Setting up your video equipment

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If you are using the Foundation Camera Kit to film your WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more., getting everything set up for the event can seem daunting at first, but once you know how everything fits together it is really simple.

If you are not using the Foundation kit and need to source your gear locally, most of these items are readily available. Ask around and you may find that several members of your community may already have what you need.

Because being able to hear a video is almost more important than being able to see it, camera setup varies based on how you will be recording your audio, as the camera itself can use the default settings. Follow along to see how to set up your camera, based on how you will be recording sound.

Best Bet – Patching into the Soundboard

This is the simplest to set up because it requires the least equipment. It also gives you the best sound quality possible, as it uses the mic-level output from the venue’s sound mixing board to provide a clean audio signal.

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How to set up your camera

Watch the following video to see how to set up your camera for use with the venue’s soundboard.

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Can’t reach — If the provided patch cord doesn’t reach the venue soundboard, ask if they have a longer cable. It’s a pretty common thing in most venues, so it’s likely they have one to help you out.

Buzzing sound in your audio — check your audio cable to see if you can route it away from power cords, which may introduce interference into the line. If you need to cross a power cord, try to do so at a 90º angle; running audio and power cords next to each other (parallel) should be avoided.


Gaffer’s Tape — Your multipurpose friend

You can use gaffer’s tape to make your day of shooting easier in the following ways:

  • Tape down cables so they are not a tripping hazard
  • Mark the spot on the stage you want presenters to stand
  • Attach gear to your camera,tripod, etc. if you don’t have a bracket
  • General MacGuyvering

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Next Best – Using the wireless lapel microphone

If you are unable to patch into the venue sound board, the wireless lapel mic provided with your kit is a great option for getting clear audio. It’s a little more work to set up, and requires checking the sound (to make sure you don’t get any wireless interference) but is a very reliable rig. Just make sure to use fresh batteries so you don’t lose sound during filming!

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How to set up your camera

Watch the following video to see how to set up your camera for use with a wireless lapel microphone.

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Noise/interference — If you experience any noise or interference in the wireless signal (which you will hear if you are monitoring sound on your headphones) try switching both the transmitter and the receiver to a different frequency or channel. Most systems have an A/B (or similar) switch for this purpose.

Other sources of interference – Also make sure that you have a clear path (line of sight) between the transmitter and the receiver, and that the receiver antenna is fully extended. Also be aware that nearby wireless devices may also cause interference.

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Don’t Forget! — Monitor your sound and use fresh batteries!


Don’t take a chance on losing audio in the middle of a presentation; load fresh 9v batteries into the transmitter and receiver before you start shooting. Also make sure they are both turned on and set to the same frequency, and use headphones to monitor the sound by plugging them into the headphone jack on the receiver.

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