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Hardware Guide and Setup with Socialive

When it comes to equipment, Socialive provides a great deal of versatility. A wide range of equipment can be used to enhance recordings. This article highlights video and audio equipment that has been proven to work well with Socialive. Of the equipment listed, some require technical knowledge. Socialive Support is available to guide you if any questions arise. This article will review the following. 

Overview of Devices


Webcams are a simple cost-effective way to increase the quality of the video feed. The C920 - Industry standard up to 1080p, plug-and-play compatibility is a webcam that works well with the majority of computers and provides quality recordings in most lighting environments.

Capture Cards

A capture card is a device used for capturing video and audio and converting it into digital signals that allow the content to be shared across internet platforms.

The following are recommendations that work well with Socialive. 

  • Elgato 4k Pro - Standard capture card. This device is considered easy to use. 

  • Inogenie - High-end capture card. This device is considered to be very reliable. 

  • Black Magic - This capture card/switcher provides the ability to have multiple cameras in one feed. 

  • ATEM mini and other USB devices can also work with Socialive. 

It’s important to note the following when working with capture cards. 

  • Do not use Black Magic ULTRA studio this card has a known issue with connecting to Macs that are on Ventura OS.

  • Inexpensive Amazon capture cards work, but are not reliable and can affect the color and quality of the video feed. 


The HDMI cable used to connect all equipment should be a high bandwidth cable depending on the resolution of the camera's output. Not all cables are built the same. If you have specific questions about the cable you are using, please reach out to Socialive Support.  

Audio Interfaces/Mixers 

An audio mixer is an electronic device used for mixing, balancing, and combining different sounds and audio signals, sources like microphones, instruments, and synthesizers, or previously recorded audio. Audio mixers provide the ability to use multiple microphones in one feed. This is great for multi-camera recordings. 


It’s recommended to avoid plugin external devices into a hub or multiple adaptors. If possible try plugging directly into the computer. When using adapters, the quality depends on computer compatibility and processing power to generate high-resolution video. 

Hardware Setup 

The quality at which content is captured through Socialive can be improved by using a proper hardware setup. Although these items are not required for recording in Socialive if you are looking to improve the quality of the output these hardware items can be considered. The following will provide low, mid, and high-range options for cameras, tripods, and microphones.

The items mentioned in this article are optional and not mandatory to use with Socialive.


Using the Socialive Mobile App, contributors and guests can record content on their own in the Recording Booth, upload recorded content from their device, or join the Green Room for a recording session with a Producer present. 

  • Camera: Mobile devices can act as the camera. Most mobile devices offer excellent video recordings. The Socialive App is available on iOS and Android. Review this article to download mobile apps.

  • Tripod: No matter the camera, you’ll want a steady, stabilized shot for the best recording, it’s recommended to use a tripod when recording on mobile devices. Gimbals are excellent additions for recording on the go. They stabilize the device while allowing the person filming to focus on their framing rather than holding the phone perfectly still.

  • Microphone: To avoid audio feedback, use earbuds with an integrated microphone with your mobile device. The Socialive iOS mobile app supports the following:

    • Apple AirPods

    • Apple EarPods With Lightning Connector

    • Apple EarPods With 3.5 mm Headphone Plug

Desktop Setups ($50 to $250)

  1. USB Webcam - The Logitech C920 webcam is great for its clear picture and built-in USB cable. It is USB-powered and does not need a separate battery or power source. Webcams are perfect for a team of one in that they are plug-and-play. Compared to mobile devices, webcams provide an improved picture resolution and capture a wider color spectrum.

  2. Tripod - We like the tripod for a lightweight camera. The Amazon Basics lightweight tripod is a good option.

  3. Microphones -  They need to be hard-wired into the mixer. Lapel microphones are discrete and allow speakers to free up their hands during an on-camera conversation. 

  4. Mixer - Multiple microphones can be routed through an audio mixer.

Mid-Range ($1200 to $2000)

  1. Cable and Capture Card - These digital cameras have Micro-HDMI outputs. This will require a Micro HDMI-HDMI cable to go to a Video Capture card, which allows a computer to receive the video signal. The Inogeni 4K2USB3 works great. Inogenis comes with a USB 3.0 cable to connect to the computer.

  2. Tripod - Fluid-head tripods are an idea

  3. Microphone - The option mentioned in our budget-friend section also works for this setup. However, you can reduce your cable clutter with wireless Lavalier microphones.

  4. Mixer - Multiple microphones can be routed through an audio mixer.

By upgrading to a lightweight digital camera with wireless microphones, you will bring your video production quality into professional territory while still on a budget - and with the ability to do it all yourself. Even budget-friendly digital cameras can capture video up to 4K with great depth of field and the ability to customize the picture you're capturing.

High-End Setup ($2,500+)

  1. Cable and Capture Card - These digital cameras have full HDMI outputs. This will require an HDMI-HDMI cable to go to a Video Capture card which allows a computer to receive the video signal. The Inogeni 4K2USB3 is still the best option for this job. Inogeni devices come with a USB 3.0 cable to connect to the computer.

  2. Tripod - Manfrotto fluid-head tripods are unbeatable for the price.

  3. Microphone - Wireless Lavalier microphones are a great choice for this setup, as they can flexibly adapt to what you need for your recording.

  4. Mixer - Multiple microphones can be routed through an audio mixer

Still, looking for an answer?

Contact Socialive Support via live chat, email at support@socialive.us, or submit a support ticket.

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