In this special extended edition of seanwes tv, I take you behind the scenes on a tour of my office to show you all the gear I use.
Below the video, I go into each of the pieces of gear individually and share a bit more information. The listing is generally in the order that I covered each item in the video to help you find it easier.
Watch the video:
Ok, let’s dive in and take a look at each item individually.
This network storage drive takes a little bit of configuration to set up, but once you do, it’s fantastic.
We use it to store large video footage and records as well as collaborate locally on the network as well as remotely. Employees can upload and access footage over the internet which makes working together a breeze.
My only regret: not going with the 6TB. Raw footage for each seanwes tv episode runs between 30–40gb and 1080p live stream recordings clock in at around 120GB (of which we do 3 a week within the Community).
Lon J. Seidman has an excellent video that goes in depth—look for it in the Amazon reviews section for this product:
View WD My Cloud »
We love this little recorder so much we have two of them. We use it for everything from backup podcast recordings, to seanwes tv, to getting audio footage in the field using its built-in bi-directional mics.
It has multiple XLR inputs, quarter inch inputs, and a mic input. It’s a workhorse for sure and great for a just about every recording scenario you encounter.
View Zoom H4N Recorder »
On the seanwes podcast, I have two soundboards: one for music, and one for soundbites. For both of these, I use an iOS app called SoundCue.
We play music during the pre-show and after-after show when we stream live to the Community members. I use my iPhone for the music soundboard and iPad for the podcast soundbites.
I tried a bunch of soundboard apps and this is the one I settled on. I’ve yet to really find a perfect soundboard app—each seems to have quirks the other doesn’t, but this one has served me well for the past year.
If anyone wants to make a really nice soundboard app for iOS, I’d pay good money.
View SoundCue App »
Last year, I switched from an iMac to the Mac Pro. I got these two 27″ Thunderbolt Displays to go with it and they look fantastic.
I only wish that I could get them in 5k, but it looks like we’ll be waiting another year or two to see that.
View Thunderbolt Display »
I use the LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm to mount both of the Thunderbolt displays. I really like that I can swivel each arm and bring the display around to the side of the desk. This is especially nice during the podcast when I sit towards the corner of the room facing Ben on the opposite end.
I just swing the monitor around easily and control the computer from a bluetooth Apple keyboard.
Be sure to get a VESA Mount Adapter Kit to be able to connect the mount to your display. I made the mistake of forgetting this and had to wait another week after ordering the adapter kit.
View Dual Arm Mount »
I cannot say enough good things about the SM7B. We have three here in the studio and they are simply fantastic. It produces an irresistibly rich sound that’s just a delight to listen to.
Go SM7B or go home. That’s what I say now.
You’re going to need a boom for your mic, and what I really like about the Heil PL2T is the covered cord track. You run your cord through the groove and replace the track covering for a nice, clean look that keeps the cords out of the way.
View Heil PL2T Boom »
Handy tip: If you pick up the Heil PL2T boom for your microphone, you can grab one of these adapters to connect a webcam, iPhone, or other similar device. It simply adapts the standard 3/8 mic thread into the 1/4 thread that you’ll find on your webcam or other iPhone mount.
View Mic Thread Adapter »
You absolutely cannot go wrong with the Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones. They are sturdy, they are clear, and they are long-lasting. It’s not what you’re used to for typically listening to music (they’re not pre-EQ’d), but when it comes to audio editing, these are going to give you a very true sound. There’s nothing more I can say, they’re just the best.
I wasted a lot of money on bad mute switches. We just wanted several foot switches we could press to temporarily mute the line to suppress coughs and other unwanted noises.
After spending $80 on several switches only find that they made a click noise in the line (that was picked up in the recording), I nearly gave up. I couldn’t stand the little pop noise it made—that just wouldn’t do!
Then I found the Pro Co Sound Power Mute. At $130, it’s not cheap at all. Fortunately, neither is its performance. There is nothing but dead silence when you press this thing. It’s a powered switch, so you’ll need to plug it into the wall. For some reason I guess that’s needed to get rid of the dreaded pop.
View Powered Mute Switch »
We get a lot of storms in Texas that often take our power out for 20 minutes on average. I wanted a battery backup that would not only prevent my equipment from crashing, but I wanted something that would support all of my equipment for the duration of the entire outage.
