Twitch Step Three: Camera and Microphone

Select Game on TwitchAlthough you don’t need a camera and microphone to stream your gameplay to Twitch, these two items are crucial if you want to build any kind of a successful broadcast. A lot of people visit Twitch to be entertained by on-screen talent as well as the gameplay. This doesn’t mean you need to be a world-class comedian, but it does help to engage your viewers and respond to them. It’s all part of being a good celebrity: connecting to your fans.

Camera Quality

The better the quality is on your camera, the more professional your stream will look. People want to be able to see who they are conversing with. Putting a face to the voice can make the broadcast more personable and make you appear more approachable. Personally, I use the Logitech C920. I can’t get the microphone quality on the camera past FM Radio level sound, but the camera itself is HD and capable of producing 1080p imagery. However, I only use 720 because my Internet is terrible and I would rather produce a quality stream without compression complications.

Chroma Key
The chroma key is one of the neatest features for Twitch broadcasting. Essentially, you use a green screen in order to make objects behind you disappear when streaming. Unfortunately, I don’t have the right lighting in order to use the chroma key. If you are able to use it efficiently, it may help you clean up your broadcast – but it’s not necessary. There are many very popular and successful streamers that don’t use it.

Positioning of your image on your stream from the camera is based on personal preference. Some people like to add an artistic flare to the stream. Others would rather leave the camera image bare while broadcasting. It’s all about what works best for you. While your viewers may have some input about where to place things on your stream, it’s still your broadcast. Remember that it’s your channel and people will watch you for you. If you don’t like an idea that someone suggests, then don’t do it. While you want to make the majority of watchers happy, you don’t have to change your format to accommodate a single person.

Twitch Stream

Microphone Quality

The quality of your microphone may be one of the more important aspects of streaming games. People need to be able to understand you clearly. This goes beyond sound adjustments and background noises. Feedback, echos and a variety of other computer-based complications can make the stream difficult to hear. I use the Blue Snowball mic – and it works amazingly well. I had to create an arm for it using ABS pipe and a screw because I didn’t have enough money for a real one, but it works splendidly.

Sound quality can convince viewers to subscribe to your channel and come back to watch more. I cannot stress how important that crisp and clear sound can be. Personally, I’ve seen an increase of people staying to watch more of the stream while using the Blue Snowball than they did when I was using the mic on my Afterglow Prismatic headset.

Putting it All Together

I wouldn’t suggest buying the latest and greatest microphone and camera setup if you’re new to streaming on Twitch. It could be a waste of money if you find that you don’t want to be a gaming celebrity. I started with the cheapest gear I could get and worked my way up. I can attest to how much of a difference the camera and microphone has made on viewer retention. Although the cheap and affordable may get you a few followers, quality will always reign supreme – especially if you’re in the entertainment industry. Regardless of what anyone says, broadcasting on Twitch puts you in the entertainment business.

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Michael Brockbank

I have been playing games for more than 30 years. I wouldn’t consider myself a hard-core gamer, but I have brought the pain in my day. Now that I am rounding the horn at 40, I still enjoy everything from booting up the old Commodore 64 to exploring new titles in Steam. You’re never too old to enjoy a good plot and mind-numbing graphics.

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