Heights Platform How to Set Up a Home Video Recording Studio on a Budget (for Online Course Creators)

How to Set Up a Home Video Recording Studio on a Budget (for Online Course Creators)

4 minute read

One of the key elements of delivering a successful online course is offering valuable and qualitative video lessons to your students.

While the quality of your online course videos doesn't necessarily impact what your students will learn from them and the value they will get, recording high-quality videos can help you appear more professional and make your videos entertaining.

If you have watched videos from professional YouTubers or you have seen other online course creators with fancy backgrounds or equipment, you might think that setting up your own recording studio is an expensive affair.

On the contrary, creating a home or office studio doesn't have to be complicated, and it doesn't have to break the bank.

Related article: How to Record Professional Videos for Your Online Course

In today's article, we will share some tips on how course creators can set up their own home studio easily and cheaply.

Pick Your Recording Equipment

Recording professional videos for your online course can be a challenge, especially if you are not familiar with video creation or you don't feel confident speaking on camera. You also might believe that in order to record good quality videos, you need to invest a significant amount of money into purchasing all kinds of equipment.

This is not necessarily true, and you can avoid spending thousands of dollars on fancy recording equipment by following a few simple steps. Let's start with lighting.

Video walkthrough of our recommended equipment setup for course creators.

Video Lighting

One of the biggest factors that differentiate amateur video versus footage that looks truly professional is not how much money was spent on a camera or lens, it is the lighting. Fortunately, getting great lighting isn't hard to do and you don't necessarily need expensive equipment.

You can skip on buying a professional light and try to find a brightly lit spot in your room where you can record from (the more light the better). The light source should be facing you rather than coming from behind you (ie: Don't have a window in the background with the sun shining through. Instead, position yourself so that the light is hitting you so it won't overpower the shot). Furthermore, the light will be most flattering and consistent throughout your videos when it is a soft light (not direct sun rays which create harsh shadows).

Learn all about getting great lighting for your online course videos in this article from our blog: How to Get Great Lighting and Audio for Your Online Courses - Part 1


If you're building a home studio and you are on a limited budget, our advice is to start simple. Consider using your smartphone to start recording your online course videos.

Modern smartphone cameras have incredibly powerful features that are enough for a simple studio. You still might want to purchase a tripod to hold your smartphone in place while you are recording.

If you are willing to invest in something more advanced, check out our recommendations for the best online course recording setup:


Audio is an extremely important part of creating professional videos, especially when it comes to educational online course videos.

If you don't have one already, you might want to purchase a microphone to deliver the best possible audio experience in your course videos. There are a number of inexpensive microphones out there that you can connect to your computer or clip on to you.

Here are a few tips on how to get great audio in your course videos:

  • Prefer a smaller room to a large one
  • Check for sound reflection by clapping your hand (furniture, rugs and soundproofing equipment can help reduce this)
  • Keep your mic very close to you while you speak
  • Choose a quiet room with no external annoyances

Learn more about getting great audio in your online course videos here: How to Get Great Lighting and Audio for Your Online Courses - Part 2

Design Your Backdrop

Your background or backdrop is what lays behind you as you record your course videos and is visible in the videos.

You want to make sure that your backdrop is organized, clean and looks nice, without distracting the viewers from what you are saying.

If you don't have access to a professional recording setup, try to find a spot in your house or office where you can have a pleasing background. Otherwise, a simple white wall always works!

recording background example online course

Some creators like to customize their backdrop by adding something unique and in line with their brand, which stays consistent in each video they record.

This could be as easy as adding some decoration on the wall behind you, putting some plants or event painting the wall in a unique way.

recording background example appsumo

If you have more money to spend for this, you can get customized object or hanging decoration made that displays the logo of your brand (as the picture above). This is a great way to keep your brand image consistent and make sure your videos cannot be replicated.

On the contrary, if you do not have any space in your home and would work for this or you don't want to spend money in decorating your backdrop, you could build a green screen that will allow you to digitally edit your backgrounds.

Choose Your Video Editing Software

Now that you have finalized the recording equipment and the location of your home studio, it is time to pick your preferred video editing software.

If you want to be able to record live video, without worrying about having to edit and export it later, we often recommend using Open Broadcaster Software (better known as OBS) as a video recording software.

OBS is a tool commonly used by YouTubers and live streamers. If you've been a content creator for a while, you have probably heard of it.

The best thing about OBS (other than being free!) is its real-time production features. The software can be used for both videos and screen-recording, and you can add effects and transitions to your videos in real-time as you are recording them, avoiding the need for post-production or editing later on. Check out this tutorial on how to use OBS to record online course videos!


Video is an essential part of building online course, so it is important that as a course creators you have a place in your home or workspace where you can easily and quickly start recording professional videos whenever you feel inspired.

Once you are done setting up your home studio following the tips in this article, all you need is an online course platform where to upload your videos, structure your course content and sell it to your audience.

Enter Heights Platform, the online course creation software that gives you full flexibility to create and sell awesome online courses. Heights lets you upload unlimited videos to your online course, and you can choose whether to use our secure, unlimited video hosting or embed videos from a third-party service.

Create Your Online Course Today