Schedule

Schedule

Saturday, August 23

1408816800 The Tech Guy

Sunday, August 24

1408903200 The Tech Guy
1408917600 This Week in Tech

Monday, August 25

1408986000 Tech News Today
1408989600 Triangulation
1408995000 iPad Today
1409007600 Tech News 2Night
1409009400 Marketing Mavericks

Tuesday, August 26

1409072400 Tech News Today
1409076000 MacBreak Weekly
1409083200 Security Now
1409090400 Before You Buy
1409094000 Tech News 2Night
1409097600 All About Android
1409106600 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, August 27

1409153400 FLOSS Weekly
1409158800 Tech News Today
1409162400 Windows Weekly
1409169600 This Week in Google
1409180400 Tech News 2Night
1409182200 redditUP
1409187600 Ham Nation

Thursday, August 28

1409245200 Tech News Today
1409248800 Know How...
1409252400 The Social Hour
1409257800 Coding 101
1409261400 Home Theater Geeks
1409266800 Tech News 2Night
1409268600 The Giz Wiz
1409277600 OMGcraft

Friday, August 29

1409331600 Tech News Today
1409335200 This Week in Law
1409342400 Android App Arena
1409353200 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, August 30

1409421600 The Tech Guy

Sunday, August 31

1409508000 The Tech Guy
1409522400 This Week in Tech

Monday, September 1

1409590800 Tech News Today
1409594400 Triangulation
1409599800 iPad Today
1409612400 Tech News 2Night
1409614200 Marketing Mavericks

Most Recent Episodes

Tech News 2Night

Possible iPhone 6 screen shortage ahead of next month's expected launch.

This Week in Law

Adam Carolla settles with the podcasting patent troll.

Android App Arena
Episode #9: The Frankenphone August 22nd, 2014

A bunch of apps that will transform your phone into something Frankenstein would be proud of.

Tech News Today

US Copyright Office says that monkeys who take selfies don't own the copyright to the image.

This Week in Computer Hardware

New cases, SSDs, and FreeNAS builds

Home Theater Geeks

10th Annual ValueElectronics Flat Panel Shootout

The Giz Wiz
Episode #1482: Nailed It! August 21st, 2014

Magnetic Nail Setter.

Coding 101

The return of C#

Know How...

How to download YouTube videos

iFive for the iPhone

N3TWORK, Battery Doctor

Know How... 46

Make a Home Studio

May 30 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own videos there’s plenty to know. We took a field trip to Tom Merritt’s house in Los Angeles to see what it takes to create a home studio.

Bandwidth

Tom hosts “Tech News Today” from the comfort of his own home via Skype. However, the first thing he considered was bandwidth. Tom managed to find a place served by fiber that gets him insane speeds. His download speed is 300Mbps, and his upload speed is 65Mbps. ISPs like to tout download speeds, but you definitely want to pay attention to the upload speed if you plan on sending video over the internet.

The Hardware Setup

To Skype, Tom uses an off-the-shelf Mac mini that is wired to his home network via Ethernet (again, getting the best speeds is paramount when dealing with streaming online video).

How video reaches the computer: Canon Vixia HF GF10 > HDMI out > Blackmagic Intensity Extreme HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter > goes into Mac mini.

The Canon Vixia HF G10 uses an HD CMOS sensor to output its signal via HDMI. To get that video into the Mac mini, a Blackmagic Intensity Extreme HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter accepts an HDMI input and then outputs it over Thunderbolt.

For audio, Tom speaks into a Heil PR-40, which is the same kind of mic used at the TWiT Brickhouse Studio. The Heil outputs audio using XLR. To get that signal to the Mac mini, the XLR cable is plugged into a Blue Microphones Icicle adapter, which accepts XLR and outputs over USB.

For more audio complex setups, you can choose to use a USB Mixer like Tom’s Mackie PROFX8 mixer.

Lighting

Camera and Lighting Design specialist Brent Bye of OceanStudio.com was called in to make sure the video looks as good as possible. Brent designed the lighting setup at the TWiT Brickhouse studios.

When setting up your studio, survey the entire space. Consider the space as a whole to see where a good shot would be established. Camera framing makes the small brick fireplace behind Tom appear much larger than it is.

Ambient lighting can be problematic when shooting. In general, avoid backlighting like having a big window behind you. For Tom’s setup, Brent closed the blinds to eliminate the changing lighting from the sun.

After the camera was set to isolate the background, Brent first lit Tom from behind using two rear lights to highlight Tom’s hair. The rim lights separate Tom from the background. The lights Brent used are American DJ (ADJ) brand and are called the Micro Wash WWCW. The acronym stands for “Warm White, Cool White,” which means they can produce both outdoor and indoor color temperatures to match existing indoor lights or correctly match any exterior daylight coming into the shooting space.

For the key light, Brent used a single Kino Flo ParaBeam 210. The light is large enough that it lights Tom without the need for a separate fill light. If you’re wondering about that old stand-by three-point lighting, Brent says that three-point lighting is antiquated and was for when people were using hard light sources which creates harsh shadows.

Using diffusion allows for softer lighting and is a heat resistant material tough enough to handle the heat of lights. Diffusion looks like wax paper is placed over the light source to create pleasant shadows on the talent. Also, you’ll need to control your light - can’t have it spilling all over the place. You can use a material called Cinefoil that can be used to direct light. It’s like aluminum foil, but tougher.

The Green Screen Controversy

For the first several weeks when Tom would call in from his home studio, the audience would yell, “Green screen! That’s no brick wall back there! It must be a green screen - just look at it!” We got to the bottom of that. Brent explained that the combination of a lower resolution camera at Tom’s studio (since replaced), in addition to different colored lights in Tom’s studio, and the backlighting fooled people into thinking “That’s a keyed setup!” A more full explanation is in the episode.

Budget Lighting Setup

Everything you just read applies to lighting in general. You don’t necessarily need professional gear to produce good lighting. You can create a key light using a four-foot workshop light that you can pick up at the hardware store. These use fluorescent tube lighting that flicker. That flickering may be picked up by your camera, but you can adjust that using your camera’s shutter.

To replicate the backlights we used, you can use inexpensive clamp lights. They cost about $8 each. If you’re feeling creative, you can attempt Brent’s “Frankenstein Key Light,” which places four clamp lights on a cross beam that sits atop a mic stand. Placing diffusion over the four lights creates a softer light and unifies the four light sources. (If you can’t picture it, that’s why we do a video show).

The money you save on lights can be used to pick up a camera with enough controls (like manual white balance) so you can make excellent looking video.

Wrap up

That’s a lot of material, but now you’ve got the tools to build your own home studio. Good lighting makes a world of difference and can

Connect with us!

Download or subscribe to this show at twit.tv/kh.

Questions, comments, dirty jokes? Send us an email at knowhow@twit.tv Join our Google+ Community and join in the conversation. There are over 3000 of you guys in there chipping in show ideas and helping each other out. It's a fantastic resource.

Don’t like either of those? Give us Iyaz a shout on Twitter or tweet using the hashtag #TWiTKH!

Thanks to Cachefly for the bandwidth for this show.

Runtime: 01:35:05

People: Leo Laporte