I’ve engaged with streaming as a medium for quite a long time. Even before the existence of Twitch, I remember being glued to my computer when I stumbled on the Devastation 2009 Street Fighter IV tournament that was broadcast on Ustream.
Though I would become an avid viewer of fighting game tournaments from that point onward, I didn’t really immerse myself in the medium as a streamer or as an engaged viewer until 2018. During that time, my streaming efforts finally started to generate some momentum and I discovered how amazing it can be to watch and engage with streams as a viewer.
These days, I’m deep in the trenches. Singing or rapping my heart out at the start of every stream. Spamming emotes in a fellow streamer’s chat. Inviting streamer friends over for ice cream. Spending countless hours in front of the computer programming in new elements into my own show. It takes up more of my time than any other hobby.
Here are some reasons why I’ve become so enthralled with the medium!
Ever since I started streaming years ago, I’ve struggled with an inability to hear my console game sound and streaming alerts at the same time. This is a relatively easy task if you have an audio mixer. Without one, it’s a bit more complicated.
I made the choice to only hear game sound, which means I’m oftentimes slow to respond when someone follows or subscribes. Some streamers will wear two sets of headphones to monitor both at the same time, but I didn’t want to deal with all of that extra headgear.
Recently, I found a way to split my monitor audio and output audio without a mixer. This solution may not work for everyone, as it does require specific hardware. However, if you do have something like this handy, this solution could dramatically improve your workflow!
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.
[This post is part of a blogging collaboration by Later Levels and Hundstrasse called #BloggersWhoStream. Make sure to give them both credit and follow the hashtag on Twitter for more posts from the community!]
Building the game streaming setup of one’s dreams is an evolutionary process for most. It’s an expensive hobby to get into and the majority of those interested in pursuing it don’t start out with the equipment they need to produce a high-quality product. For example, I started streaming in 2017 with just the laptop I already had. Great for blogging, but it didn’t have the horsepower to display my gameplay and camera feeds at the same time.
More importantly, it’s a hobby that you really need to try for yourself before you go all in. Just because you like playing video games doesn’t mean that you’ll like playing them on stream. For instance, I love playing Tetris Effect when I’m not on stream and no one’s watching. However, when I streamed it and no one watched, I came away from that experience feeling miserable.
The outcome of no one watching was the same, but the dynamics and expectations change when broadcasting was introduced to the mix. The worst thing one can do is to buy all of the most expensive equipment and realize after the fact that they don’t actually like how streaming warps the gaming experience. You’re better off starting with whatever you have and determining whether you want to pursue it further.
This tour through my streaming setup is the culmination of my journey thus far. The road to get here was filled with failure, doubt, and MacGyver-esque life hacks. Even so, I truck along thanks to everything I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made along the way, and positive impact I’ve made on the world. From providing entertainment, to those that tune in to the money I’ve raised for charity (over $2,000 and counting for Extra Life!), I don’t take any of this for granted. All of this has inspired me to continue honing my craft and improving as a streamer on every front. As long as I continue to grow within the hobby, so will my streaming setup. Without further ado, let me show you where the magic happens.
Does the old adage, “Good things come in small packages” hold true for the Blue Yeti Nano? This mini reboot of the wildly-popular original attempts to retain the overall sound quality of the original in a smaller package while removing a few features specifically designed for recording singing vocals or musical instruments. Blue’s hope is that the Nano will be your go-to mic for voice recording, podcasting, or streaming. Having bought one for myself, I put it through its paces.