Any mobile phone, laptop or desktop computer with video capabilities can work for live-stream video content, but make sure you are familiar with its functions and are fully comfortable using the equipment to avoid technical difficulties (especially when live-streaming). Charge your phone or computer as well as any headset or earbuds you might be using. Set up a tripod, or create a makeshift tripod out of stacked books or boxes. You may want to film a few test shots, to make sure you are fully in the frame but close enough to the camera so that clients can clearly see you.
When it comes to selecting the backdrop of your live-stream, pick a simple environment if you can, too, such as a clean, bright room with limited furniture and clutter. Clients will have a much easier time focusing on your instruction without these distractions in the background vying for their attention.
To freshen up your look, you can implement one of our favorite insider tips- Zoom’s “beauty filter” which ads a soft filter to your screen for smoother appearances. To do this, click on the bottom left button on the Zoom screen, “video settings,” and click “touch up my appearance.”
Most fluorescent and overhead lighting do not work well with videos. It creates a flickering effect that can distract the viewer and interfere with the quality of your video. Film your workouts with natural light if you can, propping the camera near the window and facing towards the source of the light. The light should illuminate you so that you stick out from the background of your video, and so clients can clearly see your movements to imitate your form for each exercise.
In most cases, the camera, webcam, or smartphone you are using to record your videos does not have the greatest quality audio. If you are live streaming a workout, try to limit your speech to only necessary instruction, and make sure you speak clearly and slowly, enunciate each word, and project your voice. Avoid rooms with echoes or noise drifting in from nearby family or friends, if you are quarantining together.
You could also use a wireless microphone or Bluetooth earbuds, such as AirPods, to achieve higher quality audio. Be sure to fully charge your mic in advance, so they do not run out of battery in the middle of class and disrupt the audio!
Zoom allows you to share audio from sources like Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, etc. while allowing the instructor’s voice to layer over the music, the steps you need to take to do this are listed below.
At Home Audio Setup
What you’ll need:
- A Bluetooth-enabled laptop with a webcam
- Wireless earbuds with a built-in microphone
- An internet connection with download/upload speeds above 5Mbps
How to get started:
- Step 1: Connect your wireless headset or earbuds to your computer via Bluetooth
- Step 2: Click “Stream Class” in the email you received from FitGrid to launch Zoom
- Step 3: Select “Join With Computer Audio” when prompted
- Step 4: Select “Share Screen” at the Bottom of Zoom to share your device’s audio
- Step 4: In the pop-up window, select the following: Advanced > Computer Sound Only > Share Computer Sound > Share
- Step 5: Visit your go-to music streaming app, such as Spotify, Pandora or Youtube and select your music (note: like in a studio environment, you are legally responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to stream music during a virtual class)
- Step 6: Switch back to Zoom and start your class
In-Studio Audio Setup
What you’ll need:
- A mixer with…
- Input for music
- Input for a wireless mic
- A video camera with an audio input and HDMI output
- Converter cables allowing you to send your mixer output directly to your camera’s audio input
- An HDMI cable
- A laptop with…
- An HDMI input OR
- An HDMI converter cable
How to get started:
- Step 1: Connect your music player and wireless headset to the mixer
- Step 2: Connect mixer output to your video camera’s audio input
- Step 3: Connect your video camera’s HDMI output to your laptop
- Step 4: On your laptop, click “Stream Class” in the email you received from FitGrid to launch Zoom
- Step 5: Select “Share” at the bottom of Zoom
- Step 6: In the pop-up window, select the following: Advanced > Content from Second Camera > Share
- Step 7: Visit your music streaming app on the device connected to the mixer such as Spotify, Pandora or Youtube and select your music (note: like in a studio environment, you are legally responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to stream music during a virtual class)
- Step 8: Switch back to Zoom and start your class
There are many ways to configure your audio and visual setup for great performance, regardless of which route you choose, make sure to test your setup before your first public class–every piece of gear and software application operates slightly differently.