I have since upgraded a couple of things and wanted to share an update on how I do things now.
I use a Canon Vixia HF R400 video camera to record and live stream with. I setup this camera and record in camera in 1920 x 1080 px resolution with a medium quality so that my resulting files aren’t too big to upload to YouTube.
HDMI Capture Card Setup
I recently switched from using a TV Tuner Card (Hauppauge WinTV HVR-950Q) to a cheap HDMI capture card. When I ordered this capture card I wasn’t expecting much for $10, but it works perfectly fine for me and doesn’t get hot when I’m using it. Originally I bought it to mirror my camera to a larger display, but then I thought about using it for live streaming.
It is a Uoeos HDMI Capture Card that apparently isn’t available on Amazon anymore.
I recently wanted some better quality audio in my recordings so I naturally asked my cousin who is a musician. He set me up with a USB audio interface and a couple of different microphones and a few XLR cables. Unfortunately the USB audio interface didn’t have a microphone level output that I felt comfortable plugging into my camera. I built a circuit to reduce the audio levels, however I wound up buying a device specifically made to connect an XLR microphone to a camera or smartphone.
XLR to camera Adapter
I needed a device to connect these XLR microphones to my camera which only has a 3.5mm mic jack. So I bought the Comica LinkFlex AD-2. It has a single XLR and 1/4″ Instrument combo jack and can supply 48v phantom power to power condenser microphones. In addition it can change it’s TRRS jack to work with a camera instead of a smartphone with the flip of a switch and it can output audio from the XLR or 1/4″ jack to a headphone jack so you can monitor the audio. Overall it works great for my needs and was priced just right. It’s a shame though that it only runs on a 9v battery. I wish it could be plugged into the wall. I was worried about the battery dying in the middle of the event, however, a fully charged 9v alkaline battery reads about 9.4V. After approximately 45 minutes of use the battery reads about 9.25v. That was with using the 48v phantom power too.
At the last event I used an Audio Technica AT-2021 Condenser microphone that I had borrowed from my cousin. It has a cardioid pickup pattern and is more designed for recording instruments, however I found it worked very well (at least for me) for recording a person speaking.
I recently purchased a stereo matched pair of Behringer C-2 condenser microphones. These also have a cardioid pickup pattern. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but I’m thinking they will sound decent or maybe as good as the more expensive AT-2021. I’m a bad tester for that though with my low frequency hearing loss.
Plug for Sweetwater Music Store: This store was recommended to me by my uncle and I can’t say enough good things about the store. I made my order and they had a sales engineer (who has tons of experience and training in audio production and training on products) contact me by phone. I didn’t answer the phone because I didn’t recognize the number. The sales engineer left me a voicemail and sent me a text message to follow up with me about my order. He said he was always available if I had questions or just wanted to chat about anything audio or equipment. When I received my order I also got a Sweetwater logo sticker and a bag of a candy as a thanks for my order. This is a company that values their customers and will go above and beyond to help you out. They also pack their items extremely well. I’d give them 10 out of 5 stars if I could! I am not affiliated with them in any way; I’m just a very satisfied customer.
To connect the microphone to the camera interface, I’m just using a cheap MCSProAudio XLR Cable I found on Amazon. I bought a 50 foot cable thinking it would be long enough, but definitely should have bought a 100 foot cable. The 50 foot cable worked fine, I just had to connect another cable to it.
To connect the camera to the HDMI Capture Card I the HDMI cable that came with the camera.
OBS Setup & Settings
I use Open Broadcaster Software to stream to the student organization’s Facebook page.
I’m rescaling the output to 1280 x 720 px and sending it to Facebook with a Constant Bit Rate (CBR) of 2500 Kbps as seen below.
In the video settings tab, I set the base canvas resolution to 1280 x 720 px as well as the output resolution and set the frame rate to 29.97 FPS as seen below.
HDMI Capture Device Settings
In the “Sources” panel I have the resolution of the HDMI capture card set to 1280 x 720 px.
In the “Advanced Audio Properties” screen of the HDMI Capture Card’s settings (in the “Audio Mixer” panel) I have the HDMI capture card’s “Audio Monitoring” setting set to “Monitor AND Output”. This setting has caused me issues previously where I have forgotten to click the setting with output otherwise it won’t send audio to the live stream. I use this setting to monitor the audio I’m getting through the HDMI Capture Card.
I check the audio levels on the camera and adjust the Comica LinkFlex AD-2’s gain control to get the audio level right in the camera, then I adjust the audio level in OBS to get the right audio level output for the live stream. I typically monitor the audio level through OBS on my laptop so I know what the audio sounds like on the live stream.