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Studio Setups: Behind the Scenes with Mike Allton

By Ian Anderson Gray with Mike Allton

Confident Live Marketing Podcast

Episode 219

Duration: 26 minutes 2 seconds

Episode Theme: Tech & Gear

Full Transcript

May 29, 2024

CLMP 219-2 Blog

Have you ever wondered how top creators design their content creation studios to boost productivity?
What must-have gear do the most successful creators swear by?
How can you transform your studio space to reflect your personal flair and maximise creativity?

In this episode, Mike Alton shares his extensive experience and insights on setting up a professional live video studio. We'll uncover his essential gear, practical setup tips, and ways to personalise your studio space for optimal video quality and audience engagement.

This episode is sponsored by Adobe Express

In this episode:

  • [0:00] Kicking Off with Smart Home Tech for Live Streaming
  • [0:31] Introducing the Confident Live Marketing Podcast
  • [0:56] Special Guest Spotlight: Mike Alton’s Journey
  • [3:46] Deep Dive into Microphone Choices and Challenges
  • [9:21] Elevating Video Quality: Cameras and Lighting Insights
  • [17:49]  Optimizing Your Content Creation Setup
  • [20:49] Personalizing Your Studio Space
  • [23:05] Quick Fire Round: Content Creation Preferences
  • [24:22] Wrapping Up: Connecting with Mike and Future Projects

In this episode, we delve into Mike Alton’s journey from basic to high-end studio setups. He reveals his current gear preferences, including the Rode PodMic and Sony A6400, and underscores the importance of lighting. Mike also shares tips on camera and monitor placement and highlights his latest upgrade to a Mac Studio. Plus, stay tuned for a sneak peek into Mike’s new AI-focused podcast, AI and Marketing Unpacked.

Choosing the Right Gear

Let’s start with the essentials—microphones and cameras. Mike emphasises the impact of high-quality audio on your live videos. He currently uses the Rode PodMic, a reliable choice for clear and professional sound. He uses the Rode AI-1 USB mixer which is basic and just does the job. He’d like to upgrade that in the future.

When it comes to cameras, Mike has upgraded to the Sony A6400, a mirrorless camera, together with a Sigma Prime lens. This gives a great video quality with its superior autofocus and image clarity.

But it’s not just about the gear itself; it’s about how you use it. Mike advises on positioning your camera at eye level to create a more engaging and personal connection with your audience. This simple adjustment can make a world of difference in how viewers perceive and interact with your content.

Lighting: The Game Changer

Next on the list is lighting, an often underestimated yet crucial component of a professional setup. Mike shares his journey from using basic desk lamps to investing in proper studio lighting. Good lighting can dramatically improve the quality of your video, making you look more professional and helping to maintain viewer attention.

One of Mike’s top tips is to use a combination of key lights, fill lights, and backlights to create a balanced and visually appealing frame. He recently added effective backlighting to his setup, which was stolen from his daughter! This not only adds depth but also helps in separating him from the background, making the video more dynamic.

Personalising Your Studio Space

Your studio should reflect your personal style and brand. Mike encourages creators to personalise their spaces to make them more inviting and unique. Whether it’s adding a pop of colour, displaying branded items, or incorporating elements that reflect your personality, these touches can make your studio feel more like you.

Mike also discusses the importance of a tidy and organized workspace. A clean setup not only looks better on camera but also helps boost productivity and focus. Simple changes like hiding cables and decluttering your desk can have a significant impact.

Wrapping up the episode, Mike shares his enthusiasm for his new AI-focused podcast, AI and Marketing Unpacked, where he explores the intersection of artificial intelligence and marketing.

What’s your biggest challenge with setting up your content creation studio? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast for more valuable insights!

Mike’s Studio

Microphone: Rode PodMic w/ XLR cable and Boom Arm
Microphone Accessories: Nexent Bluetooth earbud
Audio Interface/mixer: Rode AI-1 USB mixer
Main Camera (inc Lens): Sony a6400 w/ Sigma Lens
Computer: Mac Studio
Lights: Cowboy Light Kit w/ full spectrum light bulb, LED strip lights
Anything else: tripod, Elgato Cam Link, power adapter for camera, smart plugs & echo

Find out more about Mike’s setup here.

Watch Episode 219


About Mike Allton

Mike is a Strategic Marketing Leader in AI and Data-Driven Solutions, international keynote speaker & author at The Social Media Hat, and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and partner brands. He has spent over a decade in digital marketing and brings an unparalleled level of experience and excitement to the fore, whether he's delivering a presentation or leading a workshop.


[0:00] Mike: Tell my Alexa that I'm ready to go live and she turns on my lights and she turns on my camera and it's on.

[0:05] It's all ready to go.

[0:07] We built the background, which is shelves and very strategically placed, books and decor behind me, knowing that I was going to be on video all the time, because by 2019, I was doing meetings and live videos and that sort of thing regularly.

Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is the founder of the Confident Live Marketing Academy and is the host of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast. He helps entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority and profits by using live video confidently. He's founder of Seriously Social - a blog focused on live video and social media tools. He’s an international speaker, trainer, teacher and consultant. He has a passion for making the techno-babble of live video and social media marketing easy to understand. As well as being a geek, husband, and dad to two kids, Ian is also a professional singer and lives near Manchester in the UK.