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How to set up a gaming channel

Over the last few months I set up 3 different channels, starting on guitar I then created another for gaming and then recently started a new channel for this site.  If I had had this article when I started out it would have saved me a lot of time.

For the first part I’ll cover how I set up my PC on the cheap so if you’re not interested in that then skip past it to the software.

Necessary Hardware and Costs

I did my entire setup on the cheap and only started buying it all at the start of this year. I had been travelling in Spain and only had a laptop and so I literally started from scratch. You can go as high as you like paying out for top end stuff but I did this looking to pay the bare minimum and I would be impressed to hear if ANYONE has got their rig going at this standard for less money. All prices are including postage from ebay., yes there are tons of options but this is easy on the bankroll and does the job..

Here is my PC setup..

Mainboard + CPU £93.91

motherboard-bundleASROCK Z87 PRO3 & INTEL CORE i3 BUNDLE,from ebay 1/01/17 and so I imagine you can find a similar if not better deal.  You need to be looking at a decent i3 cpu at least to be capable of running the latest games. When you do video editing, you need the high power else it will take forever and may not even work at all. Buying a second hand bundle like this is definitely a big saver. The i3 processor that came with this board is worth the purchase price of the bundle, should definitely consider looking for ram to be bundled too. Of course you can skip this whole section and buy a complete setup but it will likely cost you a lot more. I could in fact have sold the chip for £100 and had the board for free plus profit but that would have defeated the purpose.


ram

DDR3 4gb Ram  £11 x3 = £33

Don’t buy server ram because no it doesn’t work on a regular pc and it’s cheaper so don’t be a sucker. The ebay listings don’t always make it obvious and so it looks like you found a good deal but in fact if you bought it then it would be money wasted. I run my system on 12gb and never had an issue


Graphics card eVGA GeForce GTX 670 (2048 MB) £35

graphics-card

I got this really cheap, listed as for parts or not working. I messaged them about why it was for parts and they said it’s just because it’s been sat in the cupboard since they bought a new one and they couldn’t be bothered to test it. They then tested it anyway and of course it worked so I suppose I got lucky to find someone with more money than sense. I just did a search on ebay and you can expect to pay £50-£100 for one of these second hand. The one I had before was a 1gb 560ti and this had to go because a lot of capture software requires gtx600+ to work. This is an ideal entry level gaming card, it does what it’s supposed to do and makes everything work fine and it’s high enough spec to please the screen capture software. You don’t need one of these 1080ti cards, I just checked and they cost £693.37 on amazon, balls to that, £50-£100 with some bargain hunting and you’re fine.

gtx670-g3d
Here you can see that it stacks up nicely with the big boys. Also notice that it outperforms the 750ti considerably.

gtx670-performance
gtx670-performance

EVO LABS Silent Power Supply

EVO LABS Silent Power Supply £18.49

To power the graphics card you need a decent power supply. All depends on the card you have.This one I got for under £20 it works and it makes zero

xfx-2b

noise but I since upgraded to a £38 second hand XFX 550W which on the face of it sounds like a downgrade but its much better. It has an 80% efficiency rating meaning it will always draw 100w or so more to keep the 550w steady allowing for energy lost from heat. – or something like that, just is a much better one and has very good reviews and enough power on the 12v rail for my card.


ssd

SSD OCZ 180GB SSD £33

Yes you do need to have an SSD and not just make do with a regular hard drive. The sound of the hard drive disappearing when you upgrade to ssd is like a golden silence you never realized you wished you had so much. Not to mention of course that they run much much faster. Don’t question it, get one.


Microphone, stand + Preamp £9 + £5.69 + £24.75 = £39.44

condensor-mic

mic-stand

So everyone uses these condenser mics and so I jumped on board to get one. Only £9, lovely, however what you get for £9 on ebay is useless on it’s own so you need to get a preamp, a lead and some kind of stand for it. You could get away with skpping this part out and just going with the mic on your webcam but likely like me you want to complete the setup. As a guitarist I

preamp1

preamp

wanted a decent mic for recording that anyway. This kit on amazon (left) is £14.99 and includes a lead, I went for something a bit more flashy but not much more expensive thanks again to ebay and it looks lovely sat on my desk but does the exact same thing basically as one of these little black boxes.


