Make your Twitch streaming easier with some new equipment for your streaming setup.
Twitch is a competitive spaceand often times you only have a few moments to get a new viewer to stick around for your stream. At this point I assume you already have everything set up with your streaming software (My Choice Being Streamlabs OBS) and are just looking to improve your Twitch streaming setup.
The products below will help you conduct a better and higher quality stream. These are tried and proven as some of the most popular accessories for the biggest streamers and anyone looking to stay at the top of their game as a streamer. This post will guide you through the more “prosumer” equipment for streaming. Sure you could get a cinema camera, top studio microphone and a director, but everything listed here is a step or two below that.
1. Microphone – It’s not 2011 Xbox Live anymore
If you’ve seen more than a handful of the bigger streamers, you will notice the Shure SM7B is very prevalent and for a very good reason. It’s an incredible dynamic microphone which will isolate your vocals and keep most of the background noise out. Whilst the microphone is great, you can’t just plug this in to any powered USB interface on the market. This microphone is power hungry and would benefit from a Cloudlifter to give you some extra clean gain.
My prefered alternative to the SM7B, admittedly not as aesthetically pleasing, is the ElectroVoice Re20. There is no clear winner between the two, you will have to give both of them a listen and decide for yourself. The RE20 also benefits from the Cloudlifter.
Dynamic microphones are not for every stream. If you want to be a bit further away from your microphone or you have one microphone for multiple peope, then a condenser microphone is what you’re after.
My recomendation here is the Rode NT1 for it’s very good sound quality and low noise level at 4.5dBA of self-noise. Whilst this microphone will pick up your keyboard presses and any noise in the vicinity of your streaming room, it makes you sound more natural than a dynamic microphone.
2. Webcam/Camera – Smile, You’re On Camera!
There’s no denying that a webcam helps with engagement when it’s comes to livestreaming. Most webcams are okay if you’re sticking to a small window in a corner of your content. If you have any scenes where your webcam is taking up most of the screen, then having a good quality webcam can be nice.
The Logitech C920 is the most famous webcam in the world right now. It offers the best quality for the price for over 8 years. It retails at £90 here in the UK, but is often on sale for around £55. If you are patient enough towait for a special sale then I grabbed mine for £28.99 from Amazon UK. Getting one second hand is also an option.
Logitech has recently launched a new webcam targeted for streamers. The C922 they brought out a few years ago wasn’t enough of an upgrade to recommend, and this new product is a better recommend than their 3+ year old Logitech BRIO. The all new Logitech StreamCam is an upgrade in almost every way. The auto balancing of the settings on the StreamCam are proving to be much smarter and subtle in transistion compared to the C920 and even the BRIO. The main selling point is the new axis which allows you to switch it to portrait mode, but I don’t see that being very useful, and it’s not something I have ever seen asked for.
I would still recommend the C920, it just doesn’t make sense to get any other webcam for the price. It has the same field of view as the StreamCam at 78 degrees, but smaller than the BRIO which is a 90 degree field of view.
Other Camera Options
Now if you’re not looking for webcam quality and want something more, here’s what I recommend. If you have a DSLR or video camcorder with decent specs laying around, you can actually use that as a webcam fairly easily. Buying the Elgato Cam Link 4K will allow you to use almost any DSLR or video camera as a webcam. It’s not cheap, but it makes things easy and it works well.
I am not going to sit here and recommend cameras for you. There are so many options for all different price ranges. Watch some camera reviews and video recording of that camera and decide whether you like the features, make sure it has the right HDMI connection for the Elgato Cam Link 4K and you’re done.
Check Out How I Built My Rackmount Gaming PC
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3. Audio Interface – The Other Half of How Your Audio Sounds
Straight from the top I am going to recommend the TC Helicon GoXLR. It was release early 2019 and has become one of the best tools a streamer can have. It allows you to control every aspect of your audio. Just being able access a slider to change game volume, music and Discord has been extremely convenient.
You can customise each slider to whatever application you want. It has a sample pad which basically becomes a soundboard for stream. Muting your microphone used to be a hassle with muting it for stream and Discord and game chat. Now I have a single button which mutes all.
I talked about a Cloudlifter in the microphones section, but with this device it has enough clean preamp power that you don’t need a Cloudlifter. This has been tested with my RE20 and it sounds perfect. I have set my noise gate, equaliser and compressor set up and saved to a profile so it’s always perfect for streaming. I can monitor the audio easily so I can hear the samples, effects and just monitor my own sound.
If the flashy gamer look isn’t for you, then I would recommend the Behringer X1204USB Xenyx 12. It doesn’t have all of the same features of the GoXLR, but it has the important ones. You can use both this and the GoXLR with a 2 PC streaming setup. You could get away with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or even the Scarlett Solo, but those models don’t include an equaliser and compressor which can impact the way your microphone sounds greatly. The preamps in the Behringer are also good enough to not need a Cloudlifter.
4. Lighting – Set The Mood Of Your Stream
Lighting isn’t the most important part of your stream, but it can make your stream look better. A lot of streamers could be recognised for their lighting choices. Often times you will have the main subject, (you in most cases) lit up with a bright light so you stand out and look clear from your surroundings.
You don’t have to have your room lit up brighter than the sun to look good. I have a bright white light coming from my left and a warmer orange light coming from the right. I then have Hue lights in an orange and blue configuration for my background. This makes me clear to see, but I still have nice ambient light.
If you want to go studio lighting, then Elgato has a product for that, like they do with every other aspect of streaming. The Elgato Key Light isn’t cheap, but like all their products, it works and it does the job well.
I have chosen an all Hue setup which has made lighting very dynamic and easy for me to manage. I have 2 White and Colour Ambience bulbs, a Hue Lightstrip and Hue Play White and Colour Ambiance light. I use the Hue Play on the top of my left monitor to give some light to my face.
Another option is to get a ring light for your face and then any lighting you prefer for your background. I don’t like the light ring in the eyes effect, but it still seems popular.
5. Extra Equipment – A Little More To Push Ahead
The Elgato Stream Deck is a useful macro pad which allows you to have a seperate bank of shortcut buttons outside of your keyboard. There a 6, 15 and 32 key configuration, but you can have different profiles and folders with whichever version you choose.
The StreamDeck is great for changing your scene, muting audio or playing media. It looks cool on a desk and it’s one of the few products on this page which is also useful outside of streaming.
This isn’t part of the product list, but you can also use the Streamlabs app for your mobile or tablet to control your stream from your phone. You can’t do as much as you can on the StreamDeck with the app, but it gets you most of the way there.
Getting a green screen is not for every stream, but it can give you a cleaner look to your stream and give you more space for your content. If you’re creative enough, you have the potential to do some cool things with it too. Again, Elgato has a product for this too. The Elgato Green Screen is a well thought out version of a green screen. It has a collapsable design to easily store it or just pop it up and down during stream. It’s not magic, you’re still going to need decent lighting to chroma key the background out. This product would benefit from a higher quality camera.
All Equipment In This Post
These are every product mentioned in this post for your Twitch Streaming Setup.
- Elgato Key Light
- Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance
- Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
- Philips Hue Play White and Colour Ambiance