Now that the world has spent the last couple of years stocking up on microphones, lights, new cameras and a mountain of other bits to be able to stream from home or just make our Zoom calls look and sound a bit better than our co-workers, what do we do with it now that the world has (mostly) opened back up and we’re able to start travelling again? Well, we take it with us, of course!
In this video, the team at Syrp Lab build an entire podcasting studio in a single box that lets you record or broadcast from pretty much anywhere. Based on (in?) the Manfrotto ProLight Reloader Tough-55 roller case, it’s rugged enough to deal with the usual rough handling of travel and it also fits within carry-on restrictions (although do double-check before you book) when you need to fly!
The Syrp team created this setup to fulfil a need that they had in their own operation. A new project requires them to be able to shoot interviews on the road and they need to be able to set up quickly. In fact, their goal was to have something that they could have setup and ready to record within about a minute. It also needed to offer 4K video capabilities, be usable for a 2-host setup, be easily taken on domestic flights, be weather proof and completely battery-powered, because they couldn’t rely on having plug sockets available at unknown locations.
Naturally, they can’t fit their entire full-sized podcasting studio in there, so the setup is quite minimalist. But there’s more you could potentially add or things you could swap depending on your needs. But this one allows for a 2-person audio-only podcast recording or they can use the camera in the lid, along with the monitor and smartphone for doing remote interviews. Or, hey, maybe you can do your next office Zoom meeting from the beach!
They have managed to fit quite a lot in there, though, including a Sony A9 mirrorless camera, a couple of Audix A131 large diaphragm cardioid condensers, two pairs of headphones, a couple of Manfrotto Magic Arms for mounting the microphones, a Zoom F6 field recorder, a SmallHD field monitor and a smartphone bracket for over-the-internet Interviews. For many podcasts, especially if they’re audio-only, this is all you need. But even if you need video, too, you’ve got it there ready to go at a moment’s notice, wherever you happen to be, along with everything else.
With everything inside the foam-lined Manfrotto ProLight Reloader Tough 55 case, it’s easily protected from damage while on the road yet all easily accessible once you get where you’re going. You don’t even need to charge and maintain batteries for multiple devices, either, because everything powers off a single Promate AuraTank-20 20,000mAh USB power bank, which offers both 10W Qi wireless charging as well as up to 18W USB-Power delivery.
They did have to design a couple of 3D printed parts in order to help make things fit without compromising the integrity and waterproofness of the case, but the guys at Syrp Lab have made those available if you want to have a go at making your own and you can find out more about those over on the Syrp Lab website.
Overall, it’s a pretty excellent solution for a portable podcasting setup that does exactly what it needs to do without being bloated with a bunch of extra things you don’t really need all the time. Just the essentials, all ready to go when you need them. It sure beats having to carry and set up a bunch of stands and booms with cables all over the place and doing a million tests to make sure everything’s working as intended before you hit record!