



On twitch.tv the channel will be created automatically after a few minutes. To check whether a channel has been created, click on your username (upper right-hand corner) and then on "Channel".

To verify that the channel on Twitch.tv is ready for use, you should see something like this screen (a streaming window with your username at the top, displaying a lightning bolt). Until you see this the channel has not been created. You need to keep waiting.




Remember, it is important to have checked the email you entered when registering. Without confirming the email you won't be able to create the streaming channel you need to proceed to the next steps.

Finally! Now that your space has been created and has been given a title, description, etc., we recommend that before proceeding any further in the guide you investigate and familiarise yourself with the options offered by your chosen website. In the tabs on your channel you can add a delay to your stream, as well as many other interesting features.

Having reached this stage, it is now time to cover the program to be used for streaming. Many programs can be used, but the one that we used to broadcast the Season 2 World Championship of League of Legends is called Xsplit.



XSplit:

Xsplit is a program that will allow you to capture your screen and load the data onto the chosen website so that it can be shared live. To get started you need to register on the website, at http://www.xsplit.com/. Once registered, and after having checked your email, you will be able to download the program. You simply need to double click it and follow the instructions to install it.

After installation, when you open the program you will need to enter your email address and the password you set up when registering on the program's website. After this you will be able to see the features offered by the program:



First we will explain the options available in the program, to ensure that you know how to solve your problems and what settings to change in order to achieve a desired result. We will also go over how you can tweak the program's settings to achieve the optimal result for the individual characteristics of your computer, whether it is a laptop or a PC.

Note: We always provide standard settings, and these are given to suit various computer components. This does not mean that these settings are ideal for everyone, as running many programs at the same time may mean you need to lower one of the settings provided by us in the next few steps outlined in the guide. These scenarios are meant as a guideline.

Important: Tables will be given displaying what settings to use based on CPU as well as on bandwidth. If you meet some requirements but not others you should always use the lowest option, as both requirements must be met in order to achieve a good streaming quality.





TESTING SPEED

The first thing you need to do is run one or two speed tests (you can do one test here: www.speedtest.net), selecting an area near you as the "location" (to receive more accurate data). Take note of the information provided, or simply save an image displaying it. You will need it in other parts of the guide.



BASIC XSPLIT SETTINGS

The first thing you need to do in Xsplit is configure some basic settings, applicable to all computers. Begin this process as described below:

  • Go to "Tools" -> General Settings and then to the tab marked "General". In this area, we suggest that you select "Disable Aero Theme" if it is not already selected (this will deactivate the Windows Aero theme, boosting performance).
  • Deselect the "Hide from Screen Region" option
  • Deselect "Enable Skype Interaction"

You will also see an option called "Enable virtual camera output". This is for if you want to use Xsplit as a camera source for other software. In most cases, if you don't know what something is we recommend that you deactivate it, as well.

The final option is "Enable Game Source". This option allows you to "hook" into or capture games and use them as a direct feed into Xsplit, enabling them to be run in full-screen mode. In any event, if you are unfamiliar with GameSource you can read more about it on the program's website, Xsplit.com, although we will cover it a little in the "Add" section of this guide.

Opening the "General" tab in Xsplit allows you to configure your microphone. Select the microphone that you are going to use.

Directly below, in "My Recordings", you can specify where you want to save the recordings that you make at a local level, using the "Local Recording" profile in Xsplit. The "Local Recording" profile is configured in the same way as you configured Xsplit for a streaming channel, but instead of being broadcast online videos will be saved to your computer. Bear in mind that you will still be able to stream online and record with this tool at the same time. It is a good idea if you try to save your content to create videos later on.



(It is very advisable to keep use of your computer's resources low while streaming. In Windows 7, for example, you can change the desktop theme by right-clicking on the screen, selecting "Personalise" from the menu and choosing the basic Windows 7 theme (recommended). This will deactivate the Windows Aero theme).



CONFIGURING THE STREAMING CHANNEL

Something to consider before you begin configuring the stream channel, is that once these steps are completed, the game is intended to be broadcasted in "Windowed Mode or Borderless mode" . It can also be played in Full Screen, but in order to do that, you´d need to use a tool called Gamesource, and this is something we will cover later.

To configure your channel you need to go to the "Channels" tab under "Tools" -> General Settings.

Click on "Add" and select your streaming provider (normally Twitch.tv). After this, everything will depend on each individual person and computer. As mentioned above, we will provide some basic settings, based essentially on your CPU, but even with these settings you may wish to tweak some options to achieve the optimal result for your individual circumstances.