Webcam Logitech C270 £10.49

webcam

I only bought this last week and it’s good enough to start out but really I regret not getting the better one c920 which you can pick up for about £30-40 on ebay or about £79.40 new from amazon. The c270 is fairly grainy not as good quality as I expected but it’s fine for now. For the stated 720p it’s not very impressive but it does the job.                                                                       –

logitech_c920

The face cam image is typically very small so it’s not a big deal, you get what you pay for and I did feel I lost out on quality by going cheaper with this one.

 

On the left is the more expensive c920.


PC Case CiT Ignition Blue 16 LED PC Gaming ATX Mid Tower

pc-case

Case USB3 £23.95

Plenty different options out there. For the sake of completing the set, here’s the case I bought.


Total PC cost so far is £287.28.


This is kinda cheating though because I’ve skipped out monitor and speakers but these you can get very cheap if you wanted. Also headphones you may need to add on because you need to stop audio coming out your speaker through your mic to avoid any audio issues. Personally I just use my phone earphones, you see a lot of streamers wearing headphones but a simple pair of earphones will do the exact same job.


Monitor Benq £149.99

hannsg
hannsg

I’ve got a 27″ Benq monitor which I paid £149.99 for in 2014 and similar have come down in price.  You can get a benq 24″ on ebuyer brand new for £104.98 with free delivery and looking at ebay it’s roughly what you would pay for a second hand one anyway. A worthy investment to a get a decent monitor, perhaps even 2 and yes you could easily run two monitors on a gtx670 card.


Speakers

The speakers I use are the logitech z333 and I see the logitech z533 very similar for the same price

logitech_z333
logitech_z333

on ebay 49.99 with nice golden touch to the speakers. I really like these, worth paying out £50 to have them in my opinion or of course whatever speakers you want.

The desktop volume control is a really nice touch that I’m now very used to having and wouldn’t want to go without. I picked them up from PCWorld, they are practically

z533
z533

same price everywhere online – they just cost what they cost. The postage for them being sold on ebay secondhand doesn’t make it worthwhile people selling them and so you don’t even see many second had sets. Just buy a new set.

 

 

 

 


So if you add on my monitor and speakers, it’s actually a slighty less impressive at £487.26 but there’s a lot of computer there for under £500. You will pay that for a setup on ebay that doesn’t include monitor and speakers and often are bundled with graphics cards that aren’t up to spec. Many seem to come with this gt710 and just look at the specs for it.

gt710
gt710

This would not be adequate for video editing or running good games.Looking at the ones on ebay, many of them will come bundled with My advice, play smart and rig it up yourself. You could of course buy one with a good spec that doesn’t include a decent card and then get a second hand card on ebay to pimp it out at minimum cost.


Software and Tools


Screen capture

You should get a screen capture software bundled with your video card. If you go with the same card or similar as me then you get Geforce Experience and it is really great. Just press Alt Z to open it up and you are all set. It’s just so simple to use and does the job really well.

geforce-experience
geforce-experience

Not only can you record your screen with it but also broadcast to facebook, twitch or youtube.

geforce-broadcasting
geforce-broadcasting

Microsofts Bundled App

Another screen capture that I use is the XBOX live app which I believe is bundled with windows so you may already have this but not even know it. Press Win G to open it. The benefit of this one is that it will record the active window rather than the full screen. A very simple alternative, when playing poker for example it is good to use because it will just record the game window (which can’t be maximized) and not your entire desktop and make it look nice and big in the video. This means you don’t need to strip out your desktop in editing. The only problem with it is that if you change tables, it closes the recording and you have to start recording again so then you have to bundle the different tables into your video editing.

microsoft-xbox-game-recordermicrosoft-xbox-game-recorder
microsoft-xbox-game-recorder

Youtube

Setting up youtube is fairly straightforward, it takes some getting used to but a few tips I could mention is to utilize the “upload defaults” so that it will fill in your generic tags and description so that you don’t waste time doing it time and time again. This is in the “channel” tab on the left hand side of video manager.

