Most people say that you don’t need much to start vlogging or live streaming on Bigo: download the app, hit “Record”, and you’re there. For the most part, that’s true.
Many of the best online creators of our time started with little more than a single camera, and most of the time it hadn’t even been a good one. However, things have changed significantly over the last few years.
Audiences now expect their online content to adhere to a certain standard of production quality. Even if you’re dishing out groundbreaking original content, they’ll still move on quickly if your video or audio quality is poor.
Investing in a bit of equipment and putting some thought into your filming environment will greatly improve your followers’ viewing experience.
Here’s what you’ll need to set up a functional, great-looking home studio for vlogging or streaming:
Choose Your Location Carefully
The good news is that vlogging or streaming from home continues to be very common among content creators to this day. However, there are good and bad places for filming, and it’s worth knowing the difference before setting up your gear.
If you live alone, congratulations! You won’t have to worry about getting interrupted while you’re in the middle of recording.
The privacy should be a priority, whether you’re filming a vlog or doing a live stream. It’ll be hard to concentrate if you have family members or roommates walking by, and they’ll distract the viewer if they keep jumping into your frame.
Your choices will be more limited if you do live with other people, but you should still be able to film if you can find a quiet spot or schedule your vlogging/streaming around the times when no one else is home.
Another consideration worth keeping in mind when choosing your location is how appropriate it is for the content you’ll be filming.
Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to film a video about cooking in your bedroom. You’ll also want ample space to showcase what you’re doing if you’ll be demonstrating a how-to.
Finally, you’ll want to pick a location where you can control both the light and the sound. Some cameras can capture excellent footage with natural light, but it can be a tricky factor to control.
Unnecessary items scattered around the place where you’re filming can also have an effect on the sound quality of the video.
You’ll want to keep the sound vibrations to a minimum wherever possible to reduce unpleasant echoes in the final product.
Spend as Much as You Can on the Essentials
One of the statements you’ll hear often when you’re just getting into vlogging or streaming is “you only need a camera!”.
While technically true—most consumer-grade cameras, even the ones on your laptop or smartphone, can function as video cameras and capture both video and audio with ease—the list of essential equipment for effective vlogging or live streaming is a little longer than just that.
You don’t need a crazy-expensive camera to put out good content, but a decent one is always worth having.
Fortunately, smartphones released in the last five years or so are equipped with cameras that are just as good if not better than any entry-level DSLR.
If you already have one of those, good on you! If not, you should definitely consider investing in a nice camera, as well as a tripod to hold it in place. Filming yourself by holding your camera out the entire time will get tiring after a while!
Interacting with the audience is crucial if your plan is to be a live streamer. To better engage with your viewers, you’ll also want to put some money towards a nice external microphone.
You’ll also want to equip your home studio with some lighting equipment. It’s not enough to simply turn on all the lights in the room!
Most light sources found at home won’t output the amount of light you need to get a clear image. Do some research on what kind of lighting will suit your purposes best before buying anything, though.
Finally, you’ll need video editing software, as well as a computer powerful enough to render video in high quality if you’re going to be a vlogger.
For live streamers, you may also want a video encoder and an audio mixer, depending on the setup you’ve built so far. In both cases, a high-speed internet connection is also essential.
You’ll want to look at upload speed instead of download when you’re browsing internet plans as a live streamer. Ideally, you want an upload speed of 10 megabits per second or higher to broadcast your stream on.
Don’t Let Your Backdrop Outshine You
After you’ve put all this effort into looking and sounding good on camera, you’d want your viewers to focus on you, right? Eliminate the distracting variables by keeping your background relatively plain.
We don’t mean removing everything in sight, of course, but you should get rid of anything that will pull a viewer’s attention from you.
You should also make an effort to keep the space that the camera can see neat and clean. You’d be surprised at how fast the audience can pick up on a pile of clutter in your background.
And that’s it! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot on a functional, great-looking home studio setup. Just put yourself in the shoes of a viewer to know what will make them keep watching. Make the experience great for them, and you’ll surely reap the rewards!