What I Use

Content creation is an area that I've only relatively recently started to explore. Being able to create engaging, educational content that helps others learn has been super rewarding and I've even written about how others can overcome their fear of writing.

Part of content creation is delivering on different mediums, trying to provide as high quality as possible, and allowing learners to focus on the content itself, rather than the noise in the background. While you can get pretty far with the onboard mic and webcam, it's really limiting in the quality you can achieve.

I can't promise that what I use will give you as professional as a look as Joel Hooks from egghead.io, but the equipment I use was chosen as a way to clearly level up the quality of my audio and video without breaking the bank.

I would consider my setup "budget" friendly, but that's relative to the high cost this kind of equipment can typically run when trying to outfit your own setup. I've been fortunate that I've been able to afford the equipment I have, receive a mic as an egghead.io instructor, and reinvest my earnings from my lessons and courses into upgrading my equipment.

I also want to point out that just because you see me or other content creators using particular equipment, doesn't mean you should rush out to buy it right away. I took some time before upgrading my equipment, starting out with a $16 iOS app that allowed me to record video with my phone to OBS. Make sure you're in this for the long haul before investing in it.

That said, here's the equipment I've been using to create videos on YouTube, lessons and courses on egghead.io, and various other bits and pieces I use the equipment with. Reach out on Twitter if you have any specific questions and I can try to answer as best as I can, or at a minimum, help you try to figure it out.

Note: the prices I'm marking below are at the time of writing this

Audio

Audio is arguably the most important piece of the content creation puzzle. When delivering video, podcasts, or any other sound-based educational content, you want to be able to communicate as clearly as you can so your listeners and viewers can understand every concept you're trying to convey.

I was lucky to receive an audio kit from egghead.io as an instructor.

egghead.io instructor kit

They provide a Shure BETA 87A, Focusrite Scarlett USB audio interface which is a preamp that connects between a microphone and your computer, some nice cables, a great tabletop stand, and a few other accessories (not to mention some stickers and Badass: Making Users Awesome).

Before my egghead.io journey, I used a Blue Yeti, which worked really well, and is an extremely popular option for people getting into content creation. I used a Blue yeti when recording a podcast with That's My JAMstack.

Video

While my video quality isn't as high as it might be with a DSLR, I've come a long way since my first video and have had some success using the Logitech C922 Pro.

Me! Smiling on camera

It provides some nice autofocus capabilities and has some control mechanisms with their G HUB software.

Lighting

Your video will only be as good your lighting. Without sufficient lighting, your camera won't be able to take in enough light to provide a detailed picture. The Logitech C922 suffers a lot without sufficient lighting, leading the video to be laggy and grainy.

I use 2 Neewer LED panels. They come as a single pack as well as a 2-pack that comes with stands if you know you need additional lighting. They do a nice job at providing a lot of light and allow you to control the brightness and color on the back of the panels. They only come with batteries, which means they're portable, but if you would rather the ability to plug them in without recharging every time, I use these power adapters.

While the 2-pack came with stands, I needed something to mount them to my desk, as I didn't have space for them sitting behind my desk. I used monopods and desk clamps to attach and position them to shine down.

Finally, I have a simple ring light that I got for free that just provides some fill on my face. This works really well even if it's your own available option for lighting than nothing at all. It also works really well as a way to provide some good lighting with a stand for video chats with your phone, as it comes with a phone holder in the middle.

Other

There are a few other accessories that made my setup easier to manage.

  • OWC 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($279): With all of the accessories, you need enough power to fully support them, particularly if you're using a laptop (I learned this the hard way).