When I was kid aged about 13 or so I went through what you would call a ‘bad patch’ where I was constantly in trouble at school; so much so one day I remember walking through the assembly hall and the Deputy Head coming the opposite direction pushed me back against the wall and grabbing hold of my jumper with his clenched fist said “I’m after you Dewis” Of course I doubt that kind of behaviour from a teacher wouldn’t be allowed these days but if I’m honest…I need it. What with that followed by a pretty shocking school report and an almighty telling off by my Dad, I literally changed my ways overnight and knuckled down to working hard at school. It paid off in the end with me leaving High School with 9 GCSE’s (4 A’s, 2 B’s and 3 C’s).
I tell you this because with that overnight change I completely altered my bedroom to make it more conducive to studying. My Mom brought me a lovely old desk with the leather inset. I had a proper desk swivel chair and even a metal filing cabinet; my room literally became an office with a bed in it 😊
My computer set up (an Amstrad CPC464 with Green Screen Monitor and DMP-2000 Printer) was arranged just so to make it easy to use and the best use of space; and this desire for a great work space has carried on into my now adult life.
Anyway the reason for me telling you this is in response to a question I get from time to time regarding my office / studio set up so I thought I’d share how it looks here.
Originally I was using the BenQ SW2700 Monitor before I knew anybody at BenQ or indeed was approached by them which I think is really important to mention. It takes a long time to build up trust and that’s so incredibly important to me so I’ll only promote kit that I use and is also fit for purpose; not because some company is paying me to saying I use product X this week and then another company paying to say I use product Y.
Anyway, when it comes to the monitors I use, as I’ve said, I was already using BenQ before a relationship developed with them but of course I’m grateful for the relationship now.
So when it comes to my set up, having the SW2700 then progressed to a larger monitor, the SW320; a 32” screen that I have mentioned about before in an earlier post (LINK) I totally love this monitor for the reasons I mention in the post. I would love the shade to be a little deeper so that the screen is recessed more but this I’ve spoken with BenQ about and knowing them as I now do, it’s something they’re seriously looking at.
The computer I currently use as my main workhorse from Dell is approaching a couple of years old very soon so I’ll be looking to upgrade this to a bespoke system specifically for video and photo editing but even so, it works great with now having 3 monitors plugged into as you see in the picture above.
3 monitors you may think is a little excessive but if I’m honest, 99% of the time I only have 1 of them turned on; namely the SW320 (my main monitor).
The other monitors are for when I’m LIVE Streaming on YouTube because it means I can have the control panel in YouTube open in one screen and what the viewer sees open in a browser on another screen. This is a must for me as a one man operation so that I can see everything is running well from the viewers perspective rather than working in the dark…if that makes sense.
Choosing to have the monitors mounted on the wall works great for space saving on my desk but I know that when we move this year and I get a new office / studio I’ll have the monitors side by side at desk level so that I can have say Capture One or Lightroom open in one screen and Photoshop open in another etc… I could do that now but the monitors on the wall are too high up and far away for me to use them for editing on.
In the picture you can see what’s called the Elgato Stream Deck and if you do any type of LIVE streaming this is a MUST! It makes life so much easier switching from one screen to another, one scene to another, playing videos at the press of a button. I have OBS (free streaming software which is brilliant) open in the SW271 monitor, attendees view open in the SW2700 and all whilst I’m working in the SW320.
Oh and to the left you can see my Canon PIXMA Pro 10-S Printer which I am addicted to using. Doing lots of printing these days and I’m really please with the ink consumption too. I’ll do a post about the printer v. soon too.
You can also see that I use a Wacom Tablet; the Wacom Intuos Pro (Small) Graphics Tablet
I prefer to use is the small size which means I can rest my arm on the table and just by moving my wrist I can cover the whole working screen without having to move my arm around. This might not sound like too much of a deal but after a few hours editing, believe me…it makes a world of difference.
For my microphone I use the Audio Technica AT2020 USB Microphone recommended to my by my Designer Buddy, Mark Heaps. In the past I’ve had quite a few microphones with some being used in conjunction with a Mixer, but this USB microphone is by far the best I’ve had. This I use on a Rode boom.
Finally, and you can’t see it in this picture because it’s only something I get out when I need it, is my webcam set up. For this I actually use a digital camera, a Sony A6500 and connect this to the computer using HDMI. I regularly get comments about how clear my webcam video is and this is why. Actually at the time od writing this, just beforehand I placed an order for the Sony A6400 which has a vastly improved Auto Focus an Tracking System which will make things even better especially as it has a screen that I can face towards me to see how everything looks. The current A6500 doesn’t have this so I have to just hope I’m in focus. The new A6400 will also be way better for the video content I’m recording soon due to the Focus Tracking.
Right, don’t think I’ve missed anything out there so if you do have any questions / comments, as always please feel free to make use of the comments section below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.