Checking Audio Settings in Xsplit Broadcaster

Hello again, it's jane gardner. And today we're going to show you one step in front of the camera about your audio  with  Xsplit can, is better controlled than if you're on it on a regular basis with your, with just your webcam. Uh so of course, you set your sound in your system and your control panel as to which microphone you want to use and then sometimes the software will decide to change it on you.

So you always have to check um where your microphone is working and which one it is. So let me go and show you in the back. Um how you can check to make sure that you're using your ex split rather than your systems sound. So in the back of split, uh you just open up your log brio um and then you can check here for everything to make sure everything's ok?

Systems ok? Colors, ok, et cetera and effects are ok. Make sure there's nothing on that you're not expecting to be on and then you go up into tools and then settings and then we move it over so you can see it. So in this, in the settings for ex split, you want to make sure that your audio is ok. So, uh, you don't need an audio preview because you'll probably get a lot of, um, back to from that.

So you wanna keep that as none, you have to decide what system sounds. Uh the speakers are, uh when you're working with it. Um right now, all I'm going to do with my speakers is play back it once I've recorded. So I just want to make sure it's on the speakers that I want.

So I have some portable speaker speakers, real tech, for example. Um but you could also use your um computer speaker. Um I have some um high definition audio uh software. Um you could use the speakers in your computer, the real tech audio.

Um I have a microphone that also has um speaker settings and I can listen to whatever I've recorded through the speaker in may yet. But you didn't, wouldn't want to do that because you're gonna have um bounce back of your voice as you're talking. So it's very difficult to read to listen to.

So, yeah, so for this one, I happen to have some portable speakers that I use. So I set that to um this one and then of course you don't want to delay. Um um if you're into music and stuff, that's probably what that's good for. And then you have to make sure your microphone is the right one that you want to use.

So I use the microphone to record and I have accidentally had the split audio um on and it's lower, but it did record my voice. Um the default microphone. Um you don't even know what the default microphone is. You'd have to check that and make sure if it's the computer or the monitor.

And then of course, the loch brio, which is my webcam also has a microphone. So you don't want that, that one either because it's fairly quiet. So you want to make sure that the microphone is the one that you want to use the usb, especially make sure that that is picked as the microphone before you even start.

And usually for these kind of recordings, you just want to use mono, you don't want to use stereo and same with audio mixing. It's just automatic because you just want to keep it simple. And so that's, that's audio. Uh you have to check in the back of ex split to make sure the settings are ok. And so just apply and say, ok, and there you go.

So those should hopefully be still the same settings. So let's go back to a better scene. So it continuously uses those settings when you're broadcasting regardless of what scene you go into. Of course, you can change the um settings for the audio um for any scene.

Um you can, I i have to show that to you later because it's within the this um studio um scenes, you can uh turn off the or you can turn on the speakers. So if you had a video that you wanted to blast out on your production on a different scene, then you have to make sure that that speaker is on and doing the music that you want to do.

Of course, this one doesn't have any. So um that's where you basically control your audio for when you're broadcasting with split. Um obviously, when you're broadcasting with your webcam, you just make sure your settings are ok in the control panel for sound and that you've got the right microphone and the right speakers that you want to use because I have downloaded a new version of explicit occasionally and all of a sudden it's changed my microphone and my speakers and I have to do another recording because the first one was wrong. So that is one of the important things to do before you start a broadcast is to check your sound settings, audio for your microphone and your speaker before you start because you want to have the best.


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Adjusting your Colour on your Webcam

Hello everyone today. I'm going to be showing you some fun stuff about color and your webcam. Now, this is not me speaking. This is a recording I had to use outside of seeing me live. So ignore what they're saying. But this is behind the scenes in my Xsplit software.

And I'm going to be showing you how to change the color on your computer. Well actually no on your software. So I've got two scenes here and each scene has a Logitech Brio in each scene so I can change the color of one scene from another. So I've opened up the webcam here for the webcam and it has different choices.

And so the first thing we're gonna look at is Chroma key. I've just turned off the green screen and matched it to the green color just in that scene. So it's black. And then you can put a scene behind that. But Chroma key works really well in this software Xsplit because as you can see my curtain is very wrinkled, but you can't see any wrinkles in my other scene where I've hidden it as they say, so, and then they have the parts to adjust color.

So this is brightness and this is in each scene. So you can go up and down with the scene. It has certainly defaults of course. And so you just fiddle with it until you find something that you're happy with in terms of brightness. And then we have contrast. So obviously that contrasts very high and then to very low, once you go down, there is the low contrast and you just find the one that you're happy with for the scene.

And then we have Alpha and Alpha is just basically I'm getting the image in there, it seems to disappear. So we'll have to talk about that later. That's one of these things you don't know about. And then we have Hue, so you can change the Hue of the scene, they're basically from green to red, yellow, more yellow.

Let's see where we're going here and we haven't done anything. That's that's where we go, we're going very green on that end and then yellow and then it probably will be reds at some point. But yeah, it's a little yellowy red. So we're just adjusting the colors to make it look like we wanted to and then we have saturation which is the next one and that will be how much color to put into the scene.

So right now it was okay, but this is way too much saturation for the color. And obviously you can go all the way back to black and white and remove all saturation. So you have quite a good control of your colors and your hues and your saturation and then ou can of course find the one that you like the best or you can reset it to what was set before.

And then you can also change the color of the background, but I don't use that I use green screen and chroma key. And as you can see each scene is different and separate different colors. You can control each scene with each webcam so you could have different colors in each scene depending on the person's hue or what you want to show their. So these are two scenes with two webcam settings and so basically two webcams in each scene.

