Twitch is one of the most popular streaming tools on the web, and it’s been used by some of the world’s biggest gamers to broadcast their gameplay to the entire world. Mega Ran, who has a Twitch stream, decided to share his setup with us, and here’s a glimpse of what he uses.
Twitch streamer Mega Ran says he’s not just a gamer, he’s also a do-gooder. As the name of his channel would suggest, he spends a lot of his time streaming on Twitch, where he regularly chats with other streamers and thousands of fans. Over the last year, he’s been updating his setup in an effort to improve the quality of his stream and make it a better place for viewers to hang out.
Welcome to Influenced, where we interview designers from all walks of life about the equipment they use for their work, as well as their advice to budding authorities. This week we spoke with Rahim Mega Ran Jarbo, a hip-hop artist known for his video game inspired songs. He upgraded his Twitch setup to better connect with his fans around the world.
- The rap veteran, who incorporates influences from gaming and geek culture into his hip-hop, has four Billboard Top 200 albums and more than 64,000 monthly listens on Spotify.
- He has been featured on ESPN, ABC, NBC and in the wrestling promotions WWE, ROH and AEW.
- Guinness record holder for most commercially available video games.
- Author of Dream Lords: A book of memoirs about his musical career.
- Host of the Random Encounters and Mat Mania podcasts.
When he’s not making music in his studio in Phoenix, Arizona, Jarboe streams video games, DJ sets and live podcasts for his many fans on Twitch – lately stepping up his activities when he has a little more time at home. The teacher-turner is constantly upgrading his equipment with new gadgets and uses numerous cameras, microphones and green screens to make sure everything is perfect.
I literally learn something every day, and that’s the best part of my time at home, Jarboe says. I was already planning on doing more Twitch and streaming, and this gave me the time to do it.
Here are some key elements of Jarbo’s current lineup on Twitch, along with his advice for anyone looking to launch their creative career.
For clear images on the camera: Logitech C922 Pro (€99.99; logitech.com)
Finding the right camera was quite a journey for Jarboe, who probably bought four different webcams to find the best one for his setup. It uses several webcams to provide multiple camera angles and connect to Discord calls during the broadcast, but currently uses the popular Logitech C922 camera as the primary camera.
I chose expensive, I chose cheap. I have a Sony A7. I would overheat it every time, Jarboe said. I’ve tried upgrading all the time, but I think Logitech has done the best job so far.
The Logitech C922 is an updated version of our best webcam, the Logitech C920, which we love for its excellent 1080p picture quality, easy-to-use companion software, and affordable price. The C922 uses the same basic design and makes it more streamer-friendly. It offers a recording capacity of 60 frames per second for ultra-smooth video, as well as three months of XSplit Premium streaming software.
For more exciting feeds: Fudesy Green Screen Backdrop ($179.99; amazon.com)
Watch any of Jarbo’s Twitch streams and you’ll often see him absorbed in the game he’s broadcasting or standing in front of a sleek virtual backdrop while spinning one of his DJ sets. This is possible thanks to Fudesy’s green screen, which allows him to overlay the visuals of his choice without the background interfering with his retro games or old-school music marathons.
It works well for me when I’m DJing because I’m standing still, and I can set it up behind me when I’m doing a live show, says Jarboe, who notes that this green screen is a big improvement over the regular green screen he relied on for seamless recordings.
I used to have only fabric, green fabric, and I used to do my best to hang it somewhere, Jarboe said. When I saw my first feeds, I thought: Oh, wow, that’s rough.
For a simple and excellent sound: HyperX QuadCast ($139.99; amazon.com)
As a musician, Jarboe wants to get the best possible sound at home. The HyperX Quadcast microphone helped him do just that during his frequent game streaming sessions. It provides a simple and clean plug-and-play solution to communicate with fans (and sometimes bars).
The ease of use of the HyperX QuadCast really helped me, Jarboe said. The ability to tap the top of the screen to mute or play all sound was very useful for what I was trying to do.
The HyperX QuadCast S (updated version with RGB lighting) almost made it into our top microphones. It impressed us with excellent overall sound, four recording modes and a striking design. Jarboe recently upgraded to an Audio-Technica AT2035 to use the same microphone for streaming and music, but he considers QuadCast the most important piece of equipment that helped him improve his Twitch experience from the start.
To restart the power: Elgato Stream Deck ($149.99; elgato.com)
Almost every content creator we talk to swears by Elgato Stream Deck, and Jarbo is no exception. The rapper and streamer who originally bought it to perform fun musical tricks continues to discover the endless possibilities that can be achieved with Elgato’s versatile streaming control keyboard.
At first, I just let him make noises. I just wanted to be one of those cool DJs blowing foghorns, Jarboe says. Then I can control it, switch to my second camera, pause the feed, send a tweet to indicate I’m live. You can do a lot with the Stream Deck, and I think I’ve only just scratched the surface of its full potential.
Stream Deck is one of our favorite gadgets in Underscored, for the same reasons Jarbo described above – you can use this keyboard to control multiple camera feeds, control music playback, open apps, and more with a few quick taps. Just make sure you choose the right version for your setup: there’s the six-key Stream Deck Mini ($79) for beginners, the 15-key Stream Deck ($149) for the average streamer, and the 32-key Stream Deck XL ($249) for advanced users.
As a former educator, Jarboe believes the best thing you can do to succeed as a designer is watch and learn.
In any profession, if you want to be good at something, you have to look at people who do it really well and figure out how to make it work for yourself, Jarboe says. So before you hit the record button, go to Twitch, watch other people’s streams, ask questions, ask questions yourself and gather enough knowledge to do this.
Once you have this knowledge, Jarboe recommends trying out different types of equipment before deciding which is best for you.
Many of these companies have fairly lenient return policies, so buy the item and check it out, Jarboe says. If a product doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to send it back and try something else.
Finally, Jarboe, like other developers on the internet, advises to start with what you have – the rest comes with time, practice and lots of trial and error.
My first streams were probably on a PS4, with a PS4 camera, and I was just doing my thing. Then I thought: Wait, why can’t I have my thing do all these cool things? Then I started studying more. Then I turned on the streaming on my Mac and thought: Wait, why can’t I get my stuff to do all that other stuff? And I’m like: Oh, because streaming on a Mac sucks. Then move on to a good PC.
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