March 28, 2024

How to Edit a YouTube Live Stream Video: 2024’s Ultimate Editing Guide

Hey there - oh it’s not live anymore? Damn, if only the VOD was edited” - This is what your viewers could be saying. That’s why I’ll be teaching you how to edit your YouTube live stream video.

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Written by
Filipe Pessoa

Marketing & Sociology. Gamer and music producer.

Table of contents

Turn your YouTube videos to Shorts

Reach new audiences and repurpose your content with AI highlights.

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YouTube has been improving its live streaming infrastructure and getting big creators to stream on the platform. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit all streaming platforms saw their numbers blow up. YouTube now sits as the main competitor to Twitch.

If you’re a YouTube streamer you might ask yourself how to edit a YouTube live stream video (and now that 25% of creators on YouTube are now monetizing, how to make Shorts from it - Framedrop is your answer there). Between YouTube’s own features and external tools it can be hard to figure out what to do and how to do it. Today we’ll get into it.

How to Edit YouTube Live Stream Video?

Here are some tips if you’re looking to edit your live stream:

Addressing Mistakes Gracefully: Before needing to edit, learn to embrace mistakes as opportunities to connect authentically with your audience. Acknowledge and move on confidently.

Real-Time Monitoring: Keep a close eye on viewer engagement, audio levels, and video quality using YouTube's live dashboard analytics.

Utilize YouTube's Live Control Room: Take advantage of features like trimming and scene switching to edit your stream on the fly.

Adding Graphics and Overlays: Incorporate visuals like logos and viewer comments using software like OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS.

Implementing Timestamps: Use timestamps to organize key moments for easier navigation post-stream.

By following these editing tips, you can enhance the quality of your YouTube livestream while keeping your audience engaged and satisfied.

Can You Edit a Live Stream While Streaming

As a new YouTube streamer, getting used to the art of live streaming is crucial for engaging your audience in real-time. However, live streams aren't always perfect from start to finish. That's where the magic of editing comes into play, even while you're still streaming. In this guide, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of editing your YouTube live stream on the fly, ensuring your content remains polished and professional.

1. Addressing Mistakes Gracefully:

Not everything needs to be edited out. Mistakes happen to the best of us and can make the content feel more organic. Whether it's a slip of the tongue or a technical glitch, don't panic. Embrace these moments as opportunities to connect with your audience authentically. Acknowledge the mistake, apologize if necessary, and carry on with confidence.

2. Real-Time Monitoring:

Before diving into editing, it's essential to keep a close eye on your live stream's performance. Monitor viewer engagement, audio levels, and video quality using the analytics provided by YouTube's live dashboard. This real-time feedback will help you identify any issues that need immediate attention.

3. Utilize YouTube's Live Control Room:

YouTube offers a powerful Live Control Room where you can make adjustments to your stream on the fly. From trimming the beginning or end of your live broadcast to switching between different camera angles or scenes, the Live Control Room puts the editing power in your hands.

4. Adding Graphics and Overlays:

Keep your audience engaged by incorporating graphics and overlays into your live stream. Whether it's displaying your logo, showcasing viewer comments, or highlighting key points, these visual elements add depth to your content. Utilize software like OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS to overlay graphics seamlessly while streaming.

5. Implementing Timestamps:

Timestamps are invaluable for organizing your live stream content and making it more accessible to viewers after the broadcast ends. As you stream, mentally note key moments or topics discussed. Then, use YouTube's live chat or a designated moderator to timestamp these moments in real-time, making it easier for viewers to navigate the video later.

The key to successful live streaming is flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to adapt on the fly. So, go ahead, hit that live button, and let your creativity shine!

Turn your YouTube videos to Shorts

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How to Edit After the Stream

After a live stream on YouTube comes the sometimes complicated phase of editing. This is where you can refine your content, add polish, and tailor it to suit your audience's preferences. If you're aiming for a YouTube Short or even just a full-length upload, the editing process can elevate your content to the next level:

Editing for YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok

YouTube Shorts have gained immense popularity for their snappy, engaging content. Adding to that, you can and should post multiple Shorts a day Editing your live stream into Shorts requires precision and brevity. Here's how to do it:

  • Selecting Clips: Identify the most captivating moments from your live stream.
  • Trimming: Use editing software to trim unnecessary sections and focus on the essence of each clip.
  • Creating Vertical or Square Videos: Adjust the aspect ratio of your video to fit the vertical or square format preferred on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
  • Adding Text or Captions: Increase engagement by overlaying text or captions to convey messages succinctly.
  • Utilizing Filters and Effects: Enhance visual appeal by incorporating platform-specific filters and effects.
  • Adding Trendy Music or Sounds: Stay relevant by integrating popular music tracks or trending sounds that resonate with the platform's audience.
  • Optimizing Duration: Shorts need to be under 60 seconds (ideally shorter for optimal engagement).