So one webcam, even though it's the same webcam, it has different settings for each scene, that's what I wanted to say. So that's quite powerful. You can do that just like a studio and now we're going to have a look at what are we looking at now. So we're going to look at the webcam and how you can put change the settings inside the webcam as well.

And if you didn't know that there's an advanced section, that's very good. And so we're going to have a look at inside the webcam and how to change some of the settings in there if you need them to. So first we have to get the webcam open and but before that I wanted to show my invisible chair that reappears instantaneously the minute I pull the green fabric off of the chair so you can go rewind if you want to look and see how much it disappeared before.

It's very good when you have a very ugly chair. So now, so now we're going to go and look at the web cam in the background settings for the webcam whichever brand you have, they should have some kind of webcam settings for you for the camera to change the camera settings and let's go and have a look and then open up the webcam.

And so first there we go, let's try that again and open up the webcam and here we go. I had to go find it and it was hiding in the background. So I went and cut out a few of the scenes so we don't we don't waste time chasing and this is what this one looks like for the logitech brio.

But of course your logic tech 920 is probably different or your other webcams but they all have similar principles. So usually they have a zoom and pan cross where you can change the angle of the webcam. You can zoom in and out with the webcam. You can't in oh no here I go zooming in and out.

I just can't pan so you can zoom in and out with your with your webcam. But personally, I don't use this I use I use my software to manipulate what size I want objects to be. And then of course my webcam which I haven't shown you the position of is in the way so that's why I keep moving back and forth.

So anyway so and also you can have on this one anyway, you can have a standard image or you can have a widescreen image but it doesn't show in this because of the software and of course you can have Hdr which is better quality. That's why I probably got this webcam but I don't really use it because I don't want to use up.

It gives me I have to use more memory in order to store it. So the field of view is was interesting. I didn't know you could have almost three types of 65 is what I usually use because I want to try and keep my green screen very centralized but then there's 70's 8 and there's 90 and that gives you a wider field of view.

So then of course for me that's an issue because then I you can see outside of my green screen and so I want to keep it nice and tight so I always keep it at 65. Not that that's relevant for you, it depends on your camera, but these are some of the standard settings for a webcam in the back in the settings that you should try and make sure you set and there I am peering again because I can't see because it's in the webcams in the way. But basically the first one you want to look at is brightness and of course you can maybe adjusted in the software as well.

But if you don't have the software, this is where you can adjust the brightness of your image and there we go. Just you pick something that you like. Same with the contrast, you obviously can go up to 100 but you just pick what you like for your contrast. Auto focus. I don't like auto focus because it'll auto focus when I move and all of a sudden I'll be blurry and then focusing.

So I usually turn autofocus off and because I can manipulate it in the software as to what the image image is in terms of how far away it is from the camera, but that's for another discussion. And so then we're looking at color intensity and color intensity can go from, that's up to you know it's at 50% right now.

So I guess it goes up to 100 and so you can do something ridiculous up to 100% and then you just find it where you like it the best and this is an important one that had an issue with last time was the white balance. And so if I turn off the auto white balance which sometimes can be a bit too white. You can adjust it to what you want it to be what you like.

You don't have to obviously do the auto out and regardless I think I have a bit of a pink in my cheeks already, so I don't have to do too much but I don't want it to be as white as it was yesterday. So try and get some color in my face. So there you go inside your webcam. You can change all your colors if you don't have the software I have and as you can see just by comparing the two, they are quite different.

The other one is quite red and blurry and the one on the right is a bit more human. There you go.

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What is the Gain Dial on the Microphone

Welcome, welcome welcome. This is jane gardner again and today we're going to do a follow up on something that I got stuck on sound. But we'll go over sound again and talk about gain. what is gain? So it's always important to have a good microphone when you have a studio. So I think I've been recommending blue yeti or you can get an audio technical.

You'll notice the difference in sound between what you use with a laptop with a microphone with a blue Yeti, etcetera. And a blue Yeti is a USB so it plugs into the computer and let's go and have a look at the presentation about it. So we're going to look at gain today.

It's one of your knobs, usually on, all the microphones, so you need to be able to understand what that is. But we'll also go over some of the other, knobs that you might find on your microphone. And first off, we'll be talking later about Audacity, it's a free program you can use to record your sound if you're doing some editing. Obviously, usually, when you're in your broadcasting software, you have sound, of course, you don't need to use Audacity to record the sound.

But if you want to edit or if you want to just do sound recordings for podcasting, audacity is a great free program you can download and you can edit your sound and improve your sound and you can just record your sound in audacity. You don't need to use anything else. But um, so that's one of the things we'll talk about later.

But I just wanted to mention it and just because it's about sound. So the blue yeti, this is an older version of a blue yeti. But you have basically your button for turning your sound on or for muting yourself, that's the little red button at the top and then you have your gain knob which we'll talk about in a minute and basically, the gain is the volume or the loudness of the audio you're recording that's going into the microphone.

So basically I can change the, you won't notice it if I did it here, but I can change, let's go back to have a look at it. I can turn the gain knob to your right or to the left and find the loudness of the voice recording to go into the microphone. And the only way you can really figure out what you prefer is by testing it.

So do it at a certain level and then record it and see what you think if you like it when you play it back. If it's not loud enough, that means you're going to have to edit it in say Camtasia or Audacity to get it to the volume you like. So you might want to try and get the volume you like first by using your gain volume. So that's the volume of the audio as it comes into the microphone and as you know, a speaker that has the loudness of the volume of the audio as it comes out of the speaker.

