Ready to start a Zoom (or Skype) video conference or a podcast?
Audio and video quality are clearly two of the most important factors – and for that, you’ll need a good microphone and camera.
My recommendation for a one Person Podcasting kit and a good microphone for Zoom, Google Hangout or Skype video meetings is:
The best entry-level microphone is the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. We’ve been using it for yeaars, it is robust and records a mellow sound, just make sure you keep your recording away from your computer fan. It has both USB and XLR plugs so you can start by plugging it straight into your computer. Later on, you can look into getting a mixer or audio interface.
It also has a headphone jack so you will be able to hear yourself recording. You’ll also want a decent pair of closed-back headphones. The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones are my favorite budget choice.
If you are a therapist using Zoom and telephones I would recommend Jabra Evolve 75 UC Wireless Headset with an all say battery. The audio is amazingly clear. Check the price on Amazon…
Use this to Record two Microphones at once.
Sure, every laptop out there has a webcam and you might well be already using that built-in thing, but it’s not very good, is it? Especially the audio. It works like the most basic webcam out there because that’s exactly what it is. If you want to teach, say Chess, for example, you need a good camera on a tripod that you can easily move from your face to the board. We recommend sticking with a tried and true manufacturer like Logitech webcams.
Logitech C930e 1080P HD Video Webcam
This unit has a wide field of view and autofocus and 2 built-in omnidirectional microphones. It’s good to have multiple cameras and microphones in case a cable gets unplugged on one of them. You can quickly switch to the other and keep your chess lesson going. Check the latest price on Amazon…
Mounting and Product/Face Lighting
Let’s stick with the online Chess lesson example. It will be important to quickly change the camera from saying hello and setting up the lesson with your student to playing the game. You will need an esy way to change the camera angle so it points down onto teh board and you have to light it nicely. We suggest:
Paying attention to your background is important. it sets the tone of your lesson and delivers a message about the value of what you have to deliver. We recommend Zoom’s free signup link because then you can use the virtual background feature. (Open up Zoom on your computer and go to preferences then Virtual background). But first you need to buy a fabric Green screen. We use the 9×15 LimoStudio muslin backdrop, it’s inexpensive and comes with 3 clamps.
Hanging the backdrop
To get a good virtual background you need good lighting on your face and product and a flat backdrop we suggest Mountdog’s kit.
Global Desktop Lighting
Lighting is very important, you want to put even light on your face and body and minimize the lighting from the back, sides, and windows. The simplest lighting set up is to put the camera in front of you and the light to the left and right of the camera. Not to close, don’t make the lighting to hot.
- The do’s and dont’s of video Conferencing
- Zoom, Google Hangouts (Comes with your G-Suite account), Skype (Free calls and video chat)
- A guide to hosting virtual events on Youtube
- Logitech webcams
P.S. I have a free course on the benefits if using g-Suite for your online business. See it here…