If you use overclocking, bear in mind that settings can always be tweaked upwards. We do not, however, include settings for such usage in this guide.

For standard laptop CPUs, such as the i7-2630QM, it is advisable to set the resolution to 720p and 30fps, with the "Preset" option at "Veryfast" and "Quality" at 10.

Table 1



Any CPU older than these must be tested on an individual basis. Please note that these tables depict what a CPU is capable of, not how you should stream. Please feel free to change any item to suit your personal preference, until you find the settings you feel are the most appropriate or optimal.



In order to configure the streaming channel you need to fill in all of the fields, which are explained below.


Channel:

1. Username: This is the username you selected when registering on the website you will use for streaming (Example: Twitch.tv)


2. Password: Here you enter the password that you set up on the website mentioned above, in point 1.


3. Stream Key: On websites such as Twitch.tv, this key is also provided and can replace a password (as an alternative option). Recommendation: Don't share your "Stream Key", as anyone who knows it will be able to stream from your channel, publishing inappropriate or unwanted content.


4. Channel: Once the username and password have been entered, this field should fill itself in automatically. Should you have more than one channel, choose the one you want to use, displaying the drop-down list by clicking on the field.


5. Location: This is the server to which data is sent when you stream. To determine which one is best for you, first you need to set the "VBV Max Bitrate" and "VBV Buffer" to your full upload speed. To do this, you need to enter some "numbers" into fields 8 and 9 of the above image. For this you need to consult the results you obtained when you did the speed test. If your upload speed result was 5Mbps, this means you should enter "5000" for both. If your speed was below 1Mbps, for example 800Kbps, enter "800" for both. Once this is done, select a server under "Location" and click on the "Test Bandwidth" button located in the lower right-hand of the image shown above. Note down the results and test some of the other servers to choose the one that gives you the best results.

If you get "lag", you will almost certainly want to check the upload speed again in order to make whatever changes you see fit.

Remember: Each time you run tests, change the "VBV Max Bitrate" and "VBV Buffer" back to the settings you were previously using. In the next few steps we will explain how to choose the best settings for "VBV Max Bitrate" and "VBV Buffer".



Video Encoding

6. Preset: We recommend setting preset to "Veryfast" in almost all cases. If you don't know what setting to use, start with this one. We also recommend that you consult Table #1 above, where we outline what settings you should use.


7. Quality: This number is used to set the quality, and is directly related to the "Bitrate". The better the quality, the higher the "Bitrate" required. The best possible quality is 10.

Note: You can also consult “Table 1” above to determine what settings you should use.


8. VBV Max Bitrate (kbps): This setting defines the data sent to the server, and is directly related to your upload bandwidth. Remember how the guide's initial steps asked you to run a speed test? Take a look at your results, paying particular attention to the one for "upload bandwidth" or "upload connection". Remember that 1Mbps = 1000Kbps.

The table shown below gives our recommendations as to what settings you should use for "VBV Max Bitrate", depending on your upload speed.

Table 2




Note: Table 1 displays all of the possibilities, featuring different quality alternatives as well as the potential results of these. The table provided aims to outline, very broadly, some standard settings. Bear in mind that Table 1 offers more possibilities and a deeper understanding.


9. VBV Buffer (kbps): This value should be the same as that of the "VBV Max Bitrate", as explained in point 8 above.


10. Resolution: Most users will need to leave this unchanged, i.e. at "Default Stage Resolution". This is used to select the resolution at which you want to show the stream. Note: This is generally only used in order to have a stream or a recording at a lower resolution, and may affect the video's picture quality. Change this setting at your own discretion. Recommended for advanced users only.



Audio Encoding

11. Format: We recommend setting this to "44.100 KHz 16 bit stereo". If you understand how this option works, feel free to change it.


12. Codec: If you are a licensed user you will want to use the option "AAC-LC". This selects the audio encoding method to be used for your stream. If you are using the free version of Xsplit you will be limiting to using the option "Speex".


13. Codec: This will largely depend on the content to be shown in your stream. Assess how important sound may be for what you are streaming. Nonetheless, in most cases "128000" will suffice. In terms of bandwidth, this will consume an average of 128kbps.


14. Automatically record broadcast: We recommend that you do not use this option. When you want to record something, use the "Local Recording" profile under Xsplit's "Broadcast" option.


15. Interleave audio and video in one RTMP: In most cases you will want to enable this.


Once you have done all of this, click "OK".


You're nearly finished!


