DIY Video Home Recording Studio Setup: Essentials to Get Started

Get your DIY video home recording studio setup up and running, including options for a bare-bones budget, and the first upgrades to consider.
DIY Video Home Recording Studio Setup: Essentials to Get Started
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Table of contents

Video Home Recording Studio Setup

If you'd like to create videos to support your business, look no further. This episode covers the essentials to get your DIY video home recording studio setup up and running, including options for a bare-bones budget, and the first upgrades to consider.

Shelley Carney and Toby Younis, livestreaming experts with their own in-home studios, host this episode. Jen's on vacation, living in a yurt without Wi-Fi.

  • Minimum equipment for livecasting
  • High-speed internet minimums
  • Computer hardware we recommend
  • Home studio considerations
  • Jen McFarland’s in-home studio setup
  • The AGK Media Studio demo
  • Why we love our green screen wall
  • Gamer chairs for quality and comfort
  • Ring light setup for people who wear glasses
  • Applications you need
  • Saving up to level up
  • Resources: where to get what we recommend

Words of Wisdom

The minimum setup to get you started, but to still look professional, is a high-speed internet connection, computer hardware, studio equipment, the microphone and headset, and applications, which are going to help you to get online and do everything in a simple way. –Shelley
The minimum requirements that you want are the ping. That's the signal that goes between you and your server provider to see how long it takes to ping one another. The minimum is 10 milliseconds, 10 or less. Five megabytes upload because live streaming is all about upload. If the service provides 10 that's great. Five megabytes download, but the more important of the two is the upload. – Toby Younis, special guest cohost

Shelley and Toby's Amazon Home Studio Kit

Videotero Live’s Amazon Page - Home Studio
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Visit our Amazon Home Studio Kit to find all our recommended equipment.

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Transcript: Video Home Recording Studio Setup

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The Women Conquer Business show is an educational, how to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts, Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing overwhelm, streamline processes and amplify your impact.

You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

[00:00:38] Shelley Carney: Hello, and welcome to Women conquer business. I'm your host for today Shelley Carney and my esteemed guest is here to help us to learn about your DIY in home video recording studio. This is Toby Younis.

[00:00:54] Toby Younis: I was going to tell you I'm not Jen, but that's obvious.

[00:00:57] Shelley Carney: Jen is on vacation in a yurt. So we are filling in.

[00:01:01] Toby Younis: Yeah. We're filling in Jen asked, and she made me promise I wouldn't do any mansplaining. So I'm going to try and do that.

[00:01:06] Shelley Carney: Yeah. That's right. So we're going to start with what's up what's up with,

[00:01:10] Toby Younis: no, what's up with you because you got a whole bunch of, up with you going on.

So let's tell the audience about that.

[00:01:15] Shelley Carney: So I went to visit my mom last week and she's in a nursing home, recovering from a stroke. So I've decided that I'm going to go back and in order to be able to do my work while I'm there we're going to have to set up a home studio in my mom's house for me to be able to do my shows and my work.

We pretty much have to start from the bottom up because they're currently not, they don't have high speed internet, so we'll have to get that installed. Then we need all the equipment that we're going to need for the home studio. So we'll be taking short clips of video and pictures and sharing all of that on our channel Messages and Methods as we put that together.

It'll be a nice opportunity for people to see what you can do starting with, just a desk in a bedroom and how you can create a home studio in your home with just a few pieces of equipment.

[00:02:10] Toby Younis: I think it's important to mention also that it's not just so that Shelley and I can do our programming for the next couple of months, because that's how long she expects to stay with her mom in Arizona.

But it's also for her mom because she's going to be limited in her ability to travel. And it's even going to be hard for her to be able to get into a car, to visit her doctors. So while Shelley's there, she's going to introduce her mom and her dad into the technology so that they will be able to use it consistently from that point forward so that they can A. Visit with families B. Visit with a doctor so that she doesn't have to travel.

She can have her appointments with them via video communication. So it has a lot of practical purposes and usage, and we're looking forward to the installation. So it'll require a weekend, but I don't think that's a big deal for us.

[00:03:01] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And we're hoping to go next weekend, if all goes well, and the internet gets put in,

[00:03:05] Toby Younis: Oh, that's right we have to get that installed before we do anything else. So we've got a big package of things ordered on Amazon, listed on Amazon, and we're going to order them as soon as we finish the show today.

[00:03:17] Shelley Carney: And we have Nikki Sergeant in the room. Thank you, Nikki, for your well-wishes. And I do believe that every positive thought sent my way and to my mom is helping her to heal.

So thank you for that. And if you're watching this and you want to send your healing thoughts and your positive vibes her way, then I appreciate that. Her name is Marlus and she's in Chandler Arizona right now. So I appreciate that.

[00:03:43] Toby Younis: So my mother passed away in 2013, so she's always been a substitute mom for me.

And plus I love her. I love her for a lot of reasons, but I love her because she plays a great game of cards. She knows all the card games from, I don't think she plays poker right? No, but she plays all the, hearts and spades and she played games that I hadn't even heard of. The one thing that was consistent amongst them all was she beat me every time. Me and everybody else.

[00:04:13] Shelley Carney: We're working with her. We're playing UNO with her and she can play solitaire with some help because she's only got the use of one hand right now.

[00:04:21] Toby Younis: Yeah. We're really looking forward to this installation. We've done other installations for other clients, mostly. But this one's going to be special and we're really looking forward to it. And it's a nice little, long weekend vacation for us as well.

[00:04:33] Shelley Carney: So do we have breaking news sound?

[00:04:36] Toby Younis: I do have a breaking. No, it's all you.

[00:04:40] Shelley Carney: Breaking news. Awesome. So you can share that screen with them of the watching podcasts, YouTube edges out Spotify. Let me share that.

