My Gear & Studio

I get a lot of questions about the gear I use, so I’ve collected it all here, on a single page.

A couple of quick notes:

  1. Just because I use something doesn’t mean that I recommend it for everyone. I make stuff for a living and have been fortunate enough to upgrade equipment over time. If you are just starting out, there are lots of great options out there that cost less. If you ever want recommendations for something, get in touch.
  2. This page uses affiliate links.
  3. Some of these products are sponsors of 512 Pixels and/or Relay FM in the past/present/future. However, unless noted, I’ve paid for everything on this list.

The Studio

My studio — dubbed the PodCabin — sits behind the garage in our backyard. The original section of it was built in the 1970s as a space for storage and projects. In the summer of 2021, we added onto it, more than doubling the square footage.

Door

This custom sign — along with the baseball bat from the 2021 Podcastathon for St. Jude — hangs above the door.

Computing

My main computer is a Mac Studio with an M1 Max, 64 GB of RAM and 8 TB of internal storage. It hooked up to an Apple Pro Display XDR. It is fast and silent and I love it.

The Pro Display lives atop a Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, with the Mac Studio under the display. I generally stand for the first few hours of the day, or any time I have a lot of administrative work to knock out.

My desk

Next to the Mac Studio is my Stream Deck XL. My speakers are a set of ancient Harman Kardon SoundSticks. One of them is literally held together with hot glue.

My notebook is a 14-inch 2021 MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro and 32 GB of RAM. It’s the best laptop Apple has made in years. My iPhone is a 13 Pro Max in Sierra Blue. My backpack is a Tom Bihn Synik 22 in Burnt Orange.

In terms of backups, I use a combination of Time Machine, Backblaze and a set of off-site drives that I manually update with Carbon Copy Cloner.

I also have a PC that I built a couple of years ago for video streaming and capture. It has a 10th-gen Intel Core i7, an RTX 3080 and some RGB. It sits under my home-built overhead shooting rig that is home to a pair of Sony a6400 cameras being piped into the PC via HDMI. The lights and capture cards are all from Elgato. The desk is literally an old door that I took out of our house when we moved in.

My PC

Podcast Recording

I make podcasts for a living. If I’m recording in my home studio, I use this set of gear:

Remember when I said I couldn’t recommend my gear to most people? The MixPre-6 is awesome, but it is obscenely expensive. My go-to recommendation is the very-good-and-affordable Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface. On the microphone front, I am a big fan of the Shure BETA 87A. If you need something really affordable, check out this post by Jason Snell on Six Colors about the Audio-Technica ATR2100 microphone.

I record my audio (and what I hear via Zoom) using Audio Hijack, and I edit in Logic Pro.

My studio is covered in a bunch of acoustic foam, mainly in these two forms:

Podcasting on the Road

Every year, When there’s not a pandemic sweeping the planet, we host several live recordings of Relay FM shows. Beyond that, I often find myself recording while traveling for work or pleasure. I’ve put together a pretty robust “mobile” setup over the years:

  • I have a set of Shure 87A microphones for our live shows. We have them in some pretty simple table-top stands with big heavy weights to keep them from tipping over.
  • The mics are run to a Sound Devices MixPre-10, which is one of the very few interfaces that can record onto an SD card and send audio out over USB. The device is powered via USB-C, straight into my MacBook Pro, where I capture the audio via Audio Hijack Pro.
  • If we are in a theatre, I route audio out of the headphone jack of the MixPre-10 to the house via XLR through a Radial ProD2 direct box. I’ve joked that this is my favorite piece of tech I own, and I may mean it. It’s built like a tank and does its job very well.
  • All of this gear is crammed into a Pelican 1510 case for flights. This case is amazing. It is incredibly well made and will fit into most overhead bins without any issue. My wife spray-painted the word “Relay” in gold across the front of it to make mine.

YouTube Videos

My YouTube channel is a single-person show, so I edit and shoot myself alone in my office, which is challenging at times.

I am shooting in 4K on a Sony a7 IV I love this camera. 4K looks awesome, and with the Mac Pro, I can edit it without wanting to throw my computer out the window. I have just two lenses for it. The first is the Sony FE f/2.8 24-70mm, while the second is this tiny f/1.8 50mm.

I also have a Sony a6400 that I use for some shots, and as my carry-it-around camera for situations where I need more power than what my iPhone affords me.

For audio, I use the Rode Wireless Go System paired with the Rode Lavalier GO microphone.

I have a couple of LED panels I picked up online that I use for lighting.

I edit my videos in Final Cut Pro X and upload to YouTube. GO SUBSCRIBE!

Blogging

The site runs on WordPress and is hosted at Linode.

I write 512 Pixels in Byword on my Mac and 1Writer on my iOS devices. I publish via MarsEdit or Shortcuts, depending on which platform I’m using at the moment.

The membership program runs on Memberful.