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MediaStorm Guide to Screencasting Hardware and Software

A number of readers have inquired about the equipment I use for screencasts.

Software

The best software I’ve found for screencasting is Telestream’s screenflow ($99.99). Screenflow records at higher resolution than your final output so that you can easily increase the size of specific onscreen elements.

Screenflow also has a built in editor which allows for cutting and trimming from within the application. It’s far simpler to use than Premiere Pro so the learning curve is rather straightforward.

Computer Interface

About a year ago I purchased a Zoom H6 ($399) to replace my ailing Marantz PMD 660. The Zoom is lighter, sounds better, and has a USB interface that can connect directly to a computer.

When I record screencasts, I plug my mic in to the Zoom and the Zoom in to my iMac so that the sound passes straight through, recording directly to my hard drive.

The Zoom is also a great field recorder. I used it extensively on my latest short film and I’m very satisfied with the clean results.

Microphone

Like lots of journalist, I used a Sennheiser K6 shotgun ($249) for many years. But because I now record primarily voice-over in tightly-controlled environments, I opted for a better vocal mic. I now use the Heil PR–40 ($327). It’s a terrific dynamic microphone that really sounds crisp.

I also make sure to use the Heil Sound PRSM-B Shockmount ($105) to avoid mic rattling as well as the BSW RE27POP pop filter ($59.00)

Additional Resources

To learn more about audio recording, check out MediaStorm’s online training, 101: Reporting Track.

Another great resource is Dan Benjamin’s Podcast Method. Dan offers lots of equipment options across a range of price points. He also hosts a series of free videos on mic techniques; definitely worth checking out.

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