Gear

Hands on Review of the Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth Keyboard, Rechargeable Handheld Remote Control Wireless Mini Keyboard

This might be the best $20 gadget I have tested out yet. This is a Hands on Review of the Jelly Comb Mini Bluetooth ; It’s a rechargeable Handheld Remote Control Wireless Mini Keyboard that is light, easy to use and works great in tough situations. The Bluetooth technology provides a cable-free & clutter-free connection and has an operating distance of about 10 meters. In my home, I had a tough time getting it out of range when using ; Great for a media center PC or like us, a touchscreen PC we have mounted on the wall in the ; Handy to have around for those moments when you really just need a keyboard
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Gear

Gear Update for the Average Guy Studios (Spring 2015)

It’s been a year since I produced a gear update.  Last year I purchase a new mixer and added a new PC to the mix.  You can find that update here: Web platforms – Web and Media Hosting Maplegrove Partners – founded by my podcasting partner Christian Johnson, this web and media hosting service has all the benefits and security like the big guys with all the best customer service and customizations of a small shop.  Christian is taking on new customers and podcasters at    I have been with MGP from the beginning and don’t plan to move anytime soon.  They provide both my web and media hosting service. MediaFire – Back in the fall I started using to host my video feeds for the entire network.  We put both our Video Large and Video Small files over there for consumption by the listeners.  For $50 a year, I get 1TB of storage and 10TB of bandwidth a month to use for media hosting.  The bandwidth I don’t use rolls over from month to month.  I currently have almost 100TB saved up in my account.  That works for me.  They have been rock steady and reliable.  Thousands of my videos get download each month without a single issue.  Highly recommend.   USB Audio Interface   A couple of weeks ago, I spilled a large cup of water all over my Alesis MultiMix 8 USB FX that I had purchased just last year at Guitar Center for a steal price of $99.  Needless to say, the mixer didn’t survive the bath.  Using it as an opportunity to try something different, I purchased a PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2 USB Recording Interface  from Guitar Center locally here in Omaha.  It was fairly easy to install and get up and running, but I wouldn’t say it’s for beginners.  Since it is very limited in audio mixing features, I used VoiceMeeter () and created virtual audio cables to create a software mix minus.  I used it for Ask the Podcast Coach on May 16 () and it worked ok.  With a little more practice and time, I would have take most of the bass out of the mix.  It also clicked a lot on my end.  You couldn’t hear it in the final cut but doing a live show with a lot of audible clicking in the background is unjaring.  Not the best long term solution for me.   Mixer To replace the Alesis Mixer, I ordered the Mackie PROFX8 8-Channel Mixer [ ]. This 8 channel mixer has 4 XLR outs and plenty of bells and whistles for the average podcaster.  At $170, it’s also very affordable for most.  It has sliders for the volume as compared to the knobs for the Alesis and it a bit more durable if taken on the road.  I don’t plan on ever taking it out of the studio, but it would do well if I needed to.  Sound output wise, I can’t really tell any difference between it and the Alesis Multimix 8, so advantage to the Alesis for price, coming in at about $130.  However, if you ever think you might use this as a road board, the advantage would go to the Mackie.  Either would work for most people, it’s just a matter of the features you are looking for with the mixer.   Mics and Arms No update to the Mics or Arm for this year.  Still using the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic Mic that I purchased a while back.  Not going to lie, I would love to purchase the Heil Sound PR40 Dynamic Microphone to try out as well.  At north of $300, I am having an issue pulling the trigger on it. The 2100’s have an all black version too.  The Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic USB Mic , which is nearly identical to the 2100 in every way but color and on/off switch.  They are nearly the same price on most days at Amazon. I also get lots of questions about what Shock Mount to use with the ATR 2100.  What I use and my recommendation is still the On Stage MY325 Dynamic Shock Mount Microphone    I also have gotten good use out of my RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm that I purchase over 2 years ago.  At $99 it is on the high end for boom arms, but well worth the price.  Lately, I have been trying out the budget model from Neewer that comes in at a budget friendly sub 20 price.  The Neewer arm lacks quality with springs that are on the outside of the arm, a mount that is not very sturdy and lighter grade metal used.  But for the price, it’s hard to beat. Lately, I have been using the NEEWER Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm  for holding my smart phone to use with Periscope and Meerkat in the studio.  Pared with the Car Mount, WizGear – Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount Holder  you have flexible solution for holding phone at the right angle for the video and can move it away when you are not using it.                       Yurbuds If you have listened to me for any length of time, you know that I swear by my Yurbuds for podcasting (and working out too!)  The pair that I use in the studio had gotten caught between my chair and the desk and stripped off some the insulation around the wires. They still work, they just didn’t look very good on camera.  They were red too, and I was beginning to look for something that might blend in a little better. In February, I ordered the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duro Plus Cloth Cords Sport Earbuds just to see what would be like to order the budget version from Yurbuds.  They are cloth covered and I thought that might be good for podcasting since they were not getting wet with a workout.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  When the cloth cover rubs on clothing, it transers the sound to the earbuds.  Not all that loud, it’s loud enough for me and can be distracting.  I am not going to change them out, but will not order cloth the next time I purchase new ones.  I also purchase the same pair for work.  They have such good quality, it might be a while before I get a chance to order new ones.  If were to purchase again, I would get the Yurbuds (CE) Inspire 300 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones   PC Equipment No changes to the PC that I built in the previous post.  It continues to work well and is running Windows Update.  I will upgrade it to Windows 10 in the fall.  It’s a free upgrade for the first year. I still run the studio off of a Home Build.  It consists of the major components of: Intel Core i7-4770 Quad-Core Desktop Processor GHZ LGA 1150 8MB Cache  Gigabyte LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gbps USB ATX DDR3 1600 Intel Motherboards GA-Z87-HD3  Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1608DT1TX0 16GB 240-Pin DIMM DDR3 1600, PC3 12800 Desktop Memory Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SATA III Internal SSD  Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (HAF XB Rev. 2) – High Air Flow Cube Style ATX Computer Case  Corsair RM Series 450-Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply   Thanks for reading and thanks for watching or listening to the podcasts!  As always, if you have questions about my setup or need gear advice, you can contact me at or on twitter @jcollison
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Gear

