Live Streaming: If Money Wasn’t An Object, What Would I Suggest?

Kaid Collins 👋🏼 Managing Director of Synergy Collab here.

In this blog, I’m gonna show you how to set up for a HIGH PRODUCTION QUALITY live stream. Specifically high-quality Video AND Audio with multiple camera angles and scenes. [There are no affiliate links in this blog]

I was challenged by a member of our Collective to compile a NEXT LEVEL LIVE Broadcasting Setup.

Now, if you’re just streaming directly to Facebook or YouTube, for example, and you’re not going all out to make it a big production.. this blog will definitely be overkill BUT if you want to stream to multiple platforms AND have a high-quality stream, you are in the right place.

If money wasn’t an object, what would I suggest? (Some of my suggestions are FREE!)

I’ll talk about the gear I recommend (hardware) with some alternatives and then how we set it up digitally (software). Throughout, you’ll find a few different options for hardware and software.. and learn the scenarios when you might need them. Be sure to check out the end for some bonus tips and tricks!

Live Streaming Hardware

Camera Setup.

Cameras:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/eos-dslr-and-mirrorless-cameras/dslr/eos-1d-x-mark-ii

Go Pro Hero 9 Black (2)
https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras/hero9-black/CHDHX-901-master

[Camera 1] One ‘main camera’ is set up in the center so everything is in the frame, the subject, drawing pad or whiteboard (for example). The ‘main camera’ will be what your viewers will see most of the time. Most likely I would use the Canon for the main camera but can foresee a good argument using it exclusively for the drawing pad as this allows for more optimal and crisp zoom/focus on the drawing pad.

[Camera 2] Another camera, angled on the drawing pad. As I mentioned above, you could use the Canon here but I would most likely start with the GoPros as the ancillary angles. The main focus for this angle is the readability of the drawing pad.

[Camera 3] 3rd angle that can be focused solely on the subject. Due to the dynamic angle, you may want to consider multiple microphones if there is more than one subject. For this example, I am assuming there is only one presenter.

YOU DON’T NEED TO use high-end DSLRs. There are plenty of webcams that can work just fine and plug into your computer directly by a USB. During this time webcams can seem impossible to get.. BUT there is a device that I believe people are sleeping on!

Introducing, GoPro Hero 9 Black. My webcam of choice! All you’ll need is the GoPro webcam software and a USB-C to USB-C (or) USB-A (depending on what computer you have).

Lighting setup.

Lights:

Aputure 120D II

https://www.aputure.com/products/ls-120d-ii/

Aputure MC (2x)

https://www.aputure.com/mc-u/

Backdrop and Background Lights

https://www.aputure.com/ls-mini-20d-20c-u/

Aputure Light Dome Softbox for Light

https://www.aputure.com/products/light-dome-ii/

Aputure 120D II: Key light focused on the subject and the drawing pad (You will want a softbox for your key light).

Mini 20d-20c: A hairlight aimed at the back of the subject. A fill light to fill the background with some additional lighting.

Aputure MC: Mood lights that accent the colors or make your background pop. The more the better!

Microphone Setup.

Microphones:

Shure SM7B

https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones/sm7b

Sennheiser ew G4

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BRM3353/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_Z6Z2FbF2MYZ97

Cloud Lifter for Shure SM7B

https://www.cloudmicrophones.com/cloudlifter-cl-1

As for your microphone, the Shure SM7B is a legend of a microphone. The Cloudlifter will boost the gain and reduce the floor. Long story short, A LOT LESS NOISE.

So we’ve got our lighting, check. Video, check. And audio, check. Now we need to connect our video and audio to our computer.

Audio Interfaces:

Zoom F6

https://zoomcorp.com/en/us/field-recorders/field-recorders/f6/

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

https://focusrite.com/en/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-18i8

We’ll need an audio interface with multiple XLR ports. With this, we’ll be able to plug in our microphones to the audio interface and we’ll plug the audio interface into the computer.

You can adjust the audio levels right in your chosen streaming software or you can use the dials on your audio interface to make sure they’re in the right place for your video feed.

