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Desktop Gear Setup

Learn exactly what you need to include in your setup when recording on a laptop or desktop computer to ensure the highest audio and video quality.

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Welcome to our Getting Started with Riverside series. In this video we're gonna cover a basic setup for whether your recording on a laptop or desktop computer to get you high-quality audio and video using the simplest setup possible. If you'd like to learn about more advanced setups to get even higher-quality video and audio, you could check out the videos linked below. The first step to getting good audio quality is getting a solid USB microphone. You can use the built-in microphones and something like air pods, headphones or your built-in laptop, but you will get vastly better audio by using a dedicated microphone. There are lots of great USB microphones out there who actually did a whole comparison video, you could check out that link below in the description. But this is just one example.

This is the Shure MV7 microphone it's about $250. It's a pretty high-quality USB microphone, but you can connect this to your computer with just one cable and you'll have high-quality audio quickly. You'll see on this microphone on the back there is an XLR connection for more advanced setups with audio interfaces. But right here is a USB connection. Using a single cable, I can connect the microphone directly to my laptop, and now the microphone is ready to use and I can record high-quality audio wherever I am. Depending on your microphone, you might want to stand or arm to hold it. If you have a more permanent setup at a desk, you can get something like a microphone arm that mounts to the desk and holds the microphone. This way you won't get any noise when you hit the desk or move the desk.


There's also great options for just a desk mounted microphone stand. We'll put links below this video for some options, and you can buy those on Amazon. The next thing you want to think about is video quality. You can use the built-in webcams on your computers. But you can get even better video quality when you use something like your mobile device. There's a feature called continuity camera specifically for iPhone and Mac computers, where you can use your iPhone as a webcam that will get you incredible video quality with devices you already have. You can even get accessories that connect to the back of your iPhone magnetically and you can mount it right on your laptop lid. If you'd like to learn more about continuity camera, you can check out the links below this video. If you'd like a more dedicated video option, you can choose to get a webcam for your computer.

Webcams like this Logitech creator can mount to a laptop lid or they can connect to a computer monitor and can also connect just by a single cable to your computer. Now I'm getting high quality video and audio just using a webcam and a USB mic two cables and my computer. That's it, we actually have an entire video comparing various webcam qualities, you could check out that video at the link below. Now the last step to high quality video is good lighting. If you don't have a dedicated light or LED panel like this one, you can make sure you're just sitting in front of a window, put a sheet over your window and that can act as a diffuser making the light a little softer and a little more even on your face.


But if you'd like to invest in a dedicated light, you can get something for around 50 to $60 that mounts on your computer and that will be better than nothing. Or you can even get a softbox kit for just about $80 and that will provide a nice soft even lighting on your face. If you'd like to learn more about lighting tips, we also have a video for that you can check out the link below. And that's a basic setup to get high-quality video and audio when you record with Riverside. If you'd like to learn more about USB mics, webcams or even upgraded setups, subscribe to our YouTube channel

We have lots of content on video podcasts, setups, audio interfaces, even automating your podcast workflow. If you have any questions and you're watching on YouTube, you can drop a comment below. We'd love to help you there. And if you're on our website, you can contact our support team and they'd love to help you as well. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll catch you in the next video.

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