For this spring's podcast download report, Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights decided to include consumers who watch rather than just listen. Factoring in video first audiences reveals quite a shift, at least in this study. YouTube by a nose is now the most used podcasting platform in the US.

10% of respondents said they only watched podcasts in the last week and 60% of weekly consumers, audio and video, said they prefer podcasts with video. Podcast Watchers are younger and are likely to be new to the medium. The report also highlights the eyes on advertising, attentiveness of podcast watchers at YouTube's upfront in New York, the company announced a new ad frequency capping solution for brands using Google ads. This could be good news for podcasters already wary of overloading new fans.

So basically this is what you want, why you want to watch today's show. If you want to do a podcast, video first podcasts are winning over audio only podcasts, and there are many reasons for that. People have different ways of learning and consuming media. And if they can watch a video, you can do more because you can demonstrate things pictures, and, you can show, we're going to show today. We're going to show a couple of examples of home studio setups, and it's much easier to be able to see them on a video than to just hear about it.

We'll try to describe it for the podcast audience, but we would encourage the podcast audience to take a look at the video so they can get some ideas about how to set up their own office space..

[00:06:37] Toby Younis: So a couple of things about six months ago, YouTube announced that they appointed a whatever level. I'll call it vice-president level of podcasting indicating that they had a great deal of interest in it. They were already experiencing they mentioned how many podcasters they had on YouTube. So it didn't surprise me. I think the thing that they have to overcome and it is visual and it does help.

I know because I'm a visual learner. I have to see it. If I do listen to podcasts, but they're not learning podcasts, they're informational and a lot of different areas that I have interests. But the other thing that I think they have to overcome somehow is that one of the benefits of podcasting of listening to podcasts is that they are mobile.

So I can download it to my smartphone and I can listen to it when I'm doing my workout or driving or whatever. That's more difficult when you have to look at the screen in order to gain the benefit of it. I think what they have to do is resolve that issue. And the reason is YouTube doesn't allow you to download YouTube videos, unless you're part of its YouTube premium and you pay a monthly fee and then you can download them. But again, it's hard when you're going for a walk or a bike ride to watch a video, it's easier to listen to something. I think eventually what I expect to see is that if they do go the pod, if they start focusing on podcasts, that podcasts, they will enable the download of the audio track of the podcast so that you can have, so you can maintain that element of mobility.

[00:08:03] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Or at least that you can continue to listen when you turn off the screen on your phone.

I need to have the internet for the entire thing, because you can go in and out of service when you're on a walk or,

[00:08:14] Toby Younis: And that's the other thing too about downloading. It is the expectation is that you may be used listening to it, using the podcast in an area that doesn't have a service.

And for some people it gets difficult because they are still charged, they still have billing by the amount of data they use. So

[00:08:32] Shelley Carney: slows down after a certain number.

[00:08:34] Toby Younis: Exactly. They, they've got to resolve a couple of minor things. I don't think they're big and I think they're easy decisions, but it's YouTube.

[00:08:42] Shelley Carney: Yeah, it was coming. So definitely think about video first podcasting, if you're interested in starting a podcast.

I think that was it for our breaking news. Let's go ahead and get into our training. Do you have the training sound?

[00:08:58] Toby Younis: I do have the training sound. See. There are different buttons. So what do you want to do first?

[00:09:03] Shelley Carney: Do our slides.

So today we're talking about the minimum live cast set up. This is DIY, do it yourself, set it up in your own space in your own home, and you'll be able to live stream video. You'll be able to podcast and do all your work in this studio. And

[00:09:22] Toby Younis: I think we want to make it clear that this for us is the manner in which we make a living.

So we've invested a lot more than you have to in our studio, just because it makes it convenient. We have some requirements that not everyone has. We are at the, you want to do the video at the end?

[00:09:40] Shelley Carney: We'll do it, probably partway through it.

[00:09:42] Toby Younis: Okay. So we're going to show you our studio. I actually made a short recording of our studio, so you can see it, but our expectation is that not everyone has A, the space, B wants to make that kind of investment.

They're not going to make a living out of it. And see what just like to be able to do what is absolutely necessary in terms of time, effort, and equipment in order to get do a credible job of getting online. And I can tell you that one of the things that you'll learn quickly is I'm going to say 40 50% of how you look online is going to be what you do for lighting.

So we're going to spend a little bit more time with that.

[00:10:18] Shelley Carney: So our agenda for today is to talk about the minimum set up. To get you started, but to still look professional. What you're going to need is in a high-speed internet connection, you'll need computer hardware, the studio equipment, which is, the things like the microphone and the headset, applications, which is going to help you to get online and do everything in a simple way.

And then of course, what to save for when you're ready to move up to the next level. For your internet connection, you want to find a reliable provider. You should be able to find that in your area. Ask your neighbors if you don't have any internet in your home ask what they have. If you're not getting good quality reliable internet, then talk to your providers, see if they can improve it or find a new provider if that's available to you in your area. We use Xfinity. We have one gigabyte service and the minimum requirements for live streaming are written on the screen here in I'm going to let Toby tell you what they are because I'm not sure what all those things stand for.

[00:11:20] Toby Younis: So down at the bottom, I should've put this someplace closer to the top. It says, test it at speed test.net. If you go to speed test.net, you'll have a big green button, it'll start it. And it'll give you all the statistics on whatever service you're using. So the minimum requirements that you want, or right here, you'll see the ping. And that's the signal that goes between you and your server provider, not the service, but the server provider to see how long it takes to ping one another.

