We're not saying this is the way to livestream, or that this is the only kit for streaming. But! This is what we use to stream, which has taken us years to settle on. We hope this info is helpful to some of you. This system relies on having a gaming PC, (or console), along with a capture PC. We used to use an HP Omen to capture the footage, but recently upgraded to a custom PC build.
If you want to watch this setup in action, you can find SPLetsPlay's Twitch Channel where we stream games, the LTGuitarist Twitch Channel where Liam streams music creation, music theory and guitar exercises, and The Conversation Hat Livestreams where we do whatever we feel like doing.
Elgato HD60s Capture Card
The Elgato HD60s is a fantatic piece of kit. We tried a bunch of different brands, which all had their own querks or issues. The HD60s was the first capture card we tried that just worked. It ships with simple-to-use Game Capture software, so you'll have everything you need to start streaming or recording.
We duplicate our main monitor's HDMI signal rather than using the capture card's "through" connection - in order for the through connection to work your capture software needs to be running. In short: if you're not running your capture software, your monitor won't turn on. One connection goes to the main monitor whilst the other goes to our Elgato capture card.
When recording, we find that Elgato's Game Capture software works great but for livestreaming, we want a bit more interaction with our audience. That's where Streamlabs OBS comes in - not only does it include a bunch of audience interaction options, it also allows for much greater customisation than similar software. Oh yeah, it's free too.
Find out more on Streamlabs' website
We use a standalone USB Numpad as a camera/scene switcher. For example, button 8 is usually a “something has gone wrong” still, button 1 turns the main camera on and off, etc. These are all mapable inside of Streamlabs OBS. This is a simple and super-cheap addition to our setup but one that has streamlined our live shows.
Buy one from Amazon.co.uk
Logitech C920 Webcam
Logitech's C920 is an easy to set-up, HD webcam that offers a clear 1080p resolution. We've never used the microhpones, (because we're way fussy), but they are reasonably good quality for built-in mics. Again, we've tried a whole bunch of different webcams over the years, this one has the best picture quality, is the most reliable connection and, to top it all off, has a tripod mount. Yeah, that's a big deal.
Go buy one on Amazon.co.uk
RØDE NTG3 Microphones
Call us old-fashioned, but we prefer an XLR mic routed through a physical mixing desk over these new-fangled USB mics. Now, we're not luddites by any means, but as our background is in music and audio production it does mean that we have certain preferences. A one-person show could get by with a USB microphone and no mixer, but we make a variety of content with different hosts so rather than overwhelming a PC with various USB signals, we stick with good old analogue.
An absolute must-have for any voice recording. No matter how well you train your voice, (which you probably should), you will still let-out the occasional plosive or unpleasent sibilence. You need one.
Take a look at what Amazon.co.uk have to offer
Yamaha Mixing Desk
Because of our background in music creation and production, we're pretty handy when it comes to mixing desks. This means we have simple access to the levels of our microphones and the game audio, should one be a little too quiet or a little too hot. The MG10 by Yamaha allows us to contol up to 4 microphones, with 3 additional stereo lines. For most streams or recordings we use the desk to independently control 1 or 2 mic channels alongside a stereo channel of game or PC audio.
Desks can be a bit daunting if you've not seen or used one before, but I promise they're pretty simple once you work out a few basics. If you end up using a microphone like our RØDE NTG3s, (or any other condensor mic), be sure your desk can provide 48v phantom power.
Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
The stereo out of the mixing desk goes into a Scarlett 2i2. Previously, the mix out went straight into the line-in mini-jack of the HD60s but we found that having a dedicated audio interface was generally more reliable. Consider this optional.
AKG K52 Headphones
We use these headphones not just for the audio quality but for their durability. We have previously experimented with micrphones built-in to headphones, but were never happy with the audio quality, so tend to avoid them. Our cans of choice are the K52 by AKG - a solidly reliable brand which we rely on for a variety of audio tech gear.