YouTube Content Creators Production Rig Analysis

On Thursday I mentioned I have a YouTube channel I’ve been doing a lot of research for, may it be what tech most people use, to what marketing strategies. I am a huge attention to detail type of person, so I’ve been reading what audio and video software, equipment, and setups people tend to use that do what I do. I thought it would be fun to list what I found as a general setup for the cover artists that I’ve been listening to, who list the equipment they use in their videos.

Note: These setups aren’t what every you tuber uses (It would take me a really long time to figure that out lol) but is an overall trend in what people use that I have been watching. These people usually are cover artists (singers) and I tend to watch artists that cover songs from anime, video games, and movie and fantasy-themed soundtracks.

Cameras: People are either using a Canon HD model, or a Go Pro model. I prefer Canon, simply because Go Pro’s on board microphone is not hot for vlogging or recording live singing. Had one that I returned because of that: it has great picture quality (from what my Mom told me) and if not for the bad mic, I probably would have kept it. But can’t record live singing performances with a bad mic! Have never used a Canon, but I love the quality of videos that come out of it from the YouTube vlogs I’ve watched. Only based off of the audio quality of it, though. If someone could give some feedback on the picture quality of the Canon in the comments, that’d be awesome!

Microphones: The majority of cover artists, and content creators I watch have said they primarily use…the Audio Technica 2020! This made me super happy because guess what mic I use? The very same! Honestly, it’s a great mic for the money : It’s 100 dollars, but you can get one on sale if you look hard enough (I got mine for 60) and it sounds just as good as a lot of higher priced mics, if not better. The other mic of choice I see used is the Blue Yeti…which I am not a fan of, but I see why people use it because it’s a plug-and-play USB mic for 150 dollars. Personally, I think with Blue mics in general, you can get a far better value for that price (like the AT2020 for example).

Other mics are used around the YouTube-o-sphere, but those two are the most used I’ve seen listed in peoples rig descriptions. Honorable mentions are the Sure SM58, and the Shure SM7B – both wonderful mics, but suited for different types of vocals. The SM58 is a dynamic mic, so doesn’t pick up frequencies as sensitively as the AT2020 simply because they are two different types of mics.

Preamps: A preamp is what you would be using as your power source for your mic. If a mic says it will need XLR connection, then you’ll need a preamp, or a phantom power source to run it (along with XLR cables). The two that I’ve seen used are Focusrite Scarlet 2i2, and the Presonus audio box VSL 22. I’ve heard demos of both, and they have great sound! I use the Art Tube USB (100 dollars) and it’s a great starter, budget preamp, but picks up more white noise in my recordings then I’d like and the gain on it is not great. I definitely will be upgrading to something better in the future, am leaning towards the Focusrite because it’s another good budget option with cleaner pickup that would suit my vocal stylings well.

Video Editing Software: Gotta edit your videos before you post them, right? There are two programs used here, like, with one scarce exception: Sony Vegas, or Adobe Premiere video. Windows Movie maker, and I Movie are great free alternatives (I use WMM when push comes to shove) but the first two are the head honchos in the video editing world. Not sure how they work, because I don’t spend a lot of time with video editing. I wonder if it would be easy to do without seeing the screen hrmm, maybe like, if it’s video you’re talking through? Would be interesting to test! I’m lucky enough to have people who can do videos for me, but I like having Windows Movie Maker as an alternative when they are too busy with other projects and what not.

Audio Editing Software: This section was the one that had the broadest results. The biggest contender’s I saw were…Adobe Audition, FL Studio, Mixcraft, Logic, Reason, and Pro Tools. A few people use Audacity (Like me!) but if they do, they mainly don’t list it. It’s a great piece of free software if you work with it, but whenever I can afford a better option (aka, one that is accessible – and I mean fully accessible, not one where you have to work with ten year old scripts) I will switch over to that and work on the learning of said software.

Oh! Another one I saw used a decent amount was Garage Band – a great piece of free software, too! Sadly only on Mac, though –sighs and looks longingly at a Macbook Pro-.

And those were my findings! I know there’s plenty more equipment and software out there, but like I said that’s just a break down from channels I watch, and channels that list their equipment. Do you do YouTube stuffity stuffs? Wanna share any tips in the comments, or any equipment you use? Please do because I really want to know YouTube-y things! 😄

See you all Thursday!

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Author: Crystal

A California based musician who is as passionate about music as she is video games,, Crystal (or ValkyrieCeles around the interwebs) loves to gush about her various nerdtastic loves, rant about anything currently catching her fancy, and generally just express herself in any creative outlet she can get her hands on. An avid reader, writer, and dreamer, Crystal has been leaving pieces of herself around the internet since 2006.

1 thought on “YouTube Content Creators Production Rig Analysis”

  1. To get the best quality audio from a camera, you never want to use the onboard microphone. It’s often too far from what you are recording and you end up getting way too much room/reverb and not enough of what you’re actually trying to record. Best option is to find a video microphone (like the Rode VideoMic shotgun condenser), which should plug directly into most cameras and thus can sync with your video 🙂

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