I’m planning to start streaming Livesets on twitch and Youtube.
Due to a space problem and not having the possibility of having a dedicated room fitted out accordingly, I would like to film my sets from above the decks/players (overhead).
I’ve seen quite a few DJs on youtube use this type of shot, such as @djliquidice
What do you use to film from above as camera, arm and camera/smartphone support and lighting ring for the camera support?
I’d just like to point out that I don’t have the space to put a stand on, so I absolutely need an overhead mounting device that can be fixed to a work surface and is high enough, ideally more than 1 metre above the work surface.
Can you recommend any references for these different types of equipment?
There is a metric ton of “it depends” when setting up a lighting & camera rig for recording / streaming and lots of things to consider.
I would suggest 3 points of light at minimum to reduce shadows. I use two really cheap 5V USB-powered Ring Lights for my front: https://www.amazon.com/Streaming-Dimmable-Photography-Shooting-Brightness/dp/B07Q3471S2 and a colored light for my front.
Sounds like a telescopic mount would be ideal for your setup. https://www.amazon.com/Selens-Overhead-Mounting-Softbox-Reflector/dp/B09GBGD2SH
As far as camera, this is a huuuuuge topic for discussion. If you’re just looking to stream, a Canon EOS M100 is an excellent choice. I have used one as a professional webcam for > 3 yrs now and it’s pretty rock solid, doesn’t use much power, does a fantastic job in relatively low light and has great auto focus if you need/want it. I have this camera connected via a Micro HDMI to HDMI cable → An El Gato HDMI Capture device capable of capturing 1080p @ 60fps.
Don’t forget to think about power and video cable routing when planning your rig. Mounting stuff on the ceiling is awesome, up until you realize that you have to figure out how to route cables .
----- Now for my setup ------
My requirements were pretty “over the top”:
- Ability to record 3 (or more) angles. (I use 4 cameras)
- Record in 4K
- Excellent low light capability
- Record in LOG (For custom color grading)
- Ability to customize the rig with camera lenses
- Output “clean” video via HDMI (Means without UI components).
Wiring for all of this has been a pain in the for a lot of reasons, but I somehow got it all to work.
Here’s a shot where you see most of my cameras and two out of the 3 lights.
Here’s a high-level wiring diagram. It’s mostly complete.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much @djliquidice for sharing all this informations, I really appreciate it.
Regarding the camera, it seems that the Canon EOS M100 is no longer manufactured. Do you know the current model it has been replaced by?
Initially I’m thinking of trying out the camera on my smartphone, but I think I’m going to have to look at another solution very quickly and consider a camera with a wide angle and capable of broadcasting at least in 1080p 60 fps.
A wall-mounted telescopic arm would indeed be a solution, but the arm you’re using in your photo seems to be just what I’m looking for as it simply attaches to a work surface and seems articulated.
The only difference is that in your configuration, the arm is fixed on a platform that is higher than the work surface where the decks are located, so you gain a bit of height, which won’t be the case for me. Could you nevertheless give me some details about the camera arm you use ? What type of arm is it? And how high is it? Can it also be wall-mounted?
IMO you don’t need 4K or even 1080. The picture quality/clarity/focus is more important than the resolution. I stream at 720 despite my equipment being capable of more and having a lightning fast full fibre connection. Higher res is just overkill IMO.
I don’t use anything special in terms of lighting either.
I know streamers who use phone cameras or basic webcams without issue.
No real need to have multiple cameras either, or any flashy graphics or overlays. Some of the top name streamers have a single camera and no on screen distractions.
Some folks even stream without a camera, just using the video output of their DJ software.
Elgato make lots of streaming accessories, including the Multi Mount system.
The M200 is the newest model from what I can tell.
The Elgato “Master mount S Extension Arm” may be what you need (and is what I use on my workstation).
You can extend it with the flex arm kit to have better articulation.
The only issue with these is that any wobble in your table will be absolutely visible in your stream.
You’ll also need a phone clamp to mount to your desk arm.
Use of your phone will be great (just use a phone clamp) as long as you can get a proper clean HDMI signal out (and power to it). Another thing to worry about when using phones is you’ll need to activate it using the touch screen every time you start it, which can be a PITA, hence the suggestion to use the EOS M100. The one i use on my workstation stays on 24x7 and rarely needs to be restarted.