But anyway, so let's have a look at the definition. So the volume of the output of the channel basically controls the loudness but not the tone of the audio. So the gain is the loudness of the input onto the channel. So that's really very simple and it's a matter of editing and trying and testing and using Audacity to see what you think about the recording and yeah that's about it for gain and then on the yeti and other microphones, sometimes you can have more than one knob on your microphone.

So this one has the gain above it and then it has another button dial that goes to different types of sound recordings. So we'll go and have a look at that now. So you can have different settings for what the microphone picks up for the sound. So I think we all know what stereo is. It's one of the settings maybe you could have and it will make the pick up all the volume in the area to make it stereo from two directions.

Let's pick up about omnidirectional. That's basically picked up all the sound around in a circle around the microphone. So that would be good for a conference or for if you have one or more persons speaking to the microphone and picking up the other person as well or the third person or if you're playing music and you want to pick up everything that's happening in the room.

Bidirectional would be good for if you're talking to another person and interviewing them, it will pick up you and it will pick up the other person. But cardoid is usually one that you want to use when you're podcasting, it has the best quality sound and basically, it picks up the sound in a small area in the front of the microphone.

So if you were to turn around the microphone, your sound would not be as good as if you were speaking right into it. Where and basically you actually speak into the area where you have your, let me just point you would speak into it at the area where you have your button that turns on and off the sound and the volume and that's the volume actually for the speaker.

If you were to use your microphone and playback your sound or you're recording in your microphones, that speaker, you can change the volume of the headphones so that you can hear it better. So that's the volume of the microphone headphones. So there's a fairly simple  information.

But I think  if you have to  knew nothing about microphones, you would find it a bit useful to be able to use this. So I hope that was somewhat useful just play with your microphone, make some test recordings, use your Audacity and record a recording, make a test, change the buttons, do another test, and just see which is the one that you prefer for podcasting.

It can be a different sound than from obviously doing music and everything. So you need to have your microphone settings the way you like them and yeah, so I just wanted to explain what the gain button was  if you were using it. I saw it on your microphone. I see that the microphones for the Yeti have quite changed since I bought it years ago. A lot of them don't have the various choices. They just have the one because they're specializing in podcasting so it makes it easier for you. So um that's what gain is, it's the loudness of the audio that's coming into your microphone and I'm probably fairly quiet. So I should probably turn up my gain.

But we'll check that out when I do my recording. So you go and play with your microphone and then play it back and see how it goes.

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Sound Editing with Audacity

Hi, it's jane gardner again. And today on step in front of the camera, I promised to have a look at audacity because it should be in your tool box for doing video and I'll say why later, but let's first off find out where you can find it. So let's go and have a look at the presentation.

So Audacity is a software that you can use that's free. It's open source, which means it's free and it's a digital audio editor and recording application software available for Windows mac, Linux and other unix-like systems. And so basically you can get it at Audacity, I believe it's a dot  org back slash download.

Of course, you can download it from there and you can download it for Windows mac or Linux and you have to of course choose if you want it as a 32 or 64-bit version and you can then choose which one you want and download it. So that's  go have a look at it. We just get my screen here.

Here we go. So I've got it on my desktop and first off, we're going to show you once you've downloaded it and you open it. This is what it looks like. And the first thing you want to do is check that you've got the right microphone and the right speaker as well. It doesn't matter about speakers, you can always change your speakers, but you have to have your microphone set up and this is where you choose your microphone, the system asks to decide which one of those you have available, and then you pick the one that you want.

So there's my microphone. And then you could do stereo, but you don't really need it. But you could try it out just to see  and of course, you could do mono recording and of course, you can expect your speakers. So for later. So I used my real tech audio.

Mm hmm. And then up here, this is the microphone volume been a while since the recording volume 0. 0. I don't think so. So we've got to change that. Get up to 50%, see if that works, and speaker. Well, that's already maxed. And so really what you do is this is of course pause, this is play, this is stop, reverse forward and there's a record button.

So let's do this in real time. And we're going to see later whether or not we can hear the sound. So yeah, so audacity is a great tool to use for you when you're doing video, doing podcasts, or doing any recordings for voice because you can come back later and edit your Audacity. And you can also import your audio from your video.

So if you split it out of your video using Camtasia for example, you can import it up here. I don't think it does work. So you can import your audio from here and  export, we'll talk about in a minute. But so you know what I'm busy recording and you can see what my recording levels are. And they're looking pretty good.

You can sometimes see that it goes into the red, which is not what you want. So let's stop that for now. And then I'm going to find out if I can hear this by playing it back, but you probably won't be able to until I figure out how to turn on my stereo. So hold on, stop that.

And then let's go back to the beginning. Mm and then we'll show you some editing is that you always use so you can play and I can hear it but I'm sure you can hear it  doing any recordings  for voice because you can come back later and edit your audacity and you can also import so you can make the volume.

The waveform of this looks bigger than we are. Where are we here? There's your gain again. Remember, gain. And let's see. Mhm. And of course, we will talk about that later. So what you can do is go back to the beginning, go back to the beginning.

And actually, this has got pretty much a lot of sound on it, but you can zoom in zoom in so in, and then you can tune out of course. And then are we here tracks. So anyway, um you can select part of it and say this. You think this is the noise sound in your track.

Then you click here, then you go and edit. So we can remove that. We can do effects is the most important part. If you think you have your have too many, too much background noise, you can do a noise reduction. So you click there. So first you still have to select the auto that you want to choose the audio that you want to choose to make it sound?

Say that's your noise profile and then where is that noise reduction and then select all the otto you want filter and how much you want filtered out. Example. And then you tell it how much of this you want to be filtered out. So let's go back to your fast noise reduction and go, so let's listen to that, see if we can tell the difference.

