Whether you’re just starting a gaming youtube channel, or you’ve been creating content for years, it’s always a good idea to keep updated with the most recent tech that’s on the market.
Now, the thing about technology is the fact that not absolutely everything is necessary and you may actually have some preferences.
I, for example, don’t like using USB microphones like the Yeti. Instead, I’m someone who prefers using an audio interface and being able to swap out whatever mic I need to use.
A big reason for this is because I also record music, so the Yeti (or any USB microphone) isn’t really an ideal microphone for me.
So, the following is a breakdown of some of the equipment you may want, what some of the different price points are and some of the aspects that will help you make your decision.
There are two different types of microphones on the market these days. These are USB Microphones as well as XLR Microphones which will need an audio interface.
As mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of USB Microphones, just because of the type of work that I do and the range I have in my voice.
Not only that, dependant on the type of USB microphone you have, you may not have full control over the settings of your mic unless you have third-party software.
I like being in control of everything manually so I can easily replace pieces when necessary, rather than having to replace the whole device.
So before I talk your head off about microphones, since I love them so much, here’s some of the equipment you’re going to be running into.
USB Microphone, Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone
Good microphones don’t have to cost a lot, especially if you’re just starting out.
The Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone has a crisp sound quality, the only thing is as a product it’s not that durable.
If you’re someone who isn’t all in when it comes to streaming or using a microphone, I would recommend starting with this mic since it’s not that big of an investment. If it’s handled well and is not dropped it should hold you a few years until you want to invest in a more serious microphone.
The cons of this microphone include the fact that it’s going to pick up extra ambient noise. And due to the plastic body, the microphone will not sound as warm as you may want it to.
You can edit the EQ of the microphone to fix this, however, this may not be an option while streaming which shouldn’t be too much of a concern anyways.
The microphone features a volume gauge on the side. This gauge can also act as a “mute” however, unlike some other USB microphones, this microphone does not have a true mute on it.
This microphone works on the PS4 and can be attached to a microphone stand.
BLUE Condenser Microphone
The BLUE Condenser Microphone is by far the most popular microphone on the market and has been for years.
The thing about microphones is that they don’t really change and so once you buy a microphone you’re pretty much good to use it for decades until you either get bored of it or break it.
My family has passed down a BLUE Condenser Microphone for the past 7 years. At this point, I’m pretty sure it’s onto the 4th owner and is still delivering the same results.
The BLUE Condenser Microphone is one of the most affordable USB microphones that comes out with good, medium-warmth quality without having to EQ anything.
It’s especially popular for Twitch streamers because it has a manual mute button on the side of it, making it easy for you to mute if something doesn’t go as planned.
You also have the option to use the microphone as a monitor. You can do this by plugging your headphones into a 3.5″ jack, which will deliver only your voice into the headphones.
You do have the option to send the sound into the microphone so you can hear yourself and the desktop audio.
Think of this microphone as the cheap and durable audio interface + microphone combined.
The only downfall to this microphone is the fact that you’re still unable to fully tamper with all of your sound settings. In essence, all of your sounds are on one dial and while you can tamper with everything on your desktop, it’s not completely ideal, especially if you are serious about making videos.
This microphone comes it’s own stand, though it can be attached to a third-party stand.
Note: In my experience, this microphone works better with higher-pitched voices as it does not have the build to support deeper sounds.
~*MY CHOICE FOR MICROPHONE*~
I sometimes feel like Audio-Technica is an underappreciated company.
I’ve been using Audio-Technica microphones since I was 16 and honestly, for the price-point, I feel like they can’t really be beaten.
I initially used the Audio-Technica AT2020 USBi microphone when I was first learning to produce music, but truthfully I wouldn’t recommend it now that I have the standard microphone and an audio interface.
What makes the Audio-Technica microphone one of my favourites is the way that it makes the voice sound.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 doesn’t pick as much background noise as the previous two mics as it’s not nearly as sensitive as the other microphones.
Due to the fact that this microphone is well built, it makes the voice sound extremely warm and if you soundproof your room this microphone will last you years before you will want a new one.
Anything above this quality of the microphone is going to be about preference.
Again, while the USBi mic was pretty nice, I would choose the BLUE microphone over it because of the functionality, even though the sound is much better from the AT2020 USBi.
This microphone will need a microphone stand as well as an XLR cable.
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
If you’re ready to drop a pretty penny on your equipment and don’t want to do much work editing the sound or soundproofing your room, this is the microphone for you.
Truthfully, as much as I would love to have the Shure SM7B be part of my regular setup, it’s just not necessary. With simple editing skills, you can make cheaper microphones sound just as good.
The Shure microphone will make sure that your voice is always heard and does a pretty good job when it comes to compressing screaming.
It’s developed with the intention of being able to record music and can even be used to record speakers or amplifiers.
This makes the Shure microphone the most versatile microphone on the list.
This microphone will need a microphone stand as well as an XLR cable.
There are three different types of microphone stands out there.
