How To Record YouTube Videos (Full Guide)

record youtube videos

Stuck with how to record youtube videos? In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started creating videos.

If you haven’t set up your channel yet, then we’d recommend working through our initial YouTube Set-up Guides before you create a video. After that, you should have an idea of the channel you’re looking to create and what content will work best for your goals.

In most cases, new YouTubers may not have much experience using expensive camera equipment when starting out, but that’s okay. The beauty of YouTube is that you don’t need top of the line gear in order to create amazing videos.

Without further ado let’s dive into everything you need to know about how to record YouTube videos!

Choosing The Right Camera For YouTube

camera on tripod

As mentioned above you don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to get started with recording.

There are a wide range of ways that you can get started that we’ll go into here. You can use things that you most probably already have in your home such as a webcam, smartphone or digital camera.

Lets look at each of those options to help you make a decision on what might be best for your channel.

Webcams

Using a webcam for your videos is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get started recording YouTube videos. That’s because most modern laptops come with them preinstalled meaning you most probably won’t even need to spend any money on one at the start.

Webcams are especially popular for channels such as gaming, vlogging, reviews or any topic that doesn’t require you to move around much. If this is you, then using a webcam to record YouTube videos could be a good way to go.

It’s also the simplest way to begin recording video as it’s all done via your computer and the footage is saved directly to where you’re going to need it later. If we compare it to using your phone to record, you’ll have to worry about uploading that footage to your computer afterwards which takes extra time.

Both Mac & Windows users can make the most of webcams and the video quality will only be as good as the one you’re using. For that reason, we’d recommend using an external one the’s not build into your computer such as the Logitech C920 HD webcam.

Recording on mobile

If you’re like me, then you always have your smartphone with you as you go about your day. This makes smartphones ideal for video on the go and with technology progressing so much in recent years, camera quality has improved drastically.

As a result of this more and more YouTubers are starting to actively choose to record on their smartphones instead of carrying around bags of camera equipment. Recording YouTube videos on mobile devices might be the choice perfect for vloggers, lifestyle or adventure channels.

Digital Cameras

After you’ve started to get a feel for recording videos you might want to think about upgrading to a digital camera. Using a digital camera to record YouTube videos will almost certainly require more time, planning and editing during and after filming.

However, purchasing a digital camera can be seen as an investment and something that you definitely shouldn’t shy away from if you’re serious about YouTube. They can drastically improve your video quality in a variety of ways.

You don’t always need to spend a lot of money on a digital camera but with most things, you do get what you pay for. With that in mind, you need to do your research and think carefully when buying a digital camera for YouTube so you don’t buy something that you’ll regret in the long run.

Things to think about when recording a YouTube video

camera lighting set

Now you’ve got your recording device sorted there are some initial things you need to start to think about in order to make a great video. Let’s go through our three most important ones:

Using Interesting Shot Angles

When shooting a video, the angle that’s used can make or break the video. There is a load of different techniques you can use to express yourself through the screen. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a webcam, smartphone or digital camera. Everyone needs to think about their angles.

There are three types of angles that are most commonly used. They are Close-ups, medium or wide-angle shots.

For webcam users, this can generally be the simplest to set up as your camera will usually be set up in the center of where you’re located. You then want to make sure you’re positioned in the middle of the camera in most cases so that you’re the main feature of the video. If you’re sat too far away from the camera or in the bottom corner it makes it difficult for viewers to focus on you especially if you have a busy backdrop. This isn’t a rule though so if you have some fun ideas you want to try then by all means give them a shot!

For channels looking to films skits or other types of scenes then you should consider the following:

  • Wide Angle Shots – This is where the angle is shot further away showing an entire location or scenery. This is great if you’re showing off a place you’re visiting or anything else where you want to feature a lot in the video
  • Medium shots – This angle is really common and usually just means a standard shot of the upper body of a subject. Great if you’re doing an interview or explaining something.
  • Close Up Shots – Recording close-ups can be used when you want the user to focus on one thing. They could be used when doing a product review or making something.

When you’re starting out with your channel we’d recommend playing around. See what works best for your chosen type of content and then adjust it accordingly to meet your needs. Creating YouTube videos should be fun so have at it and see what you can come up with!

