Broadcasting on a Budget - Video Production
Due to the rapid growing developments in technology, gone are the days of needing expensive bulky equipment to produce a nice video or stream a live broadcast and achieve a professional looking end product. Many cellphones are now equipped with HD cameras that shoot amazing photographs and video. The built in microphones on most cellphones are also pretty decent quality if you're recording up-close audio and you or your subject are able to speak directly into the microphone.
What are the benefits of a DIY studio?
- 1. Minimal Costs - next to nothing - Free and up
- 2. You can easily make changes to your setup w/set additions, subtractions etc...
- 3. You can spend more time creating your amazing content and less time fretting over your budget .. Start creating TODAY, not tomorrow
What are the KEY components of video production/live streaming?
- 1. Lighting - A vibrant well lit video is a must! Bad lighting will also add more grain to your video production.
- 2. Video Equipment - Laptop, webcam, cell phone camera, camcorder
- 3. Audio Equipment - Microphones
- 4. Set - Backdrops and DIY sets
Proper lighting is KEY! The lowest cost and cheapest form of lighting is FREE. Yes, the free natural lighting from outside once you pull back the curtains or crack open the blinds and let the light shine in. Grandma's lamp or a reading light are great attempts but sadly not sufficient for proper lighting. These options tend to wash out your image and will often place undesirable glares in your video. Also improper lighting can cast undesired shadows that lurk behind you during your recording.
For those rainy gloomy days when the sun isn't casting enough natural light, don't worry, we have options.
Clamp Light w/ Reflector - 3 correctly positioned clamp lights. At a 45 degree angle, you will want two lights aimed at your subject. The 3rd light will need to be positioned to aim at your backdrop or background area to smooth out the lighting and eliminate those lurking shadows. $30.00 (3) & up.
Reminder - Close the blinds and/or cover the windows to keep extra light out if you are using electrical lighting.
Soft Box Lighting (**SVRadio Recommeded Option) - Soft box lighting will give your video productions a nice soft, natural, daylight look. This will help to remove shadowing and make for a perfect shooting environment. Softbox lighting (Lightbanks) are geared for "directional lighting" and give more control than umbrella lighting. $80.00 & up.
Umbrella Lighting ($50.00 & up) - Umbrellas give off a broad range of light and may seem easier for a beginner to use. Just remember, the soft box lighting above offers more control and directional lighting. Umbrella lighting can be explained as the "point and shoot" lighting for video production. Plug in, point the umbrellas at your subject and viola; you are the LIGHT MASTER!
Laptop built-in webcam - Using a stack of books to elevate your laptop to face height is recommended. Ensuring you have the proper lighting with the built in laptop webcam is vital. Most of the standard laptop webcams produce grainy and low quality video.
- 1. Don't tilt the laptop screen forward or backward
- 2. Maintain as much of a 90-degree angle between the screen and laptop base as possible
Adroid/IOS Mobile Recording - Cell phones are now equipped with some amazing cameras that can produce nice HD quality video productions. Android and IOS users will want to consider that widescreen is preferable. We recommend shooting with your phone in the horizontal position.
Logitech HD Pro Webcam (Under $70.00) (**SVRadio Recommeded Option) - We've used this device for over a year now and love the full HD 1080p recording quality. Dual microphones ensure natural stereo sound, while a five-element glass lens and a precisely tuned autofocus allow you to be seen in amazing clarity and detail. The bottom base of this webcam is also pre-equipped with the screw for tripod mounting.
The Canon 32GB VIXIA HF R72 (Under $500.00) - This camcorder records Full HD 1920 x 1080p video to 32GB of internal flash memory or to a removable SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. It features a long 57x Advanced Zoom range and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization that combine to deliver sharp and steadier images, even when fully zoomed. Equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC support, the camcorder allows you to connect to iOS and Android devices to enable remote control, live stream monitoring and recording, and easy file transfers for uploading your os and photos to social networking sites.
Tripods ($10.00 & up)- Investing in a tripod to avoid shaky video is highly recommended. This will also prevent your mobile device from sliding down or falling over during recording. To avoid your equipment saying "Hello ground"; you want to make sure the tripod can hold the weight of your equipment. Investing in a sturdy heavy duty camcorder/webcam tripod is advised. Not all tripods come with the necessary mounts to hold your device. For instance, the popular Jellyfish legs below don't come with the necessary mount to it's right. Always double check that your equipment will come with everything you need. ( We don't advise the *Cheapest* route on this item to avoid flimsy equipment that can't support your equipment properly)
**Must Be Purchased Together**
Lenses widen and add additional effects to your mobile recording device are vital because they allow you to do so much more! For example, If you're doing an interview with someone, it's quite a task if you are attempting to use the front facing camera. If you are equipped with world record length arms then you may be able to get your guest and yourself in the shot. A wide angled lens eliminates this issue. Everyone makes it onto the screen and you are also able to keep the device close for speaking into the mic. Lower end lens clip range from $15.00 up to the higher end clips that sell for $99.00. The Olloclip gives a cyrstal clear image and adds great range and depth of field to your video productions.
