This post is brought to you by NewTek and the TriCaster Mini. To learn more, visit www.newtek.com.
YouTube creator Lon Seidman of LonTV operates as a one-man-band when he’s crafting his YouTube videos. While he does practically everything himself — setup, recording, editing, the whole shabang — his videos can still be compared head-to-head with news broadcasts created with larger crews and a bigger budget.
So what’s Seidman’s secret? Besides his clear dedication and skill, Seidman uses the TriCaster® Mini from NewTek, along with the company’s Connect Spark video converter and NDI® technology.
What Prompted Seidman to start using real-time switchers?
Ten years ago, Seidman got into an Amazon-run program that matched brands to product reviewers. He began to do tons of video reviews and decided to upload some of them to YouTube. Later, he saw that he was starting to get some notable traffic from his reviews.
“Before I knew it I was getting a good amount of traffic, subscribers were picking up and then I was doing it more often and I really needed to figure out a way to get my workflow more efficient,” Seidman says. “I decided to start doing real-time switching of the video as I was recording it and that way when I was done, I just kinda straighten the clips together and upload it.”
It was then that Seidmen did some tech shopping and, through some trial and error, eventually ended up with the TriCaster Mini — and now he couldn’t be happier.
“The volume of what I have been able to produce has been increased exponentially because of it … I’m not fighting with the equipment all the time … I’m doing more detail in my reviews because it’s not hard to set all the stuff up. I’m not constrained. My time constraints are not what they were because I could have the Tricaster Mini do everything now,” Seidman gleefully says.
Seidman originally used a real-time switcher from a different brand, but he wasn’t happy with it and upgraded to NewTek
“One of the things that the other switcher couldn’t do was scaling and rotation,” Seidman admits. “That prompted me to invest some of the earnings that I had made on YouTube into getting the TriCaster, because it was all about saving myself time.”
Seidman’s been using the TriCaster for about three years now and he’s very satisfied with how it’s changed his workflow. “It saved me a ton of time, because I don’t have do any of the stuff in editing. I can set it all up while I’m shooting it. I can have four or five different things on the screen at once if I wanted to and it’s made life really easy and really made my workflow more efficient,” he says.
What does Seidman’s current setup look like?
Seidman does a weekly show where he expresses his thoughts and opinions on things. With the TriCaster Mini, he’s able to create a design and aesthetic that he likes to humbly compare to John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. To make his John Oliver-esque YouTube videos, he uses two cameras that he connects through HDMI on the TriCaster Mini. He also uses a third camera that supports NDI, along with SDI and HDMI. And he uses his laptop as an additional input.
Whenever Seidman has to cut to a camera he’s placed outside of his basement studio, he likes to use the Connect Spark. “I’ve been using the Spark a lot because it has tons of flexibility,” Seidman says. He likes that he can simply grab the Spark, put an extra camera in the room he wants to switch to and run NDI over Wi-Fi to the TriCaster Mini like any other camera input, saving him the money and hassle of running cables.
Seidman’s using the TriCaster Mini for more than he originally thought he would
The main appeal of the NewTek TriCaster Mini for Seidman was its scaling capabilities, but as he began to use it, he realized that he could do a lot more with it. He ended up trying out green screen for the first time ever because he felt the TriCaster’s keying is very good.
And even after using it for about four years now, he still wouldn’t think of switching to another switcher any time soon. “It’s still perfectly relevant and capable,” Seidman says. “I’m not finding myself needing anything else.”
To learn more about the TriCaster Mini and other NewTek products, go to www.newtek.com