So Audacity is a great tool to use for you. Yeah, I even don't like that noise really, I like the noise that was there. But anyway, so audacity has a manual and I could probably do some trainings on how to use Audacity. But yeah, it's really important for making your audio sound great.

So let's get out of this for now and say that this is one of the tools that you should have when you're doing video, you can do it using Camasia and two or another tool. But um, this is a free tool. So we can always like free and yeah, so audacity is one of these, you should add to your list to use for making your audio sound great for your video. You can try it and just use it for podcasting.

So you could record your voice in Audacity and add music and all that kind of thing without ever having to use video. So you could use it for podcasting and you can use it for, I'm creating better sound on your video.

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The Lavelier Microphone for On Location Interviews

Hello again, it's jane gardner of Step in front of the camera tips and tricks and before we talk about all the, physics or how to optimize your sound. Let's go over, the lavelier, microphone and why you want to use maybe use that in your business.

So we looked at the blue yeti, which  sits on a platform and you can also get audio technica overhead boom and get it close to your mouth, which reminds me I should get a bit closer. So now let's talk about the lavelier so let's get, get yourself a picture of a lavelier and let's have a look at that.

So ignoring the quality, I guess, of this lavelier we'll just assume that you're going to get a good lavelier mike and let's talk about lavelier clip on microphones and why you want to use one to clip on your microphone. Well, obviously it's first of all, it's, it's very portable.

You can put it in your bag and carry around anywhere where you want to go. And it's very flexible so it helps you to free up your hands because you just clip it onto your lapel blouse and then just put the transmitter which connects up to your recording device in your pocket. So it's perfect for doing things like that for podcasts.

You may not need to show your face. So there's an advantage of using clip on your lavelier mic. It's not obvious. , but it depends on the quality of the lavelair microphone. So let's have a look at some of the pluses and minuses. So, the lavalier microphone doesn't record the full range of frequencies of your voice.

So you lose a little bit out of the bass frequencies or the lower frequencies and that's consistent across all the different types of lavelier microphones, whether they're inexpensive or expensive. So one that would be a good lavelier there is a r0dor lavelier mike and it's gotta uses a standard audio input jack.

So you could fit it into your smartphone, the input jack, if they still have it on your smartphone or most audio input jacks on any computer. Or you could try setting it up with your ipad etcetera. And it's, it's some of them are specifically designed for mobile phones and tablets and things like your macbook air or macbook pro.

Of course you have to have an audio jack. So it's the same jack that used to record and also to plug in your headphones. So you may find that the other types are not meant for low-powered devices like smartphones or tablets. So if you try it and there's no sound, you plug it in, it's probably not gonna work at all.

So you'll have to get a different one. So you have to decide how you want to use it. So you could use, you could basically have the same components for all lavelier microphones, you have a clip and this is for you to clip onto your clothes, you have the audio input jack and you have the microphone and some lavelier microphones don't come with a little sponges, which is actually a pop filter that you put over it and it's what a pop filter does. That removes the most explosive sounds when you pronounce the word peace.

Alright, so if you're not pronounced p, you may hear okay api because I'm not using a pop filter, but if, if you're whenever you, so you could always remove the pop filter if you don't like it, but it's great for removing the popping p's. So basically, if you have a limited budget and you're wondering what microphone to go for the rodr smart lavelier mike, is best option.

Obviously if you have a microphone like this, it's very portable and so you could probably use use it when you're driving in your car as you probably know the built in microphone for your smartphone can be very sensitive and pick up a lot of the noise on sounds of the road of your car and so sometimes it's very brittle or weird.

So, but if you were to get a lava lier microphone, it basically wants to capture your voice above everything else. So it captures other sounds as well. But because of the proximity of your mouth or your throat, to the microphone, your vocals will be the loudest of all. And then of course, that's what you want now in a studio sets in a studio setting, it's still useful.

You can move around obviously if you're one of these people who likes to stand while you're doing recordings or presentations where you like to wave around with your hands and move about, I would certainly recommend it for people who are doing demonstrations, exercises and that kind of thing, because it's not gonna, it's probably going to carry most of the of your voice, but it's not gonna do as much of the surround sounds that is around you because it's focused on your voice.

So you don't have to worry too much if you're looking at it. Having it in your studio about things like echo and noises outside of the lavalier, as you can imagine, the lavelier mike is the one that most reporters used and they're using them outside even as well as of course in the studio.

So it's worth getting, I think to me, if the time comes when we're back to interviewing people and sitting across from each other and interviewing people, you can clip a microphone on the other person and then there's a transmitter and you have a microphone and it's a little more natural than having to move one of these microphones in your hand. So it's worth investing in if you think you'll be doing that kind of a lot of stuff outside, and I get a bit more a better sound than you would if you used your smartphone.

And I guess I should have put up a picture of a smartphone, but I haven't really considered that as a possibility, especially when it comes to developing a tv show or and such like that. The most important thing for your show is to have good quality sound. So we'll be talking further on that next time and after that we'll do some physics and how to get the volume right on your microphone.

So it sounds good. I'm not sure how this is sounding. I still just for you to know, I've realized that the computer sound, it should be muffled in my studio. After all, it's been I've been picking it up, I think it's the fans getting older and so it's changed the sound, and so I'm going to have to get myself a quilt to put over it while I'm recording to try and cut down the sound of the fan. So, my apologies if you can hear a hum in the background.

I what I do is I try and take it out in the recording, but of course that's that's extra work. Right? So you want to try and get good quality sound while you're recording so that you don't have to try and we'll be giving you some tips on that. And how do you use gain to get a good quality volume to your sound?