Editing to Upload on YouTube

For those aiming to upload a full-length video on YouTube post-live stream, thorough editing is key to keeping your audience engaged throughout. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Review Footage: Watch the entire live stream to identify sections for editing.
  • Cutting Unnecessary Content: Trim sections with low engagement or repetitive content to maintain viewer interest.
  • Enhancing Visuals: Improve video quality by adjusting brightness, contrast, and color balance.
  • Adding Transitions: Smoothly transition between scenes to maintain flow and cohesion.
  • Incorporating B-Roll: Enhance storytelling by interspersing main content with relevant B-roll footage.
  • Optimizing Audio: Make sure your audio is clear by adjusting volume levels and reducing background noise.
  • Adding End Screens and Cards: Encourage viewers to explore more content by adding end screens and cards with calls to action.

I’ve also made a guide with some benchmarks on how long it takes to edit a YouTube video. If you’re wanting to get more into it who better than Pete Johns to teach you:

More Complex Editing

Sometimes, editing directly on YouTube's platform might not offer the full suite of editing capabilities you need. In such cases, downloading the live stream and using dedicated editing software can provide more flexibility and control over the final product. Here's how to navigate this process:

  • Downloading the Stream: Utilize YouTube's built-in tools or third-party software to download the live stream to your computer.
  • Choosing Editing Software: Select a robust editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or DaVinci Resolve, depending on your proficiency and requirements.
  • Importing the Footage: Import the downloaded stream footage into your chosen editing software.
  • Organizing Clips: Arrange the footage into a timeline to start the editing process systematically.
  • Applying Editing Techniques: Implement editing techniques such as cutting, trimming, adding effects, and enhancing audio and visuals to refine your content.
  • Exporting the Final Edit: Once satisfied with the edits, export the final video in the desired format and quality for uploading to YouTube or other platforms.

Editing with dedicated software gives you a lot of control over the finer details of your content, allowing for a polished and professional end result.

Final Thoughts

Effective editing techniques are essential for creating fun and captivating content. Just embrace the editing journey, bring your creative A game and even your live streams can have that production bling to them (Dr. Disrespect is a master at this). How to edit YouTube live stream video? It’s in your hands now (and for Shorts, it gets a lot easier with Framedrop)

Turn your YouTube videos to Shorts

Reach new audiences and repurpose your content with AI highlights.

Get started now!


How do you edit a live stream on YouTube?

To edit a live stream on YouTube, you'll need to use YouTube's built-in editor or third-party software. YouTube's editor allows for basic trimming, adding end screens, and cards to the live stream once it's ended. However, for more advanced editing, you'll need to download the stream, edit it using video editing software, and then re-upload it to YouTube.

How do you clip a live stream on YouTube?

Clipping a live stream on YouTube can be done by using the YouTube Clips feature, which allows viewers to create short segments of live streams. To clip a live stream, simply find the moment you want to clip while watching the stream, click the "Clip" button, adjust the clip duration and title if needed, and then share the clipped segment.

Is it free to stream on YouTube?

Yes, streaming on YouTube is free. YouTube provides a platform for content creators to livestream their content without any charge. You do however need to be a verified channel and have no live streaming restrictions in the past 90 days.

Can you edit a YouTube video after posting?

Yes, you can edit a YouTube video after posting it. YouTube provides basic editing tools that allow you to trim, blur, filter, and add music to your uploaded videos. Additionally, you can download your video, edit it using external editing software, and then re-upload the edited version to replace the original. However, keep in mind that some edits, such as removing copyrighted content, may affect the video's performance or eligibility for monetization.

Published at
March 28, 2024
Filipe Pessoa

Having a bachelor's degree in Sociology and currently getting his Masters' in Marketing, Filipe has always followed a customer-centric ethos. In 2021, Filipe was part of one of the 3 European Innovation Academy winning projects - CultureKit - as its CMO. Since joining Framedrop in August 2022, Filipe has worked on a wide array of tasks such as Copywriting, Lead Generation, Influencer Marketing and even dipped his toes in SEO.

When not working, Filipe channels his creativity into music production in his home studio.

Favorite sport: Football ⚽️

Favorite hobby: Gaming 🎮

Favorite musical artist: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 🎸

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