All the Gear Michael Uses
I regularly get questions about the hardware & software I use. I actually made a blog post about it in early 2019, but I've not really pointed people in that direction because it has become so outdated. Of course, if you have a question that isn't covered here, feel free to reach out.
My goal is to keep this page updated as things change, but if you see me using something that's not listed, you can always submit a PR.
Full disclosure: All the links on this page are affiliate links. That means if you purchase the item I get a little change from Amazon. So you get what you want/need and I get a coffee. Win/win.
With podcasting, live-streams, and YouTube, I use a lot more software than just an IDE & terminal, but that seems like a good place to start.
IDE & Terminal
Visual Studio Code is my go-to IDE for 90% of my development, but rather than using the stable build, I use the insiders build. I've never experienced any weirdness by using it and it allows me to try new features faster.
My most commonly used themes are Panda Syntax and Lucy, but that can change during live-streams because my themes are controlled by chat. I use the Fira Code font with ligatures enabled.
My must-have extensions include:
My everyday terminal is Windows Terminal. Most of the time I'm using PowerShell 7, but will occasionally bounce into bash with WSL 2.
For audio, I exclusively use Adobe Audition. For the most part, I'm mixing podcasts and the occasional sound clip for a video or live-stream. My workflows in Audition are fairly basic and I could probably do them with other audio software like Audacity.
All my video editing happens in Adobe Premiere Pro. Once edited, I move it to Adobe After Effects for polishing. All of the transitions and overlays on my live-stream came directly from projects in After Effects. When I need graphics, I primarily use Adobe Illustrator, but will occasionally use Adobe Photoshop for image manipulation.
So, you're probably thinking "basically you love Adobe", but not really. I do have a Creative Cloud subscription but only because it's discounted as we homeschool our kids. If I was forced to pay full price I would probably find free or cheaper alternatives.
Project Planning / Misc
A lot of my time is spent managing and planning upcoming content. For the most part, I use Airtable for all of it. That includes:
- Planning podcast, video & live-stream content
- Scheduling guests
- Event planning
- Feedback and community management
- Sponsor management
The one thing I'm certain of is that I have way too much hardware. I have quickly turned into an A/V nerd and seem to gain lighting & cameras as quickly as many developers acquire keyboards. But let's start with the non-A/V hardware.
Computers / Specs
My primary computer is a newly built Origin Windows machine. I chose every piece of it with their technicians with my workload & processes in mind. So far I've been super happy with it and love the added BBB logo etched on each side. You can catch a good view of it in my Building my Ultimate Rustic Developers Desk post.
As for the internals, they are:
- Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core
- 64GB Corsair Vengeance
- NVidia 8GB GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- Origin RGB FrostByte 240 Sealed Liquid Cooling System
- Corsair 1TB MP600 Gen4
- Corsair 850RM Series Plus Gold PSU
I also use a Surface Pro 5 when I'm away from the desk and a Surface Pro 3 for capturing video via NDI.
I upgraded my monitors in the last half of the year to two Samsung 32" 144Hz curved monitors. I had previously used 3 24" monitors that have been with me for nearly 10 years. Needless to say, I feel like I'm seeing the world in color for the first time.
My everyday keyboard is a Drop ALT, and for the mouse, I use a Microsoft Surface Precision. My Elgato Stream Deck has also become an essential part of my workflow. I use the 15 & 6 button variants for different tasks.
I dislike bulky headphones and already had a pair of Shure SE425-CL in-ear monitors. So I use them in my day-to-day.
I started live-streaming in 2018 using a Logitech C920 webcam. It served me faithfully and I still have 3 of them that I use for certain shots that don't require high definition.
Since then, I've moved on to using two Sony A6400 mirrorless cameras. It provides me with 4K video with a clean output. (Hit me up on socials if you want to learn more about clean output and why it matters.) Depending on what I'm doing, I'll be using a VILTROX 23mm F1.4 or Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses.
Lights seem to grow like weeds in my office. Currently, I'm using:
- 2 Elgato Key Lights
- 2 GVM RGB Led Video Lights
- 2 LE 50W Outdoor RGB Color Changing LED Flood Lights
- 2 Emart 60 LED Lighting Kit
I'll admit it. I have a problem. :)
Note: Regardless of the type of green screen you use, the most important thing to consider for proper color keying is lighting. Without proper lighting, you'll never get super polished color keying.
If you've watched the live-stream before, you know that I use the green screen a lot. I previously used the Fovitec green screen held up by the Fovitec stand kit. It worked great and I used it for well over a year, but I got tired of the setup/teardown each day.
Because so much of my role is video creation and I have a dedicated space for production, I decided to make the green screen a more permanent part of the room. I picked up a Neewer wall mount and an Emart 10 X 12ft green screen backdrop. The mount is attached to my office ceiling and I can roll/unroll within a couple seconds. In my latest streams, I start without the green screen and drop it after the intro and raise it just before the ending credits.
This category has changed a lot over the past six months, but hopefully, I'll stay with what I have for a while. I use several microphones depending on the situation.
For most tasks, including podcasts, day-to-day, and live-streams, I use a Shure SM7B. Depending on the segment/shot, I'll use a Rode NTG4+ shotgun microphone, and in some circumstances, like recording several voices at the same time, I'll use an Audio-Technica AT2020. When using the SM7B or AT2020, I use the Rode PSA1 as my mount.
All of these microphones feed into a Rode RODECaster Pro that I use for mixing. I previously used a GoXLR, and if you're focused on live-streaming, I would definitely recommend it.
If you're using the SM7B, I would recommend sending it through a Cloudlifter CL-1 to add clean gain.
Needless to say, there are a plethora of cables, mounts, tripods, etc. in use around the office, but I won't go into detail over those.
I hope this helps and gives you some ideas for what you'd like in your setup. You can always reach out on social media with any additional questions.