HD on a Budget – Building a Small Studio
It would be impossible to list every cable and miscellaneous item used to launch this small HD studio. However, below is a general list of hardware and software purchased for our smaller video and audio podcast studios. These items are great for those working with small spaces and tight budgets. It’s also a great way to get started building your dream.

The control room of our smallest video studio.

Blackmagic Multibridge Extreme
with PCI Express HD/SD Bi-Directional Converter, PCI Express Card and Cable


The Blackmagic Multibridge Extreme is a SDI input box that feeds two HD Canon XL-H1 video cameras to a desktop switcher software application that gives us true HD video. This system creates a QuickTime.mov file ready for import to Final Cut Pro or any third party editing or player application. It also provides several compression levels of HD and SD resolutions. Be sure to check their web site for the latest in HD technology and compatibility issues. With a light graphic interface for photo overlays and lower-thirds, we found the Blackmagic Multibridge Extreme ran great on our Mac G5. This process required very little post editing.

(2) Canon XL-H1 Video Cameras
3-CCD Native 16:9 High Definition 1080i Camcorder
with 20x HD Video Zoom Lens, SMPTE TC, Genlock, FireWire and HD/SD-SDI

The Canon XL-H1 video camera is a wonderful buy an easy to learn. Using the SDI port, hook-up to the Blackmagic Multibridge Extreme was a breeze. Dark or low lit shadows are solid and clean with no signs of graininess. Other pros included, built-in color saturation correction capabilities, skin softening filter, color viewfinder and an interchangeable lens.

EZ FX Junior Jib
with JibPod Heavy Duty Tripod, Super Clamps, EZ UnderSling,
503 Pro Video Head and 3 Wheel Dolly

Promter People DV-11 Teleprompter
9.2 inch Diagonal Active Matrix LCD Color Display, VGA up to 1024×768 and composite video, 12V power (includes AC adapter and car adapter), Wireless remote control and 16:9 wide screen

Nextforce Presentation Prompter 4.2 Software
Price: $65.00 (for Mac OS X)

Chrosziel 440-03XLH1K 4×4 Sunshade
for Canon XL-H1 16:9/4:3 with French Flag

(2) Varizoom VZ-Rock Camera Controllers
Compact Variable Rocker LANC Camera Control

Samsung 50 inch PPM50M5H – Plasma TV
Featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366 x 768 native resolution image.

There lots of monitors to choose from these days. We chose the Samsung 50-inch PPM50M5H for size, clarity and its compatibility with our Mac video resolution settings. If you choose another brand, be sure to test it with your computer before you buy. Most vendors would love to let you test one, and in some cases, they will drop off a test model. Pioneer (Elite) and Sony also make wonderful studio monitors.

Chief Mobile Flat Panel Display Cart
PTC-2042 – Max Height of 72″

(2) The Arri Softbank IV Light Kit is a great high end professional light kit. However, they can put off a lot of heat and warm up a small room in a hurry. If this is a concern, you might consider florescent lights. They put off less heat. These Arri lights are not only good for a studio but great for field and remote locations.

This kit consists of: 2 Fresnel 150, 1 Fresnel 300, 1 Fresnel 650, 1 Arrilite 1000 Open Face Light, Barndoors, Scrims, Filter Frames, Bulbs, 24×32″ Softbox, Super Clamp, Light Stands, Accessory Pack, Bulbs, Heavy Duty Case. Mfr# 571991

Blue Sky ProDesk 2.1 Desktop Monitoring System
Includes two SAT 5 MK II speakers and a SUB 8 Universal sub-woofer.

After testing several pairs of studio monitors, these Blue Sky ProDesk 2.1 speakers came to the top. Matter-of-fact, these speakers are the best I’ve heard in my entire life. Every review I found gave these speakers a five-star rating. One review said that after discovering Skywalker Ranch used these in several of their sound design suites, they thought, “Heck, if it’s good enough for George Lucas it’s good enough for me.”

I was surfing the Web the other day and sure enough, you can find them on their Web site. Here’s a picture taken from their QuickTime Virtual Tour.

Mackie Onyx 1620 16-Channel Analog Recording Mixer
with Optional FireWire Card (extra)

Wait. Is that me or is that a Onyx Mackie mixer in the Skywalker picture too? We’re using both the 12, 16 and 24 channel Mackie Onyx Mixers. The built in equalizer and talk-back system are a plus.

Mackie HM-54 High Output Rack-mountable
4-Channel Headphone Amp

M-Audio DX4 – Active Desktop Monitor Speakers
Great for talk-back speakers for the Onyx Mackie mixer.