The minimum is 10 milliseconds, 10 or less, 10 or less. That's right. And five megabytes upload because live streaming is all about upload. If you can get 10 out of it, if the service provides 10 that's great. And five megabytes download, but the more important of the two is the upload. Now you can see again, because we're using, I think this was our one gigabyte service. It's a 472 megabyte download. And the 41 point 89 megabyte upload traditionally upload will always be lower than download because they expect that people are going to be using it for viewing media, watching television watch a YouTube video.

So they always make it higher. I've never understood quite why that's necessary, but your upload speed will always be higher. I'm sorry, your download speed will always be higher than your upload, but these are minimums. And Shelley said we use a one gigabyte Comcast service because for us it's a significant investment.

That's I'm I'm going to tell you how much we pay it is $99 a month, but you don't have to pay anywhere near that. They will have programs for you starting at. 29. I've seen one recently for 19. And if you have access to a cable service provider, I strongly recommend using a cable service provider over the other options like DSL.

It's just more consistent. Yes, they do have their bad moments where the system goes down, but it seems to be usually at three o'clock in the morning. And it's for 15 minutes at most. We do like it a lot.

[00:13:16] Shelley Carney: Maybe once or twice a year, you'll have an outage and it's usually due to something like construction or something of that nature.

It's very infrequent that you'll lose internet.

[00:13:27] Toby Younis: Yeah. And it's not affected by the weather. So it's their ground lines. They're actually hard lines.

[00:13:32] Shelley Carney: Unless you're Way out in the boonies, in which case you may not have access to something like this.

[00:13:37] Toby Younis: If you're out in the boonies, there are satellite services that are provided, and we all know that Mr. Musk of tesla, Mr. Musk of Tesla fame is putting up Starlink which is a satellite based system that he claims high performance. When I was living in Boyce, Virginia, it was pretty much out in the boonies and I used a satellite service then, and it was slow and unpredictable, but apparently the Starlink service will resolve some of those issues.

It's not going to be hundreds of dollars a month and he's got it priced reasonably. So if you're literally out in the boonies, eventually you'll have service as well

[00:14:11] Shelley Carney: Next is computer hardware. You can start with either a laptop or a desktop computer.

If you do not have either one, I personally prefer the desktop. Unless for some reason you need to take it with you places. If you can have a set-up desk in your home that you're not going to move around then I would go for the desktop. You can usually get a higher performance machine for a lower cost when you do that.

But if you already have a laptop that you like, then that will work as well. You want the most current version of the Mac operating system or the windows operating system, along with a minimum of 16 gigabytes of Ram you'll need audio and input ports, and you can test it to find out what your speeds are and what your capabilities are.

[00:14:59] Toby Younis: So right. And if you go to CPUX.net you can test your systems here.

Oh, that's right.

I forget we turn this into a podcast. You can go and it will test your computer. And what you're looking for is your points and your initial rank. And it'll tell you where you stand and up here, you can see, I posted the rank for the computer that we're using.

It was its rank is 21,000 of 185,000 tested that day. And the clock speed is 335 Hertz. You're looking for something under 1000 Hertz, that'll be plenty. We do have a high performance desktop computer in here. The ports that you'll actually need you'll need at least one USB port. If you decide to plug in the camera, you'll need at least one HTMI port in case you decide to plug in an extra monitor and you'll need, and most laptops especially will have the single port for both audio.

They'll have a TRRS connection for a headset with microphone, and we strongly recommend using the headset with microphone as opposed to separate objects.

[00:16:08] Shelley Carney: All right, keep it simple.

[00:16:10] Toby Younis: Keep it simple.

[00:16:11] Shelley Carney: For your studio, you want to consider the location. We recommend if you're having it in your home, find the quietest room in your home, that's available to you and you don't need an entire room.

You just need maybe one part of one wall in a place to set up your desk top. You're going to need your computer there and your lights. Also in your studio, you're going to want your camera and your headphone and microphone as part of your setup. And we have some pictures to show about that.

Yes. We have the video of ours picture of Jen's studio.

[00:16:46] Toby Younis: I didn't actually

[00:16:47] Shelley Carney: go to Jen's website, women conquer biz, and go to tools. Then, we'll scroll down until you see the picture of her office.

Thank you to scroll down. There it is. So we can share that on the screen now,

[00:17:02] Toby Younis: That's very interesting because you could almost envision that when she's on screen.

[00:17:06] Shelley Carney: You want to share it on the screen. Yeah. All right. So this is Jen's office set up. She has ring lights. She has a riser under her laptop so that her camera on her laptop can be used at the angle that will be at her eye level, but you can also see behind the laptop. She has a tripod or a light stand with a webcam on it. Yeah. Yeah. You can see she's got her headset and she uses a separate mic. Her mic is sitting next to the headset. And of course she has her keyboard and mouse pad all set up. She can use lighting from the windows, or she can draw that curtain across if the lighting was not correct for what she wanted and then just use the ring lights.

[00:17:53] Toby Younis: So we recommend having lights in the studio regardless of its size, rather than relying on window light. For a couple of reasons. Number one window light tends to be very. And the daylight number two, it limits you since there's only window light in the daytime, it limits you to the time that you can actually do a podcast.

And number three, it's unpredictable if you have a bad day. And I think she lives in Portland. So Portland is not exactly the sunniest city in the world. So you may have a one day where you got clouds and things like that. It may not produce enough light, but generally speaking of the lights that she's using, there are very inexpensive, I also notice she has her own gimbal.

So

[00:18:34] Shelley Carney: She likes the gadgets.

[00:18:38] Toby Younis: So it's a very nice and easy setup and you don't need a lot. It's very wise. If you decide to use the camera on the frame of the laptop to use a riser as she has underneath so that you get it to eye level, and we can show our video, we will want to let me take this out first. And then we're going to, this is a video that I did of our office.