You will also want to set up your end screen and annotations done by going into video manager and then clicking edit on a specific video. Annoyingly you can’t set this up generically and so you have to go through each video doing it which is a real pain in the ass. You can however use a template, select to copy the same settings from one video and apply this to a new video. So after you have set it once, it’s straightforward to do. There is a tool available in tubebuddy which helps with this – coming next.

youtube-endscreen
youtube-endscreen

Tubebuddy

tubebuddy-logo

Tubebuddy is a great free tool that is definately a worthy addon to youtube. You need to add it as an extension to chrome and also register an account on their website and add your sites into it.

tubebuddy-extension

Once it is added, it will start offering you some useful extra info and options in your youtube channel manager. Currently I only use the free version and for free it will give you plenty of value. The main things that it helps me with are the tag rankings (it shows your ranking on youtube next to your tag), the tag suggestion tool (when creating a video you can get a ton of tag suggestions and spam them all in with a few clicks) and also the thumbnail generator as shown in the pics below which is a very useful and great free tool. tubebuddy

TUBEBUDDY-THUMBNAIL

There are plenty of pro features available for only a small sub fee about $5 month. One of these is the ability to add your end screen template to all videos with one click. It’s dumb you can’t do that anyway but tubebuddy has it covered. Here are some other features you can use with it.

tubebuddy-pro
tubebuddy-pro

Fotor

This is another tool that I use sometimes for creating thumbnails. If you want to do it quick then use the tubebuddy tool and to add a bit more fonts and options, use fotor, recommended. https://www.fotor.com/


OBS

Open broadcasting Studio is the standard. You may have felt that you would need a streaming box but you don’t, you just need this. https://obsproject.com/

obs

It’s fairly easy to setup, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you set it up. The basics of it are you have the “scene” on the left which allows you to switch between different games or windows, then on the right box you add in all your bits such as the webcam and the audio and the overlay etc.

A useful tip I could mention is that you probably want to add scrolling text in to show subs and donations and it isn’t obvious how to do it. First you add a text and then you right click it and select filters. You then click the + button on the bottom left and select scroll. Done.

This is the standard for streaming on twitch or on youtube, a really great little tool that I’m glad to now have set up.


Streamlabs

streamlabsThis is where you get these cool effects to your streams that will show this walking zombie (you can create a different animation) whenever someone subs or makes a donation. https://streamlabs.com/

First just register through all the required info at streamlabs such as your paypal and youtube account and then add it into the scene (at the very top as shown in my pic). Lovely.


Fiver

There are many useful services to be found here that will save you a lot of time. https://fiverr.com For example, I had my overlay that you see on my OBS pic created by a guy on fiverr. There are so fiverrmany different things to learn and do when considering starting a  channel that using these pros to do graphics and other things is definitely something useful for you. The overlay above cost me one basic gig and was done by a seller called halex97 and I would use him again. he can design the whole thing for you for a very reasonable price. There are many other services you can utilize such as getting your title screen intros, social media banners etc etc. Don’t try and do it all yourself, let the pros take over for this stuff for the sake of a few bucks.


Video Editing

adobeI use the adobe suite, in particular Premier pro and Illustrator. A huge topic that takes a bit of learning, once you have got the basics nailed it becomes much much easier and becomes second nature. Having a high spec pc with an ssd is essential to make this workable. Getting bogged down in the details of After Effects to create special effects and cool intros is really not important in the first instance.


Hope you found my little guide useful. Some of it may be obvious but I’ve covered as much as I think you anyone needs to get up and running. Please show the love and use the facebook comments below and share etc.

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