Now you need to set the resolution and FPS (Frames Per Second) at which you want to stream. In the main Xsplit window, go to "View" -> "Resolution". Choose a resolution giving consideration to Table 1 above, found in the section covering CPUs. You will need to base this on the capacity of your CPU, assuming you have unlimited upload bandwidth. This will likely not be the case, so now that you know the "VBV Max Bitrate" you can use this information to make the right decision as to the appropriate resolution and FPS for your connection. Remember, your "VBV Max Bitrate" is directly linked to your resolution and FPS. Some recommended settings are given below.

Table 3


We remind you again that Table 1 provides all of the necessary information for fast configuration of a stream, but we prefer to cover this area separately in order to broaden your understanding of this guide.

In these tables we assume that your CPU can handle the resolution and FPS at any "VBV Max Bitrate" setting. Please ensure that you consult Table 1 of this guide as a general rule before supplementing it with these tables. Please also bear in mind that these resolutions are always 16:9.



Adding Sources

Your channel is finally set up and ready to be used for streaming! But… what are you going to stream? We will now show you how to add some sources, both required and optional, to improve your followers' experience.

In the main Xsplit window you will see "Scene Sources" just above the white box at the bottom.

Note: Immediately to the right of "Scene Sources" you will see one icon showing a speaker and another showing a microphone. If you click on these you can make it so your viewers will either not hear you (microphone muted) or not hear anything at all (speaker muted). You will also see volume bars for each of the options. These allow you to adjust the settings so that your viewers don't listen to your stream at a very high or low volume.

In this area you will also find the "Add", "Remove" and "Settings" options. These allow you to add a number of new features to your stream, as well as to make several different modifications.

Left-click on "Add" and you will see a drop-down menu listing various options.



(Xsplit is updated on a continual basis, so some of these options may vary/change name)

"Add Camera": Adds a video camera (for example, a webcam).

"Add Media File": Adds pictures, videos, music, etc. Some accepted formats include: .mp3, .wmv, .png, .flv, etc.

"Add Screen Region": Adds the screen region you wish to broadcast. To add the entire screen, simply click on an empty section (without programs or folders) of your desktop, and the entire desktop will be added.

"Add IP Camera": You can also add a camera connected to the internet. Most people don't usually use one of these cameras; instead they use the option "Add Camera".

"Add Video Playlist": If you want to play several videos, one after another, you add them here. A lot of options are available. Try them out!

"Add Title": Adds basic text. There are also various other options, including one that causes the title to scroll across the screen. Examples such as "BRB in 10 minutes" can be entered into the "scroll" option to allow people to see that the stream hasn't stopped and that you are simply away.

"Add Livestream": You can add another livestream to be broadcast. Make sure you have access to the content to be broadcast and that you do not violate any copyright laws.

"Add Game": If the "GameSource" option is enabled you can add a game here directly. The "GameSource" option has some pros and cons when compared to playing in "Windowed" or "Borderless" mode. The Windowed or Borderless modes result in less "lag" but can only stream at a maximum of 30fps. In some cases the "GameSource" option may result in some "lag", but you can use it to run 60fps and it usually offers a better picture quality than the Windowed or Borderless modes.

"More Sources": Here you have access to a large number of plugins, and can install more Xsplit options that do not come pre-installed.

[COLOR="DarkRed"]Important note: Now that you know how to add screen regions you can select different scenes in the main Xsplit window and add different regions, or even make different screen backgrounds. To move through the different scenes, in the main Xsplit window near the lower right-hand corner you will see a number of buttons entitled "Scene 1", "Scene 2", etc. Clicking on each of these buttons allows you to move from one scene to another. You can even rename them so that you know which is which. People usually set up two scenes, one for broadcasting and another for when someone is away temporarily. The latter scene normally contains a background with some text explaining that you will be away for a few minutes.[/COLOR]



Hotkeys

If you plan to stream on a regular basis, these will probably be of interest to you. "Hotkeys", or shortcut keys, allow you to control many aspects of your stream without having to go to the Xsplit interface. You can set up these keys to carry out different actions.

Go to "Tools" -> "General Settings" and select the "Hotkeys" tab. In it you can choose which functions to link to a hotkey. Below this window you can select which key you want to link to which function. You can also set up toggle modifiers for a hotkey using "Ctrl", "Shift" and "Alt".



We recommend that you always have at least some scenes associated with hotkeys. The same goes for the action of turning your stream on and off.



Glossary

Mbps: "Megabits per second". This is a measure used for internet speed (also known as bandwidth).
Kbps: "Kilobits per second". This is a measure used for internet speed (also known as bandwidth).
1Mbps = 1000Kbps
FPS: "Frames per second": A measure of the number of images or frames shown per second in a video.


