My Audio & Video Remote Setup

Version 4.0 (October 2021)

Panoramic photograph of my entire desk setup including lights, monitor, microphone and boom arm and a ridiculous array of custom and commercial webcams.
Yes that's too many webcams and far too much money spent on gear. I know...

I strongly recommend against going this route for 99% of people but here is my setup for the nerdiest among you, I recorded a demo when I first set it up although some of the setup has changed since and I’ll likely update this with a more succinct video soon.

Lights

Elgato Key Light Air with:

  • one key light at a 25 degree angle to the right of my face
  • one fill light pointed at the background or left side of my face

Camera

Sony A6000 mirrorless camera with:

  • battery power adapter
  • Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS Portrait Lens
  • Elgato Cam Link 4K (set to 1080p 60 fps)
  • articulated wall-mounted boom arm
  • when reading pre-written slides for screencasts I also use a rudimentary teleprompter called a Padcaster that reflects the screen of my iPhone in front of the lens of the camera allowing me to make eye contact with the viewer

Voice

Shure SM7B XLR dynamic microphone with:

  • Motu M2 XLR to USB interface with live digital level monitoring
  • Cloudlifter CL-1 inline amplifier for a “clean” 25 dB boost
  • RODE PSA1 articulated boom arm which allows me to constantly adjust the microphone to the idea position

Output

Yes, most people can neither afford this setup nor should they have to deal with it, but why can't we have webcams nearly this good?

Changelog

This is only the latest iteration, all notable changes are documented below.

4.0 - 2020

  • Camera: Sony A6000 with 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens
  • Adapter: Elgato Cam Link 4K
  • Lights: Elgato Key Light Air (x2)
  • Microphone: Shure SM7B
  • Audio Interface: Motu M1
  • Amplifier: Cloudlifter CL-1

3.0 - 2019

  • Camera: Razer Kyio (with integrated ring light)
  • Microphone: Shure SM7B
  • Audio Interface: Scarlett 2i2
  • Amplifier: Cloudlifter CL-1

2.0 - 2014

  • Camera: Logitech C920
  • Microphone: Shure SM7B
  • Audio Interface: Scarlett 2i2
  • Amplifier: cheap pre-amp with analog dial

1.0 - 2013

  • Camera: Logitech C920
  • Microphone: Samson CL8
  • Audio Interface: Scarlett 2i2