One of the biggest questions I’ve gotten ever since I started broadcasting from a makeshift home studio due to coronavirus concerns is: what is all of that equipment you’re using?
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Here’s a look!
For starters, I use a Ring Light with an iPhone in the center to do my live and taped broadcasts from home. There are a bunch of ring lights on Amazon, so take your pick. Mine happens to be a 14-inch model from Neewer. BTW, I bought this in 2017, way before #SafeAtHome was a thing.
If you’re using an iPhone to go live from home, you might quickly realize that one lightning port on the bottom doesn’t cut it. That’s why I use an adapter called the Belkin Rockstar. It splits the lightning port into a lightning port AND a 3.5mm headphone jack. This way I can plug in a microphone and power at the same time.
Speaking of power, I love the Anker PowerPort Strip PD 6. It has a bunch of well spaced out places to plug in even the largest power bricks and it has three USB ports. The best part: one of the USB ports is the newest USB-C style, which lets me charge up gadgets as fast as possible.
It took me a bit but I figured out a hack that will save you a bunch of time and energy getting up from your desk and retrieving cables that “fall over” the backside when they’re not plugged in: Command Strips. These things are a little miracle worker. You could also get a cable organizer which does the same thing.
I use a semi-professional mixer and microphone from Rode for my podcast and radio hits on KFI, but for everyday work at home tasks, I love the microphones from Blue. They have a wide variety of great-sounding mics that plug into your computer using USB.
Inside a little drawer behind my desk, I keep a whole bunch of goodies. A lightning to USB adapter for the iPhone so I can plug USB devices directly into the iPhone. Microfiber cloths for keeping all of my gadgets shiny clean. Even a roll of mini gaffer’s tape, which has a million and one uses.
When it comes to my props, I wanted to keep things simple.
I get the most questions about my sign that says @richontech behind me. It’s just a simple $17 DIY lightbox sign I picked up from Target!
Ditto for the fake plant, which for some reason just adds a nice flair to every shot we record in this room.
I also get a lot of questions about the little red box on the table – it’s actually a retro-looking radio that really works.
Behind the radio, another light to give my studio some depth. It’s courtesy of the Joby Beamo, which is a little light you can attach to a tripod or on top of a cell phone setup. It gets really bright, but it has several levels of adjustment.
On the floor, I have another light aimed at the wall for a splash of color. This idea is courtesy of my fantastic cameraman and editor, Luis Cruz. The light is just a standard clamp light you can buy at Home Depot. It’s the smart color changing bulb from Lifx inside that makes the magic. I usually just leave it on blue, unless my kids are playing in the studio and they change it and I forget to change it back.
Finally, moving blankets. Remember, this is a makeshift studio. I would love to have the walls covered in sound-dampening tiles, but this room isn’t really mine. It’s a multi-purpose room. I bought some moving blankets from Harbor Freight that I hang up on the walls and throw on the floor to reduce echo in the room.
They also hide one more secret: my makeshift studio doubles as a workout room. I put a moving blanket over my workout bike when it’s not in use and it seems to make a big difference in the audio sound on TV and the radio.
Now you know! Hope you enjoyed the tour.
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