Recording with the One Button Studio

The One Button Studio opened in the Hesburgh Library this month. Based on the model developed by Penn State, this recording studio allows video content to be recorded and saved to a flash drive with the push of a button. As a student with no video recording experience, I had to ask: is it really that simple? I headed to the Hesburgh Library to put the One Button Studio to the test.


The Studio: The room setup is streamlined with the screen and projector at one end of the room, and the cart which contains the recording equipment and the computer at the other end. When you plug the the flash drive into the USB hub, the lights turn on and you see a preview of what the camera will record. I was prompted to push the “One Button” to begin recording. Once the button is pushed, recording begins.

kiosksetup Kiosk computer and camera setup in the One Button Studio

You can incorporate presentations into your video recording by using the computer in the room, or by connecting your laptop with the cables  provided. Content is projected onto a gray screen. High contrast presentations and large, readable text will work best. You can also use the system in green screen mode. This lets you record content and then use iMovie to replace the background.

Gray screen  The gray screen in Notre Dame’s One Button Studio

When you’re done recording, simply push the button again and the file is saved to your USB drive. When it’s done copying, you are prompted to either remove the drive or press the button again to start another recording. When the USB drive is removed, the lights and camera turn off automatically. The file is saved in an MP4 format and can be imported into iMovie or Adobe Premiere for further editing.


The Verdict: The One Button Studio makes recording video content easier than I had imagined. As a recording novice, I was impressed with the easy, streamlined process and the quality of the recording. Here are a few tips I picked up during my trip to the One Button Studio:


  • The computer in the room can be used to move your recording to Cloud storage or to display notes.
  • There is a switch that allows the user to change from the gray screen backdrop or to select a blue or green screen effect.
  • Come prepared! Since time is limited, bring your notes and know what you’re going to say ahead of time.
  • USB drives, whiteboards, and projector remotes can be borrowed from the Hesburgh Library circulation desk.
  • If you do run into any issues, library staff will be available to help by phone or at the circulation desk.


Chris Clark created this video for his class using the One Button Studio:

Ready to start recording? For additional instruction regarding the studio, click here. You can reserve the One Button Studio in 30 minute blocks for up to two hours per day here.