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Streaming Solutions and Virtual Instruction: Streaming 101

Streaming Solutions and Virtual Instruction: Streaming 101


7 minute read

We’re getting lots of requests from group exercise instructors and fitness club owners looking to stream their fitness classes. Streaming virtual fitness classes used to be a small portion of our monthly requests for help, now we are being asked dozens of times every day.

We’ve put together a collection of streaming products we’ve tested and believe are the best solutions for fitness instructors. We’re available to answer any questions regarding these products. Even if you just want to talk about the products or your ideas, contact us- We are here to help! 

Streaming Solutions and Virtual Instruction

 
Streaming 101  
First, let's briefly explain streaming fitness classes. You need a camera and a microphone that connect to your streaming platform/app (Zoom, Facebook Live etc.) over an internet connection.  Most instructors are going to use their smartphone or laptop for streaming, so we’ll mainly talk about these commonly used devices. 
 
Streamed Video Looks Good, Sound is Meh  
While today’s smartphones and laptop webcams can provide good to very good video for your stream, their built-in mic often doesn’t capture the sound effectively. These mics are designed for close audio mic-ing and are OK for basic phone communication, simple audio or video recording, one-on-one video chat, etc. Using these devices’ built-in mic to capture a virtual group ex class instructor's voice and music will usually produce less than optimal results. 

Fitness INstruction ONline
 
Improving your phone or laptop’s microphone/audio for Streaming 
Our recommended streaming products will improve your streaming audio. They fall into 3 categories: 

  1. Improving instructor’s voice quality, making it clearer in the stream using a wireless lavalier or headset mic system
  2. Improving voice and music quality using a high-quality room mic
  3. Improving voice and music quality using a wireless mic, music source and an audio mixer


1. Improving instructor’s voice quality, making it clearer in the stream using a wireless lavalier or headset mic system.


These solutions are popular because they are affordable and easy to use. Note: Streaming platforms typically allow only one audio source. Using the solutions in this section, be aware that the wireless microphone is your sole audio source.  The music in your stream will be whatever the microphone picks up from what you’re playing live in your studio area. The music is being captured by a method sometimes called ‘bleed-through’. You are primarily mic-ing your voice, the music is being picked up this single mic.

For this reason, a wireless lavalier (aka lapel) microphone system may be the best choice for this type of streaming solution.  A lavalier mic is less directional and picks up your voice and more of the music playing in your studio than a directional headset mic will.  Headset microphone solutions are also listed in this category and are good for instructors who are concerned mainly with their voice being heard clearly in the streaming audio.  
 
Galaxy Audio GT-VX 2.4GHz Mini Trek Lavalier Wireless System - $79.99
Mini transmitter and receiver. Lavalier mic connects to transmitter via cable. Works with iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, as well as laptops.

Galaxy Audio GT-S 2.4Ghz Mini Trek Headset Wireless System 2.4Ghz - $79.99 Mini transmitter on headset mic (cableless). Works with iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, laptops. 

Samson XPD2 Headset Mic System for Laptop/ Computer - $119.99
Bodypack transmitter with headset mic, USB receiver. Works with laptops and computers.
 
Samson XPD2 Headset Mic System and USB to Lightning Adapter for iOS, Laptops - $139.99

Bodypack transmitter with headset mic wireless system, USB receiver. Works with iOS devices, laptops and computers.

Samson Go Mic Mobile Lavalier System for Smartphones - $199.99
Bodypack and lavalier mic wireless system. Receiver mounts on the back of smartphones and connects via included Lighting connector, USB-C connector, USB-micro or 3.5mm (headphone jack) cable. 

Samson Go Mic Mobile Headset System for Smartphones - $299.99
Bodypack and Samson QEx fitness headset mic wireless system. Receiver mounts on the back of iPhones and connects via included Lighting connector, USB-C connector, USB-micro or 3.5mm (headphone jack) cable. 

Marantz Turret - how to stream online

2. Improving voice and music quality using a high-quality room microphone
A ‘room’ microphone is an upgraded, less directional microphone that captures all the sound happening live in the room/studio. This solution can provide louder music volume and better music quality than a lavalier or headset mic does using the ‘bleed through’ capture method the products in category 1 use. With a room mic, you achieve your best streamed sound mix by positioning your in-room music playback speaker close to the mic and experimenting with your own distance from the mic.
 
Shure MV88 room microphones are popular because they are affordable, very easy to use and provide very good audio quality. Shure’s slogan for this mic series is “Phones aren’t known for great sound. Shure Is.”

Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone - $149.99
Stereo condenser mic that plugs directly into an iPhone/iPad’s Lightning jack. This best-selling streaming mic solution can be fine-tuned by Shure’s MOTIV apps on your device. Made for iOS.

Shure MV88+ Video Kit - $249.99
Includes Shure MV88+ stereo condenser mic, a Manfrotto® PIXI tripod, phone clamp, and mount to give you optimal video angle and professional stability.  iOS and USB-C cables are provided for maximum compatibility and connectivity. 

3. Improving voice and music quality using a wireless mic, direct music source and an audio mixer.
For best streaming audio, using a mixer to blend a wireless mic system and a direct music source is the solution. This method is similar to the way your group ex sound is mixed for a traditional class live in your club’s studio. Here, instead of the voice-over-music mix being amplified through speakers for your live class, it’s sent directly to your laptop, phone or tablet...which combines it with your video for a premium streaming audio experience.

Using a mixer gives you complete control of the voice-to-music balance. Your music sounds its best because it’s going directly into your (mixed) audio stream- it’s not being picked up by a room mic or bleeding through a headset mic.

You ”monitor” your music using small format speakers in your virtual studio.  The mixer gives you complete control of your in-studio monitor volume. 

Online classes

Essential Accessories
We offer tripod stands and device holders for mounting phones, tablets and cameras to help you easily get the best angle and add professional stability for your streamed videos. We have a large selection of adapters to help you connect.

Beyond Phones and Laptops
If you’re using a standalone camera and need streaming audio or are looking for a more advanced solution, contact us- we can help.

View our Streaming Solutions here:
https://www.avnow.com/pages/virtual-instruction-and-streaming-solutions
 
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Streaming Solutions and Virtual Instruction

Let Us Help You Go Virtual
AV Now’s Stream Team is standing by to answer your questions and make recommendations for a virtual solution that fits your needs and budget. We’re available by phone at 800-491-6874, email us at  sales@avnow.com, chat with us on avnow.com.

Fill out and submit our Virtual Instruction and Streaming Solutions Form and we’ll get back to you quickly with our recommendations. 

 

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