Tips for Building DIY Lighting Setups for Under $100 via The Beat: A Blog by PremiumBeat

Here are some great ideas for upping  your photography and videography lighting quality on the (relatively) cheap using off-the-shelf materials and products. See my link below for an inexpensive lighting kit I purchased a few years ago, too. — Douglas
 

Don’t have enough funds to purchase high-priced lighting kits? Try out using some of these cheaper methods to get your lighting right.

One of the core principles of a skillful shot is the use of good lighting. Here’s the problem, though – lighting equipment can be pretty expensive. When you set up a typical interview shot, you’ll probably use 3 different lights to set your key, back, and fill. Each of those lights can cost around $200 each, which will stretch your budget to more than some people can afford.

Not to worry, though, my wonderful penny pinchers. The folks over at ShareGrid have a few ways to incorporate everyday lighting systems to achieve quality light production by using cheap work lights, foam board, and even Christmas lights.

My inexpensive lighting kit from Amazon


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Samson Go Mic Mobile Review: Wireless Microphones for All! via SomeGadgetGuy

What wireless microphones do you use for your podcasting and video production? Share your gear in the comments!

Oddly enough, I was struggling with some older wireless mics today as I was recording a presentation by my wife. Sometimes this hand-me-down set works well and at other times the audio fades in and out as the presenter moves about the room. It is long beyond time to get a “real” set of wireless mics so I will take a look at this Samson unit as one possibility for replacement? — Douglas

New Media Gear: Spire Studio is a recording studio that fits in your hand via The Verge

 

iZotope is best known for creating mixing and mastering audio software, but a couple weeks ago, I got to check out Spire Studio, the company’s first piece of hardware. Spire Studio is a palm-sized device that musicians can carry with them to record professional-grade multitrack audio anywhere they are.

While there are lots of gadgets on the market for portable recording, most interfaces I’ve seen need to be plugged in to your phone, cater to recording a specific type of instrument, or need lots of dongles. Spire Studio, on the other hand, has a lot of use in a very small footprint, and connects to your phone wirelessly. On the front is a built-in mic and headphone jack, while the back has two XLR/TS combo jacks with Grace Design preamps, another headphone jack, and a 48V phantom power button for powering your own condenser mic. The top of the Spire Studio has recording control buttons, and the option to perform a soundcheck, where it will listen to the audio you’re playing for 10 seconds and then adjust the input levels accordingly. Of course, it all comes with an accompanying app.

New Media Gear: Roland R-07 Audio Recorder via Bless This Stuff

With all the choices audio and video recorders these days, there really isn’t any exceed for getting your New Media project — be they audio podcast or full-fledged video shows — up and running at a level of quality only dreamed about in the past. This Roland R-07 is yet another excellent entry into the market and a great place to start recording whatever you do today! — Douglas
 
 
Your iPhone is pretty handy for making quick audio recordings, but unfortunately, the quality of the recordings isn’t good enough for actual music making. Roland´s new sleek and ultra-portable audio recorder works with iPhone and Apple Watch, allowing wireless listening and remote control. The Roland R-07 gives you the quality of a proper recorder with stereo mics, and the convenience of an iPhone app. But the best feature is that you can control the recorder from your Apple Watch. You can lay the recorder wherever you like, and trigger it from your wrist. For example a guitarist could place it next to an amp speaker, sit down on the other side of the room, and record interesting ideas at will using the remote. 
 

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New Media Gear: DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

The accessory’s main improvement is a better internal battery, said to offer up to 15 hours of video shooting —more than three times what the original Osmo Mobile allowed. The Mobile 2 is also lighter than before, and equipped with a revised button layout, including a built-in zoom slider.

While iPhone video is normally best shot in landscape mode, the Mobile 2 can also be used to shoot in vertical orientation.

Software-based features include subject tracking, panoramas, timelapses, and “Motionlapses,” which are timelapses shot while an iPhone is moving.

Read DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

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New Media Gear: Razer Seiren X Microphone ($100) via Geeky Gadgets

Razer Seiren X Microphone Now Available For $100 via Geeky Gadgets

Razer Seiren X Microphone

As well as launching their new Razer Kiyo streaming camera, Razer has also unveiled a new desktop microphone they have created in the form of the Razer Seiren X which is now available to purchase priced at $99.99

Equipped with supercardioid pick-up pattern to reduce background noise, the new microphone has been designed to complement the new Kiyo web camera which is also now available to purchase priced at $99.99.

Specifications of the Razer Seiren X Microphone :

  • Condenser microphone made for streaming
  • Supercardioid pick-up pattern to reduce background noise
  • Built-in shock mount to dampen vibrations
  • Mute button
  • Zero-latency 3.5 mm headphone monitoring port

 

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New Media Gear: Lavalier Mic Furry Windscreen Muff/Micromuff

New Media Gear: Lavalier Mic Furry Windscreen Muff/Micromuff

Sometimes the simplest needs are the most important needs. I have gotten tired of losing the little foam windscreens that came with my fav mics. One bump and they drop off. If I am shooting in the garden they are often gone forever. Leaf litter is very unforgiving to dropped items. It swallows them up before you can even see where they have dropped.

Looking for a replacement, I decided to go for windscreens that were less likely to drop off and were more effective at blocking wind noise. Again, filming out in the garden with even a small breeze can give my mics trouble, so these muff-type windscreens seemed just the “step up” I needed.

Lav mic muff 1

Lav mic muff 2

I have found these to be very useful in both ways. First, the elastic makes them easy to install and yet they fit tightly enough that there is now way you are going to knock them off the mic. They are also easy to remove, though, so another big advantage.

Second, they do significantly cut down on wind noise as should be expected by their design. In my experience, “Furry” windscreens offer a better method of dissipating wind than any foam windscreen. It also seems to cut down on the noise created should a interview subject happen to brush against them during a recording.

This is a simple yet important and effective upgrade for my podcasting kit. You might find them useful, too!

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What I’m “Driving” Today via Instagram

Zoom h6

What I’m “Driving” Today

Podcast recording underway for client. Interviews and more!

Instagram and Follow

 

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Zoom H5 (and other recorders) from Amazon

More Zoom recorders

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New Media Gear: $20 photo lightbox sure comes in handy via Boing Boing

I often have need to photograph or video objects and this could come in very handy. It is especially useful if you want “knock-out” the object from its background so you can composite it with a different background. — Douglas
This is simply a white plastic box with some very white LED lights and two foam backdrops. There is nothing to it. You can fold it up to the size of a legal pad if you want to put it away, or take it someplace.

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Great Looking Interviews – 2 minute filmmaking tutorial via Tom Antos

I subscribe to Tom Antos’ YouTube Channel and find useful new media information there all the time. Check it out!
Lots of info on setting up a good interview shot even when you are pressed for time and don’t get to choose your locations. — Douglas
See in 2 minutes how I setup an interview that works in any situation. In this video I show 5 different lighting setups.
The project we filmed is a documentary about Canadians soldiers in World War I. It’s produced by Spinning Rabbit Productions. If you’d like to see the finished documentary, please follow their Facebook page.
Great Looking Interviews - 2 minute filmmaking tutorial via Tom Antos
 
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Elgato’s Cam Link turns your DSLR into a souped-up webcam via Engadget

I’ve been thinking about getting one of these so I could use my camcorder with a good lens to live stream bird footage from the garden and other sites. — Douglas
 
Most of the time, I buy cameras for specific purposes. My DSLR exists to capture vacation photos and product shots for Engadget reviews. When I go on hikes or long bike rides, I pull out a GoPro Hero4. For some reason, however, I just can’t bring myself to buy a dedicated webcam for Twitch streaming or YouTube vlogs. I already have a handful of great consumer cameras — shouldn’t I be able to use one of those? In reality, that’s easier said than done: Most cameras simply aren’t designed to push a live feed out to a PC. It’s a problem I’ve spent hours trying to solve, but never did. Then, I heard about the Elgato Cam Link, a USB capture device that can turn any camera with HDMI output into a functional webcam.
 

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News: Zoom Announces F1 Compact Field Audio Recorder via DoddleNews

Zoom Announces F1 Compact Field Audio Recorder

News: Zoom Announces F1 Compact Field Audio Recorder via DoddleNews

As I’ve said before, getting a killer image is only half the equation in filmmaking. But the audio, well, that can be even more important. Audiences can suffer lackluster video, but nobody will put up with bad audio. Zoom continues to refine how we can capture audio in the field with a small field recorder that can use any Zoom microphone attachment to capture even the most intimate sounds.

Called the Zoom F1, the audio recorder is half the size of an iPhone, and can connect to everything from a lavalier microphone, to any of zoom’s 10 pin mic capsule modules that were designed for the modular H6. With them attached, the F1 can record 24bit/96kHz to WAV files or mp3 and write to a standard microSD card for later editing.

Read Zoom Announces F1 Compact Field Audio Recorder

 

The Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces for Your Recording Needs via The Wire Realm

Great overview of the wide variety of computer audio interfaces available and their features. Raise your production levels for your music recording and podcasting. — Douglas
 

So you’re looking to solidify your studio with the best audio interface? To us, this is one of the most important parts of making music and we consider it to be the star on top of the Christmas tree. Without an audio interface, you simply can’t record optimally. Your gear is essentially missing half of its power and capabilities without one of these in your studio. The best audio interfaces help us with sound quality, phantom power and amplification, more overall control of our gear, organization of all of our inputs\outputs into one device, and lastly make the pesky concept of latency disappear. Today we highlight our top 10 audio interface picks available in the market and give you some info to help ease your shopping adventures.

Read The Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces for Your Recording Needs via The Wire Realm


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20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory

20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

I picked one of these up on sale a few months ago and have found a variety of uses for it. It only plans right to left, since it is based on a mechanical timer, but it is a great way to start integrating movement into you time-lapse movies without spending hundreds of dollars on more complex motorized camera sliders. It is cheap enough to just have fun with it.

  • Create 90° degree (15 minutes), 180° degree (30 minutes), 270° degree (45 minutes), 360° degree (60 minutes) sweeping time-lapse films.
  • Create 90° degree, 180° degree, 270° degree, 360° degree panoramic pictures
  • Mount cameras up to 750 grams on the standard 1/4 -20 UNC male tripod screw thread. Perfect for the MUVI HD or other actions cameras with continuous photo mode
  • Standard 1/4 -20 UNC female tripod screw thread for mounting on Veho DuoPod tripod or other tripod systems and integral fold out feet to stabilize and support larger cameras
  • Ships with iPhone/Smartphone holder to enable panoramic time lapse photography using your smartphone with apps such as Time Lapse Pro, Glimpse Pro, Osnap

 

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A Device That Turns Almost Any Camera Into A Webcam via Gizmodo

I have been looking for something like this for a long time — since I lost the ability to directly connect my older camcorder to my computer via Firewire. The Cam Link is an HDMI to USB bridge that plugs directly into your computer. The computer then sees it as a standard webcam input.
 
With all the options available for today for live streaming, I want to set up my camera and use its great, optical zoom to stream the animals and birds in my garden. It seems this would work for Twitch, Facebook and other web-based streaming services and allow me share some of my garden with the world. — Douglas
 
Game capture hardware maker Elgato made streaming a little bit fancier this week with the release of Cam Link, a $129 USB device that allows users to use any camera with an HDMI output as a webcam. Plus it also does game capture. It’s pretty nifty.
 
  • Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action cam to your PC or Mac
  • Go live on any platform in No time thanks to ultra-low-latency technology
  • Broadcast in stunning quality up to 1080P at 60 FPS
  • Shoot and produce within your favorite tools
  • Record footage directly to your Hard Drive without time restrictions

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Even Amateur Filmmakers Can Afford This Tiny Motion Control Camera Rig via Gizmodo

I can foresee some instances where I could make great use of a rig like this, especially for cooking and cocktail videos.— Douglas
 
 

Motion control rigs capable of repeatedly recreating smooth, controlled camera movements usually cost tens of thousands of dollars, and they require trained operators to set up and use. But Edelkrone’s new SurfaceONE costs just $690 and apparently can be configured in just a few minutes using a smartphone app as a remote control.

The rigs used in Hollywood, often for complicated special effect shots that require multiple takes, aren’t going to be replaced by the SurfaceONE anytime soon. Edelkrone’s creation can only move in two-dimensions as it rolls around on a flat surface, the camera itself can’t autonomously tilt or swivel. But thanks to a built-in laser pointer that makes it easier to set up a shot, you can ensure your subject will always be in frame as the camera slowly arcs around it.

New Gear Review: Raspberry USB Microphone from Blue via SonicScoop

Another microphone from Blue which includes compatibility and recording with iPhone and iPads and PCs. — Douglas
 

Blue has created a new USB-powered microphone for podcasters, voice-over actors, and songwriters in need of an on-the-go recording solution.

This new Raspberry mic is their most compact yet, with some new patent-pending technology under its memorable retro-futurist casing.

Features

The Raspberry is a bus-powered cardioid condenser microphone with a built-in headphone amp, featuring A/D conversion at 16 and 24-bits and 44.1 or 48kHz, with Lightning USB connectivity.

Blue has implemented their patent-pending “Internal Acoustic Diffuser” (IAD) technology, a key feature that is meant to set the Raspberry apart from other USB microphones geared toward the podcasting and portable voiceover mic markets.

The IAD technology is much like the acoustic diffusion you might see in a concert hall or recording studio. It has been designed to fit inside the microphone to help minimize the ringy or boxy sound that so often goes along with capturing audio outside of a well-treated professional studio environment. Through this feature, Blue claims the mic should allow for a clearer, more present and more focused-sounding recording, regardless of the limitations of the room itself.

Read New Gear Review: Raspberry USB Microphone from Blue – SonicScoop via SonicScoop


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Timbre is a totally free app for editing video and audio via Android Authority

Another mobile audio/video tool to check out for your new media kit. — Douglas
 

Good audio and video editing tools are somewhat hard to come by on mobile — a sentiment shared by app developer Xeus. The dev was prompted to create the Timbre: Cut, Join, Convert mp3 app after failing to find a “decent” tool for doing the same in the Play Store. And what Xeus has come up with is certainly an effective tool.

Despite the name, Timbre lets you do more than just edit mp3s: you can split and join audio or video, remove sections within a range, and combine files together, as well as remove the sound from your videos or create audio tracks from them.

Read Timbre is a totally free app for editing video and audio via Android Authority


Learn more about podcasting with this book

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Available of the LA Public Library (9 books/1 ebook)


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New-generation animators via Monocle Magazine

 
 
With the success of Pixar came an avalanche of computer-generated animation but not all animators are following the hi-tech pack. Monocle Films travels to the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and southern England in search of storytellers who think outside the computer box. 


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Record Your Project With a “Catapult Tripod” via Hackster’s Blog

With more and more of us doing live streaming and YouTube videos — along with tech projects and other closeup video work — this little DIY “tripod” could be a great item for your toolkit. I know it would come in really handy for me when I am doing an Arduino or Raspberry Pi video and trying to show people how to cook up jumpers to the — for me — tiny IO pins on these boards. Heck, I practically need a magnifying glass when I do it, so anything I can do to help them see it more clearly would be a great benefit Of course, it doesn’t just have to be tech videos. This would be great for painting demos, craft projects and any other small thing that you are trying to demo. — Douglas

Read Record Your Project With a “Catapult Tripod” via Hackster’s Blog


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