You Ask, I Answer: Recommended Setup for Webinars?

Paul asks, “What’s your recommended audio, video, and lighting setup for webinars and events?”

Great question. As David Tames once taught, great video begins with great audio. Get the mic near your mouth!

Lighting will do more to improve video quality than almost any camera, as long as the camera isn’t absolute junk. Go for a three point lighting system – and it’s okay to use cheap lights.

Camera angle matters a lot too. No one wants to look up your nose.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode Paul asks, What’s your recommended audio video and lighting setup for webinars and events? This is a great question and it’s less about the gear and more about how you use the gear like cooking for example, a master chef can do amazing things with the stuff in anybody’s household whereas someone who’s incompetent can be put in a five star kitchen and still burn water.

So let’s talk about a few things number one audio as David to mess over at Keno It teaches great video begins with great audio, you want to get the microphone near your mouth.

Now, if you’re using a boom mic like this, which is a this particular mic because it’s a cardioid mic.

It picks up the sound right here, no sound here.

But you have to know the kind of microphone you’re using.

There are some microphones where the element is not on the top That’s actually on the side.

And so, read the manual to make sure where your microphones element is actually picking up your voice.

Now with a microphone like this, you want to test you turn on a video recorder like this, and test to see how you sound because it will sound different in different places.

Let’s bring up this diagram here.

You see, there’s nine numbers I put on this diagram, the nine different places you could position this mic, what you want to do is turn on a video recorder like this and test it, position one, position two, this is probably you’ll never use this position three, position for position five, position six, position seven, position eight, position nine.

And then you’ll go back and watch the video listen to the video and see how each position sounds get a sense of Okay, that’s where I want my mic.

If you don’t have a windscreen on your mic, you want one because what you don’t want to hear is breathing.

Most of you look back at this chart, position five and position eight Where this mic tends to work best but position five you will hear breathing even with a windscreen you’ll still hear it position eight down here by your chin with is still aiming at your mouth is the probably the best position for this mic.

Regardless of the microphone type you own like you know you have this is an example of a boom mic you know positions two and five are probably the best positions for it.

You want near your mouth and you want to aim at your mouth wherever the microphone element is aimed at at your mouth.

So that’s audio.

Again, you don’t need expensive gear you just need to use it well use it properly.

To lighting will do more to improve video quality then pretty much any camera people like what camera should I get you know what’s the best camera.

If the light sucks, it doesn’t matter.

You can even there are systems or software that you can use your smartphone as a webcam for for recording video.

These cameras work great in Good in good light.

In crap light, they work terribly.

It’s one limitations of this type of camera.

If you have a webcam either built into your computer or into into you have a separate one, again, great lighting matters.

Let’s look at three examples.

This is just a single overhead light, you can see looks terrible, right? This is an overhead light and the the, the ring light that is in my particular cameras.

So there’s two points of light you can see it’s better.

It’s better, but it’s not great.

Now I have a cheap yard sale lamp I got it like off the side of the street somewhere for like $1 with a naked bulb on and nothing fancy just a standard light ball overhead at a 45 degree angle from me.

This is I mean this is what you’re seeing me with this video on now you can see there’s a world difference even between the two point setup and a three point setup.

So you want that three point lighting setup.

Simple overhead light to fill up the background, right, a light in front of you and then this strong The overhead light that creates very pleasing shadows.

Now, where you put the camera matters to, there’s fundamentally three levels, you can pull it out, you can put it at above your head.

This is what looks like when people are looking up the camera looking down on you.

There’s at or near eye level, which is where I prefer to have the camera.

And then there’s people who put the camera super low where you’re looking up somebody’s nose.

This is not a good look.

Most laptops, if you’re using the webcam on the laptop, the laptop is down, looking up your nose.

The angles are wrong, you it’s unflattering for some people, and it just looks weird.

It it creates this impression the person is looking down upon you, right? This is not something you want.

If you look at how, for example, most news broadcasts where they’re trying to portray the person in a neutral friendly light, it’s at eye level, you’re looking at a person II and you want to create that same impression.

So if you have a laptop and you’re using the laptop Top as far as a camera source, stick something under it stick some books, milk crate, whatever you got anything to get it to roughly about eye level.

Eye or just slightly above eye level is where like to aim things when you’re doing instructional things, if you’re doing a straight live stream, it’s okay to have a camera be dead center with you, right? This is this is me dead center.

If you’re doing instructional stuff like this where you want to have space, try and have the camera slightly offset so that you have space to display images, picture and picture stuff if you’re doing that kind of thing.

I also tend to personally like to have the camera at an angle you can see this is a standard bookshelf so you get the vertical lines, okay? But the horizontal lines are at an angle, it gives you depth and perspective.

If you shoot against a straight background like where you’re just straight against the wall, the background doesn’t really pop out because there’s no depth.

It’s just a big flat space, even if there’s books and decorations on it still looks very flat.

So having your camera at an angle to your background creates a sense of depth and a sense of space.

Be aware if you care about these things of what’s in your background too if you look down here you got a milk crate with some wires that are sticking out right if I was doing a segment where I was going to be on like broadcast TV, I might want to clean up some of that stuff right? When you’re on camera wear stuff that is not busy, right? We’re planes.

Limited patterns, no plaid.

Right? Oh, Paisley.

Things that the cameras depending on the quality of the camera may not be able to pick up well.

But again, it’s less about the gear and more about how you use the gear.

Inexpensive lights like we’re talking.

Go on Craigslist seems throwing away a free lamp, right.

Simple, simple stuff.

Keep it simple.

And instead focus on how you’re using it.

What angles the camera.

Where’s the microphone? Though how you lighting the room that’s going to give you the most mileage for the gear you’ve got to create better quality video.

And obviously if you want to spend money and you’ve got the money to spend on high end gear, great, go for it, but take care of the surroundings and take care of the environment.

First, it’s going to give you a much better bang for the buck.

So good questions on this fun and challenging topic.

Live Video any kind of video is is tough for a lot of people because they’re very concerned about how they portray themselves.

totally get it.

But use these tips to make the most of what you’ve got.

Make the most of what you got.

If you have follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

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