New PC upgrade for the AverageGuy.tv Studios: Intel Core i7 and Windows 8.1 Update

I spent some time over the last several weeks putting in an upgraded PC for the #160; I had been running a home build Intel Core i3 530 / 8GB RAM / 120GB SSD that was getting a little long in the tooth for what I was doing with #160; Besides daily use, the studio pc does all the edits, both audio and video for the several podcasts that I do #160; A one hour video podcast was taking up to 3 hours to render in 1080p with the older #160; With the new setup, I can render that same file in less than 30 #160; A worth while investment. I also installed Windows Update on #160; The more Microsoft changes Windows 8, the more it is looking like Windows 7 #160; It has been working well for me. Here is the parts list: Jim’s New Studio Build Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (HAF XB Rev. 2) – High Air Flow Cube Style ATX Computer Case with Removable Drive Cages and Dual 120mm XtraFlo Fans ;camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00FB45WPI&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1 Gigabyte LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gbps ;camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B00D94X6AK&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1 Intel Core i7-4770 Quad-Core Desktop Processor ;camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00CO8TBNS&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1 Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1608DT1TX0 16GB 240-Pin DIMM DDR3 1600, PC3 12800, Desktop Memory ;camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B006YG9C6C&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1 Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB ;camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B00E3W1726&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1 Corsair RM Series 450-Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply CP-9020066-NA ;camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B00EB7ULNO&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&psc=1   Some of you have also asked about the mixer that I use for #160; Here it is: Alesis MultiMix 8 USB FX ;camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B00404E7VK&linkCode=shr&tag=avestufrothea-20&qid=1402752550&sr=8-1&keywords=alesis+multimix+8+usb Let me know if you have any #160; Listen to Home Gagdget Geeks to get updates on how it is all running!
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Gear

Gear Added to the AverageGuy.tv Studio: Lights, Camera, Action

Christmas of 2013 was good to Jim and my tech setup at home for Podcasting!  A couple of gifts from Santa (you know who you are) and some great hardware upgrades from the family and the home studio has improved by 100%  Let me share them with you. First off, after a camera debacle on Surface Geeks and  the Home Server Show two weeks in a row, both ()  and () highlights just how bad it was. I think even Santa must have noticed. I received a box from Amazon on Christmas Eve with no note, no return address and no invoice.  In the box was a perfectly packaged Logitech C920!  ()  What once was a $99 webcam has now made its way down to $69 and is worth every penny!  Sporting elements like: HW encoding for faster, smoother HD experiences Carl Zeiss optics with premium 20-step AutoFocus Full HD 1080p video calling on Skype Full HD 1080p recordings and Fast upload to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube High quality dual mic for stereo audio Hard to beat for what I do for podcasting!  Working well with both low and high lighting (more on lighting later!) it might be the perfect webcam for any aspiring broadcaster.  I took a couple photos for your reference. Low Light Studio Light About on hour later, still Christmas Eve, the doorbell rang again.  Another box, again, missing any markings and a complete surprise.  I never saw this one coming.  A CowboyStudio Photography/Video Portrait Umbrella Continuous Triple Lighting Kit. ()  I know my lighting has always been bad, I didn’t know just how bad.  Again, see the photos above. At just about $70, this is a totally affordable lighting setup for the Average Guy.  I always thought lighting was going to cost me a couple hundred dollars or more and that thought kept me from even looking.  Now I will tell everyone just how inexpensive it can be. The set up on this rig is simple and fast.  It’s meant to be portable and comes with an travel bag to take it on the road.  With only 3 parts to assemble, it’s drop dead simple and could be setup and removed from any room very quickly if you didn’t have a dedicated place to record from.  In my case, they can stay set up for the couple podcasts that I do a week.  The added light now makes a huge difference. With everything set up at the desk it totally changed my set up.  Then came Christmas! That morning, my family set me up with a very nice VIVO Dual LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand. Loaded with heavy duty and fully adjustable arm brackets, this mount fits 2 monitors up to 27″ ().  It’s a great deal at less than $50! Install took about an hour (ended up moving monitors around based on setup) and the design and build of this mount is solid.  With two brackets holding the mount to the desk and a very thick metal design, this unit feels durable and solid.  It’s heavy too!  Adjustments are easy to make and one wrench tightens everything!  I will buy a second one when the time comes! By noon on Christmas, I had it all installed.  Took a few pictures so you can see how I set it up.  Of course, any questions you have about how it has faired here at the Studios, email me at or leave a comment here! Happy New Year
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Gear

Looking for Some Portable Podcasting Equipment? See It In Action at Infotec 2013 in Omaha

I recently spent two days interviewing 20 some Keynote and Session Breakout speakers at Infotec 2013 here in Omaha.  Many has asked about the gear I used.  Here is the list. Jim’s Portable Audio equipment list. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone by Audio-Technica  Alesis Multimix 4 USB FX 4-Channel Mixer with Effects Plus USB Audio Interface by Alesis  ART HeadAmp4 Headphone Amplifier by ART   Sony MDRZX100/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones by Sony  Yurbuds Ironman Series, Color:Red, OS by Yurbuds   Here is what it looked and sounded like:  
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