Our Favorite Video Tools

We've tried them all. Here are my favorites.

Video interviews used to be a matter of setting up lights, cameras and a set. And that could take a whole hour in itself.

Now it’s just firing up your webcam. Nothing to it, right?

Well, not so fast.

If anything, the margin of error is way thinner than it used to be. Bandwidth can choke your image. You get one dinky little file with all your audio and video mixed together, and differing audio levels alone can make it a total nightmare to edit.

But now there’s a cool little piece of software, that when you combine it with some simple best practices, will help your online interviews come out second to none.

Seriously. Do this and your authority cred just might jump a few notches overnight!

    30 replies to "How to Record Great Webcam Interviews"

    • Cathy Nagle-Ervin

      Great video Steve! Yes, I would like to see a second video for the PC App Eaver please. Thanks!

      Cathy

      • Steven

        Thanks, Cathy. Got it. One Eaver App tutorial, as soon as I can dig up my PC. I’m sure I can remember where I left it. 🙂

        • Kris

          Hi Steve. Yes, I’d love you to do the Eaver app video too please!

    • Violet

      Thanks Steve! This is another video that I will transcribe, instruction by instruction, to guide me well. (I did the same with your HandBrake instruction video, and use it all the time!!) MUCH appreciated.

      • Steven

        Cool! Go get ’em, Violet!

      • Prema Qadir

        Violet!

        I have been starting and stopping Steve’s videos in order to allow concepts to sink into my old brain.

        Can you give me any tips on how to transcribe a video?

        forward!
        devotion, prema

    • Jeff Harrison

      Stephen, brilliant once again.
      I stopped doing skype video interviews for the very reason you mention.
      This new suggestion (for PC) will reopen the window and allow me to begin inviting tantalizing thought leaders back on from all over the world with confidence the production will be superb
      Bravo

      • Steven

        Love the way you put that, Jeff! Thanks!

    • Jim Cliff

      Great advice as usual Steve. I’d love to see the tutorial for Evaer too!

      • Steven

        Understood, Jim. And thanks for adding your vote!

    • Prema Qadir

      This is VERY exciting Steve!

      Do you have any recommendations for using Facebook LIVE?

      forward!
      devotion, prema

      • Steve

        Facebook Live is pretty new, so thanks for the suggestion. We’ll look at that shortly…

    • michael krisa

      Hey Steve – another great tip and THANKS for remembering us lowly PC users LOL!

      Have an awesome day my friend.

      michael

      • Steven

        Thanks Michael! Lon has a great tip below as well!

    • Daisy

      Hey Steve … thanks for great tips … I would like to watch tips for EVAER …Daisy

      • Steven

        Watching tips for ever has a nice ring to…oh, wait. Gotcha. 🙂

        And check out Lon’s tip if you have Camtasia.

    • Lon Naylor

      On the Windows side of things, if you use Camtasia, you technically do get multiple tracks if you use the Recorder right:

      1. Your webcam is captured as a separate video track
      2. Your mic audio is a track.
      3. Set the Recorder to capture System Sound (your guest) – also a separate track (although the audio level can often be a bit low – boost your speaker volume before recording).
      4. Record your guest with screen capture.

      Not as elegant as specialized software but it can work especially if you edit in Camtasia.

      – Lon Naylor

      • Steven

        Thanks, Lon! Appreciate your genius from the PC side of the house!

    • Shama

      Just downloaded and tested Evaer – works great.

    • Shama

      I used my logitech 910 and my Samson Go mic, so I look and sound pretty good. However my wife at the other end of testing used her iPad and the video and sound quality was much inferior. How do you deal with that when you schedule an interview? Do you give the other party some tips on how to use their equipment? Or do you just accept the discrepancy between the two parties?
      Also do you recommend recording in 16:9 or could it be useful to use 4:3 to get rid of a lot of space next to the two persons?

      • Steven

        That’s a great question, Shama.