Olloclip's 4-IN-1 Lens for Iphone Olloclip's Telephoto + CPL Lens for Iphone Aukey Universal Lens for Android/IOS
PowerWise Lavelier Lapel Mic (Under $20.00) - is another important factor in your video productions. Let's jump right into some of the lower end options and I'll throw in a few of our higher end recommendations. I took a chance on this nifty lavelier lapel mic a few weeks ago and to my surprise for under $20.00 it works very well. This microphone from PowerWise comes with additional accessories and a neat storage bag for an amazingly low price.
BM-800 Condenser Mic (Under $30.00) - We've used this mic for quite some time and it's withstood the test of time for various purposes. Live radio broadcasting, Youtube video recordings via laptop and via mobile. This microphone does need an external 48V phantom power supply. Please check out the Video 1 and Video 2 review(s) of this mic on the StormVibes Radio YouTube channel.
Rode Smart Lav - IOS/Smartphone Recording (Starts around $80.00) - Plug 'n Play with SUPERIOR quality! This microphone provide cyrstal clear audio. The included wind shield takes the breezes out of outdoor recording and makes your recording experience a breeze. The Rode Smart Lav delivers flawless audio in some of the noisiest and most difficult recording environments. Great for recording and doing interviews on the go.
Rode RodeLink FM Wireless Microphone System (under $400.00) - The RODELink Filmmaker Kit provides everything you need to start shooting your video wirelessly, including a receiver, transmitter and broadcast-grade lavalier microphone.
The Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone - If you want to achieve superb studio quality sound, this microphone can deliver. The mic comes with a mini desk stand and plugs directly into your laptop via USB. If you want to connect this mic to an Iphone or Ipad you will need the Rode SC7 patch cable.
The cheapest and lowest cost backdrop option is something that you most likely around have at home. A BED SHEET! Black is the best color option. If you're the solo focus in the video this will eliminate wide open spaces behind you and also bring you to the center of attention. You want people focus on you and your amazing content; not what's happening in the space behind you.
If you're shooting outdoors you will want to be mindful of your background as well. Some of the various clips and lenses mentioned above will do great for background blurring if you're shooting from a mobile device. The Logitech webcam mentioned above also has great zoom and pan attributes that can also help in narrowing down your background in an open outdoor environment.
Bookshelving makes for a great background.
If space allows, your ideal DIY home studio will work best in an area of your home or office that is solely used as your recording space. Your equipment and props can stay in place and be ready for recording anytime that you are ready.
Lima Studio Backdrop Kit (Under $60.00) - If you're working with green screen for the first time we suggest checking out some of the amazing Youtube tutorials on using it properly. You don't want to appear as if you're walking through walls. Also designs in clothing can offset green screen and cause some pretty weird and undesired things to happen in your video production.
Muslin Black Cotton Backdrop (Under $40.00) - Create a simple, easy and efficient background with a simple color.
Bonus DIY TIP: SOFTWARE
Congrats on your new DIY Studio!! You've selected all of your equipment and now you're wondering what additional software you could possibly use to create stunning recorded or live streaming video like a PRO.
Open Broadcaster Software is an amazing FREE source software for your video production needs.
OBS has been rebuilt from the ground up to be even more lightweight and high performance than before. It supports all your favorite streaming platforms and more.
Additional Bonuses: DIY for Mobile Recording
Be prepared and avoid the dreaded "Memory Full" buy more cloud space mobile message.
- The flash drive reinvented for your phone, tablet and computer
- Wirelessly save and access your photos, videos and files. Connect wirelessly or simply plug into a USB port.
- Stream HD videos and music up to 3 devices at the same time
Mobile recording or even viewing content on your mobile can be a total battery kill very quickly. No need to scramble around for a charging portal or spend time sitting in your car charging your devices.
Anker Power Core 10050 Portable Battery (Under $40.00) - Charge at lightening fast speed without missing a recording moment due to a dead battery.
Anker Power Core 20100 Portable Batter (Under $40.00) - An ULTRA HIGH power bank for on the go charging of your mobile recording devices.