So our studio, which happens to be in one of the bedrooms in my house, Hey, everybody, it's Toby Younis. And I wanted to share our studio with you. The studio started out its life as one of the bedrooms in my house, but because I live alone, And I only need one guest bedroom. I turn this one into our studio.

First thing that you'll notice of course are the lights. Those are two CFLs, compact, fluorescent lights, 125 Watts. Each they run about $30, but they have a meantime between failure of about 5,000 hours. Those are the original ones that I installed and they're still here. In addition to that, I have a second set on the ceiling same wattage, same bulbs.

And then I had my son, Jason, who's a metal smith build the reflectors around them. And the reason we need that is because we have a, the wall here is painted. That's our own green screen, so we don't have to put it up each time. There is a window there, but we have it covered in thick, dense, dark curtains.

So behind this you'll see that there are two audio or studio monitors. We use those when we're listening to things that we don't want to have our headsets on that small printer back there is to print shipping labels. We use pirate ship to ship, and that prints the labels for us. We have three monitors one that's right in front of Shelley's seat.

One that is the control monitor where I am. And then I have a third one over here. That's a touchscreen of Usonic touchscreen. So if I want to share things with you and I want to make them bigger on the screen and things like that I can do that. We do have two tables they're made by Husky and I purchased them from home Depot.

The nice thing about them is they're very sturdy. They have a metal. And wheels, as you can see down there, but what's really cool about them is they both have these handles that enable us to raise them as high as standing height or as low as seated height. Our headphones are Audio-Technica BHP S ones.

There is, they don't sell these anymore. There is a new version out to BHP as to we haven't had to buy it because we're happy with these. They do everything we need to very good microphones, very good headsets. They're designed to be used by sports broadcasters. So they they block out a lot of ambient noise.

This is my favorite toy. It's a road castor pro we've had it now for about three and a half years. And it's the nice thing about it is it's digital. So we get regular updates from road caster that provide improvements and additional features. And we just love it. I just love it. I don't it's just the best component for producing quality audio that you can own.

We do have an iPad that we used for monitoring the stream when it's out and that sits in front of us. The keyboard and wireless or Logitech, I'm sorry, the keyboard and mouse are wireless from Logitech. If I tell you our cameras, so we have two logic tech cameras, one in front of us. They're both Logitech nine 20 twos, and there's one there that points at us.

And then another one here that's stood up right now. I'll turn it over 90 degrees so that it points down to the table. And in that way, if I want to share anything on the desktop with you, I can. That's our little desk and back there is a Canon colored laser printer. I'm terrible at collecting my wires.

You can see that back there. That's our desktop computer and our one gigabyte cable modem. So I think that's it. If there's any questions you have, please ask them in the chat and I will try to answer them. We've you know, we've had this studio now since I moved here basically three years ago.

And so we've gone through a lot to get it to this point and we can tell you why we've done what we've done. All right.

[00:22:26] Shelley Carney: Okay. So that's our studio that we're sitting in right now. So of course it looks like we're sitting in this beautiful home and a beautiful living room, but that's just a green screen. Which is nice. When you have a green screen, you have a lot of options. You can choose whatever kind of a background that you like according to whatever the presentation or Zoom call or a mastermind or whatever it is that you're presenting, whatever that's about.

You can reflect that in your background when you have a green screen, but it isn't necessary to start there. So let's move ahead with equipment. So again, the location we suggest a quiet space minimize the window lighting so that you don't have it changing or shining on your face or offering two different colors to your face.

Avoid backlighting. That means don't sit in front of a window and have it dark in front of you, because then you turn into a silhouette. Don't do that. So you want light on your face not coming from behind you towards the camera.

Keep it uncluttered so that when you walk into your space, you feel like you can get right to work and you don't have to tidy everything every time or move piles of laundry or move your exercise bike or whatever it is. Try to get that space dedicated to shooting your videos, because then you'll have that much less friction to get right into it.

You want an unobtrusive background that just means you don't want a bunch of clutter or, and I've noticed sometimes even when you have a bookshelf in the back, people are so busy looking at what your books are they forget to listen to you. So just unobtrusive is good, fairly plain wall, maybe a piece of art on the background that would be, something that would represent you.

A large enough desk that you're not knocking things over when you're trying to get set up. And we both prefer at least two monitors when we're doing presentations and live streaming, it just keeps everything. In front of us, we can always see what we need and share those screens with you very easily. And lastly, a comfortable, quiet chair. My chair at home is a little bit squeaky and I need to get the WD 40 on it. And people can notice when you're doing that.

And also if you have a chair that's very, rocking or moving and you tend to wiggle around in your chair a lot. That's very distracting. So get a chair that's going to keep you still and quiet. It's okay to gesture with your hands and that sort of thing, but you don't want to be doing extraneous movement that's going to distract from your message.

[00:25:03] Toby Younis: I didn't mention it in the video, but we do have two gamer chairs, basically for a couple of reasons. Number one, they're comfortable. And that we spend a lot of time in these chairs and they get into, after a while, almost every chair did get uncomfortable that we had tried prior to this.

So we invested in the gamer chairs. They're very mobile. They come, this particular model comes with skate wheels. So they're very quiet and they're very easy to move around the room. We have a, a. What do you call it? The faux wood floor installed in here to solve the greenscreen problem. For Shelley, we did buy her a portable popup green-screen. So she uses that when she's recording from home and it works very nicely. They run in the 60 to $90 range, depending on which model you buy. But they work and she didn't put additional lighting in her room and she couldn't convince Kevin to paint the Walgreen. I don't understand that.

I think every wall should have everyone should have

[00:25:56] Shelley Carney: There's a closet behind.

[00:25:57] Toby Younis: Yeah, that's true.