And hopefully I have one today. I haven't checked it. So I was playing around with it a couple of days ago to see if I could get a good sound. So yeah I might have to do some editing in the recording to up the sound a bit because I'm a pretty quiet person. So that's it for today and tomorrow.

We'll be talking about something else. I'm not sure what. Bye.

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My Favourite Microphone

Welcome, welcome welcome. It's jane gardner again and it's step in front of the camera again, tips and tricks. So today we're gonna talk about the Blue Yeti microphone. I'm going to be using pictures because I don't want to move my microphone, but I use the blue yeti.

It is a stereo condenser microphone and so it is great,  it has a usb cable on it. So it also, so you can put it into the computer, so make sure you have a usb connection available. So let's have a look at the front of it. I took a picture and let's have a look where are we here? Oh, there we are.

So on the front, the front of the BlueYeti, you have your volume for your micro mike, sorry for your speaker. So your headphones so you can connect your you're obviously your headphones into your microphone and always listen to what you're saying in terms of what it's producing for you.

You can also do the recording out through it to listen through the headphones and of course the button, the mute button flashes when you're muting and it's a steady red glow when you're recording and it's on. So that's always good to check because I've many times had it off when I should have it on.

But basically, the blue yeti has been really good for me. I haven't really had to do any volume changes in terms of my once I do a recording, but let's look at the back of the blue yeti. So we've got a nice label here and we're going to talk in depth I guess a little about what everything is now gain is basically what you need controls the amount of audio that you want to capture or the level audio that you want to capture on your blue yeti.

And then the pattern button has the pattern of how the microphone takes up sound. So we'll go over gain and the pattern. So you really have to do some recordings and test your you're a microphone when you get it to see what you like the best in terms of gain. If it's always in the same position in the studio and it's real close to your voice.

Then you can probably put it low but until you try and test it, you won't really be able to tell what settings you want for that but for the pattern that is pretty obvious. So let's go over the patterns. So we have the stereo mode and so it's multipurpose it's good for lots of different types of recordings.

If you're not sure what mode you need to record in, then you can just put it on stereo mode and try it out and put a real on the recording and see if you like it or not. The next setting is omni-directional. So it's a complete circle symbol on the microphone. And the blue yeti will actually capture audio from a 360° angle all around the microphone.

So it's useful. And let's say you want to record a conference and you can have various people speaking around the table. And you can actually capture this, there's voice because this actually tries to catch the sound of their voice from whenever they're sitting or whatever sounds there are in the space and you can hear most of what people are saying, even if they're sitting around a table. So it's good for conferences or when you want to record in any direction.

Now in a studio setting, I don't think it will work for you because you don't want to catch the sounds of the computer as much either or any, clocks or whatever else in the room. So it's best to not use omni directional if you're trying to do a screen casting or recording of a video.

So the third one is cardio mode and it gives the best quality of audio, it's meant for podcasting or for recording voiceovers and it will only be recording the audio from right in front of the microphone right above where obviously the mute button is. So if you switch it to cardio mode and you speak right in front of the microphone, you do well.

But if you speak and from behind the microphone, it's very weak. So you want to be able to be up nice and close at a standard distance away from your microphone. And if you're doing screen casts, I would recommend using the cardio mode because it gives the richest quality of audio. But of course, you can't really tell until you set up your studio and do a little quick recording and see if you like the sound.

So the next and last option is bi-directional. So it's similar to cardio to stereo, but it strictly captures audio only from the front and the back. And this is useful if say for example, you're doing an interview and the other person is sitting in behind in front of you so that the back of the microphone as well as the front of the microphone is capturing the voices.

And so you can place the blue yeti right in the middle and I will capture both your audio and the person that you are interviewing. If there are people on the left and right, technically speaking, it won't be capturing that audio but you could always see if it does or not. But it's going to be pretty noisy if you're trying to capture all for directions.

So it's probably best not to do that. So there's four patterns to the blue yeti and basically it's kind of difficult to show you the difference because it all depends on your own studio environment. But I'd recommend either trying the stereo or the cardio pattern. And of course, you're going to have to check your gain and see which you like the most.

I've been trying it quite a bit and I haven't really found the one that I really like yet and when I do I market on the microphone so I can always get back to that setting. So there you go. Maybe we should actually talk a little bit more about all those types of things like gain and just so they understand it a little bit more, so do better because at some point we're going to have to talk about editing your sound and making the best it can be in terms of your videos.

So yeah, it might be good to talk about game next time or if we need to talk about gain. It depends, it depends on using audacity whether or not you need to understand gain and certainly the volume of what you're speaking, you always have to you know, stop your recording and then go listen to it and see if the the volume of the voice is loud enough.

Ah, this one may not be because I've been trying to gain but anyway, that's for next time.

My Favourite Microphone Read More »

Microphones for your Studio

hello? Hello. Hello. It's me again today on step in front of the camera. I'm using my ultimate tv channel system presentation system to talk to you today because I like it and it's a nice blue but let's get on with it. Okay, so I hope that you can hear me. I think this is pretty good sound  I am going to be talking about sound today because sound is the most important thing for any presentation you do on any video you do and anything you do if they can hear you, they're not gonna listen to you.

So we're gonna have a look today at some of the options you can do and all obviously give you my opinion and so let's get started. Um so first off I think a lot of people think that you can use your webcam sound and you've been on broadcast where people are talking into their computer, looking into their webcam and they think this sound is sufficient.

