The Ultimate Live Streaming Equipment Checklist

The Ultimate Live Streaming Equipment Checklist

– So to get started live streaming all you really need is your smartphone, but at some point you may want to level up your set up and turn pro So in this video, I'm gonna be breaking down my entire live streaming gear checklist including my computer, microphones, lighting, cameras, and a few new upgrades I've made to this setup

Coming up (upbeat electronic music) Hey what's up? Sean here with Think Media Bringing you the best tips and tools for building your influence with online video, and on this channel we do a lot of strategy videos to help you build your influence with social media and YouTube, and also tech gear reviews, just like this one So if you're new here, consider subscribing One of the questions that I get the most is, "Sean, what are you live streaming with "'cause the quality is so crispy and clear?" And while I've covered my setup in the past I've made a few changes and some upgrades and learned a few new tips

So let's dive into my full live streaming checklist And number one of course, is the PC And I'm not gonna go into details but this is a 4K video editing PC I did a full video on it so I'll link that up on the YouTube card I use the PC for Adobe Premiere editing and all of my work and various things but it's important because it has enough power to handle a capture card and so what I actually have inside of the PC is a Blackmagic Intensity 4K capture card

And that allows me to plug in an HDMI input and therefore I can use any camera that I want So foundationally you need either a laptop or a PC to get started, and then number two that brings us to the camera Now, my exact camera is a Panasonic GH5 with a 12 to 35 28 lens That's why the quality is so crispy but to be fair, the camera is definitely overkill and we use it for other things as well

Shoot slow motion, 4K 60 and a lot of other cools things But then it can just live behind my monitor on my desk here on a ready cam table top tripod So the camera's sitting up there and then I've got an HDMI cable that runs and plugs into the Blackmagic Intensity pro card in the back of my PC And a little tip here is I use a little L bracket HDMI piece so that it actually pulls the HDMI cable away from the selfie screen on the camera so I can have a little bit of monitoring there But of course, I can also monitor in my software

Now when we talk about the price of all this gear, it's pretty crazy I mean the camera and the lens runs around $3000 when it was new It's probably worth about $2000 now And then the Blackmagic card costs around $200 But as far as the solution that would be, honestly quite a bit simpler

You could pick up an Elgato Cam Link And actually this is a cool tool that allows you to plug in a USB port, gives you an HDMI input, and then you could plug a fancier camera into it I'll actually link to the website that shows which cameras work But if you wanted a similar quality of camera without having to get all this crazy stuff, you can get something like a Sony A5100 One of the reasons why I wanted a proper, kind of a DSLR mirrorless camera, is I wanted a wider lens

I wanted shallower depth of field I wanted a nice 28 aperture If you were to look at like a Sony A5100, that's gonna only run you maybe a couple $100 for the body, and you can get a crispy Sigma lens or something else for maybe a few hundred more dollars The Cam Links run for right around $100

And again, it's not gonna quite have as robust of processing power as an internal 4K card But ultimately, it's a great solution and a lot of people love using the Cam Link And then one other tip if you want to upgrade your camera past webcam quality, and it is a big upgrade The results that I get with the GH5 are just beautiful And the same kind of results would come from something like a Sony A5100 but one thing you have to consider with cameras like that is usually buying a separate power supply and making sure that they have the ability to stay on continuously

The Cam Link site actually lists the cameras and let's you know which ones have and which don't, so I recommend checking that out Another solution that you could use is a camcorder and it's kind of a traditional camera, right? Because those come with a plugin power supply When I think about live streaming here continuously I need to make sure that I have this GH5 plugged in so it can run all day and that's one reason why I like it is 'cause it's totally a workhorse I've got the Panasonic power supply Sony has one as well, it's around $80

You can buy a knockoff for around $20 that will plug into a Sony A5100 or even something like an A6400, which again, would kind of be overkill just to put behind your computer but then you could use it for everything else Vlogging, shooting videos, and so anyway, we'll list resources in the description below and make sure to itemize out everything on this checklist in case you have questions about any of the specific gear Once you've got a PC or a laptop set up and once you've got your cameras going or multiple cameras and webcams, the next thing of course is audio For live streaming, from kind of a command center like this, I highly recommend using a USB mic And in this case, I'm using the Shure MV51