So it worked out very nicely for her. And we're very you saw the lighting, we have the simplest lighting solution. It's on the wall. It provides plenty of light and it's inexpensive. So

[00:26:12] Shelley Carney: Once it's up, we don't have to mess with it. We don't have to move it or anything.

Then your camera we suggest avoiding using your laptop camera, unless that is all you have and you can afford but we recommend the Logitech webcam, Logitech C 920, or the C922 that we have that's in our kit. And the reason we recommend Logitech specifically is because we've tried off-brands and they are never as good. They always have problems. They're not usually user-friendly plug and play like Logitech is.

[00:26:46] Toby Younis: I did want to mention that one of the important things to remember as you're doing this is the Logitech cameras come with microphones and some people use them that way. And what you're going to get is a slight echo.

We recommend using the app that will come with a camera to turn the microphones off. So they're disabled and not use them, making sure that you're using your headset. Oh, I did want to mention when I gave you the nomenclature for the headset, I gave you the wrong nomenclature. I said B H P S. It's not it's B P H S one.

And the new model is the B P H S. Let's see desktop, tripods. Okay. So one of the things that you saw in ours, we don't have a tripod. We have a light stand that raises the camera to eye height for us, but there are variables, if you can avoid connecting the camera to your desktop I recommend that.

So if you can use like a light stand, you have space behind your desk to do that. And the reason is if you do it picks up every motion as your desk moves than your camera moves. Or if it isn't a very sturdy riser, whatever you're using. If there's motion in it and you're trying to avoid that.

So we, we put ours on a light stand behind the desk and it does, but it does happen.

[00:28:02] Shelley Carney: And as you can see in Jen's office, she put her laptop on a riser. So if you are going to use your laptop camera, it should be on a riser so that the camera is at your eye level. And that you're looking directly at people when they see you on screen that way. The lighting, you can start with a ring light, like you saw in Jen's set up, or you can go with the lights on the wall in sconces like we do. The lighting solution that we have is two bulbs came to about $30. And the two sconces came to about 25 to $30. And then if you use the hardware you're going to have a lighting solution that's about $60. So it's really not that expensive. If you can just put them up on the wall and then leave them and plug them into whatever outlet you have. I have mine plugged into an outlet that I also have a switch connected to so I can just flip them on and off. And that makes it super.

[00:29:01] Toby Younis: If you do end up getting something like the ring light it has a funny design element to it. And the expectation is that you're going to put your smartphone in the middle of the bring light. It's first of all, I don't think it's very flattering lighting.

It's pretty flat actually, but it also puts rings in your eyes. And if you're wearing glasses, then it puts the rings in the glasses. So I strongly recommend that for the light, you don't put the camera inside the light, you raise the light so that the body is at least at your head, the top of your head level.

So it's higher than you. And then you angle it. You can see my hand here, you angle it downwards towards you. That devotes a couple of things. Number one, although it does put a catch light in your eye, it doesn't put that ring right in the center of your eye. And also you'll especially need it. If you're wearing glasses, as you can see in our glasses, we both have the non-reflective material, but.

Sometimes that doesn't cover the direct look, it'll cover not reflecting the our monitors, for example. But if I look up, you'll be able to see that there is a reflection of the light up there. If that's right in front of you, it's going to reflect right into your glasses. The ring light is a good place to start.

If it's just you in front of your desk, it produces plenty of light and they usually come with a remote control that allows you to control the light from where you're sitting. Just make sure it's higher than than your head. Basically the bottom of the ring line is it's about the top of your head and then angle downwards for you.

That'll give you the best effect.

[00:30:29] Shelley Carney: For the headphones, we recommend this very versatile headphone set. It's only about $30 on Amazon. It's called One Odio A 71 comes with different connectors. So you can add the microphone or you can take it away depending on if you want that mic or not.

And then you can use different kinds of plugs with it. You can plug it into a TRRS or you can get an adapter and have it plugged into for instance, I can plug mine in to my iPhone because I have an adapter for that, with the One Odio. So if I was on a phone call, or listening to a Zoom call on my cell phone, I could just plug in that headset and that makes it very versatile.

[00:31:12] Toby Younis: One of the challenges of the BPHS1 and the two is A. They're expensive, they're comparatively expensive B. They require two input outputs. They require an XLR and a quarter inch phono. The XLR is used for the microphone. The quarter-inch photo is used for the head's headphone. So you'll have to get an extra thing in order to make them work, rather than doing that. I strongly recommend what Shelley is showing you on the screen right now.

That is the One Odio A 71. They run less than $40. They have a very good headset and a very good microphone to go with them. And you avoid a lot of the expensive ad-ons that you'd have to have if you if you use the BPH BP H S one or two. And like I said, they are expensive. The one you can only find used, you can usually find them on eBay with open boxes, that kind of thing.

The two runs around 350 bucks. The difference between the BPH S two and this one audio that Shelley is showing you is just more than $300 difference because this one sells for less than 50,

[00:32:14] Shelley Carney: I use it at home and it's a really good headset for what, for the price. It's a really great value. Applications that you're going to want to have to run your lifecasting is your Gmail account for communications and that also allows you to have a YouTube account. When you have set up a Gmail account, it has a connected YouTube account for it. So you have a live streaming platform and then you want a Canva account. You don't absolutely have to use Canva, but we found it is the best option for any kind of graphics that you want to make.

It comes with probably a million different templates by now because people add templates all the time and they share their templates. So you can go in there and find a starter, right? If you want a thumbnail, you can go, I want a YouTube thumbnail and they'll show you a hundred different ones and you can say, oh, I like that one the best. And then you can just open that up and start adjusting it to what you want. So definitely we like Canva. It's a, you can use it for free or you can get the pro account for a $13 a month. And it's just super helpful. And then the last thing on the list is our Stream yard account. You can start with Stream yard for free and check it out.