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Riot MeDroiD

Community Manager

Follow MeDroiD on Twitter

06-04-2013

FAQ - User

_____________________________________________

- I am streaming but people can only see a black screen, either with or without sound. What's the problem?

This scenario is very common among users that have skipped some of the steps in the guide, but it can also occur due to connection issues. The main causes are outlined below:

  • Make sure that you have followed the instructions given in the guide on how to select what you want to show in your stream using Xsplit's "Add -> Screen Region" option.
  • Make sure the "Scene" you are using is the right one. You can check this by making sure you see your own screen in the Xsplit box.
  • You connection is a very important factor, and if you have chosen a very high Bitrate and Buffer this is probably preventing your stream from being visible. To check this, when you are streaming you can look in the upper area of Xsplit to see if there is a "red" message informing you, among other things, of how many Kbps you are streaming. When the speed starts to decrease and falls to 0, this means you are not streaming properly due to problems with your upload connection. You will need to run a speed test (explained in the guide) and follow the instructions again to determine which Bitrate and Buffer you need to use.

- Viewers can hear what I say but not what I hear (music, friends, etc.)

If viewers can hear you but nothing else it means your sound settings are not configured correctly. To fix this go to the Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound. In the first tab, choose the correct device (the same one you use to hear) by right-clicking with the mouse, and then left-click on "Select as default device".

Note:You can double click to indicate that you want to use the device right now, but it is more convenient to set it as the default device so that you won't have to repeat this step time and time

- Viewers cannot hear me but they can hear what I hear (other people that speak to me, music, etc.)

To solve this, inside Xsplit go to "Tools" -> "General Settings". Under "Microphone", make sure that the microphone you want to use to transmit sound is selected.
If you should find that it is already correctly configured, follow the same steps given above, going to the Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound. This time, select "Microphones" and right-click on the one you are using in order to, as described above, select it as the default device.

Note: You can double click to indicate that you want to use the device right now, but it is more convenient to set it as the default device so that you won't have to repeat this step time and time again.

- The stream my viewers see is very pixelated or has a lot of FPS drops. How can I solve this?

First of all, if you haven't already done so you need to use the information given in the tables to optimise streaming. If your CPU is not listed, however, you will have to test out different settings to find the most suitable one. The most important values to enter when configuring a stream are the following:

  • View -> Frame Rate (the higher you set this, the more resources your CPU uses).
  • View -> Resolution (the higher the resolution, the more resources your CPU uses and the higher the speed required to run the stream at high quality without pixelation).
  • In Broadcast -> Edit Channels -> Edit (in your channel) you can also make changes to "Quality".

Pixelation problems are mainly related to your connection. If you have a very low upload connection, this is probably the source of the problem. If this is not the case, make sure the Bitrate and Buffer you have set conform to the instructions given in the guide, as the problem is that you have not set them high enough.


- Some viewers can't see my stream. Why is this?

Bear in mind that many viewers also have a limited connection, and if they do not have enough bandwidth they won't be able to see your stream if the quality it is shown at is set too high. Bear in mind, also, that this problem will be solved automatically if you belong to the "Partner" scheme offered by several companies. If you do not, however, we recommend that you stream from two channels, the first at a higher quality than the second.

Note: The "Partner" scheme depends on each of the companies that offer it. Visit their websites for more information.


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Riot MeDroiD

Community Manager

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06-04-2013

FAQ – Shoutcasters

_____________________________________________

Now that our instructions for setting up the stream have been followed, it's time to answer the FAQs of those who want to dip their toes into the world of "Shoutcasting".

Let's get started!

- How do I set up and design scenes to create a truly professional shoutcast?

It's really very easy. The guidelines we provide you with will enable you to set everything up and get a professional start in the world of shoutcasting.


Before getting started you need to have read the guide in order to know what "Scenes" are (Scene 1, Scene 2, etc.). If you understand this then you can imagine that to be an expert shoutcaster you will need a lot of pre-configured scenes. We will provide you with an example covering each and every one of the possible scenes that a shoutcaster might want.


We recommend that before proceeding any further you rename each scene based on its function, so that you never make a mistake when changing scenes, thereby avoiding viewer-related problems. Below we recommend some names and a number of scenes to be configured:

  • Scene 1 -> Client
  • Scene2 -> Champion Selection
  • Scene 3 -> Games
  • Scene 4 -> Ads

Once the scenes have been renamed, you need to design the interface for each one. Note: You will need to have some basic knowledge in order to understand how to design layers to place over your stream.

You should be clear on the fact that in order to design the tools correctly you must carry out the following instructions:

- Put the League of Legends client somewhere where it will never be moved, and where it will never be hidden by any application placed on top of it. We recommend that you put it right in the centre of the screen, like this:



- Capture the screen in order to have an image of the entire desktop and League of Legends in the centre.