*BONUS PRODUCTS A/V*

Capture Card (For use with DSLR)

https://www.amazon.com/Elgato-Cam-Link-Broadcast-Camcorder/dp/B07K3FN5MR/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Elgato+Cam+Link+4K+%E2%80%94+Broadcast+Live%2C+Record+via+DSLR%2C+Camcorder%2C+or+Action+Cam%2C+1080p60+or+4K+at+3&qid=1608204260&sr=8-1

The capture card converts the HDMI signal coming from our camera into a USB connection that our computer can \ recognize and pull an image directly from our camera sensor. They’re normally around $120 but due to the current environment (2020) you may find it difficult to get one.

So just do some research and figure out the best way to get your camera connected for streaming.

Onetakeonly Pad Prompter

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1211187-REG/onetakeonly_147001_pad_prompter_for_lightstand.html

Stands:

RODE PSA 1 Microphone Boom Arm

http://www.rode.com/accessories/psa1

Frameworks Pro Desktop Mic stand
https://www.gatorframeworks.com/products/desktop-mic-stand-with-round-base-and-twist-clutch-gfw-mic-0601/

2. Live Streaming Software

OBS

https://obsproject.com/

We need a program to help us stream directly to our platform of choice. Since we’re going for higher production quality and we need to switch between multiple cameras and waiting screens etc I recommend using a third-party software called OBS.

I always recommend this as my first choice mainly because I think it’s one of the best ones out there... But it also has a HUGE benefit of being completely free. So before you go out and buy streaming software.. I recommend at least giving OBS a try because I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ecamm LIVE

https://www.ecamm.com/mac/ecammlive/

Go ahead and check out the benefits for yourself:

The main drawback of OBS or ECamm Live.. streaming to multiple platforms. Natively OBS or ECamm Live will not let you stream simultaneously to Facebook and YouTube at the same time, for example. You could set it up with another software called restream.io or Studio 6 which we will cover next.

Multi-Platform Streaming Services:

Restream.io

https://restream.io/

Restream is a powerful and effective multi-streaming service that allows you to broadcast your live content to more than 30 streaming platforms simultaneously. Stream to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and other popular platforms all at once, from one account. There is no limit on the number of platforms you can stream to!

Some of the coolest reasons to try out Restream include insightful analytics to improve your stream quality, unlimited streaming time and bitrate, easy solutions for unsupported platforms, the ability to live stream your pre-recorded videos with Restream Scheduler, and many more!

Studio 6

https://livestream.com/studio/

Now apart of the Vimeo family, learn more about Studio 6 at the link above.

3. Bonus Features — Simple Tips and Tricks to Level Up your Stream

Broadcasting your iPhone or Ipad’s Screen with Ecamm: You can share your iphone or iPad’s screen into your live stream and also play sound from the device.

https://support.ecamm.com/en/articles/3216964-broadcasting-your-iphone-or-ipad-s-screen

Now since we want this to feel like a high-end live stream, almost like a television show, have a professional-looking waiting screen that you can display before the stream starts. You can make this in Photoshop or Canva and then save it as a JPEG and load it into OBS or your chosen streaming software.

You can also make a countdown timer, counting down 60 seconds before the stream starts that way your viewers can make sure that they don’t miss the beginning of your stream

Building out the different scenes BEFORE the stream will allow you to seamlessly switch between your cameras, waiting screens, and countdown timers. These scenes act like layers, you can add multiple sources logos etc and then switch between scenes just by clicking over to another. You can also use something called a video switcher to pull this off.

Internet connection: for optimal streaming, plugin directly to your router via an Ethernet cable. That’ll give you a more secure connection. Wi-Fi isn’t recommended because it’s more prone to interruptions.

And that’s a wrap!

More to come very soon!

I hope this helps my #2CCXfam

Best,

Kaid Collins | IG: KaidCollins

https://www.instagram.com/kaidcollins/

P.S. it’s about 4:30 AM as I write this.. I’ll be sure to add more pictures and detail soon.

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