It doesn't have all the features opened up to you if you're using the free level. But if you go to the next level, you can use almost all the features that they offer. And it's going to allow you to multistream. That means you can do what we're doing right now, which is to stream to Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter, all at the same time.

When you schedule, it puts up a social media event and it says, I'm going to be on live on this time. And this day, look for me here so that people know that it's coming and then they'll show up at that time and day. And it's really super great when you're using it on LinkedIn. I love it on LinkedIn because if you click on my, when we schedule it and it pops up on LinkedIn, and if you clicked on it, it would ask you if you wanted to attend. And you could say yes, and then it would ask you, would you like to put this on your calendar? And it will send you an email to remind you. And it's really helpful when we put it on LinkedIn in that way.

So these are definitely the applications you want to start with your Gmail, your YouTube, your Canva, and your stream yard.

[00:34:36] Toby Younis: And we do want to point out that we speak from experience with all of these. Not that we didn't have Gmail and YouTube accounts prior to this, but we recommend canvas to you after having tried several variations of that online graphics builder theme, and Canva was literally the best solution that we could find.

As Shelley mentioned that there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of templates, but the other thing it provides is access to a very large library of photographs and videos that you can add to your Canva documents. So that's very convenient because you'd otherwise have to pay for that. Streamyard as Shelley said, has a free account. And over the years that we've been streaming together in a studio since 2017 we tried every possible variation from desktop to things like Zoom to the various options.

Yeah. Three or four, probably more than that. We actually buy them all when they come out we actually buy them from AppSumo just so that we can try them out and see what they're doing. We ended up on stream yard because it provided more than enough for us to do what we wanted. Shelley mentioned. One of the big features is right now we're streaming to eight different platforms and that makes our life much easier.

At the end of the show, we can download it. It saves the audio recording and a video recording of the program. So now we can upload it to our podcast platform. We can have a transcribed and we can have content for Shelley's blogs and newsletters. So it provides a lot of features.

And of course you can see the graphics and, we're sharing slides with you and things like that. And the nice thing about Streamyard we've been using it. Yeah. Now over a year, a little over a year is they continue to add to the technologies. They give us additional features at least once a month that we can use.

And that have been very helpful to us. So there are others out there and we don't, we're not critical of them were just saying stream yard in our experience is the best solution. At this point in time, we keep our eye out for anything else. We try everything else. And then sometime, maybe sometime in the future, that will be something that comes along that's better. But so far we haven't found it.

[00:36:53] Shelley Carney: All right, so next we have what to save up for. So once you have your basic materials and equipment in place, work with that for a little while. But think about, what else can I add that would make my life easier, that would make my streams look better? So what we can save up for is a second monitor, the larger, the better so much better when you do a slide presentation, especially to have a second monitor.

So you can see this slides on one screen, and then you have your stream yard on the other screen, and it's just much more organized and you don't have to flip back and forth between screens and get lost and close the wrong thing and really helpful. It doesn't have to be a fancy monitor, just so it works.

Wall mounted lighting, of course, that we talked about. That's what we have in here. Digital audio mixer. I'm going to let Toby talk more about that. We have a green screen. Here in the house, we have the green wall, as you can see from the picture, or you saw in the video, we painted the wall green behind us. Because we knew we wanted that green screen feature, or you can get a pop-up green screen like I have in my house. And then you might want a second camera, especially if you're demonstrating things that you're doing with your hands. If you're cooking, or if you're doing art or something like that. And you're demonstrating those sorts of things or demonstrating small products, if you want to be on Amazon live and you want to show products on there, a second camera can come in really handy.

So that's something you can also save up for.

[00:38:19] Toby Younis: Let me talk about the digital audio mixer. This is at the moment, one of the more expensive solutions you can invest in, it runs about $600, the Rodecaster pro, but it is digital. They are constantly, you can about once a month, you get a download to improve the options that you have available to you.

And it is very comprehensive. It allows for three I'm sorry, four microphone inputs for headphone outputs. It has controls for each it has a sound pad. So when Shelley says give me the air horn, I can do that. So it has not only does it have eight sound pads on it, but there are eight variations.

It has software that enables me to create up to eight different variations of the sound pad. So we have one for each of our shows depending on what we're doing and it makes it very convenient. It uses sliders for. Audio management, audio level management, and it also has two ways to integrate your smartphone so you can plug your smartphone into it, or you can use your Bluetooth connection to plug your smartphone into it.

And that way, if you do a show that requires calling in or out or both it's a very simple connection and it does something. You'll hear it referred to as mixed minus. So it knows what's coming in and what's going out and it doesn't confuse the two. And that requires extra equipment in any other situation.

If you're in any other kind of studio, you will have extra equipment to handle inbound versus outbound telephone calls. So they thought of everything. When you came when that comes to this product, there is a competitor's zoom has the P eight. It's a competitor it's at about the same price range and it has about the same feature.

So if you're a Zoom fan rather than a Rode fan you can get that and get the same features out of it. It has pretty much the same thing with the number of sound pads and whether or not you can integrate your phone, but being able to, the feature of just being able to integrate your phone, cleanly your cell phone cleanly was unthinkable four years ago. You had to buy extra equipment to do that. And it was expensive, extra equipment. So I strongly recommended one of the other things I wanted to mention is you can, so if you want a second monitor, you have to make sure if you're using a laptop, that it has an HTMI output.

Most of the contemporary laptops do, it's not a big problem. Just check and make sure sometimes you have three options when it comes to HTMI input and output. Make sure that you get the cable that matches with one end on your laptop and the other end on your monitor. Check that before you buy the cable, because a lot of times you'll get a a digital HTMI cable and it doesn't fit your monitor or your laptop.

