Gear I Use

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. Where possible, this page uses affiliate links.
  3. Some of these products are from companies that have sponsored 512 Pixels or Relay FM in the past or do so in the present. However, unless noted, I’ve paid for everything on this list.

Computing

My main computer is an iMac Pro. I picked up the base model with the 3.2 GHz 8-core Xeon, Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU, 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. It is the fastest Mac I have ever owned and I love it. I have a couple of Samsung EVO SSDs in OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini cases plugged into the iMac over USB-C for external storage. These enclosures are USB 3.1 Gen 2 and make these external SSDs nearly feel like they are internal to the machine.

My notebook is an 15-inch 2019 MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. It’s okay. As far as portable devices, I carry an iPhone XS and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This is my backpack.

I also have a Mac mini hooked up as a home server with a big external drive for our family iTunes library.

I back up these Macs (and my wife’s MacBook Air) with portable USB 3.0 drives. Everything also gets sent to Backblaze. My home network is powered by several Eero devices the company sent me.

Podcasting at Home

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

I record my audio (and what I hear via Skype) using Audio Hijack, with Ecamm Call Recorder running as a backup. I edit in Logic Pro X.

Podcasting on the Road

Every year, 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-6, 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-6 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 III I love this camera. 4K looks awesome, and with the iMac 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 the tiny f/1.8 50mm.

For audio, I use the Rode VideoMic Pro+, which sits atop the camera. In the rare occasions I need a lav mic, I’ve been borrowing a RodeLink Wireless System from a friend.

For lighting, I have a couple of LED panels I picked up online. They’re nothing fancy, but they work for me.

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

I also have a Sony RX100 V 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.

Blogging

The site runs on WordPress and is hosted at WPEngine.

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.

Speaking of that…

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  1. Remember when I said I couldn’t recommend all my gear to people? I had this in mind. The USBPre2 is awesome, but it is obscenely expensive. My go-to recommendation is the very-good-and-affordable Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface.