Creating Your Studio

Creating Your Cheap YouTube Studio

If you have come to the realization that your home environment is not a suitable location to film at due to distractions, interruptions, etc. Then this guide will hopefully help you with deciding what equipment you will need to have ready, while also helping you decide how much space you will need for it.

Equipment You Will Need

Digital Stills Camera: You can get away using almost anything for this, even your cellphone will work. The higher the resolution the better quality you can get for pictures. But lighting plays a large factor in this.

Digital Video Camera: Almost every video camera will have a recording time limit on them. Usually between 20-30 minutes max. This is done to limit importation taxes paid by the manufacturer when bringing them into the country. You will need to be aware of this so you can plan out your recordings properly. Panasonic, Canon, Nikon are all great companies that make cameras.

Computer: The better your computer hardware is the better your time will be spent. You do not need to have some $2500 computer but if you are using a computer from the days of Windows XP expect to have problems. Editing large videos will eat up the RAM (Memory) and slow the system down. I would consider 8GB RAM minimum but would recommend 16GB or more.

Hard Drives: You will be needing to have vast amounts of data storage when dealing with video footage. I would recommend using at least 1TB drive just for your work drive. You will need to have enough space for the RAW file, then also have space for each version you work progresses, and finally enough space to allow the final export to work.

Media Cards: Your cameras will require SD Cards for everything. If you are at a trade show or convention you do not want to only have a single 8GB SD card. Expect to have 5 or more 32GB or 64GB cards.

Microphone: You will need multiple different microphones depending on what your doing, Such as shotgun microphones for doing direct interview recordings, Condenser microphones for doing more open area recordings, etc.

Microphone Stand: Depending on the usage you are going for, expect to purchase a desktop style microphone stand, a boom style stand.

Pop Filter: These help to keep unwanted sounds from when you speak from being recorded.

Web Camera: Expect to spend $60 or more at least for a quality camera. I use a Logitech C920 HD web camera.

Tripods: Unless you are planing to film big budget movie (which this guide would be pointless in following since you are already a millionaire) do not buy those $200 or more tripods you are just wasting your money. You can buy cheap Targus brand tripods for under $40 that will work perfectly for you. Buy one for each camera you plan to use at a time.

Lights: For starting out I used simple clamp lights from Harbor Freight for $10, Drop lights with 25ft power cable $15, LED work lights for $18, or Dual Halogen lights for $25. These will work perfectly for just starting out.

Storage: A simple solution for starting out is to buy those large storage bins and towels to wrap the items inside of. Expect to pay at least $5 a bin with lids. Once you get more money you can then start to buy proper storage cases that have inserts to hold each item securely. Then you can reuse the old storage bins for holding your extension cables, etc

Software You Will Need

Video Editor: Use what ever editing application you are comfortable using, I am currently learning OpenShot since it is a freeware application.

Audio Editor: I prefer to use Audacity for all my audio needs, but once again use anything you are comfortable using already.

Image Editor: Many people will tell you that you MUST use photoshop and that is a bold faced lie, Many applications exist that do everything you will need. Personally I use a application called G.I.M.P. it is a freeware image editor that can do almost everything that photoshop can do (can not open CMYK psd files). Without costing you a fortune for the application since it is free, they also allow you to use it for business usage without having to purchase a license. A trick for opening those pesky CMYK based psd files is to convert the file using an online editor such as so that G.I.M.P. can use the file.

Streaming Application: The most powerful and configurable one is Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS). This application is free to use and is available on Linux, Windows, and Mac. You will need to learn how to use it.

Codecs for Audio & Video
Avid Quicktime Codecs LE

Links for Bonus stuff
Google Nik Collection
Media Militia artwork media files

Benchmarking Software
Unigine Benchmarking