A New State-of-the-art Video Recording Space

If you know one thing about me – I love technology. I also love audio and thanks to YouTube and well, producing and hosting a TV show i get to bring it all together every week – with video being a newer skill. So when i got a call from my longtime friend Jay Walker to help create a video/podcast space – i may have actually ran. I love working with great people, and if Jay is working with them, they’ve got something that makes them special – otherwise, Jay wouldn’t be there. Enter Mellor Real Estate Group. The vision was to create a versatile, multifunctional recording space so that anyone could walk into the room and record. It is smooth in setting things up for an hour – walk in and hit record, or walk in and go live. Challenge Accepted.
To say I’m proud of the space we created might be an understatement. I spent a lot of time understanding what they wanted to do, and together, we agreed on a configuration that made sense to just work. It went from one recording space to equipping the owner’s office with additional cameras to capture group sessions and meetings – think Gary Vee.
The focal point of the space are three 65″ Samsung QLED televisions mounted on a 90 degree (portrait mode) side by side so they look like we are looking out threee large windows. They work together as one large display thanks to a great piece of gear from Matrox (QuadHead2Go). Using an AppleTV we’re powering the video of the screens so that anyone can walk in and airplay a photo, video or even video conference to the screens as a backdrop.
A sit-stand desk sits in front of the screens with two stools for hosts and interviews, and a homemade lighting truss is set up, with three RGB LED video lights carefully placed to provide proper lighting balance without reflecting off the televisions.
Three BlackMagic Micro 4k G2 cameras are placed at strategic locations in the room to provide a nice primary center shot and two alternate shots, all wired via fiber optic HDMI cables into a BlackMagic Atem Mini Extreme ISO, which acts as a switcher, streamer, audio mixer, and more. With the Atem, anyone can walk in, hit record, and instantly capture each camera’s feed for production later on. No one has to worry about switching in real time (unless they want to), and can hand off the recordings to an editor. If they want to go live, no problem. They can go live straight from the ATEM as well as a platform of choice or multiple platforms thanks to services like Streamyard or Restream. Every cable is carefully run in walls, ceilings, and concealed channels to make sure it’s clean and sleek.
A Mac mini is being used for remote access, ATEM configuration, backup recording, and anything else a computer will come in handy for. Since it’s all internet-connected, someone could remotely log in and control the Atem and a stream from anywhere in the world. Borders? Who needs them? Finally, for audio, we went with Rode Wireless GO II kits right into the Atem. This way, we could split the channels into separate mono feeds and add a second kit if there are more than two people being recorded.
Little accouterments were added, such as a Schlage-coded lock to control access, Lutron Caseta switches to turn on the lighting grid, a Crucial SSD hard drive to store recordings, and a 16-port network switch for future expansion so that we don’t have to rely on wireless Internet.
From start to finish the project took roughly two months – only that long because of March break and delivery of equipment. Once equipment was all delivered, installation was two days with a spare day for training.
Projects like this remind me that there are no limits to how creative you can be. You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a broadcast space that is on par with some major media conglomerates in the game. I can’t wait to see the content that will come out of the space and look forward to shooting some of my own content from it in the future. Thanks to Jay Walker and Etienne Mellor for their trust and the opportunity.

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