Another thing to think about is that every time you touch your phone to start it, you create the opportunity to mis-align the shot.
Because the cameras i use are heavy, I use a manfrotto tripod with an extension arm using a lot of counter weight.
@PKtheDJ is on to something when it comes to resolution. Your bandwidth needs to be able to support 1080p @ 60fps. I have a GigE fibre to my home, yet I only stream at 1080p @ 30fps.
I would suggest starting out simple as PK was alluding to and work your way up as you figure out the whole streaming thing, which is its own set of hairballs to deal with. OBS is not the most user friendly, and when you begin to layer on the various customization options to your stream, it all gets really complicated very quickly.
Your bandwidth needs to support the resolution at which you decide to stream. It doesn’t need to be 1080p or 60FPS.
There’s plenty of info online re the bandwidth required for various resolutions.
Bear in mind that it’s the upload speed which is important, as even with full fibre, some providers will give you high download speed but throttle the upload speed.
Mine’s the same both ways:
You’ve actually raised a point that I hadn’t thought about regarding the possible visible wobbles in the video stream with an arm fixed to the work surface, especially as I’m also planning to include vinyl decks and I’m often in the habit of making a few “baby scratches” to start a track. And you’re also right about having to realign the shot every time I want to do a stream, as the phone won’t necessarily be permanently in place. Only the stand with the ring and the light ring to illuminate the decks will be.
Perhaps a wall mount would be more appropriate.
As far as bandwidth is concerned, I did a speedtest and obtained the following results:
Ping: 10 ms
Download: 283.85 Mbps
Upload: 276.67 Mbps
I have a 1 Gbps fiber connection but I’d have to use wifi (5Ghz) because the fiber box is in a different room from where I’d be streaming and it’s not possible to run a Lan cable. However, I think my wifi connection is quite stable and the signal is quite strong. So I think it should work.
I built my DJ booth custom and I didn’t account for the fact that I would be pushing to make it wobble. It is a heavy duty electric (rising) desk stand with a solid core 36" wood door on the top. I only realized that it wobbles with video after affixing a GoPro (pretty good choice for camera, has it’s own challenges with streaming, etc…) using the Elgato arm. This caused me to put the current cameras on a tripod with the extension arm.
I actually purchased this wall mount but haven’t installed it because routing power to my camera (non-standard connector) is a PITA and I am too lazy at the moment to get an extension cable. For many of these wall/ceiling mount, you’ll need a movable head similar to something like this.
@PKtheDJ has some valid points and I think he’s right about starting out small. It might be best to get a good 1080p webcam with a wide field of view and see how that works for you.
Your bandwidth seems more than good enough and one thing to consider is that Wifi is susceptible to interruption, and I recognize that wired is not an option. The 5Ghz band (smaller wavelength, less energy) is best for close connections with as little obstacles as possible.
I had the same situation as you and learned that you can get a device that plugs into your power outlets and uses your electric wiring to give you LAN-like speeds and can (arguably) more reliable than Wifi. These devices require that your outlets all connect to the same breaker box (likely the case) and I’ve run these Netgear “Powerline” devices from the 2nd floor of my house to the basement (where the switch is that connects to the router) and they rarely had issues. On occasion, they had to get rebooted (unplug / plug back in), but that’s the case with most software driven things these days.
Also on the bandwith front, i had an issue w/ my show yesterday where streaming to mixcloud was not working at 720p @ 30pfs with 3500Kbps bit rate and I had to bring it down to 1500Kbps. Any of the speed tests showed over 800Mbps upstream, so I was so confused. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work.
So yeah, I would say start out small and build your way up. =)
Hope this all helps.
Seems I’ve got an issue with my fibre speed at the moment, as it was only after Gaian posted 283.85 Mbps that I realised my earlier check was 10x slower than it should’ve been.
[later] OK that’s weird. I’m only getting around 95Mbps on my wired connections, but just tried my phone via wifi and it’s over 700Mbps.
Aha! Rebooted my tp-link switch and all is cured.