The other thing I wanted to mention is. If you have a DSLR camera and you'd like that look of the bokeh in the background, you don't have a green screen, but you like that. Look, you can integrate it. It is more difficult to do, will require a second USB port to do that. And it'll require some kind of interface the most.

Most computers handle the integration. A lot of them don't and you'll see the ones that don't because they won't be able to sync the audio and the video signals when it comes from the DSLR primarily for two reasons. Number one, the DSL are, is putting out a massive amount of bits and bites because that's how it works.

It's an HTMI level piece of equipment. And number two, usually it requires some sort of interface. There are hardware interfaces that fit on the cable and there are software interfaces in either case that hardware or software interface builds a slight delay into the video signal. So you can't always get him synched correctly.

There are her more expensive solutions where the video signal and your headphones signal are integrated in a single box and it uses software to work out the sync issues. But again, it's an additional expense. But they do look at, got to say that.

[00:42:23] Shelley Carney: Yeah, it's just a lot of work. If you're not a techie person, don't go that route.

[00:42:27] Toby Younis: Yeah. And we've never had anybody complain to us and say your webcam isn't doesn't make you look very good. As a matter of fact, our biggest, the other thing too, I'm going to tell you is we did try as many as always. We've tried all these solutions. We did try the DSLR solution and I'm not a very pretty person.

Shelley has a benefit of being a pretty but I'm not, and that DSLR exacerbated every nook and cranny on my face. So

[00:42:52] Shelley Carney: It does that. It's a, they I've heard other women and people complain about it as well when they try the DSLR and they're like, oh yeah, I'm not very happy with that.

[00:43:03] Toby Younis: Especially if you haven't invested in some good lighting.

[00:43:05] Shelley Carney: We have all of our, in the home studio kit, you can find at studio. AGK media.studio, or if you just want to see all the equipment that we recommend and use you can go to store.videotero.com.

And this is basically a place on Amazon where we have idea kits and you can purchase anything from the kits. It will not cost you any extra, but we do get a small commission for directing you to Amazon. So that's a, that's something that you can do. And it's going to show you the exact equipment that we recommend and that we use.

[00:43:43] Toby Younis: So this is studio dot AGK media.studio. And as you can see, it has all the equipment that we've been talking about in here. We change it regularly as new technologies become available to it. We have added our desks in here but you can usually find them at a home Depot if you can't, if you don't want to order them from Amazon, but everything in here is everything that we use.

So you can go to studio. AGK media.studio.

[00:44:12] Shelley Carney: That was it for our slide presentation for today. So why don't you go ahead and close the slides. And we'll move into we talked about where to find our store, another great place to go is women conquer business.com and then go to the tools page.

And if Toby will open that up for us and we'll take another look at it. And when you go to women, conquer biz or women conquer biz.com, then you will get all those options at the top. And one of the links, one of the top navigation bars is tools and you go down the list and Jen's got all of her favorite tools and tech listed.

Anything that you're have a question about, should I use this or that? Which one's better, you can find out what Jen uses. In Jen has exhaustively tested all of these. So she knows what works well for a small business owner, and she's putting it in here and it also shows you her office set up. So if you wanted to see that picture again, it's there and women conquer biz.com on her tools page.

[00:45:16] Toby Younis: Nice easy set up for her.

[00:45:17] Shelley Carney: All right, so let's move into tweak of the week.

Tweak of the week. Abe books. So Toby has a tweak of the week for us today. He's going to tell us about Abe books.

[00:45:32] Toby Younis: I am a bookaholic although I do a lot of reading via or I guess listening via audible I still occasionally want to own a book. And a lot of times, as a matter of fact, I just found a book on there that's way out of print, but I can find it on Abe books.

Abe books is a marketplace of book vendors. So all you have to do is enter the author or the title or the keyword an ISBN and it finds a vendor or vendors of the books that you're looking for. They do sell new books, but the majority of them are there because they sell, they have large collections of used books.

The only thing that you have to be careful of is sometimes when you're going through that list, you don't notice that the vendors in the UK or Germany or Pakistan, I get one vendor in Pakistan regularly. But it's a great place to find any book that you're looking for. If you like the idea of having the book in your hand versus audible.

And as I said, most of my reading. Yeah, quote, reading unquote now comes via audible because I use it in the car and when I'm working out and things like that but if you want that hardbound field, this is a good place to do it. And I found that their pricing is fair. And they priced it based upon the book condition, whether or not it's a first edition, they make all the same things that if you went into any good used bookseller, they would say that one is more expensive than what that copy of the book is more expensive than that one, because it's in better condition or it's a first edition or it's signed and you can check off all those things.

So if you're looking for a first edition or you'd like a signed copy, or you'd like one that's in, mint condition with the cover and things like that, you can state all of that and it will present you options for you. So Abe books, Abe books.com.

[00:47:21] Shelley Carney: Now it's time for our inspirational nugget.

[00:47:27] Toby Younis: That's a nugget isn't it ?

[00:47:28] Shelley Carney: May is stroke awareness month. My mom just had a stroke at the end of March. We've learned a lot. We've learned what, you can do to prevent, what you can do to recover ,signs and symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for. And we've learned what it's like to have somebody in your family who is a victim of stroke and who is recovering from that.

It is exhausting for everybody. It's very emotional and it's very difficult, but there are support groups out there and there's a lot of resources. So make yourself aware. And it's amazing how many people have somebody in their family, or they themselves have suffered a stroke. And, we hear about it.

But we don't know about it until we experience it with ourselves or somebody in our family. But educate yourselves, understand the signs and symptoms, understand how to take care of yourself. I'll have to tell you that it really gave me a brand new appreciation for being able to get up out of bed and walk to the bathroom and use the bathroom and take a shower and brush my teeth and have two hands that work and be able to express myself with the words that I choose.

