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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
Dear Experts:

My goal: This summer, I would like to help a non-profit organization record (and web-cast) presentations at their annual conference.

The conference will include several lectures, group discussion and coffee-house concert-like sessions.

It is a non-profit and this is really a "gift" of my time (more than funds), so I need to minimize/control costs.

What I have/can easily access:
  • MacBook Air (13" i5)
  • At least 2 other Macbooks (unknown vintage)
  • At least one i3 Win7 box
  • 2 TB external USB and other smaller drives (from 160 GB to 500 GB)
  • 4-port router (with n/B/G wireless)
  • 1 Airport Express
  • Projector (unknown vintage)
  • 2-channel MIDI mixer with USB into to PC and at least one nice wired mic.
  • External (usb) MBA DVD drive
  • Access to a wired internet connection
  • Skype account
  • At least 3+ iPhones (2 or more 4S and other vintages)
  • Powered external speakers and input to sound system in the room
  • iTunes library with lots of music

I want to:
  • Record lectures (speaker ... would be great to be able to insert PPT slides on the fly). Broadcast one or two of the lectures "live"... Would be nice to be able to "see" and maybe pick from multiple cameras on-the-fly as part of the records ("cameras" would be feeds from the iPhones -- not sure how to make this work...).
  • Save recorded files in a format that can be easily edited/clipped later (while it would be "nice" to save multiple video feeds, I am willing to just pick one video input at the time of recording and go with it).
  • Play tunes during gathering/breaks (using iTunes -- I know how to do this part!).

I am fluent in IT/computer technology and networking, but a novice in the area of video recording and production. I expect that I will need at least one or two applications (hopefully free or lite/inexpensive options) and that I may need to set up some sort of broadcast video account beyond Skype.

I have a few weeks to gather things, test out configurations, and run a few trials.

Suggestions on hardware (if needed), software, web-sites/services and tutorials/guides would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Scott B.


macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2012
Hey Scott.

Not sure if your Macbook Air will have enough juice, I don't own one, but I do have a first gen Macbook Pro (2006) and I used it to do a ton more than what you're talking about here, but I also had a ton of external equipment.

First off, if you want to broadcast live over the internet, is pretty easy to get up and running. You can embed code into a website and when you are broadcasting live people can view it. They might have to make a few clicks to access the live feed, but they don't have to join Stickam or anything like that. Check it out, I used to use it all the time and it was quite awesome.

As far as getting multiple shots on-the-fly (and actually your most ideal situation for all of this anyway), you're going to need some kind of external video mixer and video cameras, simply because getting more than one video source into your Mac isn't going to happen (as far as I know). I don't know of any program for Mac that will allow multiple live cameras coming in, let alone switching. Maybe there's something out there that I've never heard of though, and if there is, you're going to need more than what you've got.

I don't know where you're located, but I suggest checking out your local public access TV station. You probably won't have enough time to get trained on the equipment, so you may need to find volunteers through the station. That's if you even have on in your area, but if you do, they should video cameras at least, and maybe a video mixer.

An alternative to the video recording would be to use the iSight cameras in the MacBooks and record straight to iMovie, saving on the external hard drives. The only problem with doing this live is you'll have to have a way to broadcast to Stickam, since your iSight cameras will be tied to iMovie.

Then you still need to figure out the projector situation. Is the projector for PowerPoint presentations of a live video feed? If it's for PowerPoint, you should be able to go out from the laptop and into the projector, and you'll need to know how to configure Powerpoint to treat the projector as a "second screen". If it's for a live feed, you are probably going to need that external video mixer for an output.

I've been doing A/V for 16 years now, working with video on Macs since 2004, and this is the best I've got.



macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
I think you are wanting a complex setup with stuff you don't really have. It's going to be difficult to do something way advanced with little or no money to spend on it.

There are a few things to consider.

I record these type of events for the university, so I've only seen the more professional side of things. In fact, you could try contacting a school nearby and they might a setup that they would allow you to rent.

I'll inform you of what I usually use and maybe that will give you a new direction or realize the complexity of this issue. We use a Mac Pro running wirecast and depending on the lecture we may have different setups. We have one main camera connected via firewire into the computer. We have an audio mixer with a few wireless receivers that feed into the mixer then into the xlr inputs on the main camera. Desktop Presenter (Telestream) is installed on the presenter computer and then wirecast allows the input of the ip address to receive the signal and show a live feed of that computer. Wirecast does allow multiple live cameras which use on several occasions. They have the option to try it, I'm not sure what the limitations are though.

There are so many issues based on what you have available that it will be difficult to do a really good live broadcast.

I think ustream app on the iPhone allows you to stream to the site for free. If you really want to do this, you could place a phone somewhat close and just use the audio from the phone to get by with the stream. Not ideal, but it may be your only option with what you have.

I really don't think there is a good setup to have your iPhones stream into the computer where all the feeds sync up. You're better off finding some video cameras from your friends, record to tape and then use your wired mic to get clean audio and sync it to the clips in FCPX. You can download a trial for 30 days for FCPX. Then just use an iPhone if you want to stream it live online.
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