Well, let me tell you a story. I did a presentation on tv show format for entertainment and I thought it would be entertaining to do a little bit of Shakespeare that was my first tv show and what I didn't know and now I've got it stuck on my computer is that the presentation software that I used had changed my microphone and it went and used my webcam.

So let's go and have a little listen to what was going to be the volume of the sound in this presentation experience. Yes. Well as you can see this is silly what has happened was it was picking up, I mean it's a good webcam but it picked up the sound and the sound was like half the volume as it should be.

So this is what I would have to have done and I don't recommend it every time that I used it I would have to use either Audacity, the free software that changes the volume and the sound of your sound. And you know it's great software, we'll talk about it another time because when we're editing but you don't want to when you you don't want to have to edit so you don't have to want to have to use Camtasia or audacity to improve your sound, you want your sound to be the best it is when you do your video.

So that's my opinion. Anyway and so let's have a look at some of the microphones that you can use because we don't want to do the webcam. Sorry let's just turn that webcam sound off, you know how to do it. We want a microphone and basically there are some great microphones that are really reasonably priced if you're doing presentations where you're sitting.

Well I'll give you three choices and then if you want to be a person who's standing and doing activities and doing some teaching and then I'll show you the other one that you could use but I think that one that we'll talk about that one later. But anyway, so so my secret weapon as we all know if we're smart is my blue Yeti and we'll talk about the blue yeti later as to tips on how to make the sound great.

Sorry, I'm probably ruining the sound right now.  So the Blue Yeti is just so reasonable and such good quality pride, such good quality. It's got its professional sound and all you have to do is plug it into your computer. And you know, I love it.

The other choice you can do of course is the blue Snowball, which is also quite reasonably priced and it's a USB mic and you can use it for the pc and Mac, just like the blue yeti and I'm sure it's just as good. But I'll tell you one thing that I like about my blue yeti, which doesn't show on this blue yeti.

Oh yeah it does. It has, it has a stand because I'll tell you my other choice which is professional quality and actually quite reasonably priced is the audio technica, which does not have a stand. And I had Audio Technica to begin with and it was a great sound. But I kept dropping it onto the floor from the stand.

And so now I have an old audio technica with a very loose little wire in the bottom of it. And so once the sound starts crackling and it's caused by the microphone, it's time to get a new microphone. So yeah, what I love about the Blue Yeti is it's got a nice solid  stand that you can use now. Of course.

I also liked the Audio Technica because I had an overhead  stand that I could put it in and move it around until I got the best sound. Um whereas I'm fairly limited  with my blue yeti as to where I can place it, but it picks up sound so well and we'll talk about that another time.  You know, I really don't have any problem with it. Okay, so for those of you who want to move around, of course there's the lavelier mike.  you put just like professional reporter, you put them on your lapel of your jacket and you of course um can use them quite well and they have good quality sound.

I don't know about this one because it's so cheaply priced, but this one would be for interviews as well, it even has the wind muff if there's wind to stop the wind affecting the sound. I bought a set myself but with the pandemic, I realized that, of course, I won't be interviewing anybody, so I haven't really used it and I get it out of the kit, but it's not really much point because you want to have something that a studio that's all set up, you know, it's all set up, it's ready to go.

All you have to do is turn on your lights, you know, make sure your microphones on, which I haven't done sometimes. And who knows? Maybe this one I don't have the microphone on. But and also, you know, check that it's the micro proper microphone and just get recording.

So, you know, this is the important thing is sound and we're gonna be talking about the microphone in more detail next time.

Microphones for your Studio Read More »

How to Improve the Sound Quality in your Studio

Welcome. Welcome.

It's jane again, doing another show.

And this time we're going to be talking about the audio acoustics in your room. I know I kind of skipped over this and went onto microphones, but we're going to say, we're going to talk about padding and acoustic panels.

So we're also going to have another episode where we talk about Audacity, the free software you can use to record your voice and but you can also use Audacity  to basically um make a recording of you speaking and then that listening to the recording and seeing what kind of sounds you sound you hear other than your voice that you don't want to hear. Because audacity has a few things in there where it can cancel out those sounds and take them out.

But we're going to talk today about how to try and take some of those problems in your sound out before you actually record. So today, um you've either realized that you have an echo or maybe your audio is perfect. You don't have to do any of this. So even better. But if not, um and you have something noisy that, you know, you can't get rid of, for example, your computer, but you could put it into an acoustical box, like a box, um with acoustical panels on it, so it absorbs sound and it doesn't come out or something like that.

But you can probably find something fairly reasonable to do this, but you cannot easily edit bad audio noise in post-production. I mean, you can but you know why why why try and get it, you know, make it better the first time. So we're gonna talk about um a couple of things um you may have already heard about if you do any podcasting, um audio foam panels, and the other one is called a bass trap, which probably we've you've not heard of and I'll show you a picture of because it's mostly used in musical music studios and I'm going to sneeze.

So excuse me while I sneeze. So what are base panels? Bass traps and phone panels? Well, essentially to do one thing, which is to absorb echo and clean up your reverb in your recording studio. But although they may look the same, they're actually a bit different and they serve different purposes.

So the smaller the room is, the more padding you will need in order to absorb sound because of the echo when you speak your voice and your audio just bounces all over the walls and comes back to you if it's too small. So we've probably going to have to put up some acoustical panel to reduce the echo for example.

So bass traps are used to filter out or remove the low frequencies or the bass frequencies. Now it really depends on what you're building your home studio for. Um if you're going to record music for example, um traps, it will help you because they will help you to control the bass frequencies when recording.

