I started a programming Youtube channel named “The Practical Dev”. Although I only uploaded three videos, it was a great experience. My most viewed video reached 53 views. I’m famous!
Is it a success? At least for me: yes. When I started the channel, my goal was to try different formats of sharing what I know, what I learn, and what I’m doing, and that’s what I did (although for a month)! Now I know that the video formats don’t suit me.
While I had a lot of ideas to make videos and content, making them meant spending a lot of time thinking about the format, what I wanted to share, and how to share it. Most of the time, I got discouraged before recording videos because of all that I needed to do to make them + editing them. I also couldn’t record videos while traveling or when I wasn’t on my home setup (mic, camera, etc.). I want to share what I know whenever I want, wherever I am: flying, coffee shops, trains, and most importantly: in my hammock (as I’m writing this right now).
Even though I’m moving away from making Youtube videos, I want to share what I learned while making them.
Table of contents
Open Table of contents
I did a ton of research and bought the Neat Bumblebee II. According to my research, it’s one of the best to buy that doesn’t break the bank.
Reasons that I bought this one over others:
- Price. It cost me $1220 MXN (around $63USD). You can find options like Blue Yeti Nano, HyperX SoloCast, and Elgato Wave 1 within this price range. Bumblebee II was cheaper in my region (México) than buying other “cheaper” mics from review sites.
- Availability. A lot of review pages give you the price in the US. Importing directly from the US is expensive and sometimes impossible (companies don’t ship to MX).
- USB-C. It’s my defacto when buying electronics as it means that they are newer and future-proof vs others with previous USB types. Other mics in this price range use micro-USB.
The review that convinced me is from AudioHaze. If this mic can be used to record music with excellent quality, then it must be suitable for voice (and indeed it is)!
I already had the Logitech C920s webcam and didn’t want to spend much money on a “YouTuber” setup for my experiment.
The webcam works well, and it records in FullHD (1080p). My only complaint is that it doesn’t do well in low-light rooms. I used a lamp to target my face to improve lightning.
Programs to record and edit
I did all of my recordings in Linux (I use Arch btw 😜). I used OBS to record the screen + webcam + mic. OBS works well, is battle-tested, and there is much information on configuring your setup and meeting your needs. OBS is also heavily used by streamers (Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook).
I also tried the following programs (Linux):
- Kazam. I couldn’t capture the microphone, so I moved on.
- Kooha. It didn’t open properly. UI had some bugs/issues.
I think that OBS is one of the best out there, and there are many tutorials and troubleshooting information to make it work as you please.
I thought Linux didn’t stand a chance to edit videos as Mac’s OSx programs, but I was wrong! I used Kdenlive. The UI is a bit clunky and overwhelming, but it is one of the most used editors in the Linux ecosystem.
Kdenlive has many features, although I used the most simple ones to edit my videos: cut, trim, text over video, and transitions 😎.
Here are the videos I watched to learn how to use Kdenlive:
- Beginner’s guide to Kdenlive
- Change video speed
- Split, trim, cut, delete, and copy
- How to crop
- How to add text to video
Video and audio formats
I also learned that multiple video and audio formats influence the quality and size of the videos! You can record in a specific format, edit the video and export it in a different format. It’s pretty overwhelming to a newcomer tbh.
For example, you can record in FLV, MKV, MP4, MOV formats; there are also different bitrates configurations (quality and file size); on top of that, you also have different encoders: H264, VP9, H265, AV1. I needed to search for information even to start recording my videos 😪.
There are fewer options in audio, but if not configured correctly, you can end up with whole videos speaking with crackling voice (which happened to me twice!) and re-recording everything. You also have different codecs, bitrates, sample rates, etc.
The most helpful video to configure OBS I found is this one.
I also recommend watching this video to configure KDenlive exports when you finish editing your videos.
Another reason I have to start writing a blog is that 80% of the information I consume is in a blog format, text instead of video. I do watch youtube but to entertain myself instead of looking for knowledge. I want to contribute to the existing blog ecosystem; and, who knows, even help train the next ChatGPT version.
Goal achieved: I wrote this blog post in my hammock!