Documenting my tabletop gear

I’m using my Norns and Arc in my grad school thesis but I can no longer get away with pointing my phone at the desk and recording the speaker output. Most of my projects have been screen based so I’ve been able to get by with Syphon or ScreenFlow, so this a new problem for me.

I’ve been thinking about tabletop tripods and webcams (or even a decent camera with a video recording mode) to try to get some quality documentation.

Anyone have any suggestions as far as equipment and accessories?

Could use a GoPro so you can get in close and wide. Bit of fisheye in the lens, though, so depends if that would be an issue for you. On the plus side it’s relatively inexpensive and very small!

iPhone (even an older one, like a 6, that you can find used or refurbished for little money) and a class-compliant USB soundcard (all my instagrams are done with a behringer uca-222 that I have since forever, and it costs around 20 euro/dollars) + an octopus tripod (10 euro/dollars, on amazon).

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I’m working on a little streaming setup at the moment around OBS. It’s pretty flexible on layering video sources and scaling etc. I’m using a Camlink from Elgato to capture a live feed from my camera and going to try layering a wireless feed from an iphone camera too.

Most people who do top-down “gear on a table” videos seem to use microphone stands instead of camera tripods. You just need an adapter for the threading.


Thanks everyone, I have a bit to play with here. I’m annoyed my Apogee Duet needs drivers because that and my phone would be an easy answer.

I ended up going with a Logitech BRIO webcam on a gooseneck arm clamped to the table. It works in my studio and when I’m demonstrating something with the Norns/Arc.

The trick to getting good video out of it is downloading the Logitech settings app which exposes manual focus, field of view, brightness/contrast/color and so on.