Um but also there are bass frequencies in your voice. But generally speaking for bass traps, you would find a lot in recording studios, music recording studios, if you're doing podcasts or videos like this, then you may not need based traps, but you definitely need foam panels. So phone panels are for mid to high frequencies and bass traps and foam panels can work together or you can use just either one, but mostly it's used together and if you don't need it all well even better, but if you're not in a recording studio or using musical instruments, you can skip the bass traps and you can just focus on getting phone panels.

So we're gonna show you some of what they look like, just so when you're looking in the catalog, you can figure that out. So we're looking at um having a little bit of a cold, but we're looking at the acoustics for your studio. And for example, these are foam panels that you can get there are triangular in in cross section and so they absorb sounds from their phone. And um here's a picture of a bass trap over on the left in the corner of the room and those are foam panels adhering to the wall.

So bass traps, they're basically it is in the corners of the room, is where your rules meet each other, and there triangular. And so of course they absorb more sound because they're thicker in the middle. And these angles are the ones that reflect the most amount of audio.

And it's responsible for serious audio problems sometimes in the corner of the room. So it's always good to put some acoustic panels there. And those are the base, it's triangular. Ones are the base type, which you probably don't need.

So if you were to get the bass drops, they'll fit in nicely here and then 90° angle on the wall, triangular. But you don't really need bass traps if you think your audio is pretty good when you do your test and you're not recording music. So in this section, you can position um your acoustical panel, phone panel in the corner to absorb any sound that might be echoing off in the corner because the it's not as critical for podcasting and doing videos.

It's basically you can curve it and attach it and it'll act in a same way, very cost efficient way to do it. Um so the next one you want of course to cover is your hard surfaces, for example, the door in your studio. So you can also put um phone panels around the door handle, cut it. That's what's nice about foam.

And because hard surfaces also tend to reflect audio, make audio bounce. And that creates an echo. So you can basically this is uh what acoustical panel looks like. It's a triangular in nature. You can get it of course on amazon. And so you can use it um you've got to use more than one, of course, but you don't know how many until you actually try it out.

So you might want to just start with a few. Um and then try and see what it does to absorb your sound and then if it's working, that's great. If it doesn't work well, you just don't use it. Um, so most importantly, it comes in two different colors.

So you can have some fun and arrange your foam panels anyway, you want and it makes your studio look cool. So the recommended coverage area is 48 square feet for your studio. And this is just a rule of thumb, it really depends how big your studio is, but you should have about 48 square feet of it on one wall.

And then, so you can always get packages of 12 square feet four packages of that, for example. Or you could get 12 square feet, which is 12 panels and then times 12. Now that being said, you don't have to go and get 48 square feet of adult ones because as I mentioned before, having too much of this panel actually can affect your audience in ways that you don't really want it to. So you can do more harm and good.

So start with your 12 square feet and you can scale up by adding another 24 or another 12, two different areas in your home studio or office studio until you get the right balance and removed all the acoustical problems like echo and buzz from your studio. So obviously if you have a perfect um studio and there's no problems with sound after you do a test.

And I would definitely use audacity because it has a um, it has a noise um leveling I think, and it also has a noise removal. And so when you take out the, your actual voice, you can, you can see the little um noise being made of ambient noise before we actually speak and what, and we'll talk about that later.

Um because it's, it's really good to record it and then listen to it um very quietly in your headphones to see if you're happy with the sound of your voice. And also, of course, you're happy that there isn't too much buzz or noise and you don't have to clean it up.

Well, if you want to clean it up then it would be worth getting some foam panels for your home studio to set up and I might order some soon just to try it out. Maybe we'll see. But the difference is if I put some foam panel panel up, if I remove any of the noise, although my basically I found that the microphone having a good microphone, like the blue yeti or the audio technica is great for um, sound that you really don't need to worry too much about not sending natural.

Um so that's, that's it for today. I'm gonna make a note to um do one on audacity, how to install it maybe, and then show you the possibilities of using audacity for your home studio as well. As of course, later on you will use other software, like video editor, but this is a good start.

Um so we've gone through most of the sound um possibilities for your studio and now I think we've done a couple of microphone types and I think we should probably get onto lighting. That's pretty important. And so my lighting right now is pretty cool, uh pretty white. And so I have to adjust that make my face warmer.

But that will be for next time I'll show you that you have a lot of control inside your web cam that you buy as to changing the colors of your video. Thank you for listening. This is jane gardner.

How to Improve the Sound Quality in your Studio Read More »

Plan your Studio Space now!

On today's tip. We're gonna talk about planning your studio space.

Before you even start to consider recording, you need to find a place in your apartment or your house that is, you can dedicate to your studio space. So you could use a home office or a bedroom space where you can leave your equipment all set up and connected.So it's quick to do a video. And when you feel like an impulse to do a video, all you have to do is go and set it up and press live.

So let's have a look at what you have to consider for when you have a studio space. So we're going to talk about the size of the room. Bigger rooms are better because there is fewer problems with audio and light. Small rooms can have sound bounce back and forth from walls. Same with light, it can bounce and it's uneven in one area versus the next and it can change quickly. Also you may not find the perfect spot where light and sound are even in a smaller room, whereas a large room that you have more choice as to where to put your space more likely for sound to echo.

It will happen in a small room. We'll talk about how you can fix that later when we talk about sound, but when planning your space, these are some of the things you have to consider. In small rooms, it can be harder to control the light, especially if there are windows. Lights above lighting the room maybe too close to the recording area so they could cause uneven lighting on their face and change very quickly during the day.

In bigger rooms, the light can be more even in the room there isn't an echo or sound bouncing. If the ceiling is high enough, there isn't any sound bouncing off there either. The windows are far enough away, that natural light doesn't stream in at different times of the day, affecting your light exposure windows.

