emc3’s best practices for effective recording

With the majority of events now going digital, home recordings and webinars are more important than ever. Here at emc3 we want to make this experience as easy as possible for you and your featured speakers. 

Setting up a home recording space is simply a matter of assessing the space you have available to you and making a plan. Here are some things to bear in mind…

Lighting

• The best shooting environment is one in which you have as much control over lighting as possible.
• Avoid natural light as it will dominate 
all other types.
• Avoid overhead fluorescent lights, they produce harsh light which not ideal for webcasting.
• When recording from home we recommend an LED light ring where you can adjust the angle and brightness of the white light.
• For a more professional-looking video, soft boxes or sidelights can complement the ring lights nicely.

Background & space

• Setting up your space is a vital process. It doesn’t require a lot. 
• Choose a location that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic from family or partners and advise them you are recording to deter anyone from walking into your shot.
• Find a decent backdrop and test what your audience will see.
• Aim for a white wall for simplicity or a neatly presented bookshelf or office space. Subtle decorations, such as potted plants, or pictures can liven up your background. 
•Be careful not to overdo it and distract; anything that moves in the background should go!

WiFi signal

• Its very important to consider the quality of your internet connection from the space your choosing to film from.
• Hardwire internet, using an ethernet port is advised for a trustworthy connection•If you are using wifi locate where you have the strongest wifi signal and set up accordingly.

Audio

• Poor-quality audio can really disrupt the quality
of your webinar.
• We highly recommend external microphones that connect to your PC via USB or mini plug- they are very effective for increasing clarity and muffling echoey background noise.
• Lavaliere mics that you can wear, to boom mics that are either standalone or attached to a camera, all can help improve the sound quality and lead to a more engaging session.
• Failing access to an external microphone a headset should do fine. Make sure you locate where the microphone is and ensure its not brushing any hair or clothing as this will disturb the audio or your listeners.

Camera set up

• In most cases you will record from a laptop. 
But simply opening your laptop and starting a webinar session isn’t ideal. 
• Make sure your laptop’s built in webcam is at 
eye-level by using boxes, books or stacks of 
paper to raise it accordingly.
• Alternatively, you may want to purchase a USB web cam that delivers higher definition video quality.• Make sure this is placed at eye level and central to your head, framing you from the chest up.

Clothing

• Dressing for camera can be a tricky sometimes. Cameras have a tendency to make colours, shapes and sizes appear off when the wrong items are worn. 
• Avoid pure reds, whites and blacks, they make it difficult for the camera to balance exposure.
• Intense reds will bleed and make the surrounding objects (ie your face) appear red. 
• Stay clear of big patterns and large jewellery, they are too distracting.
• Remember, the focus should be on you, not your outfit!
• Choose Greys, Blues & Light pastels, these colours will ultimately boost contrast and won’t overwhelm the viewer.

Testing & Practice

• By this stage you should have the basic knowledge for recording at home but before you start there is one vital element left: Practice.
• Set up your studio as you’d like it, start a practise recording and run through your presentation a few times.
• Practicing early gives you the chance to get a feel for what it’s like to record at home and identify any potential problems with audio, set up etc. 
• Practicing also gets you into a comfortable zone where you can concentrate more or your presenting skills and less on your equipment.

That’s it! Remember to smile, engage your viewers, be yourself and have fun with it!