We just moved to a new house, and an exciting part of the move was getting a new office! While I liked my old office, this one has some improvements like carpeted floors (great for audio recording) and a smaller window (better for controlling light).
I also too the time to trick out my sit/stand desk, to make it a truly mobile video workstation. Everything, from lighting to camera and audio is connected to the desk so I can easily move it around the room (or out)!
People always ask me how to be more productive. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to set yourself up for success. This means setting up your office so it’s as productive (and distraction free) as possible. Having a video recording ‘booth’ ready to go as soon as I walk into my office makes it easy to record videos and courses. That’s why this setup wasn’t just fun to create, but it is also benefits my business!
Here is my mobile video workstation:
When I’m not shooting with a DSLR or other cinema camera, I am recording videos straight to my computer with a web cam. I use the Logitech C920, a longstanding favorite for many online course creators. My 27” iMac is still running smoothly, capturing HD video via ScreenFlow or Quicktime Player.
My lighting setup is basically the same as before, but now it is attached to my desk. For the lights, I use standard fluorescent bulbs that you can purchase online or at your local hardware store. To soften the light (making it look better for video), I put the bulbs in paper lanterns. A pack of 10 can be purchased on Amazon for under $20. I customized a backdrop stand (under $40 on Amazon), by taking off the tripod legs, and drilling the telescoping stands directly to the desk. I also used one of the top bars (the standard stands come with four that can be connected) yo hang the lights from.
Before, I use the full backdrop stand. The benefit of this setup was that it could be moved around, and used in other parts of the house. Now it is connected to my desk and can’t be easily set up elsewhere. But it’s SO MUCH cleaner and takes up A LOT LESS SPACE. These were my goals moving into my new office – to keep things simple and clean.
Overall, the lights are still a bit larger than I’d like. Eventually, I might just get compact LED video lights. For now, using the same setup as before (which can be purchased for less than $100 on Amazon) was the way to go.
I’m still using the same setup, but with less hassle. For my main microphone, I’m using the Heil PR-40, a professional podcasting microphone great for voice over tutorials. The DrogonPad filters out all of the pops of my P’s. It’s attached to my desk with an adjustable Pyle desk arm. The way my desk is shaped, the arm kept falling off after a few days due to rounded edges. Thanks to the new drill I purchased – a necessary item for any home owner – I just drilled in that sucker! Now it is completely sturdy.
To record directly to the computer with the Heil PR-40, you’d typically need an expensive audio board that converts XLR inputs to a computer input of some kind. Fortunately, I figured out the Zoom H4N recorder (a must for any DSLR shooter), can be plugged into a computer via USB and turn into an audio interface. This allows you to record directly to the computer via your screen recording software like ScreenFlow with any microphone plugged into the Zoom (or the zoom recorder itself!).
The desk is a sit/stand combo desk I purchased on Amazon. This investment has paid off in more ways than one. It’s great for my physical body, allowing me to stand up for periods during the day (sitting is the new smoking… according to some). It has wheels so it can be moved around. I connected a power strip to the back of the desk with zip ties so all I have to do is unplug one cord to move it around.
If you’d like to build your own mobile workstation, here is the equipment list with links to Amazon to the exact items I’m using today.
All of the links above are affiliate links. At no cost to you, I receive a small share of the revenue for referring you. Don’t worry, I only include affiliate links to products I have used and trust.
What do you think? Anything I’m missing?
Post a photo of your own desk below!