So you’re in the market for a streaming microphone.
With so many options available, it’s incredibly easy to get overwhelmed. Furthermore, microphones aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Even if you had the money to buy a top-of-the-line dynamic mic like the Shure SM7B, that one isn’t going to work for you if you don’t want a big microphone super close to your face and in view of your camera.
I’m not in a position to make specific microphone recommendations. However, I did want to provide you with some factors to consider before making a purchase.
Over at The Support Role Discord group – which you should totally join by the way – someone came in and asked for help setting up their capture card for gaming. Without seeing what they were working with, I was able to talk them through the process of getting everything going. At the end, they took a picture of the results. On the shelf was a laptop with OBS on, capturing Fortnite. On the TV was the same OBS feed.
“Wait, why does your TV and laptop have the same video feed?” I asked.
From there, we ultimately deduced that for the purposes of gaming, the capture card they had purchased wasn’t going to work at all for their needs. Bummer.
This is a cautionary tale.
Streaming to zero viewers is an experience that is surprisingly common. 95% of streamers on Twitch average 0-5 concurrent viewers per stream. Even so, it doesn’t make the sensation sting any less. I don’t blame anyone for quitting because they don’t like streaming to an empty room. The whole point of streaming is to share that experience with others. When there isn’t a demand for it, what’s the point of carrying on?
I know this darkness all too well. During my first year of streaming, I bounced around between YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. My viewer count was basically zero the entire time. Didn’t even get a single message in the chat. And it wasn’t like I was streaming once in a blue moon. I streamed more back then. Extra time didn’t help one bit.
With hundreds of hours logged in the void, what kept me going? And what can you learn from my trials and tribulations?
I chose to opt out of the first wave of 4K gaming with the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. Between their steep price of entry, not having a 4K screen, and only really offering a resolution bump, it didn’t make sense for me. Besides, I’ve spent most of that time gaming on a Nintendo Switch, which oftentimes struggles to run 1080p.
As the next generation of consoles loom, I’m starting to feel the 4K pressure.
Over time, managing one’s streaming setup can grow increasingly cumbersome. Eventually, you get to a point where one minor change can take minutes at a time as you make that fix across multiple sources.
It doesn’t have to be that messy if you take advantage of the ability to nest scenes within scenes in OBS!
“What if viewers could blow up my stream?”
Yes, this is a question I have legitimately batted around for some time. In fact, I know exactly how I would do it.
Starting with a free green screen explosion from YouTube, I would chroma key out the green so that the explosion appeared as transparent. Once the smoke cleared, viewers would only see a black screen. Finally, the stream would shut itself off. All of this would be controlled by an expensive Channel Points redemption and automated through LioranBoard.
Blowing up the stream sounds cool and all. But exactly how does that effect actually improve my stream and help me achieve my goals on Twitch?
If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and again, and again…or quit?
As a streamer, your voice and the words you say with it are your most important assets. Every game you could ever play will be covered by thousands of others, but viewers will have to come to you for your particular spin on the action.
Easier said than done, of course. Talking while gaming isn’t a skill that players develop naturally. Add in the fact that you might not be comfortable partaking in conversations in real life, and the thought of carrying the conversation for the duration of a multi-hour stream becomes incredibly daunting.
If you routinely find yourself drawing a blank, here are some pointers for how to keep the conversation going!
During these uncertain times, one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves and others is to wear a mask. There’s no shortage of evidence out there that show how effective they are. I’ve been wearing a mask for months now and I agree with my government’s laws around masks in public spaces.
But don’t just follow my lead. You can be just like these star video game characters who also wear masks!
Late last year as part of the Overwatch 2 reveal, Blizzard showcased a new level based on the city of Toronto. Truthfully, this tidbit of info was more exciting to me than anything else shown that day. As a T-Dot native, seeing the city brought to life in one of the world’s most popular games was a nod that felt incredibly overdue.
Maybe my bias is showing, but Canada has always felt underrepresented in the world of gaming. Even so, Canadian locales and characters have found ways of making an impact on the greater landscape. Ron’t be a hoser and come with me on a tour through Canada in video games!