My Streaming / Podcast Setup…

Readers may recall in my recent survey I questioned the level of interest in a regular Australian Videocamera podcast and / or streaming session. For both, the response was an overwhelming ‘yes’.

In order to accomplish this to the way I think it should be, and to a standard I’ll accept, I have therefore been overhauling my facilities in the audio, video and recording departments.

I have yet to decide on a streaming platform – Facebook, YouTube and Twitch are all in the potential mix and any advice you have will be gratefully accepted – but the hardware side is pretty much under control, and I thought as a preamble to the whole thing, others may be interested in how I am going about it.

Cameras

This was the thing that caused me the most grief. I tried any number of makes and models I had at hand from Panasonic, Canon, Fujifilm, DJI and GoPro and ended up deciding on GoPro.

Not that the other cameras had anything specifically wrong per se, but out of the ones I had, the GoPros were the only ones that had HDMI out capability in conjunction with “clean” output; that is, no other information in the video feed other than the image. All also have a Live Stream mode and the option to “Never turn off”.

The three I am using, a Hero Black 9 as an “over the shoulder” camera, a Hero 7 Black as a locked off “top down” camera over a DaVinci Resolver Speed Editor and a Hero 6 Black as the “face” camera.

Power

As potentially some of the streams will be an hour long, if not more depending, I wanted to make sure I had uninterrupted power to all three cameras. This has been achieved by getting a couple of PowerTech 10000 mAh power banks from Jaycar and hooking them to the GoPros via USB. These are giving me up to 12 hours per camera easily, and of course if I was so inclined, I could keep these on permanent charge as well.

Audio

This was easy. Whilst I do have the Media Mod for the GoPro Hero 9 (needed here as this is the only way to get HDMI from this model) I am not convinced the audio output from this is up to the quality I need. I also wanted to have separate control over the audio feed – 2 of them in fact.

Consequently, I am using a Sennheiser MKE600 on a tripod, and monitoring via a pair of Sennheiser HD300 cans.

Visio / Audio Mixing

The heart of the system is my Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro which is tailor made for this very scenario. The first of the available four HDMI ports is pulling a video feed off my desktop, port 2 is the GoPro 9 (over shoulder), port 3 the GoPro 6 (face) and port 4 is the GoPro 7 (top down).

The 5th HDMI port is a video out port and this is feeding my OSEE LCM215-E monitor via the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro Software Control software. This software also allows me to store up to 20 overlay graphics I can upstream or downstream key on demand via the panel or via macros.

The Sennheiser MKE600 is feeding into Audio Port 1 on the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro and I have second port for any audio overlays such as a music stream.

Finally, connected to the ATEM via USB is a LaCie 2TB USB drive to capture the stream for storage and potential later editing.

Oh, and the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro Software Control also gives me on-the-fly information of the live stream feed such as data rate, time elapsed, hard drive space left and audio level meters.

Other

Also included in the overall hardware department are a Loupedeck CT which is used for software control in a number of areas including Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve, Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel, Cinema 4D, and other programs, a Contour Shuttle Pro for when I revert to Vegas Pro and of course the GoPros are controlled by a mix of the GoPro Quik app and the dedicated GoPro controller.

Conclusion

That is pretty much it. I intend to treat the whole exercise akin to making a TV program, so will be concentrating on quality rather than quantity by the way.  So at this stage don’t expect a stream every second day or something!

I will be firstly writing a script, (using Final Draft 12), getting all the relevant assets together (footage, overlays, hardware and even talent where applicable) and then assembling it all into something fit for broadcast.

If you have any questions, ideas or subjects you’d like covered, drop me a line!

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