Audio-Technica AT4040 Microphone
Cardioid Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Capacitor Microphone
Used for higher-end recording

O.C. White Deluxe Microphone Arm and Riser System
Includes: Deluxe Series Microphone Arm and 12-Inch Riser Mount (Black)

Popless Voice Screens Pop Filter Windscreen
with Gooseneck (6″)

(2) Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series
UHF Diversity Lavalier Wireless System with EM100G2 Receiver
SK100G2 Belt Pack Transmitter and ME-4 Lavalier Microphone

Sennheiser Deluxe Shotgun Microphone Kit
Includes: MKH-416 Shotgun Microphone, Universal Shockmount, Rycote Softie, Cabled Boom Pole, Universal Hand Grip and Right Angled XLR Cables.

On-Stage Telescoping Microphone Boom Stand
SM7650 Hex-Base 3-Section Telescoping Microphone Boom Stand
Height: 38 – 80″ Boom Length: 79″

(2) MSE Hollywood Pro C Stand 40″
Double Riser Low Profile & Sliding Leg

CHROME Matthews Hollywood Arm
Gobo Arm 40″

Matthews 18X24-inch Lighting Control Kit
Kit consists of one Single Black Scrim, Double Black Scrim, Artificial White Silk, Flag, Cello Cucoloris and Wood Cucoloris, MSE# 999012.

Matthews 15 lb. Empty Black Sand Bag

Standard Grade Apple Boxes
Full, 1/2, 1/4 and Standard Grade Pancake

Sony PVM-14L1 13-Inch Studio Monitor
with 600 Lines, NTSC/PAL

Bogen-Manfrotto Professional Video Tripod Legs
515MVB Lightweight 2-Stage (make sure the 100mm Bowl is included)
and On-Ground Spreader – Supports 33 lbs

Bogen-Manfrotto 3198 Cine/Video Deluxe Dolly
for Tripods with Dual Spiked Feet

Bogen-Manfrotto 3460 (503) Pro Video Head
with Quick Release – Supports 13.2 lb (6 kg)

Sony HVR-M25U Compact Desktop Video Deck
HDV/DVCAM/DV VTR with LCD, 1080i record, 1080i/720p playback
720p down conversion, NTSC/PAL Switchable

Iogear DVI KVMP GCS1762 2-Port USB KVM Switch
with DVI Interface and Stereo Earphone Connectors

(2) Apple Final Cut Studio 2 Production Software Suite
Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, Compressor 3, DVD Studio Pro 4

(2) Adobe Production Premium CS3 Software Suite
The bundle includes Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, After Effects CS3 Professional, Premiere Pro CS3, Soundbooth CS3, Encore CS3, and OnLocation CS3. Also included are the components common to CS3 applications. The include Bridge CS3, Version Cue CS3, Device Central CS3, Dynamic Link, Stock Photos, and Acrobat Connect.

13-inch 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Laptop (video studio)
2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB memory, 120GB hard drive, Combo drive
For running 11 inch teleprompter

Dual 2Ghz PowerPC Mac G5 (video studio)
with two 23 inch monitor
for recording Blackmagic Multibridge Extreme and monitor studio cameras

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac
(video studio)
with one 23 inch monitor
for graphic generator, video playback and 50 inch plasma graphics

Sonitec Acoustic Foam
24-piece pack, 2-inch Wedge, 12×12-inch, Dark Gray


Mackie Onyx 1220 12-Channel Analog Recording Mixer
with Optional FireWire Card Slot

(6) Shure SM58-LC – Cardioid Handheld Dynamic Microphone
For audio podcast studio and field use.

(4) Low Profile Die-Cast Mic Stand
This stand adjusts from 9 to 13-inch high and fits standard microphone clips.

Blue Sky International MediaDesk 2.1 Monitoring System
These speakers are the the little brothers to the Blue Sky ProDesk 2.1. With great sound, these speakers are half the cost of its big brother.

(6) Sony Headphones
MDR-7506 Circumaural Closed-Back Professional Monitor Headphone.

JK Audio Broadcast Host
Digital Hybrid Telephone, Audio Line and Microphone Desktop Broadcast Station. This device will allow you to record telephone guest straight into your podcast conversation, while allowing both the guest and several studio host to monitor and participate at the same time. We have this device hooked too a basic analog phone to make and receive our calls. Price: $439.95

Mackie HM-54 High Output Rack-mountable
4-Channel Headphone Amp

3GHz Dual-Core Mac Pro Mac (audio studio)
with 23 inch monitor
for video and audio post production suite, (audio studio)

3GHz Dual-Core Mac Pro Mac
(audio studio)
with 23 inch monitor
for audio Podcast Recording

Sonitec Acoustic Foam
24-piece pack, 2-inch Wedge, 12×12-inch, Dark Gray