Software Architect / Microsoft MVP (AI) and Pluralsight Author

C#, Cognitive Services, General Development, Pluralsight

What software and hardware do you need to produce video content?

In last week’s post about, I went through the Pluralsight Audition process.  I shared what was involved, how I planned and structured my submission and the actual content I delivered.

A few people were asking me what kit I got after finding out I made my way through Pluralsight’s strict acceptance criteria.

In this post, I’ll share links to the kit I ended up buying and software I used. I’ll also detail the cost. If becoming a professional content creator is something you’re considering.

Note: you don’t need fancy kit for the audition!

Software and Services

 I touched on this in the previous post but it’s worth mentioning all software and services that were used.

Azure

I used Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics API to surface insights in text data.

Cost: Free Azure Credits

PowerPoint

Maybe stating the obvious, but Pluralsight supply you with an Author Audition Kit which contains a sample set of PowerPoint slides. I have an Office 365 subscription.

Cost: £7.99.

TechSmith Camtasia

This was used to carry out the recording and make the subsequent edits. I was new to this at the time and still have things to learn.

Cost: Free (through MVP Program).  You can get a free trial here. The full version is £231.86

TechSmith SnagIt

This was handy to do screen capture, slice, and dice images as well as make simple tweaks. I’ve pretty much stopped using the Snipping Tool in favour of Snagit.

Cost: Free (through MVP Program).  You can get a free trial here. The full version is £46.51

Visual Studio Community

For all coding and running my examples that made their way into the audition.

Cost: Free

Hardware

Pluralsight has bundles that you can pick from with different price points. Being a first-time author and not quite the audio guru, I went for the beginner’s kit. Pluralsight supply you with links to Amazon bundles, unfortunately, some of the products weren’t available in the UK.

After swapping a few emails with the Team and speaking to others, here is what I settled on:

Microphone

As I’m just getting into this, I didn’t want to shell out on an expensive mic. The “Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser” mic was suggested as a decent beginner’s mic.

It comes with screw fixtures and a swivel foot that can be attached to a boom arm.

Cost: £74. You can get it from Amazon here.

Boom Arm

There were loads to pick from and I honestly didn’t see much difference between one at £100 and the one got. I’m sure there is though.  I got the “Tencro Professional”.

Cost: £12.78.  You can get it from Amazon here.

Pop Filter

I always wondered what these things were and why you needed them. It turns out sounds called “plosives” aren’t’ good to hear. Anyway, this bit of mesh reduces this type of sound. I got the “InnoGear Microphone Pop Filter”.

Cost: £6.99 from Amazon. You can find this here.

Audio Interface

I got the Behringer UMC22 to handle audio, reduce lag and so on.  It plugs into the USB port and had some decent reviews.

Cost: £32 from Amazon. You can find this here.

Microphone Cable

The mic doesn’t come with a cable! I got one by Stagg.

Cost: £5.82 from Amazon.  You can find this here.

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Total Cost

All of this brings the total cost for both software (£7.99) and hardware (£131.59) to £139.58.

Next Steps

I’ve had a few late-night meetings with the Team at Pluralsight discussing ideas for my first course. It might be centered around Azure, C# and possibly some social media APIs.

Got any questions or feedback? Drop them below or reach out on social.

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