This 1500VA APC Smart-UPS System is able to support the entire load of All of my gear for 40–50 minutes. It’s saved me so many times, the price is a non-factor.
View APC Battery Backup »
How can you say no to a $30 Color changing LED system that comes with the remote? It’s just too darn cool! You get a strip of adhesive LEDs that you can cut to size and it just adds such a neat dimension to your office.
For me, I love how it adds an element of visual interest to my videos. I color coordinate them with my wallpapers and change it every 10 episodes of seanwes tv.
View LED Color-Changing Kit »
Because the SM7B is a dynamic mic with an XLR input, I need an audio interface to use it with the computer. I started out with the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2, which a smaller system, but I eventually upgraded to the Scarlett Focusrite 18i8 and couldn’t be happier.
The SM7B is a gain-hungry mic. You need at least 55–60db of gain to drive this thing. The 2i2 can handle it (barely), but you have to set the gain to max. In addition to providing a ton of extra inputs, outputs, and software controls for adjusting individual headphones mixed, the 18i8 also packs more of a punch. You get a lot more gain out of it which is able to really take advantage of the SM7B.
If you’re looking to upgrade from a more entry level interface, I highly recommend the Scarlett Focusrite 18i8. Whether you want to bring in a local guest for your podcast, add a soundboard, or simply want to record instruments (which we also do), it’s a great system.
View Scarlett Focusrite 18i8 »
What can I say, this system is just really solid. I live in an apartment, so unfortunately I can’t max out the volume, but these really pack a punch even without blasting the volume. You can really feel the sub.
My favorite feature is the hardware volume control with LED display. You can control the speaker and sub volume independently using the hardware wheel, which is super smooth.
View Corsair Gaming Speakers »
Nothing fancy here. It’s a basic, powered USB hub that gets the job done. It lights up when an input is active and I like the blue light.
View USB Hub »
I really loved this thing for my iPhone 5s before upgrading to the iPhone 6 Plus. It unfortunately doesn’t fit anymore, but I just pre-ordered the 6 Plus version and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!
The base is super heavy, so you can remove the iPhone with one hand and absolutely no trouble. It’s a joy to use.
View iPhone Dock »
The Lexar Dual Slot USB 3.0 Reader takes Compact Flash and SD cards—both of which we use for recordings. The unit pops up to receive the cards and collapses for portability.
View Card Reader »
During live broadcasts, we’ll often switch to a room cam placed up higher in the corner. Previously, I was using a Logitech C920, which is pretty much the defacto standard as far as webcams go, but it just wasn’t cutting it for our live broadcasts.
See, we’re using super nice DSLR cameras that produce an excellent picture and whenever we switched to the webcam, it just looked so terrible in comparison.
That’s when I decided to get the GoPro Hero 4 Silver. As of this writing, it’s the latest GoPro model, but one step down from top of the line. That’s simply because we’re not producing a 4K live broadcast, so I didn’t need to step it up to the Black.
All in all, I’ve been extremely impressed with the GoPro. It actually stays on 24/7 and remains plugged into the wall using the USB adapter that comes with the iPad (since it’s stronger than the one that comes with the iPhone). It’s a very solid piece of equipment.
To live broadcast with HDMI devices, you need an HDMI to Thunderbolt converter. I started out with the Black Magic Intensity Extreme because it was all I knew about. It certainly works very well, but it’s nearly $300.
It wasn’t until later that I found out about the Black Magic Ultra Studio Mini Recorder. The Mini Recorder looks super different, but it actually works just as well!
I now use two of the Mini Recorders in conjunction with the Intensity Extreme. Unless you need HDMI out for monitoring, I’d strongly suggest getting the Mini Recorder as it currently runs less than $150, which is a significant savings.
View UltraStudio Mini Recorder »
We have several different shots: me, Ben, split, GoPro, and a technical difficulties screen. These are all setup as different video sources.
Switching between the sources is as easy as clicking on them, but during a show, I’m using my computer to monitor the recording in logic, look at my notes, send out push notifications, engage in the live chat, and a bunch of other things.
I don’t want to have to go switching to the Wirecast app all the time to change the camera while we’re live. I spent in the vicinity of 48 hours over the course of a week looking into extremely complex solutions for wirelessly controlling Wirecast from an iPad.
