Balanced setup

This set up is relatively easy to set up as the majority of equipment will be 'plug and play', and once it's going it will not likely need tinkering.

A middle ground between simplicity and quality is going to be the right solution for the majority of businesses: striking the balance between equipment that provides a good level of audio visual quality while maintaining ease of use for your instructors is important.

Laptop, Webcam & Wireless Microphone

While the internal webcam on your laptop is likely not particularly good quality, modern external webcams can offer a vast amount of features that give other solutions a run for their money. Where a webcam excels is in its simplicity - often, the webcam will be set up automatically when you plug it in, and no extra software, cables, or adapters will be needed. Combining this with a high-quality wireless microphone to capture your voice no matter where you are in the studio, you'll have a great quality live stream class without the fuss of a Premium setup.

Equipment Needed

    • Laptop computer (Windows or Mac)
    • USB Webcam
      • Suggested: Logitech Brio Pro ~£220, Logitech C930e ~£120, Logitech C920 ~£90
      • Suggested tripod: Amazon Basics, ~£25
    • Wireless microphone
      • Suggested: RODE Wireless GO, ~£160
      • Recommended add-on: RODE Lavalier GO Microphone, ~£60 (Note: any microphone with a 3.5mm TRS output can be used with the RODE Wireless GO)
    • Mixer (Note: if your laptop does not have a microphone input, you will need to use a mixer)
      • Suggested: JUST MIXER 2 Audio Mixer ~£49.99
    • Speakers
    • Suggested: JVC XS-D629BM ~£70, Creative T100 ~£10

      bal_1

    Advantages

    Relatively simple setup; great sound quality no matter where you are in the studio, good video quality in a well lit studio; can play music over live stream via Zoom; equipment is mostly 'plug and play', and will not require any extra software/adapters

    Disadvantages

    Studio will need to be well-lit in order to get the most out of the camera; Not portable - more suited to permanent setup

    Setup and usage

    Video set up could not be easier - if you purchase a recommended tripod, the webcam will easily mount on top of the tripod, and then you just plug it in to the USB port on your laptop.

    Audio set up, while a little more complex, is still fairly straightforward. First off, you'll need to check if your laptop has a 3.5mm microphone input. You'll want to spend some time testing out sound levels to ensure that the sound is clear for both online and physical participants.

    • If your laptop has a 3.5mm microphone input: If using lavalier microphone, attach to instructor and plug into transmitter; receiver output plugs into laptop via 3.5mm microphone input; plug speakers into laptop to use for live stream participants voices; Laptop plays music digitally over live stream as well as physically via speakers
    • If your laptop does not have a 3.5mm microphone input: If using lavalier microphone, attach to instructor and plug into transmitter; receiver output plugs into mixer; mixer plugs into laptop via USB, adjust levels on mixer to achieve desired sound levels; plug speakers into laptop to use for live stream participants voices; Laptop plays music digitally over live stream as well as physically via speakers


    Music setup: You can play music directly over live stream via Zoom using a program such as Spotify, and use your speakers to play the music in the studio to in-person participants. 

    What about Bluetooth headphones?

    If you'll not be running an omni-channel class - in that you'll not have physical participants in the class with you, just live stream attendees - you may opt to swap out the microphone and speakers for wireless headphones. Just check for compatibility with your laptop.

    Equipment Needed

    • Laptop computer (Windows or Mac)
    • USB Webcam
      • Suggested: Logitech Brio Pro ~£220, Logitech C930e ~£120, Logitech C920 ~£90
      • Suggested tripod: Amazon Basics, ~£25
    • Bluetooth headphones
      • Suggested: Apple Airpod Pro ~£190, Jabra Elite Active 65T ~£130

    bal_2-1

    Advantages

    Relatively simple setup; good sound quality no matter where you are in the studio, good video quality in a well lit studio; can play music over live stream via Zoom; equipment is mostly 'plug and play', and will not require any extra software/adapters

    Disadvantages

    Studio will need to be well-lit in order to get the most out of the camera; Not portable - more suited to permanent setup; may not be able to play music in the room as audio from the laptop will be played via your Bluetooth headphones

    Setup and usage

    Video set up could not be easier - if you purchase a recommended tripod, the webcam will easily mount on top of the tripod, and then you just plug it in to the USB port on your laptop. Audio set up is straightforward too - you'll need to put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and then on your computer's Bluetooth settings select your headphones. You'll need to set your headphones as both your computer's speaker and microphone, and double check this setting in Zoom also.