A Gear Starter Pack to Record Online Courses in a Budget
In order to produce high-quality recordings for lessons and webinars of your online course, you should consider investing in a set of equipment that can benefit you in the long run. If it is your first time creating an online course, there is no need to worry!
Your gear can be within budget yet still give your course a noticeable upgrade in quality. An average investment of $100 in each of the below devices can guarantee to set you off on the right track.
Here is a set of basic gear that can get you up and running quickly.
Audio is a very important component that can make or break the outcome of your course. Therefore, it is a no-brainer to invest into a quality microphone. Luckily, audio quality is one of the most affordable solutions that can greatly improve the quality of your content.
Microphones are divided into two types, dynamic microphones and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones give your voice a warm quality, hence they are often used for recording podcasts. On the other hand, condenser microphones make you sound clear, crisp and natural. This characteristic gives condenser microphones an edge over dynamic microphones when it comes to recording online lectures with clarity being the most important criterion.
A simple USB microphone that you can easily plug into your computer can do the trick. Portable, light, and affordable - everything you need for a beginner-friendly microphone. Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti microphones come with good reviews and they are commonly used in teleconferencing or video recording. These microphones are ideal for amateurs in a home setting because of the easy set-up and affordable price tag. However, you should try to minimize background noise as these microphones can pick up the noise easily.
As an additional tool for a better sound quality, a pop-filter is a mesh typically made of nylon or metal. Using a pop filter can also save you stress as it helps to reduce the popping sound and breathing noise while you record the audio.
For starters, you can sit yourself facing a large window on a sunny day in order to let sunlight filter in and give a natural ambience in your videos. Try filming at the same time of the day so the lighting is consistent throughout different recording sessions.
If you want to dabble with professional lighting, you can try a two-point setup, which consists of a key light to spot on you, and a fill light to cast the light on the shadows surrounding you. The key light is the brightest light in the set as it serves as the chief source of illumination for the main subject. Meanwhile, the fill light is only half as bright as a key light as it serves as a supplementary light. It works to eliminate shadows and gives your surroundings a softer and more balanced ambience.
Setting up a three-point lighting system can make the visuals in your video notably more appealing. and the backlight behind you in order to create depth and glow. You can buy a softbox lighting kit if you want to fill the light into a larger room.
Several points of lighting tools that you can choose from are ring lights, desk lamps, paper lanterns or tabletop studio lights. The key is to have a source of continuous lighting with genuine and natural colors. For instance, Emart 60 LED Continuous Portable Photography Lighting Kit is small, portable and easy to set up on your desk.
LEDs can also be used for background ambience. You should consider the consistency of different lighting components in order to get the best effects. Testing and retesting your lighting environment ensures that you will know what works in order to replicate it in the future.
If you already possess a smartphone released in recent years, you can already start filming yourself as the quality of most recent smartphone models is sufficient for filming.
You can choose to upgrade to cameras in case you have a budget for filming devices. Cameras can be either small and affordable point and shoot cameras, or larger and more expensive DSLRs. For convenient USB cameras that you can plug into your computer, you can start off with Logitech C922 Pro or Logitech StreamCam. Several DSLRs that you can try getting your hands on are Canon 70D, Canon Rebel t5, Canon SL1, and Canon 5D Mark 3.
A small tripod can assist you in finding the best angle for filming. As it is likely that you will record your courses in an indoors office setting, you can place a tripod on your desk, such as a Joby GorillaPod.
When you choose a camera, it is wise to take into account the resolution, field of view, and the quality of the built-in microphone. You should choose a webcam with at least a 1080p resolution. In case you have a higher budget to spare and/or need to concentrate on the visuals of your course recordings, you can upgrade the resolution to be 4k.
Typically, webcams already come with a built-in microphone, which is sufficient for audio recording in regular indoors settings. However, if possible, you can choose to aim for a stereo microphone as it mimics the way our ears capture the sound. It gives your recording a more natural sound and offers myriad possibilities for multi-purpose recording.
With the basic set-up of online teaching equipment as the above, you are ready to record your course! The next step is to harness the tools that Senseily can offer. You can start to upload your course, market to the right target learners, and earn a steady stream of income from your hard work.
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