Lighting on YouTube videos

One of the most important aspects of recording a YouTube video is the lighting. Something that is often overlooked and seems so simple but can have a big impact on quality if you get it wrong.

Lighting can set the tone and mood of your videos. Having a dark setting can often lessen the quality of your videos too making them grainy. On the other hand, too much light can overexpose your videos which might hurt the eyes of your viewers. You need just need to find the sweet spot.

If you’re indoors we’d highly recommend getting some sort of lighting set up for your recording space. This can help you adjust the lighting and point it directly at yourself or what you’re recording so the camera picks it up best.

If you’re outdoors, then usually there will be enough light to keep your videos high quality except at night when you might want to think about bringing a light set up too. Outdoors you’ll also need to make sure you don’t record directly into the sunlight as you’ll pick up lens flare which again will take away from your quality.

Audio Capture For YouTube

microphone black

This is potentially one of the hardest aspects of recording YouTube videos. However, with a little practice and know-how, you’ll get it down in no time.

For channels that like musicians, your audio capture equipment will make or break your channel. If it’s not good enough then it’ll be hard to keep your viewers coming back for more, even if you’re the best guitarist in the world!

This is also important for people who talk during their videos. Let’s face it that’s most of YouTube, right? Well, if your viewers can’t understand you because the recording is muffled or too quiet then they’ll probably close the video within seconds. We don’t want that do we.

So, what can we do to make sure we get the best quality audio recordings?

We need to choose the right microphone of course!

There are a lot of different types of microphones for different scenarios so we’ll briefly go through them one by one to help you decide which will be best for you.

Microphone types

USB Microphones – These are similar to USB webcams in the sense that they plug straight into your computer. You can find these for a relatively cheap price online, but we’d recommend avoiding those and going for something more premium such as the Blue Yeti USB Microphone.

Smartphone Microphones – You may be thinking hey I’m recording on my phone it has a built-in microphone. In most cases the mic quality of these devices won’t be the best and using an external one will be better for your videos. However, you could use a digital camera to record and then record through headphones to your smartphone to get around this.

Lavalier (Lav) Microphones – These types of microphones are small and will clip onto a shirt to pick up voice recordings. They can be plugged into an amp or directly into a digital camera. You might have seen there’s on TV shows or interviews.

Shotgun or Horseshoe Microphones – These are generally the best microphones for digital camera users. They clip onto the top or bottom of your camera and are perfect for picking up clear audio from subjects directly in front of the camera. Again, these don’t need to be too expensive but one like this RODE VideoMic GO should do the trick.

For our full guide on our recommended microphones check out our best microphones for YouTube guide here.

Using Recording Software

Making use of separate recording software is optional and something I wouldn’t worry about when starting out with your first videos. I’d recommend just recording audio straight over your videos and then playing with it when you’re editing the video if you need to.

If you are looking to record audio separately for a voice-over or something like a recording you made at the beach, then there’s one piece of free software I’d use.

It’s called Audacity (www.audacityteam.org) and as I said is 100% free to download and use. You’ll find hundreds of video tutorials on how to use it on YouTube as well, so it isn’t hard to get the hang of either.

Testing your audio recordings

I always recommend that you test your audio before you record a video. There’s nothing worse than forgetting to do this, recording a 20-minute-long video only to find that your AC fan was too loud in the background!

After recording a test clip listen to the video and make sure you’re happy with it. Ask yourself some questions as if you’re the viewer. Is it clear? Any background noises? Is it loud enough? If yes, then it’s still worth moving to another room or area and trying again. Are there any differences or did you prefer the one before?

It’s always good to get the recording right the first time to save yourself a lot of heart ache in the long run.

Closing comments

I’m sure you realise now that there’s a lot to think about when recording a YouTube video, but you shouldn’t be put off. Once you’ve got your equipment you’re ready to get started.

But don’t expect your videos to be perfect first time. It will take you a few videos to get the formula right but play around and take on feedback from anyone that comments on how you can improve.

At the end of the day starting out on YouTube will be fun and like most things the more you practice get, the easier it will be.

Now get that camera out and get recording, we can’t wait to see what you create!