Now this has been an upgrade for me, and I get a lot of questions about this too It gets complemented a lot because in the shot, it's kind of a very cool, it kind of has that retro vibe, and so I'm able to move it right over here get it on the corner of the shot and I'm still able to speak into it but really have it be positioned nice It has a nice aesthetic look on the back And then what's also cool is that on the front here I can control the gain just by tapping this plus and minus You can go into just vocal mode, vocal with singing, instrument mode, or even monitor or a flat mode

You can mute it really easy which is nice In case I want to make sure that we have some kind of a meeting or something Like mute the mic, you know, whatever You can mute it on and off I also do that sometimes while live streaming instead of toggling the mute switch

If I'm on a group call or something it's just really easy to mute right on the mic There's a headphone monitoring mode This particular mic is around $150 It's been a workhorse for me And it's on a RODE boom arm here

This guy, it's about a $100 There's definitely cheaper ones The cheapest you could probably go is the Neewer USB mic with included boom arm And it's like under $40 I think here in the US But no matter what you're doing, one of the biggest priorities for me is plug and play

I want to be able to come in here, pull the mic out, flip the camera on, turn my lighting on, open up my software, and be ready to go Because I pump out a lot of content from right here Which brings us to the lighting This has been another upgrade, and this is actually the Spekular lighting kit from Spiffy Gear We actually first met with Spekular at like a CES or NAB here in Vegas

We were super impressed with their light because it actually is four different bars that can be put into different configurations This actually could be a square light It could just be a stack of lights But the reason it really stood out to me is because I have it set up as a triangle We talk about this quote here on Think Media, "Different is better than better

" When I'm sitting and I've got the triangle light on my Instagram stories or in different things, people are always like, "What is that light?" Ring lights are awesome but they put a ring in your eyes This actually kind of puts a triangle in your eyes And so it's just kind of cool This kit just comes with the lights in the box and so I actually have a separate tabletop light stand Just a small light stand that's on there

And then I've got a little piece because otherwise, it would be completely It would screw right on to the light stand, it would be just flush like that So I've got a little piece that allows me to angle it down for my live streams

I'll link to those two pieces of kit if you wanted to build something like this Now this also is pretty overkill This light kit itself costs around $500 here in the US As an alternative recommendation, my favorite lights right now, if you're thinking about getting an upgrade, or even just building a setup from scratch, would be the Elgato key light And Elgato was purchased by Corsair, so maybe it's the Corsair key light

But whichever it is, it actually mounts behind your desk It can actually connect to the stream deck You can turn it on and off And they're $200 each and so one of those would be good, or even two Whatever you get, consider your light kit because video thrives off of lighting

And actually, one other light that I use in this setup is a hair light This is kind of just a jimmy-rigged setup I have it on a remote here and I mounted it on my ceiling It's like a $24 Neewer light I have continuous power running up there

It's pretty gnarly but what's really cool is I can just come in, again, plug and play, quick live stream, sit down, hit the button, flip the triangle Spekular light on and my lighting is good and dialed And the hair light is nice because as I'm talking to the GH5 here, it's puts some nice separation between myself and kind of the background that I have here in my home office So far we've covered the computer, the camera, the microphone, and the lighting, which brings us to number five, and that's the software There's a lot of different softwares you could live stream with You could try OBS, which is free

You can get something like a Wirecast I've heard mixed things about it I've used it a little bit But what has been amazing for me, and I've clocked like maybe two plus years on it now is vMix What you're seeing right here is vMix

What's cool is you can actually start off with the free version of vMix and it's limited in some of its functionality What I started with was the HD version It costs $60 and that got me with a few sources and I live streamed for a while, but eventually what I want to be able to do here was add in, not just a couple camera sources, but potentially multiple videos One of the things I love is that if I want to trigger a prerecorded and edited video, it's really easy to do that here in vMix I can just bring it in and push that to any stream

Think about that You could be live streaming on YouTube and not only share your screen and switch to multiple sources, but you could also play some quality content and maybe commentate on it Maybe go back and forth, you can actually pause it, and say, "Okay, I want to review that content" Very dynamic to be able to pull in other video sources I started with the HD version of vMix, $60

But you can only put like four or five or however many things down here including, now we have a countdown clock, so if I'm doing a live stream in our inner circle program and we're about to go live in ten minutes, play that And so just the ability to start bringing in multiple different sources And so I love vMix, now I've upgraded to, I think the 4K version And even though I have a 4K capture card and a 4K camera, I'm ready to go 4K any time I want But right now, I stream in 1080p just for the consistency and the output of it

