Advice for a new youtuber
June 8, 2014 9:31 AM   Subscribe

My twelve-year-old son has aspirations of becoming a pro youtuber. He initially wants to do video game reviews and demonstrate in-game scenarios. This will involve screencasting while skyping with friends. What resources can I point him to or advice do you have for getting started? What software and setup are most Youtubers using? He can recognize poorly done videos and wants to do something with decent production quality (bearing in mind it is for an audience of kid gamers). What are some of the key skills in video and audio he should start to pick up? What video formats and resolutions are best for Youtube? Are there places he can get free backing tracks? Are backing tracks even something to worry about? I'm quite knowledgable about computers in general but don't know what I don't know in this area. I currently have him set up with a decent mic on a Mac Mini, Quicktime for recording, and iMovie for editing. I haven't purchased any screencasting software yet.
posted by stp123 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
At least one of the newer platforms are making it easier to automagically upload to YouTube -
posted by chrisinseoul at 10:27 AM on June 8, 2014

I use Screenflow for recording screencasts on the Mac but this is for recording Mac OS.

What platform does he use to game on? I assume it's either PS, Xbox or a Windows PC. If it's a console you would need a way to get the image to show up on a PC (HDMI cables?).

For audio advice I would refer to this podcasting guide.

When I was gaming FRAPS was the Windows based software to record game sessions.
posted by wolfr at 11:40 AM on June 8, 2014

I love Screenflow, and it has an easy learning curve, but I'm personally planning on moving to Camtasia for a larger feature set. That said, I make screencasts, not "videos." If I was making a video series, I would probably use the cheapest/fastest/lightest screen cap tool that would cover my bases, and centralize editing in a 2nd application, be it iMovie/premiere/FC X/etc.

I might also spend just enough time in a motion graphics app like Adobe After Effects to make snazzy reusable/template title screens, bumpers, etc.

Audio: Pop/plosive filters, normalization, EQ, compression.
The Dan Benjamin link looks great, Transom also has some good technique guides.

Production value and style is always important, even for kids, probably sometimes even more so than for adults, IMHO. e.g. Vi Hart To that end, I think backing music/sounds can be fantastic. First thing that comes to mind is the FMA, I think you're basically looking for something like podsafe tracks. Here's a list of other sources (Mashable). My experience is that looking through collections like this is a bit like thrift-store record hunting - lots of chaff, little wheat. I've noticed that some podcasts (notably This American Life) tend to re-use certain bits. In their case it almost certainly doesn't have to do with not being able to find more music, but nevertheless, they make it work.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 7:43 PM on June 8, 2014

I don't know anything about the technical aspects but you might suggest that he record at all times just in case something funny happens because funny glitch videos are very popular. For example, this Skyrim glitch video has over a million views (and just THINKING about it still cracks me up).
posted by Jacqueline at 8:02 PM on June 8, 2014

If he wants to capture gameplay, it's a different story from traditional screen recording. He'll need to pick up OBS. It is for streaming, but it also does recording.
posted by TimeDoctor at 10:12 AM on June 9, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. I ended up getting him Screenflow and it has worked out well.
posted by stp123 at 7:51 AM on July 11, 2014

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