Finding the best way to stream can be a difficult task to accomplish. Having more than one person in the studio and on the stream can make it even more overwhelming. Here, we will delve into some of the techniques we have tried over the past couple of years, along with the pros and cons of each duo-cast setup. You can pick and chose between the different aspects of each set up to put together your own personal duo-cast configuration.
Two Streamers, One Couch
This was our first attempt at streaming. We brought over one computer and hooked it up to our largest TV monitor that we had on a high standing table. On top of that, was a Logitech C615 HD webcam that looked down and was able to capture the entirety of the couch and everyone that would sit on it. The next thing we had to think about, was the mic. We picked up a Blue Snowball USB microphone because it had the optimal settings to capture multiple voices at one time. In front of us, we brought over a footstool that the microphone and keyboard sat on while we played either skyrim or various adventure games. As far as reading chat, we would pass around a tablet that we had watching the stream that two or three of us would take turns reading and paying attention to. In all, this was probably our most fun, but also most difficult way to stream.
- Having multiple people, this felt the most relaxed setup. We were able to talk best among ourselves and were never segregated when we had more than two people on the stream.
- The vibe was closer to a “hang out with us” while we sat on the couch playing games
- We only had the one monitor, and until we found out what OBS remote was, we had to continuously tab out of our game to look at anything that was on our OBS. We couldn’t monitor the various activities.
- With only 1 monitor chat was very difficult to read and we often missed or took a long time to see that someone was trying to talk to us.
- It was very hard to play games with a keyboard and mouse on the couch with no actual table in front of us.
- Faces were very small, and the camera box took up a lot of space on stream
Two Computers side by side
We eventually moved into our dining room, and set up two computers side-by side. Both computers had their own monitors, and we sat at a table with two chairs. Two, sometimes three people were easily able to be on camera. We used the same Logitech C615 HD webcam, but this time had it placed in between both monitors on a stack of books. We still had the Blue Snowball USB microphone sitting between us.
- Playing games this way was much easier
- With the second computer we were able to read chat easily, interact with chat, moderate and do other things without causing too much interruption to the stream
- We weren’t looking down when we read chat
- The microphone was closer and our voices were crisper as a result
- We could play games together
- If we did play games together, we would have to overlay chat on the second computer so one person wasn’t able to fully play
- If we had a third person, the back seat was very alienating to that person and they couldn’t read chat or see the game.
- We were very cramped together and had little space on our kitchen dining table (though that was our fault for having such a small table)
- We had major camera framing problems, where someone’s head would be out of the camera view without us knowing.
- Faces in the back were still small, and the camera box took up a lot of space on screen
Two Computers, Three Monitors, All Linked Up
We moved again to our living room, and set up on a longer table. With this table, we were able to put a third wide screen monitor that we flipped to be vertical. We hooked up our second, non streaming computer to this monitor and specifically made it for chat only. The second computer was hooked up to it’s own monitor as well as chat’s monitor. Then we took the main streaming computer, hooked it up with its own monitor and also hooked it up to the second computer’s main monitor. We put OBS up on that second monitor so that the person in the second seat could help with any problems with the stream. With all of the monitors hooked up this way it allowed us to have even more control of the stream.
- We could play games together without chat being in the way
- We could fix problems on stream without interrupting the stream much
- We were less cramped, and it was comfortable
- This also made solo streaming very easy
- Playing games together was still sometimes a challenge, because the second person would have to change their monitor input often to look at something in OBS.
- If someone leaned too close or off to the side we still had camera framing issues
- When we had guests over as part of the stream, the audio was inconsistent because they would have to sit too far back for the mic to pick them up clearly
- Anyone not in the two main streaming seats could not see the game or the chat very well
- Faces were small and the camera box took up a lot of space on stream
NOW: With Green Screen
When we moved into our new apartment, our microphone and camera were on their last leg. So when our microphone broke, we ended up replacing it with a Blue Yeti USB. By then we’d bought two microphones and two Logitech C920 cameras. We eventually upgraded the Blue Yetis to two Samson MTR201 mics, and bought a Yamaha MG12XU mixing board. For everything to fall into place, we painted the wall behind us green. Lastly, we purchased a fourth monitor and mounted it on a swivel monitor stand. The Fourth monitor is not necessary, but helped free up screen space. With the larger space put between the two of us casting, we had issues with the second person not being able to see what was on the gaming screen. We devoted one monitor to just watch OBS so we could see follows, hosts, donation notifications, plus what exactly the stream was seeing game wise. Also, both people had a monitor for chat in front of them now. We kept one of the Blue Yeti USB microphones, it is used to talk to people on discord. Since our other mics are being input through the sound board, discord users would hear everything that the sound board was mixing if we used those mics.
- We can play games together with no interruption to the stream
- With the green screen, our camera box is taking up less space on stream
- Our cameras are much more focused, being on only one person
- Our sound is more crisp, since each microphone is only picking up one person
- We can control all volume levels on the stream with the audio mixer
- We have full moderation powers for the channel without interruption
- We can see the stream on OBS, and see what the viewers see
- We can do green screen overlays and do “scenes” on streams, such as put both people in the cabin of a truck for a truck simulator game.
- The second computer’s main monitor is very spaced out, so during a solo cast it is a bit of a pain to access
- Having two chroma keyed cameras on stream, we are limited in spots that we can place our cameras.
- The drivers for the cameras confuse the computer and the computer only thinks we have one camera. If we want to edit our cameras, we can only edit the last one we plugged in. So in the morning, we have to unplug the cameras, then set them up one by one before the stream.
- The distance between the two casters is less personal and a little more solo feeling
- We run into way more tech issues and they are harder to solve with so many different inputs going to one place
Overall, we prefer this setup and are currently running with it for our stream. It makes everything smoother, even if there is more required in setting up for the stream in the morning. It allows the clearest of quality and the most ease of access to all of the functions that we use. Eventually, we would like to upgrade our second computer so that we can use a dual PC setup, like Murderklok has here. A dual PC setup like his would make our setup even easier to operate and reduce stress on the CPU.
We’ve tried many different setups and hope that our experiences help you figure out what is right for you. Feel free to try one of them or mix and match to create your own.