So here’s a fast tutorial for those who want to make sure that their webcams or microphones are installed properly so that they can start using them to create their videos!
SETTING UP: DRIVERS AND SOFTWARE
Especially for webcams, make sure that you’ve downloaded the proper software for it before you connect it to your computer. For my Logitech C920 webcam, I had to download the “Logitech Webcam Software” from their website in order for my webcam to work properly. Once the software/drivers are properly installed, plug in your device.
Make sure that you have the most recent drivers available for your device by googling the device model and the word “drivers.” A “driver” is basically what your computer needs in order to identify your device. Without it, the computer won’t know what you’re plugging into it! Many devices will automatically install the necessary drivers just by plugging it in. However, if you accidentally pull the cable out too early while it was installing or if the included drivers are too old, it may not work as intended. Also, only download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website and not some shady website with big download buttons!
To check whether or not my devices are working, I open up Skype. From the main Skype window, I go to Tools > Options. If you’re testing a microphone, you can click on “Audio Settings” and “Make a free test call.” This will let you record a snippet of audio using your microphone and hear exactly what is being picked up by your microphone!
If you’re testing a webcam, go to “Video Settings.” If your webcam is installed properly, it will show its display in the preview window at the top. If everything looks good, you can close Skype and start using your device to create your videos!
If you’ve already plugged in your device and you don’t think it’s working properly, go to your Device Manager. If you’re on Windows 10 (which you should be!) You can access it by typing it into your Windows search bar.
This will show you a detailed list of everything that is currently connected to your computer. If you’re checking to see if your microphone or webcam is connected properly, check in the “Sound, video and game controllers” section.
If you see a yellow question mark next to your webcam or microphone, right-click on the device and click “Uninstall.” Check the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox and click “OK.” This will delete the device from your computer so that you can try to install it properly. Unplug your device from your computer and install any drivers or software that you need for your device. Once it’s installed, restart your computer and try to plug in your device again.
So I hope that helped you at least get a little closer to figuring out why your recording device won’t connect. There are a ton of different models and computer and operating system combinations. If it’s just not working, you might want to consider buying a different microphone (preferably a USB microphone) and save yourself the headache of trying to troubleshoot your old one.
For my webcam, I use the Logitech C920. It’s a great 1080p HD webcam that takes great, clear video. I have it on a mini tripod on my desk so that I can move it around if I need a better angle. The audio on the webcam is also pretty good, but it’s not clear enough for me if I’m trying to create a voiceover for a video. (But good enough for Skype!)
For audio recording, I use a Blue Yeti microphone. The Yeti doesn’t need any drivers/software installed before you can use it. Just plug it in and start recording! I used to use the Blue Snowball, but the audio sounded a little hollow to me. If you don’t have either, it’s definitely better to pay a little more and go with the higher-quality option right out of the gate!
Until next time, this is Luke, signing off.
Thanks for reading!