Due to the current work-from-home mandate as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, lots of us are spending time dialed into Zoom meetings from home. Coincidentally, over the past months, I’ve fallen into a trap of trying to build the best possible home office setup for this very task.
In this post, I’m going to share what is part of my setup. I’ll caution that for the average person, all of this is MAJOR overkill and not recommended. So without further ado, here we go.
- 2019 16″ MacBook Pro, 64 GB RAM, 8-core i9
- Logitech BRIO 4k Webcam
- A cheap ring light around the webcam (from Amazon) – brightness and light color are adjustable
- Several other lights, including a flat panel desk lamp, halogen ceiling lamp and Sylvania Smart+ Bulb (which allows me to change color)
- M-Audio M-Track 2×2 USB-C Audio Interface
- Røde PodMic dynamic microphone, plus FetHead 48V inline pre-amp
- Denon AH-D2000 headphones, as well as AudioEngine A5+ desktop speakers
- Additionally Jabra 9470 DECT headset (used when I leave my desk)
- Gigabit Ethernet from the 27″ Thunderbolt display the MacBook is attached to straight to my UniFi network.
- AT&T GigaPower 1GBit/s synchronous fiber.
- UniFI LTE backup in case AT&T goes down.
- Room treatments
- Persian rug under my desk.
- A sound proofing panel (with a nice image of mountains) on the wall behind me.
- A stick-on door sweep to reduce some of the noise leaking through the door.
- Enabled “HD” and “Touch up my appearance” settings.
- Audio Hijack + Loopback + some free plugins
- This is used to set up a voice chain in software to add a gate, compression and de-essing (I keep playing with the exact chain).
- Logitech Camera Settings
- Used to adjust the focus and zoom on the camera.
- Snap Camera
- Occasionally used to add fun video effects, mostly for more informal meetings.
Here’s a snapshot from a call I was on today. This is with natural light from my left, the ring light at 4000K and 27% brighness, and the SYLVAIN lamp set to blue (notice the slight blue hue).
I keep on tinkering with this setup, but am happy with the results so far (and yes, I have spent way too much time and money on this, but everybody needs a hobby these days…).