The "Mobile" Studio

Jan 26, 2018 by Mike

The last quarter of 2017 certainly was a doozie!  We returned from our four week California road trip on Saturday, Nov 11th, unpacked and set up the studio gear in time for Monday Midnight Munchies on the 13th, only to have me fly out to Philadelphia for PAX Unplugged that Thursday for Gamerati; a trip that totaled 3 hours of sleep over 72 hours.  Then a few weeks later (the day after Star Wars came out) we flew, with our studio packed into four suitcases, to Alberta Canada for the holidays.  

Fun Fact: the Corsair One fits perfectly into a carry-on.  

I'm not going to lie; sometimes I envy the 99% of broadcasters who can stream with just a laptop and a webcam.  Thankfully, Memory Express came to our rescue and allowed us to borrow a monitor rather than make us have to pack one.  And what a monitor they lent us!  The Benq Zowie XL2720.  This thing is one sexy piece of technology.  We don't ask a lot of our monitors, but what we do ask is vital: color accuracy.  It's the biggest factor for us when streaming on location. When we're on the road, lighting is inconsistent, inaccurate and unreliable (which is why we travel with our studio lights but that only helps so much), and being able to accurately color-grade the flat footage of the Blackmagic cameras under these conditions is paramount to making the stream look professional.  To do this, we need a high sRGB rating- the 99% sRGB on the Benq did the trick and allowed us to tune the image to be as pleasing to the eye as possible on as many screens as we could.  

Unfortunately, our particular monitor had some sort of cascade failure where a new dead pixel would show up almost every day over the first week of having it.  I understand these things happen and most companies like Memory Express have an easy exchange program for situations like this.  In our case, we were 3 hours away from the closest location, so I just had to live with it.  Not a big deal, just unlucky this time!  But that doesn't change how grateful we are to Memex or how gorgeous the Benq monitor was!

We had some epic streams over the holidays!  From a two-day Gingerbread Mansion extravaganza to the full on Turkey Dinner and prep (including a how-to correctly set a dinner table) to Eggnog from scratch and champagne jello shooters and more.  We spent more time planning and streaming than actually spending quality time with Stacey's folks! (Which we're super sorry about)

Through blind luck or destined fate, Aaron shared so much of our equipment that we were able to travel with 60% less hardware...

Oh, you thought the traveling stopped?  A couple of weeks after returning home and setting up the studio again, it was time to head down to PAX South!  Which meant packing up the whole studio ag- *A NEW CHALLENGER HAS ARRIVED* Enter ZeroPointProps (aka Aaron)!  Through blind luck or destined fate, Aaron shared so much of our equipment that we were able to travel with 60% less hardware down to Texas.  We just needed our lighting, camera gear, and audio equipment.  Aaron was able to supply the computer, monitors, peripherals, cable and more!  

If it wasn't for ZeroPointProps, we wouldn't have the hashtag "#ArmyPeed" to entertain us in Chatland. Remember that.

What I learned from these past few months is that I either need a complete and separate mobile setup OR I need an Aaron in every city I visit or both.  Unsurprisingly, all three are a long shot; however, lessons are being learned, and progress is being made! 

Thank you, Memory Express for saving the day in Alberta! 

Thank you, ZeroPointProps for saving the day in San Antonio!