The solutions ranged from modifying custom Applescript, to using midi controllers over wifi and assigning those to different triggers. Long story short, it was a horrible mess and I could never get it working just right.
Fortunately, one of members in the Community, Scott Russell, developed a custom solution that is pure genius. We’ve been working with him to work out some of the kinks, but it has been a lifesaver.
Basically, you run his app, WireController, which simply sits in your menu bar. Next, you open up the browser on your iPhone or iPad that is connected to your local network and browse to a specific local address.
Boom. That’s it. You now have a tappable web interface that allows you to instantaneously switch video sources just by tapping.
It’s currently in beta, but you can check it out below.
View WireController »
In the early days of shooting videos, I used a couple of cheap, $30 lights and the natural light from the window. I had to start somewhere! It worked okay, but it wasn’t great. When the sun went behind clouds, it was obvious and totally ruined the picture.
Not to mention, there were some times when I was trying to record course videos and as it got later in the day, the video got darker and darker.
When I started my daily video show, seanwes tv, I really wanted to step it up. We now shoot with the blinds closed and light everything completely. We use a 3-point lighting setup comprised entirely of Genaray SpectroLED panels.
They. Are. Fantastic.
Seriously, these are top notch. I think it really shows in the final picture too. Well worth the investment. Individual brightness and temperature control and the third panel we have with the barn doors even has a remote control. Highly recommend.
View Genaray SpectroLED Panel »
We have a 3-camera setup that we use to shoot seanwes tv. I love the Canon 5D Mark III so much, I got two of them. Our third camera is a Canon 6D.
We use them for the primary and secondary stationary cameras during seanwes tv, and they are also used during the seanwes podcast live video broadcast within the Community using their HDMI out.
The 85mm needs quite a bit of room. Make sure your room is big enough because you’ll need to have this camera quite a bit further back than something like your 35mm.
View Canon 5D Mark III »
I also use a pretty cheap video monitor during the seanwes tv to be able to see what’s in frame (I mean “cheap” in a relative sense—it runs about $180, but for a screen, that’s not exactly top notch). It doesn’t have perfect colors, but it’s not like we’re doing color-sensitive work on it. As a monitor, it’s more than suitable.
View Video Monitor »
This mic is worth every penny. It is truly top of the line and the quality is unbeatable. I do post process my audio a little bit, but the audio from this mic hardly needs it.
It can be hard to get quality audio on video. Some shotgun mics pick up more room noise than others. My audience is accustomed to hearing me on podcasts with very good-sounding audio and I wanted to make sure to maintain that standard when doing video.
That’s why it just made sense to invest in this mic. Yes, I did say invest because it’s not a small price tag at $700, but I cannot say enough good things about it.
Typically, video audio sounds worse than podcast audio. That’s simply because you’re not going to have a big, expensive podcasting mic in your face during a video.
Basically, by spending more than twice I paid for the SM7B on the shotgun, I think I’ve been able to match the audio quality in the videos to the podcast and that’s something that’s worth investing in to me.
Be sure to get an NTG-3 Shock Mount for your mic, otherwise you will hear each and every little tap and brush against the mic stand. Even tapping your foot on the ground will get picked up and that’s not something you want.
View NTG-3 Shotgun Mic »
I researched this purchase quite a bit. Long story short: this lavalier is the droid you’re looking for. You can spend $100 less and get something that still works, but if you care about audio quality, this is what you want.
You’re simply going to get cleaner, crisper audio with this lav than you are with other systems that are comparably priced ($250 range).
For stealth mode, I like to use the RODE Invisilav. It’s a clear casing that you slip the mic into that sticks to your skin using an adhesive strip. This prevents the mic from being seen but also from rubbing against your clothes and creating unwanted noise.
View RODE Lavalier Microphone »
The Writeyboard is an adhesive dry erase board that you apply directly to your wall. It’s a peel-and-stick solution that you’ll definitely want a friend to help you apply.
While I applied it to my textured wall and the texture shows through, it’s not difficult at all to write on.
Thanks for checking out the gear page! I hope this was helpful. If you enjoyed the gear video, you might also enjoy the many other videos on seanwes tv.
Feel free to say hi on twitter.
– Sean McCabe