I mentioned in my last newsletter that Australian Videocamera was going to fold a lot more info on streaming into the mix, and so I thought a good starting point would be an overview of what is needed to start streaming and use the setup I am building as a sort of template with which you could work and base your system around.
I stress at the start, my future vlogging and podcasting is going to be in a very wide sphere of interests, and over the years I have accumulated tools that suit specific circumstances.
By way of example, whilst of course I will be doing vlogging and podcasting on the basics and generalities of video, what I like to be able to do is refer to specific examples by using my own interests to explain things and convey ideas.
Those that have been long term readers of Australian Videocamera – and this month marks our 14th year by the way – will know these interests range from motor sport to fishing, astronomy to music and thrown into the mix is drone flying, electronics, model railways, 3D modelling and printing and of course video editing and writing.
So whilst, yes, I do have a rather large and diverse armoury of equipment, of course, you can start vlogging and streaming with a smartphone. Just as you can take brilliant imagery with a Box Brownie camera if you have the right techniques and the subject matter is compelling.
I am Windows 10 based and the core of my setup – including for video and audio editing – is an off the shelf Dell XPS 8920 tower with an i7 processor and 32GB of RAM. My video card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070.
I run 3 displays – 2 x 24” monitors off the video card as an extended desktop, and the 3rd is an OSEE LCM215E that is used as a monitor via a Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. More on the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro later as it is crucial to my overall setup.
You’ll notice from the panorama that as well as a colour coded keyboard (designed for Vegas Pro video editing) there are a few more editing pads at my disposal.
In front of my two main monitors are the aforementioned Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro (with the red glowing buttons) and to its left, a Blackmagic Web Presenter – more on that later too.
To my right is a Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve Speed Editor.
Vocal audio is captured by a Sennheiser MKE 600 mic on an Elgato Multi Mount system that also carries a Microsoft Surface which does duty as a teleprompter. Audio monitoring is via a pair of Sennheiser HD300 closed headphones, and I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD458BT wireless headphones and a set of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds for private music listening both of which are excellent.
Audio playback is through a Logitech Z323 system which I have been using for quite a few years now.
The light on this camera used to pressed into service, but in the last few days it has been usurped by an Elgato Ring Light. By way of interest, the light on the Media Mod is the same as the one on the brilliant little GoPro Zeus Mini which I can heartily recommend to anyone who does any sort of video shooting.
A secondary camera that hangs off the Osee monitor and points straight down to the Da Vinci Speed Editor is a GoPro Hero 7 Black, and depending on my needs, I have access to a number of Panasonic camcorders (a 4K HC- X1 and the brilliant HC-PV100).
For any still shots I need, my trusty Canon 5D is called upon, more often than not with a DJI Ronin RS2 Pro gimbal, and in the wings as needed are a DJI Pocket 2 and OSMO Action Cam. The rare times I use my smartphone for video and stills lets me use the Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal too.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro
Having described all these toys, the real heart of my system is the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. Everything connects to and interacts through this electronic wonder.
So what is it?
I have written numerous tutorials and reviews of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro over the last couple of years and these are listed at the end if you wish to take the time to read them. But in short, the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro is an HDMI based vision mixing panel with 4 inputs plus a pair of 3.5mm audio input ports, an HDMI output port for monitoring, a USB-C port to attach an external hard drive for saving broadcasts to, internal memory slots for up to 20 graphics such as titles, lower 3rds, logos and so on, built in transition effects and the ability to directly “talk” to streaming systems such as Facebook Live, Twitch, Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Skype, Zoom, , Periscope, Livestream, Wirecast and more.
There are various models of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini available. Mine, the Pro, sells for around $720 and at the price is a bargain. Not too many years ago to get its capability would have cost many thousands trust me.
As mentioned, in addition to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, I also have the Blackmagic Web Presenter. Unlike the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro which can perform other tasks as well as streaming, the Presenter is dedicated to streaming and costs around $750.
For many, the Presenter will be a better option than the full on Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro by the way.
So there are the hardware components of what I will be using to create various types of streams, vlogs and podcasts depending on subject matter.
In the next article, I’ll explain just how all of this is cabled together to make it work the way I want it to and the software I employ.
Further reading (if interested):