The Unofficial Guide to vMix: Professional Live Video Production For Students

Live video production is becoming an essential part of the education field. In middle and high schools, students no longer receive information through newsletters and announcements over a loudspeaker. Instead, with screens in every classroom, and students interested in learning about video and technology, school days often start with student-run productions. More high schools now offer video production courses and optional broadcast club memberships. Many Colleges and Universities have full broadcasting departments serving the growing job market. Even K-12 public schools now have small clubs with some form of closed-circuit or web-based student broadcast station.

As the demand and the desire for high-quality video production abilities increase across all education levels, teachers and administrators scramble to keep up. Fortunately, the days are gone of having to choose between low-quality consumer-grade gear or professional equipment that costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thanks to advances in PC performance, the reduced costs of broadcast-grade cameras, and some powerful yet affordable software, educational institutions of all levels have access to affordable and easy to use video solutions.

Still, except in the cases where there is a dedicated instructor or director with experience in video production, teachers and staff are often on their own to figure out how to get things up and running. Certainly, some students are quite adept and learning these new technologies, but it is still up to someone on staff to teach and lead.

The Unofficial Guide to vMix Book
The Unofficial Guide to vMix Book

Often the most challenging part of getting started is choosing the right video production software. Standard computers can now take the place of many of the expensive components of a video production setup. One of the most cost-effective and powerful options on the market is vMix. There are certainly other options out there, such as OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), Wirecast, and eCamm Live. While there are pros to each, it is hard to beat vMix for an educational setting. It is easy to set up, intuitive to use and can handle nearly any possible configuration. That is important since schools have unique and often changing needs.

But where do you start learning more about vMix? Now you can find everything you need in one place. The Unofficial Guide to vMix: Professional Live Video Production Software Overview by the StreamGeeks, gives you everything you need to get started with vMix. It also includes all the details required to take advantage of the wide array of advanced features to help bring your productions to life.

What Does it Cover?

Whether you want to learn just enough to get started or take a deep dive into the possibilities of vMix, The Unofficial Guide to vMix can help. It can guide you from getting started to becoming a pro user. It is also a great resource to keep nearby to reference for questions and when trying new features.

Getting Started

Some reference guides assume that you have already purchased and installed the software. The Unofficial Guide to vMix starts with the most basic step of helping you understand the different versions of the software available to determine what will work best for your situation. It then walks you through the process of downloading and installing the software. Once you have everything running, the book offers a basic overview of the interface so you can learn your way around and begin to see what the software can do.

Getting Connected

One of the main functions of live video production is switching from source to source. So, it makes sense that the book quickly moves on to help you get your video sources connected. These can include cameras, capture devices, NDI (Network Device Integration) sources, videos, and even more advanced input sources. Don’t worry if you don’t have all your equipment yet. You can learn just by using your webcam and some basic files on your computer. Once The Unofficial Guide to vMix walks you through the process, you will understand the basics of adding any type of source.

Sending It Out

Educational users will likely have some unique needs when it comes to how they will use their productions. Middle and High Schools may be sending out a live feed to their internal video distribution system to appear on classroom displays. Colleges and Universities may be sending out live streams over the internet. In some situations, the productions may be recording “live to tape.” This gives student producers that chance to experience live production while allowing faculty or staff to review and edit as necessary before sending it out. 

Audio Control

Especially with student-run productions, getting audio right can be tricky. Whether you are producing morning announcements or a campus newscast, quality audio is essential. The Unofficial Guide to vMix will show you how to take advantage of the powerful audio features built into the software. You will even learn how to take your audio to a professional level using VST 3 audio plugins.

Automating Your Work

Whether you are a faculty member charged with producing video content on your own or a teacher leading students through the live production process, there are rarely enough hands to handle everything. vMix has multiple automation tools built in to take some of the work off of the producer. In The Unofficial Guide to vMix, you will be introduced to shortcuts. Shortcuts allow you to assign nearly any function in vMix to a keyboard key, MIDI device, or control surface. This means you could assign a key or button to start or stop the stream, turn on a microphone, start a video, or just about anything else.

With triggers, you can skip the key or button press and let the software do the work. Triggers start when a specific condition is met, like when a video or countdown ends. Instead of having to remember to switch to a camera, turn on a microphone, or add any overlay, vMix does it automatically. 

The Unofficial Guide to vMix will also introduce you to playlists. These are perfect for student-run productions like morning announcements. The book will show you how to create a playlist that follows the production flow and can automatically transition between cameras, graphics, videos, and other inputs based on predetermined timers or manually.

Control Options

While sometimes you need automation to take some of the work out of production, other times, the point is to involve as many students as possible. The Unofficial Guide to vMix will show you how to create multiple workstations using nothing more than smartphones and tablets connected to your network. Using the Web Controller, students can access the source switcher, use predetermined shortcuts, and even handle changing the content on title slides. The Web Controller can also be used to create a basic tally light system allowing on-camera talent to know what camera is live just like in a professional broadcast setting.

Many Other Powerful Options

One of the best features of The Unofficial Guide to vMix is that it covers nearly everything vMix can do. Understanding these features may help inspire teachers and students to think creatively about what is possible. You can see how it is possible to set up a virtual set using a green screen, bring in outside guests with vMix Call, build multi-layered multiview inputs, add dynamic text to custom-built titles, and even integrate social media interaction into live broadcasts. The possibilities are endless, and The Unofficial Guide to vMix will show you how to do it all.

Get The Unofficial Guide to vMix: Professional Live Video Production Software Overview today.

There are a couple of ways to get your copy of the book. 

 

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