Essential Gear for Live Streaming with StreamYard
You’ve made a great choice to use StreamYard as your live video production studio. It’s three pillars are self-evident as soon as you test it out: StreamYard is easy to use, professional looking and stable.
Beginning to Experienced Live Streamer
To make sure your audio and video quality are equal to your message and aligned with the professional brand you are building on LinkedIn and other live video platforms, here are the essential items every beginning to experienced live streamer using StreamYard should consider:
I can’t put into words how much I love this dynamic microphone. I haven’t seen a better piece of livestreaming or podcasting gear at such a low price point. While working in radio, I used the Shure SM7B and the Electro Voice RE-20 and I’m not saying this is a better mic than those powerhouses, nor is it as good as the Heil PR 40. But for my voice, this is close enough that I held off upgrading for more than two years. The Samson Q2u is very similar to the ATR2100, but I find its sound is both warmer and more powerful. Get an inexpensive boom arm to hold it and get ready to sound like a pro.
There is a striking difference in video quality between using a built-in laptop webcam and one of Logitech‘s outstanding external webcams. Not only is the video clarity and picture so much sharper, the camera performs well in different lighting situations including in low light. Rather than sitting the c922 on my laptop (which I do from time to time), I prefer to secure it on a tripod. This gives me the freedom to move my computer around without changing the camera location and bring the computer closer to me when needed without the camera getting too close to my face. The camera also has a much wider field of view than a built-in webcam, so you see more of the person and the background. If you want a more inexpensive alternative, there are some good deals to be had on the Logitech c920, which will give you many of the same advantages as the c922x.
Now that StreamYard enables you to add 30 second video clips and repurposing live videos into short clips for social media has become a key part of the live streaming workflow, you need editing software that is easy to use and gets the job done quickly and with good quality. ScreenFlow is not only a great screencasting and screen recording solution, it is also a video editor that can more than handle everyday editing needs. I know a lot of people who use Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro for professional-level productions who also use ScreenFlow to edit their YouTube videos, which look great. I use it daily not only for video, but to edit my podcasts as well. At only $129, this will take your editing to the next level without spending for more product than you need.
Note: Since this article was first published on LinkedIn, StreamYard has added its own native multistreaming capability on its professional plan. While I subscribe to both services, as well as Switchboard Live — and I’m a fan of all three — I’ve been very impressed by the feature set offered by StreamYard, and its native multistreaming feature has been the most frequent way I’ve been going to multiple destinations.
If live streaming to multiple platforms at once is your desire, the easiest way to distribute to anywhere from two to more than 30+ destinations is with StreamYard’s built-in integration with Restream. A leader in multistreaming video live across all streaming platforms, Restream handles millions of broadcasts every year for content creators, streamers and influencers around the world. Restream is able to aggregate the comments from multiple destinations into one central location, making it easy to follow viewer comments without needing separate screens for each destination. Thanks to StreamYard’s integration with Restream, those comments appear in the StreamYard studio where hosts can display them on the screen. You can also gain insights about your audience and broadcasts’ performances through Restream’s analytics. It’s free to use for 30+ destinations, but you need a paid plan to stream to a Facebook page or group.
Experienced to Advanced Live Streamer
I’ve often said that audio is the most important part of your live video. That is certainly true for those hosting talk shows and recording podcasts using StreamYard. The aspects of the live sound you can influence with your choice of gear are the quality and type of microphone, the preamps that power the microphone and the analog-to-digital conversion. Here are two professional items that you can build your entire home studio around:
When it was finally time to upgrade my audio gear, I tested four of the best dynamic broadcast mics. The Shure SM7B was one that worked best for my voice. This dynamic microphone has a smooth, flat, wide-range frequency response appropriate for music and speech in all professional audio applications. It features excellent shielding against electromagnetic hum generated by computer monitors, neon lights, and other electrical devices.The SM7B has been updated from earlier models with an improved bracket design that offers greater stability. In addition to its standard windscreen, it also includes the A7WS windscreen for close-talk applications.
The MixPre-3 from Sound Devices is one piece of gear that solves three needs: it serves as an audio interface, mixer and recorder. A few of the many ways it stands out from other gear in the sub $700 range is that it can function as both a USB audio interface and recorder at the same time, its sound quality and super quiet Kashmir preamps are unmatched and the headphone amp is amazing. Even when using gain-hungry mics like the RE50 or SM7B, the preamps have more than enough gain without adding a mic activator such as the CloudLifter. It’s also portable, has multiple power options and works great for capturing audio for video combined with a DSLR or Camcorder. The MixPre-3 is a professional quality device at a prosumer price.
Disclaimer – Some of the links here are affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission when you purchase an item at no extra cost to you. This has no impact on the products I am recommending above. -Ross