Last August I branched out from writing blogs to also creating a podcast. And in the last few months I’ve begun making videos more regularly as well. I’ve been enjoying the process and the unique opportunities those mediums afford.
People keep asking what gear I use to record the podcast and YouTube videos, so I thought I’d write it all down in one place. What follows is a list of all the audio gear, video gear, and software I use to create the Redeeming Productivity podcast and videos.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That just means if you end up purchasing something through them I’ll get a small commission which, let’s be honest, I’ll probably just spend on buying more video gear.
THE REDEEMING PRODUCTIVITY SHOW
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Inspiration, interviews, and insights on the
intersection of theology and productivity.
This is the primary microphone I use for both podcasting and videos. I purchased this USB mic because I didn’t want to have to mess with a preamp or extra wires. It’s also small enough that I can take it with me when I travel.
It comes with a small desktop stand which works great. But I purchased this boom arm so I could get it closer to my mouth.
A few times I’ve recorded podcast episodes using one of these lav mics. They’re sold in a 2-pack with a splitter and if you use a lightning-to-mic jack you can record two people right into your iPhone (great for interviews on the road).
But mostly I use this mic when I’m shooting video away from my desk and my Rode NT-USB. In the software section I’ll show you what app I record with on my iPhone.
When I first branched into doing videos I was recording with a Canon Rebel T2i. It’s a 10-year-old camera but it could shoot 1080p video and its main advantage was that I already owned it. But when I saw how well my first videos were performing, I decided it was worth investing in producing higher-quality videos.
I already owned several nice Canon EF and EF-S lenses, so that limited my options for compatible cameras. I ended up springing for the Canon 90D for two main reasons. First, because it can shoot 4k video at 24fps. Second, because it also has the ability to shoot at 120fps which means I can slow that footage down for silky-smooth slow-motion.
I’ve been extremely pleased with this camera and I would buy it again. Plus, it’s a really nice mid-range camera, so my wife and I use it for photography too.
A camera is only as good as the glass you put on it. That’s why I sprung for this Sigma lens. This is what gives my newer videos that nice cinematic background blur.
It also has a motor for video auto-focus which none of my other lenses had. Previously, when I’d go to edit my videos I’d frequently find that I was out of focus for almost the whole time… that’s really frustrating. Auto-focus helps with my sanctification.
Before I owned the Sigma lens, I used this one when I wanted a shot with a really shallow depth-of-field (blurry background). I still use this for close-up product shots and for most of the slo-mo stuff. This is the best cheap lens you can buy, in my opinion.
It has a lot of limitations, however. It can’t do video auto-focus, for one. And since my cameras don’t have full-frame sensors I have to set the camera and tripod really far away from the subject.
Speaking of tripods…
Here’s a tip: If you plan to shoot video, don’t skimp on the tripod.
Make sure you get one with a fluid drag head. Sometimes people who are first getting into video will buy a cheap photography tripod and when they try to do a pan, it’s all herky-jerky, because photographers don’t need silky-smooth pans and tilts.
This tripod was well-reviewed and a decent price for the quality. It also doubles as a monopod which can be helpful for run-and-gun shooting when you can’t be bothered to set and level a tripod.
Lighting is critical for producing good-looking video. If you just record yourself on your phone with good lighting and decent audio, your videos will immediately be better looking than 95% of what’s on YouTube.
I purchased these two LED light panels because they were dimmable, could run off on batteries, and had remotes. They’ve worked out really well. I also ended up buying one of these collapsable softboxes to diffuse the light on my key light.
So, how do I capture the audio and edit it all together? I use a few programs.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? GarageBand was free on my mac, so I use it to record the output from my Rode NT-USB.
I needed a way to control audio levels when recording audio on my iPhone using the SoLID lapel mics. The built-in Voice Memos app didn’t have that option and the audio kept peaking when I’d talk too loud. Spire is a free app that lets you control audio levels and it has a nice interface.
I do all of my audio and video editing in FCPX. One of my favorite features is it can automatically synchronize the audio from my microphones to the audio in my camera. Since I record my audio separate from the camera this saves me loads of time in trying to manually sync-up video and audio.
If you’re wanting to learn Final Cut, this is a great series of tutorials.
I’m still figuring all of this stuff out but I really want to see lots and lots of Christians creating high-quality content online. So, please let me know if you have any questions about my setup or how to do something.
If you do want to get started in podcasting, I would recommend spending a little money to get a decent microphone. But when it comes to video, I don’t want to give the impression that you need a bunch of expensive stuff to begin. Just start recording videos on your phone. Learn the basics of good framing and how to use natural light and your stuff will look great. Good technique > good gear.
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