        Given that this is for interviews for thought leaders in your space, it’s unlikely they will be conducting them from a phone or an iPad. Usually this is a scheduled meeting and not impromptu. If it is, it should be labeled as such, like a Periscope, for example. Let everyone know beforehand that the quality is not going to be good. On the other hand, if my only choice was an iPad or nothing, then that should be handled with equal sensitivity, but still informing your audience that this will be a “non-standard” interview.

        As far as 4×3 vs. 16×9, using this software you can shoot in 16×9, (and should) then decide later as to how you want it to look, since you have unlimited choices at that point. Remember, you can show your guest or you in full screen at any point, and for that you would certainly want to have the option of 16×9.

    • Shama

      From what I can see, the Evaer software doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as the Mac software that you use. I don’t see an option for showing me or the guest in full screen at any time. I tried changing the options during a recording, and nothing happened. And once the recording is finished, Evaer just produces a video which I cannot change.

      Actually there is a large black band above and below the video of me and the other party, so the formatting cannot be matched up so that the entire screen is filled. Maybe you can see something in Evaer that I missed. I just started playing with it.

      • Steven

        I haven’t played with it yet, so I can’t comment, but I promise I will leave no stone unturned. 🙂

    • Dorine

      Exciting stuff, Steve. Looking forward to more info on doing this with my PC.

    • Stefan

      Fascinating as ever Steve.

      As an aside I had to do a guest spot via Skype for a TV company last year and it failed as my broadband didn’t have enough bandwidth to record the video. But there was a workaround. I put my iPhone on a tripod, they asked the questions over Skype and I recorded my end on my phone and we then just edited the tracks together. It worked really great and was broadcast a week later via satellite to nine countries.

      So if for any reason Skype fails you try this backup method. The great thing is most people can use an iPhone so aren’t phased by setting it up if you produce a few guidance tips.

      PS at last our broadband is being upgraded and this shouldn’t be a problem for me much longer.

      • Steven

        Well done, Stefan! It’s true that the iPhone, or almost any phone, will produce video that’s just as good or better than any webcam. It is a workaround, though and as such requires more effort to pull off.

        But like you, that doesn’t seem to deter us either. Back in 2012 Perry Lawrence and I did a launch that was designed to look and sound like a Skype interview but with perfect lighting and audio.

        I built the Skype interface, then we each recorded our dialogue separately. A huge amount of work, but oh, so much fun! Nowadays we have the Logitech C920 and better broadband…

    • Hannah Rose

      Count me in on learning about the Eaver (or anythingthat makes videos go better) and thanks!

    • Hannah Rose

      Count me in on learning about the Eaver (or anything that makes videos go better) and thanks!

    • Stuart O'Nwill

      Steve
      You know me so you know I’m a G+centric guy. Why have all the fuss, although some parts are appropriate, when we’ve had Hangouts on Air for years? They auto record to YouTube where you can immediately pull them down for editing.

      Unless you’ve promoted the interview no one will know it’s being made. Zoom.us offers an even more sophisticated format that is used worldwide as an enterprise app. They can be recorded to hard file as needed.

      I’ve used Skype for years. Call Recorder is a fine app. With the advent of Hangouts, Zoom and YouTube editing for CTA etc. I don’t find it necessary to do the fine editing. If I need it I hire an editor, inexpensive these days, and get it back in 24 hours.

      So if you are going to give a wave to the new one way communicator FBLive please mention G+ as they were the pioneer. We just celebrated our first 5 years.

      Other than Hangouts (terrible name) Skype and Zoom, the rest are new shiny toys that lack the one most important thing… direct engagement.

      • Steven

        Thanks for your contribution, Stuart! Yes, Hangouts are free and Zoom is great for collaboration. No doubt. But I still think that for a business interview that gives you the ability to create an actual video with all that implies, there’s absolutely nothing as cool as this elegant piece of software when combined with Skype and a decent webcam.

        Having two video and audio tracks to edit with is, in itself, a completely unique aspect that neither Hangouts nor Zoom can offer.

        As for direct engagement, that was not the intent of this technique. This is about recording a private interview, then taking it back to the editing room for slicing and dicing and only then presenting it to your audience.

        Different tools, different objectives.

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