After assembling the best affordable streaming equipment in the last post, it's time to rearrange your setup. In this article, we analyze the top concepts and professional approaches used by the titans of the streaming networks industry.
Your PC, which serves as your main tool, always gets the initial investment. You can upgrade the video card, processor, RAM, and other components to the extent that your desire and finances permit. But you can go much further! A few years ago, we discovered that we could considerably improve the broadcast quality by synthesizing the footage from two distinct computers connected via a capture card.
Due to increased focus on the CPU, via which your stream will be launched, the second PC may be far less expensive than the initial purchase. Multicore and multithreading are recommended. Focus on trustworthy AMD models like the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X or 3950X in this segment. To confirm that Intel is also acceptable, all you need to do is check the benchmarks. The motherboard, power supply, and RAM are not worth saving on, but any video card and SSD may be inserted and utilized as plugs in order for the machine to start.
Another essential element is the video capture card. An excellent option is Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO. Through the use of this card, you may connect your two computers together, changing the stream launch process so that just the game (or other streaming material) is on the primary computer and OBS and other streaming software is switched to the secondary computer.
Nevertheless, it must be understood that the complexity of such a system lies not only in the "extra" monetary expenses but also in the additional tuning details (you'll need to determine, for example, how to wire your speakers), which you'll eventually have to face and spend a few evenings addressing.
Typically, after the PC is upgraded, the monitors will require to be changed. The rating of every monitor connected to the same system unit should be the same, and 240 Hz is our recommendation. A minimum of three monitors will be present: one for the chat, one for the actual content, and one for the second PC. Needless to say you can build an entire network, as some well-known streamers do.
The recommendation of the monitor system is more of an idea than a prescription. Your interests and needs will determine what you watch, how often you interact with the audience, and other stuff. It is up to you in general, although this method works better for streamers of multiple games and Just Chat than it does for streamers of just one game. The most important step is to ensure that you have strong "spider" brackets so that everything looks like the illustration above. A sturdy table is also needed to support all of this splendor. No kidding at all, trust us!
How do professional streamers manage to show themselves with such a sharp image? Obviously, with the help of creativity and prudent financial decisions. Webcams in every price range are quickly eliminated because none of them will provide images with the same level of quality as the expert setup we'll be discussing.
· An outstanding professional camera like the Sony Alpha a5100 (or the Sony A7 III, which is preferred by all top streamers);
· Video card capture (almost any will do, including the Elgato Cam Link 4K);
· A fake battery (dummy) with a wire attached to it (available on the same old AliExpress);
· A lens (you can use a kit lens or buy a cool one for portrait shooting);
· The tripod.
The final product turns out to be expensive, but there is currently no viable substitute. Where does it excel? Noting that there are basically no risks, you can use almost any professional camera in this scenario, regardless of how many shutter speeds it has or how long its battery lasts. The fact that it works and transmits the image to the capture card is what matters most. However, if you frequently display yourself up close, you shouldn't scrimp on the camera either. Of course, it depends on your particular requirements. The capture card can be used with any camera, however before buying one, be sure to check Google to see which camera the device you've chosen will sync with. A detailed list of compatible devices for the Elgato Com Link 4K is available online. Consider your alternatives for lenses if you want to become as perplexed as you can; a cool high-power lens will be an excellent choice as it will require more light but also can create an image with contrast as well as a bokeh look.
A motto to remember: a good light to a good camera! To be quite honest, even a modern setup with a camera and a capture card with a ring light—the subject of one of our previous articles —can provide a pretty good image that will do. Some well-known streamers prefer to work this way. And whilst we decide to go beyond the limit, it's time to order softboxes.
To install them we will need some help. First things first- we need two of your friends or family in order to perform a little magic trick so the image quality will be outstanding. They'll take up a 45-degree angle to your face as they stand in front of you, one on your left and the other on your right. Of course, you can add a third softbox behind your back for the contour light, but only ardent photographers should do this. You must understand, of course, that we are unable to give detailed instructions on how to set up the light because this is an entire art, as any photographer would tell you. But generally speaking, if you adhere to the core principles, you will get results that are more than satisfactory, and if you decide to experiment, respected forums will encourage you to do so.
The sound issue is slightly different whereas if camera setups do not deviate greatly. There are numerous varieties, all of which are priced accordingly.
Before anything else, we need a trendy microphone, thus we won't even bring up any game developers. Professional dynamic XLR microphones in the advanced version are what we're looking for. Among the best streamers, the Shure SM7B, which is commonly used in podcasts and on the radio, may be the most popular choice. Additional listening alternatives include Neumann BCM 705 and Rde NT1-A.
The Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator, created by Cloud Microphones, is a fantastic example of how we attach the microphone to the preamplifier. This combination was once put into a different processor that was already equipped with a compressor, a de-esser, and other elements. The model can be found on specialized websites; for our requirements, the DBX 286S, for instance, will work fine.
The final but most important component of the setup will be the audio interface. The price may vary from 5,000 to several hundred rubles. One of the most popular alternatives in the streaming community is any GoXLR device, even a MINI. While choosing, take into account both your personal preferences and evaluations. Personal convenience must be taken into account in this circumstance. You can skip this step and have access to features like channel distribution, volume control, and more by downloading the VoiceMeeter Banana application. Actually, the audio interface performs the same functions, but using analog buttons and levers. It is just a pragmatic dilemma.
IMPORTANT: To avoid being subject to the DMCA's distribution restrictions, you can automatically remove music from recordings of Twitch streams by using an audio interface.
How to live without Elgato's Stream Deck, a legendary tool that streamers adore. Actually, there is nothing extraordinary about this device; it is just a regular command panel with interactive keys. Other functions, such as launching the stream, activating the sound, altering the scene, etc., can be assigned to these keys. Since this could theoretically be done with a keyboard, there is no evidence of innovation whatsoever.
You cannot, however, dispute its convenience. Streamers are not limited to just using merely one of these devices because numerous of them can be used simultaneously for a variety of purposes. The main benefit of Stream Deck is the software that enables you to customize the panel for the best automation of different streaming-related tasks.
Considering how well-liked the product was, Elgato went on to develop a streaming pedal, which is a substantial pedal with three compartments to which various actions are linked. It is equivalent to the Stream Deck. The tool even allows you to bind a full series of activities with just one click.
The Stream Deck had no competitors for an extremely long time before Razer decided to follow the trend and develop the Razer Stream Controller. In an attempt to replace the audio interface, it provides a few new functions and controls, but they fall short of the mark. It is ideal for those who want a "3-in-1" but don't want to manage many appliances on the table.
At this moment, the selecting process is complete. There haven't been any significant advancements in the field of streaming devices for a very long time because everyone wants high-quality equipment and the simplicity of everyday tasks. Additionally, manufacturers haven't presented any unique or unexpected alternatives. Besides that, acquiring the proper setup is just the beginning of creating a flawless presentation. The stream's design and optimization require a lot of work, as does creating a nice workspace and setting up a functional workstation.
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