Audio and Video Tools for the Serious Blogger/Marketer

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Everyone who knows me even a little knows I have multiple blogs, write on some community sites and love audio and video. Doing all of that takes more than just time it also takes a few tools. Since people love to know and I am constantly talking about my equipment I want to share with you exactly what I use (or the nearest thing to it) here for you to go ahead and order.

These are the headphones I have been using for about 18 months and they are amazing. Nothing for the price I can find has been any better or even as comfortable. Long lasting is key – I was going through wired headsets in about 4 to 6 months. This one is wireless, holds a charge great and has a range of easily 50 feet. Plantronics .Audio 995 Wireless Stereo Headset

For voice over work I want something of very high quality and I may actually have over-reached with this microphone. It is amazingly clear, picks up sounds you can’t even here and gives the professional results you expect. I’ve read thousands of words into mine and never had any disappointment with the operation and performance of this amazing microphone. CAD GXL2200SP Studio Condenser Mic Recording Pack

With a microphone like the one above you don’t want to be dumping your voice onto just any recorder. While the capabilities of this one may be overkill for the standard podcaster it allows me to also mix in music, other sounds like sound affects and sound clips, and gives me all the control I need for vocal affects. Boss BR-1200CD Digital Recording Studio

For quick video I use the Kodak PlayTouch because it’s totally self-contained for most quick shooting. It actually gives a better raw finish than some of my other toys and is much lighter than my Mino Flip. Also the PlayTouch has an external microphone port which Jeremy Blanton points out needs the stereo splitter to get vocals from the mono lavaliere onto both channels – or you can split the channel in editing, whichever. Kodak PlayTouch Video Camera (Black)

For an ultra light-weight tripod and something I actually leave in the studio I needed something that would go to 60″ and still be relatively stable. Since this one can be secured in a stable position and it has the quick mount it’s perfect. I don’t need a 30 pound floating head for most of what I do so this is the trick and it’s cheap! Vista Explorer 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Tripod Bag

You have probably heard me talking about green screen shooting and having a green screen studio. This is the exact kit I started with. Since then a few little things have been added but many of the videos you see from me which are obviously green screened I used this screen and these lights. Photo Basics 402 uLite Video Lighting Kit

When I say “break out the bad boy” I’m still so far off from what the real pros use it’s laughable. But this is what I mean. This camera is amazing and has more built into it than some editing suites. You can really control the input and the low light function will let you hunt ghosts all you want … or possum! Sony NEX-VG10 Hi-definition Interchangeable Lens Handycam Pro Camcorder with 18-200mm E-mount Zoom Lens + WSP Mini tripod, Cleaning set

When I started doing video, some years ago, I used a Commodore, graduated to a Mac, used a couple of early non-linear devices and they all took hours to render. When I started getting advice from the people who do it for the big guys the first thing I learned was they don’t use Mac. My two best sources are both CNN experienced and trained and they both recommend the same thing: Sony Vegas Pro on a quad-core PC with at least 8 megs of ram. But it’s the software I needed and this is it. It definitely has a learning curve but it is well supported in the web and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials available for it. There’s really very little this software cannot do when it comes to editing. Vegas Pro 11.0

If you’re really into it and want to do your own special effects I recommend the free Blender. It’s well supported and powerful and has an amazing learning curve. You probably won’t need it especially if you go with the Vegas Pro because it has plenty of built-in tools.

For audio only editing I use quite a few things but the simplest for me is the counterpart to Sony Vegas and that is Sony Acid Pro. Since I have been using both of those tools for about 6 years I’m very comfortable with them but it only takes a couple of weeks of paying attention to really get you going. Honestly this is overkill but I do mix down music and the built-in loops make it as easy as buying a pie to create royalty free, unique soundtracks with zero musical skills. I just add some guitar to it to really make it mine. NEW ACID Pro 7 (Software)

  • http://www.profitblog.com/ Raj

    Well, that’s a lot of equipments… Thanks for the info. If ever I want to start a digital studio at home, I know where to come and get ideas for the equipments I need to buy…¬†

    • http://thekencook.com thekencook

      Happy New Year Raj. It took a couple of years to collect all that stuff but I still “need” a few more things. Isn’t that the way it always is?

  • http://missvirtualrealityblog.net/ Sarah-Miss Virtual Reality

    Wow! You have some fancy stuff that you use. However, I am not sure how most people can afford such grand tools. You should try test out a few free ones and do a review. That way those who need fancy tools can find a way to do it on a budget. 

    • http://thekencook.com thekencook

      Thank you Sarah. I actually talk about free and budget All The Time so this was a divergence for people who, like I, do this for a living for clients. Almost every week on Social Media Edge Radio (you can listen online) we talk about DIY on a budget :) feel free to join us this Tuesday at 9AM PST (Noon EST). http://socialmediaedge.com – and make sure you subscribed here because I do talk about free and inexpensive resources all the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smichael.lyles Mike Lyles

    Ken,

    For personal listening from your PC or Android, are you using a portable DAC/AMP?

    These little devices transform audio into a terrifically enjoyable experience; particularly when combined with high end IEM or in ear monitors (quite a step up from “earbuds”).

    A new low cost ($150 to $170) range FiiO E17 will be out late in January or early February and is available from MiccaStore.com.

    This dac will also play lossless FLAC files up to 24 bit / 96 Khtz leaving MP3 quality in the dust.

    I look forward to hearing that you give this technology a try.

    Love your blogs!

    • http://thekencook.com Ken Cook

      Thanks for sharing Mike. It’s good to hear from someone on the listening end ¬†because I honestly don’t think of those tools quite as much.