College professor teach-from-home rig

Hello friends,

Like many college faculty, my teaching—synchronously and asynchronously—is increasingly online and from home.

I’ve been working to steadily improve my production values (and Gear Acquisition Syndrome is strong). Glad to find this forum… I’ve learned so much from @aaronpk and @John. :pray:

I work from a MacBook Pro on a standing desk riser.

I have an Olympus OM-D E-M10ii mounted above the main 34" curved monitor, with a cheap manual Neewer 25mm 1.8 lens. I’ve just added a Glidegear TMP50 teleprompter with a Feelworld T7 monitor, which I’m excited about. This runs as the HDMI out from my ATEM Mini. I can run the program out to use as a confidence monitor, or have the ATEM pass Input 4 through which lets me use the teleprompter as an external computer display to maintain eye contact during e.g., Zoom calls.

I’ve really upped my control game with Companion inspiration from @davidjoshuaford. Two of my favorite things are a button for controlling H2R Graphics countdown timers (the length of the timer changes depending how long I hold down the “2min timer” button), and a button for controlling what the ATEM shows on the teleprompter monitor (holding down the “HDMI PGM” button cycles the HDMI out through PGM, inputs, and preview).

Audio is a bit hacked together, but I’m currently running a Behringer XM 8500 or a cheap Pyle headset into a Zoom H6, then via its line out through the ATEM. The ATEM lets me do a bit of audio processing (a little EQ, expander, and compressor; I have basically no idea what I’m doing there, alas), but perhaps more importantly lets me mute/unmute the mic universally using Companion.

Audio out is via a Topping MX3 amp into either generic Monoprice bookshelf speakers or ATH-M40x headphones.

(Some of) this stuff also sometimes travels with me to my on-campus office in a cheap Harbor Freight Apache 3800 case.

Anyway, that’s what’s up at my house. I’ve been maintaining page listing my gear and giving lots of advice on teach-from-home tech setups to many of my colleagues on Twitter, despite the fact that I’m largely figuring this stuff out as I go along. I do think students notice a big difference from slightly elevated production values vs. the typical online class taught with AirPods and a built-in laptop webcam, so I’ve been trying to spread the word.

Thanks again everyone for all I’ve learned from you.

Best,
Luke

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In case they’re useful to anyone, I have posted a few custom Companion buttons on Github. (Suggested improvements very welcome!)

image

Button Description
5.2 Turn on an H2R Graphics countdown of the indicated time. Hold the button to set/reset the amount of time (currently 1/2/5/10/15 mins). Note if you move the button you’ll have to edit the “Internal: Button Text” commands to refer to the correct button. Also, this only works for me if the H2R Graphics timer transition is set to “None.”
5.3 Set the output for the ATEM Mini HDMI output (aux 1). A quick press sets to Program; holding cycles through inputs 1–4 and then preview. Note if you move the button you’ll have to edit the “Internal: Button Text” commands to refer to the correct button. It seems like this should be easier to do using the $(atem:aux1_input) macro, but for some reason that macro doesn’t seem to update reliably on my machine.
5.4 Press to toggle the upstream keyer (M/E 1) on and off. Hold to cycle the upstream keyer fill source through inputs 1–4.
5.10 Toggle Mic 1 on and off.
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I’m in a similar situation myself and really enjoyed the look at your setup. Thanks for posting.

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Setup is looking pretty good!

One question, do you only use that while standing? It seems the teleprompter is quite high up and I’m wondering if its intended for standing lectures (vs sitting down at the computer).

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Yeah, I don’t even have a desk chair… 100% standing. It’s a bit higher up than would be ideal (camera lens about three inches above eye level), but I only have one desk setup and want to have the big monitor I use all day for work front and center.

This is cool! I’ll try to share mine later. I love the use of H2R Graphics. I need to play with that some more. I’ve been loving the teleprompter setup — I’ve been using the GlideGear 150 with the liliput A11 10” monitor. Works well!

Is there anywhere we can see an example
Class?

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Thanks Michael!

Unfortunately, I can’t share class videos (FERPA) but I’ve got some recordings of how some of the production stuff winds up looking including H2R graphics timers and instant replay:

I just made a similar long-press function for my HDMI 2 output - normal press sets Multi, long press then cycles Prog, Clean feed, and if you keep holding it opens a new page with all the assignments which I can choose from.

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