My Gear for Creating

10/14/2016

Here’s a rundown of all the gears/toys/tools I use to create and get my work done. I probably forgot a few things but I’ll add them as I think of them.

Computers

Currently I’m using a 2016 15″ Macbook Pro, maxed out. It’s nice, but the keys have gotten stuck a couple times so I keep a can of compressed air close by just in case.

Audio Gear

Audio Interface My audio interface is a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st Gen) with 8 mic inputs and a bunch of outputs. I rarely use more than one or two of the inputs, but I wanted to have something with multiple inputs in case I ever get around to record full bands at my house.

I also have an old Zoom H4N that I use for recording away from home.

Headphones Most of the time I’m listening to music and podcasts and doing podcast editing on my $10 Panasonic Earbuds. I also have (and love) a pair of Sennheiser HD600s, and keep a pair of Sony MDR-7506’s around as backups.

Microphones My main podcasting/screencast mic these days is the Shure Beta 87A. It’s affordable ($250 new, or around $150 used), rejects a ton of background noise, and just sounds great. I used to have a Shure SM7B but I sold it after using the Beta 87A for a couple weeks.

I also have a Audio Technica 875R shotgun mic, a Shure KSM32 large-diaphragm condenser, and a couple of Shure SM58s that I use with the H4N when I want to record or stream a podcast away from home.

I keep a Shure MV88 (iOS lighting mic for my iPhone) in my backpack for emergencies or situations when I want to get better audio for a video.

Accessories I bought a $15 Neewer boom arm to hold my Beta 87A mic and while it’s not a great boom arm, it’s nice for the price. I have a variety of other mic stands from random places and I buy my mic cables from Monoprice because they’re affordable and well-made.

Audio Apps

Logic Pro X is my main podcast recording and editing app, and I love it.

For cleaning up and repairing damaged audio, I use Izotope RX5. It’s a standalone app but it comes with plugins that I use inside of Logic.

I use Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype for recording Skype conversations.

Video/Screencasting

I shoot video on my iPhone X (Black, 256gb). Screencast recording and editing is done with Screenflow. I use iMovie for video editing, although I do have a copy of Final Cut Pro X.

I have a Logitech C920 webcam that I record video with when I’m screencasting. It’s nice and only $60.

Writing

I outline podcast episodes in MindNode. I write show notes in IA Writer. I write courses in Scrivener and Ulysses. If I want to crank out a bunch of words, I have an app called Flowstate that will delete everything I’ve written if I stop writing for more than 8 seconds. Pretty brutal, but it helps me stay focused for 10-30 minutes at a time.

I have a problem with buying writing apps, apparently.

Time Tracking and Productivity

I plan out my day with a Best Self journal or the stock calendar on my Mac. I use Coach.me to stay focused on my daily habits.

I keep track of important tasks using Omnifocus 2 and the Getting Things Done system. My team uses Asana for work-related projects.

I keep track of how I spend my time with RescueTime and Timing. I use the Simple Countdown timer to knock out 25 minute Pomodoro focus blocks.

Backups

I keep all my important files in Dropbox, and backup my entire computer with Backblaze. I also have a 4TB Western Digital MyBook external hard drive that I use for Time Machine backups. You can never have too many backups. As my friend Justin Michael says, If you’ve only got 1 backup, you really have zero backups.” Maybe it was Sean McCabe who said that. Whatever.

Other Stuff I Like

Cool Mac Apps I couldn’t live without 1Password (for managing passwords) and Text Expander.

I love Keyboard Maestro and Hazel for automating tasks on my Mac, and BetterSnapTool for moving apps/windows around onscreen.

I use Alfred for clipboard management.

I read news/blogs with Reeder 3 (RSS feed reader).

I journal (almost) daily in Day One.

I use Airmail 3 for email.

I have a little app called Affiliate that automatically adds Amazon or iTunes affiliate tags to any links I copy from Amazon or the Mac App Store.

Music

I play Yamaha Absolute Maple Custom drums (12, 16, 24), a 14x8” C&C snare, and Meinl Byzance cymbals (14″ hats, 18″ and 19″ crashes, 22″ ride).