And how hard it is when you don't have that.

[00:48:50] Toby Younis: It is and can be very difficult. And we've seen that in Shelley going out to care for her mother, where, as she said, she realized that the things that you expect to be your normal facilities after you have a stroke, literally you lose control of the left side of your body, or in some cases, the right side, in Shelley's mom's case, it was the left side.

And again, you don't realize how important those faculties are to you until you can't use them in. And the other thing we noticed about Shelley's mom is it changed her outlook on life. Like she started thinking, this is the end of my life. It's not. Is it going to be more difficult? Yes, we had last night we were talking about it on one of our other shows and we had several people in the program said, yeah, I had mine when I was 55 or I had mine when I was 60. That's very young.

[00:49:41] Shelley Carney: Or my dad had one and I helped him through that or somebody close to them, then that one, and they understand, but it's so common and we just need to understand how to take better care of ourselves. And I want all of you to take really good care of yourself and I don't want that to happen to anybody else.

[00:49:59] Toby Younis: And Shelley was, we would speak every night at the end of the day, as she was helping with her mom. And I'm seven, there's only seven years difference between me and her mom.

And although I do a good job of trying to take care of myself, take my medication and things like that. I decided, you know what, I'm going to lose this weight that I've been trying to lose for, I don't know, 20 years. I know it's been a long time, but I'm getting serious about it and getting better because Shelley's mom has the benefit of having her husband at home.

She has family around. I live alone. If this happens to me, I go into a home is what it boils down to because I'm certainly not going to do this to my children and I'm at the possible age. The important thing too, for you to do is to make sure you take care of yourself and equally. Yep. Lots of sleep, which is not a good thing for me. And exercise and exercise,

[00:50:48] Shelley Carney: All of those things that everybody tells you all the time, start doing it. Don't just say, I know I should. Just do it. Just take one step a day. Start going on a short walk every day. If you're not walking at all, just do a short walk, five minutes.

My brother goes on two walks a day. Even when he's traveling for work, he goes and walks, or he uses the treadmill in the hotel. And, we keep each other accountable. Find yourself an accountability partner, whether that's your spouse, a sibling, parent, a child, find yourself an accountability partner and get to work on a healthy diet and exercise and getting plenty of sleep and take care of yourself.

[00:51:28] Toby Younis: And it is as Shelley mentioned, stroke awareness month, the month of May. And so there's extra effort for the search engines to put in when you put in stroke symptoms or conditions or preventativeness et cetera, you can put that in there and it'll give you some information that's worthwhile.

And I noticed there's lots of YouTube videos on it as well. And the CDC has a whole section dedicated to stroke awareness. There's plenty of information. You don't have any excuse for not knowing about it and do yourself the favor of not waiting until it happens to you or someone close to you. Get the information now so you can do as much as you can from a preventive perspective and then know what to do when it does happen. And I think Shelley's by nature, a generous person and her deciding to move to Arizona for at least two months is an indication of the kind of generosity that we experienced. And we're going to set up a studio for her in her mom's house.

[00:52:27] Shelley Carney: But I'll be there too.

[00:52:28] Toby Younis: For this programming for women conquer business and for the programming that Shelley and I do together she'll still be around. We'll just be in separate locations. And we've done that before. There's been weather situations where she's at home and I'm here and we still do the show.

The technology is available.

[00:52:44] Shelley Carney: We thank you all for being here today, to participate in women conquer business. And we're very grateful for Toby being here today to fill in for Jen while she's on vacation. And we look forward to seeing you again, next week, Jen will be here and we'll have another episode about content creation and why that is something that you need to do for your business

[00:53:05] Toby Younis: and Jen will be back

[00:53:06] Shelley Carney: and Jen will be back. So thank you for being here and we'll see you next week.

[00:53:10] Toby Younis: So I do want to say thank you to Jen for asking me to share this time with Shelley. I hope I did a credible job. I know I'm not exactly a complete fill in for you. But I really enjoyed being on the show and talking with your audience. So thanks for the opportunity. I appreciate it.

[00:53:26]Shelley Carney: Thank you for joining the Women Conquer Business podcast hosted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem. Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the world. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.

Breaking News

Connect with Special CoHost, and Shelley's business partner, Toby Younis

Watching Podcasts: YouTube Edges Out Spotify

For this spring’s Podcast Download Report, Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights decided to include consumers who watch, rather than just listen. Factoring in video-first audiences reveals quite a shift, at least in this study: "YouTube, by a nose, is now the most used podcasting platform in the U.S."

10% of respondents said they only ‘watched’ podcasts in the last week, and 60% of weekly consumers (audio and video) said they prefer podcasts with video. "Podcast watchers" are younger and are likely to be new to the medium.

The report also highlights the "eyes on" advertising attentiveness of podcast watchers. At YouTube’s upfront in New York, the company announced a new ad-frequency capping solution for brands using Google Ads. This could be good news for podcasters already wary of overloading new fans.

Source: Westwood One, Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Download, Spring 2022 Report: Watching Podcasts Soars as YouTube Edges Out Spotify to Become the Most-Used US Podcast Platform and Listeners Prefer Funny and Entertaining Ads to Rational 'Feature/Benefit' Creative, (accessed May 22, 2022).

Tweaks of the Week

Inspirational Nugget

It is Stroke Awareness month. Please educate yourselves on the signs, symptoms and prevention for stroke.

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Jen McFarland

Obsessed with creating solutions that help businesses make exceptional decisions faster. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project innovator. CoFounder, Epiphany Courses. Women Conquer Business Founder.

Shelley Carney

Livestream host, coach, and author. Podcaster and blogger for Messages and Methods and Women Conquer Business.


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