I just don't kind of want to mess with 4K yet And that's been great for us What I love about vMix also is that we use it to bring in guests It makes it really easy to You can send somebody a web link and then they can just click that link, jump on with their webcam, and become one of your sources They can be crispy, good audio I can share my screen, play intro stuff, and whatever, but then pull them in really easy If you want to take that up to another level, if two people have vMix, you can actually really communicate with each other

Benji from Video Influencers, he's got his own command center up in Seattle, I'm based here in Las Vegas, and he has vMix so if we each have prepared a little bit of like a slide presentation to share our screen, some training, some screenshots, I can have me on camera and then I can show some training or review someone's channel And then I can switch to him and he can pull up his screen as well, and it all connects together through vMix As you think about evolving your setup, I think vMix is a great resource By the way, nothing in this video is sponsored I'll always tell you here on Think Media if a brand or somebody is sponsoring something

This is just things that I've built up and collected over the years I'm not an affiliate, even for vMix, but I hope to be one someday Next up is dual monitors Now this is a huge priority for me because I wanted to build my dream live streaming setup The reason I love dual monitors is I use the left one as my dashboard

I have vMix up here, I usually have it as small as it can go kind of in this corner Let's say I pull up a training, and so, three tips for turning your passion into profit on YouTube What I can do here now is easily change my source and have this screen, I just know this is what people are going to see publicly I can easily cut back to myself and then I'm talking to the camera again with a nice fade in between either source What's also cool is if I want a screen share and potentially do a channel review or whatnot, I can easily cut to this screen and then back

Over here, I'll have my upcoming slides and things start to really stack up when you're live streaming When I think about going live on YouTube, I've got that chat over here on the left I also sometimes will work with someone on my team and they're messaging me so I've got a little chat box over here My upcoming slides It's kind of a lot to potentially manage but as I've been doing over the years, it's all kind of become more natural and these distinctions of having my dashboard here, knowing that this is what people will see on screen and I can click through my training and my slides as I'm going through things really easy with my arrow keys

I've got hotkeys assigned over here when I live stream with Benji so I can quickly cut from my screen to him or to me on one, two, three Very easy to program in vMix For really setting up a pro live streaming setup, if you want to teach and potentially have content as well on your screen, I really recommend considering setting up two monitors and that also probably brings us to a disclaimer that you might want a pretty gnarly desk This desk is pretty thick and it gives me some chance to work here, I've got my keyboard and mouse tray that's underneath here that's able to slide around and then I've got enough space behind here so I can mount my tripod, cameras, and lighting, and have everything fit here, and create a booth where I can just sit down and pump the content out I've got one other thing on my checklist to share with you but I want to pass the question off to you

What are some of your favorite live streaming accessories or what are some questions that you have about this setup? I would love to cover some of those in future videos so let me know in the comment section below One final recommendation for live streaming especially if you're live streaming with somebody else is headphones But ones that are potentially covert, in case you don't want them to be seen on screen I actually picked up a pair of headphones Phil DeFranco promoted these and they were Massdrop headphones

They're called the NuForce EDC3 in-ear monitors They're probably overkill, I mean they were $75, but the reason I love them is because I often times will use just one of the headphones and I'll kind of hide everything else behind me in my shirt It's almost like you kind of are sort of covert You just have the one black and the cables are behind you Just a thought, if you don't want to have like a giant pair of headphones or obviously white AirPods or something and you want a covert kind of discrete way to hear whoever else

The reason for that is if you have the other person's audio coming through your speakers, you can get a lot of feedback When I'm live streaming with Benji or when I'm doing a training in our inner circle membership group, with Heather Torres Whatever it is, I like to be able to use those headphones to keep things clean and lean and make sure my live stream is sheen (record scratches) When you fail at trying to be a rapper But hey, that was my live stream checklist

If you want to check out a summary of it, of course I'll put it in the YouTube description below And if you want see some other videos in our live stream tips series, I actually talk about the four ways to go live on YouTube A really strategic video about crushing it on Facebook Live That's all on a playlist I'll link that up on the YouTube card and post it in the YouTube description as well

I hope this video added value to your life and I will see you in the next one Peace (upbeat electronic music)