All microphones will be able to attach to all the microphone stands, or you can purchase a universal caddy
The regular microphone stand, which you would commonly see a pop singer use. It stands up straight and would be extremely uncomfortable to use as a streamer.
|The second type of microphone stand is the one that I prefer. It’s called a boom stand.
This is a microphone stand that has an arm attached to it so the microphone can hang in front of you, but still give you access to your keyboard.
It is freestanding, making it easy to move around based on what your needs are.
|The last type is also a boom stand, though it attaches to your desk.
The only reason I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of stand is that it doesn’t allow you to record if you’re sitting somewhere that isn’t your desk.
Having a freestanding microphone stand allows you to take your stand to the couch for when you’re recording some console games.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools
There’s absolutely no reason why you wouldn’t choose a Focusrite Scarlett.
The only thing you’re going to have to make a decision between is if you’re going to get the Focusrite Scarlett Solo with one input, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with two inputs or the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 which has four inputs.
I would recommend getting either the solo or the 2i2.
It comes in handy to have at least two inputs, especially if you grow as a streamer or content creator. This will ensure that you can plug some extra mics in if you have a guest collaboration.
I don’t really think that the 18i8 would ever come in handy, especially because you can easily swap out your regular mics for some overheads.
Your regular mics with more gain should work fine though, as long as there aren’t too many people.
It blows my mind how cheap webcams have become and how high quality they are.
You won’t need a DSLR to record the highest quality videos, especially if you are looking at focussing on creating content that is predominantly face-cam and not vlogging.
If you do have a DSLR, great, you can also use that as a webcam, though setup can be a bit trickier dependant on what kind of computer and camera you have.
Jelly Comb Computer Webcam
Similar to microphones, webcams don’t need to be expensive to be good.
There’s nothing really special to this webcam. It’s fairly standard and shoots in 1080P
The Jelly Comb computer webcam is an easy setup webcam that allows you to rotate the camera a full 360° and also tilt the camera by 180° when it is mounted.
Full 1080P Webcam, Auto Focus Computer Camera, Face Cam with Dual Microphone
Unless you’re going to use the microphones on the webcam the Jelly Comb Computer Webcam should be good to go.
This webcam has a few cool features such as facial enhancements and has two microphones instead of one. This gives the impression that this microphone records in stereo, which not many webcams do, however, many standalone mics do.
This camera has an autofocus function and shoots in Full HD 1080P.
I can also be rotated 360°.
~*MY CHOICE FOR WEBCAM*~
HD Webcam 1080p With Privacy Shutter, Pro Streaming Web Camera With Dual Microphone
This webcam is a very fair priced webcam that shoots in Full HD 1080P and has the added bonus of having a built-in privacy shutter.
This webcam, similar to the previous, includes autofocus, light correction and also has two microphones.
I will say, I have seen a few not so great reviews that say that there are some kinks in the camera. Though, the same reviews state that they were sent replacements that worked with 0 issues.
So, if you’re willing to wait a bit longer, I think this one is worth it considering the perks and the price.
Vitade 960A USB Pro Computer Web Camera
This is pretty much the overkill of webcams, but it’s great for folks like me who don’t have great lighting in their offices.
I currently have two lamps and the ceiling light on and I still feel like it’s too dark. Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I just don’t have the right setup.
The Vitade 960A USB camera has a builtin ring light that will make sure that you are always properly lit. The light can be adjusted to 3 different levels and has a touch sensor.
Similar to the cameras above, this camera has light correction and autofocus and should not have any issues with brightness.
It also shoots in Full HD 1080P
If you are hoping to stream games that are being played on a console, chances are you’re going to need a capture card.
Capture cards are devices that send video signals from external devices to the computer they are plugged into using an HDMI connection. Capture cards can be used to both record video as well as stream video.
It’s important that you get a good quality capture card as slower capture cards have been known to cause latency when streaming or may drop FPS while recording videos.
I will only be mentioning capture cards from the two companies I actually have had experience with.
Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S
The most basic capture card you’re going to want to get.
It supports 1080p, though the max bitrate isn’t the greatest. It sits at 40 Mbps.
This capture card is definitely a good start for streamers who aren’t looking for the highest quality streams.
~*MY CHOICE FOR CAPTURE CARD*~
Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro
Unlike the HD60 S which is a standalone device, this capture card needs to be installed into your computer.
For that reason, it’s extremely important that you check the specs and make sure that your computer supports it.
The main difference between the two is that the HD60 PRO has an H.264 Encoder.
This Capture card also have a maximum bitrate at 60 MBps.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro
If you’re going to take gaming extremely seriously, this is the capture card you’re going to want to go for.
It shoots in 1080p as well as 2160p, making it one of the sharpest quality capture cards out there.
It does not have a H.264 Encoder, similar to the HD60 S.
It does, however, have a maximum bitrate at 140 Mbps.
MOKOSE USB3.0 HDMI/SDI Video Capture Card for Windows
Can capture a single channel HD or SDI
Input and Output 1080p/60 Hz
USB 3.0 & USB 2.0
Automatically detects all resolutions and does not require installation, though firmware can be updated using a USB
So Gamers, I’m curious, what equipment do you use? How do you like it? Let me know in the comments below.
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