Now some people say place yourself in front of the window and you'll have natural light for your recordings. But the brightness and color of sunlight changes through the day changes with the weather and of course there's nighttime. So if you just use sunlight to record in for your recordings, then it limits the time that you can record if you only record when light is in the right place.

So it's best not not depend on sunlight to light your face or do your recordings on video. So remove it from the opportunity by blocking out the sunlight with a curtain or by moving to an area of space where the windows don't affect the lighting and use reliable daylight. Studio lights with consistent light and you can record at any time of the day or night.

The space needed to do face recordings is as much as the size of a desk with lights on either side and a screen at the back as the background can create quite a small space to do your recordings within a large room. So sound, however, no matter how big the space you're in, you will need to test how your recording sounds when you set up your studio.

And of course on the the only way that you can test what if you have any problems with your sound is to actually set up your studio recording space. So there are some things you can do beforehand or during the time you're planning your studio space. And so we'll talk about those next time but we're going to discuss next time how to cut out the distracting sounds.

But for now, go look for a space in your house or apartment that has consistent lighting. You can control you can even use a smaller space if you do some of the options that we talk about next time in reducing the echo and bounce of sound. So see you next time.

Plan your Studio Space now! Read More »

Ambient Light in your Studio

Welcome welcome.

This is jane gardner and welcome to the Step in Front of the Camera series.

Today, we're going to be talking about ambient light. So what is ambient light? Well, it's basically all the light that fills your room when you don't have any lights on.

Now, I do have lights on because you wouldn't be able to see me at all, but I just want to show you.  I don't know if I'll show you the difference. Well, I guess I will, I guess I could, I don't like to have close-ups where I moved close to the camera.

But anyway,  you may not notice the difference between ambient light and the light that's directly from your lamps and lights, but you can actually see quite a bit of ambient light. And so, you know, it's always present in your room now right now, it's sunny down here in the basement with the windows.

It's just coming in and the cats are enjoying it. And that's why I've got some light on one side of my face and shadows on the other. Well, once the clouds cover over the sun, I'm sure I won't have any light on either side of my face. So even if you switch off all the lights,  my cameras is, webcam is so good that there's ambient light in this room, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get out of it in the dark.

But the chances are, you can find a way how to figure out what is ambient light that's coming into the room and of course probably block it because as I mentioned before your ambient light, it could vary during the day. And it it it would change. And so the sunlight for sure will change obviously between one and reflect off different sources in your room.

So, I have some white umbrellas for my lights and that's reflecting some of the light. So it could also be from the external light source. Now, I have some fluorescent lights here in the room and you could get also street light coming in, certainly in the evening, that contributes to your ambient light.

So you have to understand how much ambient is coming into the room that might affect the quality of your video by turning off all your lights and then record a video. And of course, it will be a fairly dark video. Try to notice where the highlights and shadows are in your face or in the room and they still get an idea of the direction of light to the amount of actual ambient light in your room.

And when you figure that out, you can start to eliminate the unnecessary light. And I'd recommend that you want to get your lighting right first, understand all the sources of light in your room and change the distance that your lights  are going to be using away from. You're just to see the difference in how the distance of the light from you changes.  So, you've got to figure out what the overall lighting is in your videos. So, as you can see here, I have none of my studio lights on.

I do have fluorescence on and also there's sunlight coming in from one side of the room. So I have some ambient light. Also when I turn off the fluorescent, I'm not going to do that. So you can see that it's the recording area for my videos here. My studio, it's pretty good without lights and sometimes when I'm just talking to people on soon, I don't turn on my lights and I'm in shadows and it sort of gives you a more natural look sometimes depending on what the light is.

But of course, if I want to record a good video, I need to have studio lights on. So what we're gonna do is I'm probably going to change the scene, so you don't see me lurching. So basically what you can do to test this is to turn off all your lights and then use a screencast video, ScreenFlow camtasia or something and just record a video and see what it's like when you have the webcam on and understand where light is coming from.

And then once you know that there is some maybe ambient light you don't want, you can close off that area with a screen or curtain obviously and if you want to create videos consistently, you really have to do that.  You can just put up something to block the ambient light that's coming in because you want to be able to have the same type of lighting in the same field for all of the videos in your chorus and then of course will probably take more than two weeks to complete.

You want to have consistency. So when you understand where ambient light is coming from, you can control it better and you can even make an attempt to block the light out so that the light is no longer it's minimized. But personally what I would recommend is to turn off all your  ambient light or I'll show you how it is when I just turned on my studio lights and you will see that I have a consistent light and I don't really have to go and close my window.

So let's see if I have a screen that is, let's see, I think that one's black. No, we don't want that one, that one's boring. How about we go to my website there, step in front of the camera and while you look at that, I'll just turn the lights on.

Oops, so these are my radio lights. I'm with the grand screen and a kit and not that expensive really, when you consider how long I've had them and let's have a look and see what the lighting is like. Now, oops, wrong screen, there we go.

So here we are, we're back again and the lighting is a bit more consistent and when it's consistent it's much easier for the video to be a consistent quality and obviously to have good detail, I have a few shadows and I could turn on another light, but I don't have the plugged in right now because I'm not doing any kind of recording at the moment other than talking to you. But you can see that it's a bit more consistent light.

It'll make for a better quality video and it will, if you decide you want to make it, you know, enlarge the video, it won't be pixelated or grainy because you've got a fairly good quality lighting. So have a look at the ambient lighting that's in your area, that you want to have your studio space, and we'll talk to you again.


Ambient Light in your Studio Read More »