How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio

Microphone stand made from pipes and gear, for live broadcasting |
Today did not go as planned. By a long shot.

I even preplanned my day. I was gonna bust through that list, and feel immense success!

Nothing bad happened, just not a whole lot happened at all.

Or did it…

How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio.
So, what you see here is a setup for a live broadcast session in my photo studio.

Social media and blogging keeps changing. And right now it appears to be all about videos.

Which I generally don’t gravitate to.

Which I’ve avoided forever.

Which I STILL may avoid forever.

Donna Williams of Funky Junk Interiors as keynote speaker at Blogpodium in Toronto |
I’ve done my fair share of public speaking at shows, and even flown out as a keynote speaker at a blog conference! But then it’s over and we can all move on.

Even videos don’t have to be terrifying… if you can edit out stuff.

But live broadcasting? That’s a WHOLE other ballgame.

I did lots of Perisoping back in the day, so that indeed has helped. But it’s still really intimidating going live. 

I mean, I’m not exactly 20 any longer.

I can forget my script.

I can veer off topic.

But there’s only one way to punch through this barrier, and that is to just do it.

And then if it’s not for you, you can just stop. Right?!

Boy, I sound brave.

But as one minute flipped into another, I realized I had a LOT more to figure out before jumping right in. Then suddenly, my quick broadcast turned into all day prep, and then it got dark.

And since I don’t have a light kit, I had to finally call it a day.

Thank goodness!

So here’s how I set up a cheap broadcasting studio, for the much braver days ahead…

* This post contains some Amazon affiliate links where appropriate, so you can find the stuff too.

How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio |
Good lighting

So… my photo studio is positively flooded with natural light, which is actually pretty important. But it does get tricky if you wish to work beyond daylight.

I’ve had my eye on a light kit for some time, which would also come in handy for photography.

I want THIS KIT.

How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio |

A mic is your best friend

When I use to be a Periscope user, I use to watch Alex Pettitt. He’s kinda the big guns there and knows his gear.

One thing he always pushed was to use a mic for live broadcasting. The sound is SO much better than from a phone. I tried it with just the phone, but it sounded like talking into a tin can inside an empty cave. Not cool.

The only cordless mic I have found is on Amazon for $400. Ouch. Hesitation much? So, I grabbed some earbuds with a mic on them, and propped them up with my ‘industrial mic stand.’

Ok… a bunch of pipes screwed together weighted down with a big fat rusty gear.

The sound was significantly better! The key was getting the mic near your mouth.

Since this was going to be a sit down session, this worked for now. But if you are on the move, a  wireless mic may be in your future. And in all honestly, mine too.

Here’s the mic Alex suggested.

Here is a cheap corded one.

Or visit Alex’s site where he names all his fav gear.

coats on floor for muffling | How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio |

Cushioning the echo

But the room still needed a tiny bit of help, echo wise. With little fabric in the room, it’s pretty bare bones.

So I threw a bunch of coats all over the floor.

We are VERY high end here, friends. But it did work, so you can’t beat free progress.

A reclaimed wood sign filled backdrop | How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio |
Preparing a backdrop

Life would be easier with a rolling backdrop. WAY easier. But since I don’t have such a luxury, I just threw a bunch of signs in the background, since that’s what my first topic of choice will be about.

This is trickier than anticipated. Since I was filming by the windows, nearly the entire room showed on camera, so this took a little gutting and rearranging. Just don’t go walking outside this room right now…


Some broadcasting will entail a person filming you. But being a one girl band, I knew I needed a tripod. Regardless, I think a tripod is a good idea, and saves your viewers from getting potentially sea sick.

You can find all my fav camera gear I use HERE. But just know, not all fittings are universal.

Phone holder gadget

I went to London Drugs, which is a local store with camera gear, and picked up a phone holder that you’d normally use for inside your car. I chose one that could clip into a tripod.

I don’t know what it’s called, but it looks identical TO THIS ONE.

Just be sure it fits your particular phone. I had to try a few due to the iPhone 6+ size.

Phone charger

Every time (and I DO mean every single time) I prepare for a broadcast, the phone battery drains down. Then I can’t broadcast.

I suggest to keep your phone plugged in while you prepare. I used my travel charger so I didn’t have to worry about extension cords. 

THIS TRAVEL CHARGER is the one I love and use all the time. Even when I go for a bike ride!

Practice, practice, practice

And then came the intense practice. I just shot myself with the iphone on video mode, and played it back. Again and again.

And triple ouch.

But it’s the only way you know what needs addressing… so I was hard on myself, and tried to avoid all of the below…

Don’t delay your start, just dive in! No one wants to wait, especially on replays.

Speak about what you know, so it comes natural.

No filler words! I don’t say um, but I tend to say AND a lot, running my sentences together. Who knew?

Evoke conversation, if your watchers can communicate back. That is WHY you are live, so include them. 

Lots. Lots of stuff I know I should do.

So, lookit me write a how to on a topic I haven’t even done yet!

Blogger before broadcaster, I say…

And now that I’m all set up, I guess I should go through with it!

How I created a cheap live broadcasting studio (and why I'm afraid to use it)
If I show up…

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Photo Tips, Photography
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15 thoughts on “How I set up a cheap live broadcasting studio

  1. Tickle my funny bone! Love the honesty and make-do spirit. Coats all over the floor definitely would help the acoustics. Well done! Donna, I love, love your room. All the natural light and the view through the windows. It’s awesome! We have snow here today and when I looked at your post and saw that room, my spirit went ‘wow – happy thoughts.’ I am so glad to hear you are preparing to do live videos. It’s going to be wonderful and thank you so much for being daring and keeping up with what’s new in technology. You are brave. I dare say, I will enjoy what ever type of videos you prepare. You have been such a help and an inspiration! A hundred thanks!

    • Thank you for your words of comfort Joanne… have you noticed I have not yet gone live?! I’ve already moved everything out the room to make a new project. LOL This is harder to do than I thought it would be… 🙂

  2. You are brave! All that tech stuff is scary for sure. I hate photos of myself so would really hate doing a live shoot. You have the spirit to get it done; carry on!

  3. I did my first Facebook live last week to give my followers the heads up on my launching my new all painting and art blog/website. Prepare….no, I just sat in my studio surrounded with my mess and dove in. It was actually quite fun and I got tons of positive feedback. Except my husband whose comment was “why didn’t you do something with your hair?” He keeps me humble. 🙂
    you will do fine and find that it is just like talking to friends.

  4. Fantastic idea – a one time video spot is brilliant. I’m planning out a studio concept/office for when we move so this was really helpful. I think I may just do something like a vlog appearance instead of live because in the country you can never depend on the internet. Love all that natural lighting.. You’ve got this covered!

  5. You will so rock this, Donna! What show are you going to be on, or is it live video for your Website? Looking forward to seeing you on Live!

    • Periscope wasn’t well situated where spam was concerned. LOTS of issues.

      Thing is, everyone is already on Facebook, so when FB Live came out, that became the new Periscope I suppose.

      Hot things change overnight… hard to keep up, isn’t it?!

  6. this is awesome! where do we show up for the first broadcast 🙂 my friend back home does vlogs and I’ve always wanted to try them…since I love hers!

    maybe do a fun run on insta stories

    inspiring as always…

  7. I wish you wouldn’t start video blogs…..maybe because I’m “old”,
    but I don’t like them…I might just be impatient, but I find them annoying and too time consuming.
    I guess because I am creative and never read directions, I’d rather just “look” at pics on blogs or Pinterest. I don’t need steps on creating
    I Love your blog as is!!!

    • Hi Linda! I have no intention of changing the blog posts at all.

      Video has it’s place for different reasons. So no worries! Just scroll on by via social media and nothing will be any different! 🙂

      Thanks for chiming in and sharing your honest thoughts! They are helpful.

  8. You are so brave for keeping up with technology!Good for you! My big goal was getting graphics on my pics…don’t know if I’ll ever graduate to video!

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