- Open this image using any design software. Create a new layer. All of the space occupied by League of Legends should be 'covered' in some way. An example is provided here:




- Bear in mind that to enable the client to be seen, rather than an image, you must delete this area and leave it 'transparent'. To leave it transparent, you need to erase everything in all of the layers in the relevant area and save the file in a format that supports transparency, for example as a ".PNG" file.

Note: Grey and white squares tiled in an area mean that it will be transparent, so when the image is flattened in Xsplit everything inside this area will be visible.



- Once this space has been designed you should, as you will already know how to do, add a media file in "Scene 1" using the Xsplit option "Add" -> "Media file". From here, search for and open the file. After opening it, expand it so that it occupies the entire Xsplit screen. It should look like this:




The first scene has now been designed. In it you will show ads and the client.

We will follow exactly the same procedure for the second scene, but with a few slight changes. Instead of cutting the image so that it is transparent over the entire League of Legends client, we will add a more professional touch by cutting out only the Champion Selection boxes. To do this, follow the same procedure detailed in the above section (capture the screen, this time in Champion Selection, open it with design software, etc.) and cover the screen capture with your design, obtaining the following result:





After doing this you will have the layers needed for the course of a game. The only layer remaining is that to be made for when we are inside the game. To do so, capture the screen from inside the game and, as always, open it in a design program (in order to achieve the correct resolution). Below we provide an example of how it might turn out:





Note: You will have to create your own layer, as everyone will have their own resolution and must work within its parameters.

Finally, you need to design the last scene, which will be used between games. To do this you only need a screen capture, which you will once again open in a design program, to make a sign appropriate for your screen resolution.

An example is provided here:



- I want to set up several cameras with people commentating. How do I do this?

One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a secondary screen and, using any program that enables video conferencing, to move this program with any relevant video conferences to the secondary screen. Immediately after this you can, as explained in the general guide, add various screen regions (video conference boxes).

Add -> Screen Region -> Select a video conference box (repeat this action)

- I don't have a secondary screen. Can I hide the programs I have on the desktop?

The best solution would be to have a second screen, in order to have all of the necessary programs open on that screen and be better able to organise everything (to moderate chats, to have Xsplit open on it to better control scenes, etc.). If you do not have a second screen there are some programs available, for example one called "StreamPrivacy". Bear in mind that this uses up a lot of resources and may cause you to notice a deterioration in the stream.

- What do I need to take into account for high quality casting?

First of all you need to have configured your stream and have a computer and connection capable of handling a quality of at least (to allow viewers to watch comfortably) 480p. Bear in mind, as well, that the audio quality should be good, as should that of the microphone used for casting. Avoid background noise and make good use of scenes. This, coupled with your skill at casting, is what will define you as a caster!

Good luck!


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Riot MeDroiD

Community Manager

Follow MeDroiD on Twitter

06-07-2013

Images for Shoutcasters can be downloaded to see how "transparency" works, they are PNG files

Cheers!


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Inb4 404

Senior Member

06-07-2013

Thank you sir, but aren't there 1000000 guides out there about how to stream, including twitch.tv itself? :3

inb4 10000 downvotes lol'd


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Khawz

Senior Member

06-07-2013

cool post


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Siroopdrinker

Senior Member

06-07-2013

It's nice to see that there are Rioters out there trying to help with everything


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Riot MeDroiD

Community Manager

Follow MeDroiD on Twitter

06-07-2013

Quote:
Inb4 404:
Thank you sir, but aren't there 1000000 guides out there about how to stream, including twitch.tv itself? :3

inb4 10000 downvotes lol'd


Could be true. I was just asked by a lot of people to do something like that as I've been streaming for a long time, and after that I asked myself, why not sharing it?

I've always tried to help players to set up stuff like Overlays, so that's what I focused on as well.

Hope it helps!


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Naut Bad

Senior Member

06-07-2013

Open Broadcast Viewer is a nice fancy streaming kit I use. It's also 100% free as an alternative to Xsplit


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Inb4 404

Senior Member

06-07-2013

Quote:
Riot MeDroiD:
Could be true. I was just asked by a lot of people to do something like that as I've been streaming for a long time, and after that I asked myself, why not sharing it?

I've always tried to help players to set up stuff like Overlays, so that's what I focused on as well.

Hope it helps!


Yeah, overlays and streamer 'HUDs' are actually useful, that's not explained everywhere so good job anyway, it's a great and detailed guide, everything has to be said