My Setup

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The iMac Pro

This iMac Pro is the most expensive computer I've bought in my lifetime. It’s also my favorite computer I’ve ever owned in my lifetime. Last year when upgrading my original 5K iMac, I realized I wanted more power and started clicking the appropriate boxes until my build-to-order iMac was dangerously close to the entry-level price of the iMac Pro. I then started talking to iMac Pro owning friends (a dangerous endeavor), who all universally loved their iMac Pros. What pushed me over the edge was a few factors:

  • Multiple Core Processing: I render a lot of video these days. The iMac Pro runs circles around any computer I've ever used before. What used to take 45 minutes to render now takes 15.

  • Thermal Profile: While it looks a lot like a traditional iMac from the outside, on the inside the iMac Pro is an entirely different beast. It stays cool and quiet, which makes recording podcasts and doing video production a lot easier.

  • More Pro Goodness: The T2 chip. The better camera. The faster memory and disk access. All that adds up to something I was willing to pay for.

The Build

Processor: 3.2 Ghz Intel Xeon W

RAM: 32 GB

SSD: 2 Terabyte

The place I went crazy was increasing the SSD to 2TB. I don't regret it, however. Just last week I was working on four separate screencast projects and a video with plenty of room to spare. I plan on keeping this machine a long time and don't want to make juggling internal storage a daily burden.

Keyboard and Trackpad

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While I've been flirting the Keychron keyboard, I am primarily using the stock Apple Keyboard and Trackpad. I'm not very fiddly when it comes to these things and using the Magic Trackpad along with Better Touch Tool, I can make this iMac dance. I initially thought I'd replace the full-size keyboard with one sans number pad. However, I've found so many uses for the number pad in Keyboard Maestro that I now don't mind the extra stretch from the keyboard to the trackpad.

The iMac Pro is the central hub of my video business, podcasts, and legal practice. I work at this machine hours every day.

The Reference Monitor 

Dell 24inch 4K Monitor

Amazon Basics Monitor Arm

I’ve already written plenty about this, but I do continue to appreciate the second screen. I’m still using it exactly as originally intended, reference materials only with the real work done the iMac screen.

iMac Peripherals

I use all the ports!

USB Hub

HooToo USB 3.0 60 watt hub

I’ve bought so many lousy USB hubs over the years. This not one of those. I bought it in 2015 and it’s been rock solid.

External Storage

I’ve been down the road with NAS drives and other fancy solutions, but these days, I've simplified to these Seagate 5TB drives. I’ve got one exclusively for Time Machine and another that acts as an Archive drive. I’ve got a few more in a drawer that backs up the Archive. They are light, reliable, bus powered, and easily velcro to the underside of my desk.

Scanner

Fujitsu Scan Snap iX1500

Fujitsu sponsored the Mac Power Users for years, but before that, I was just a customer. I still use my ScanSnap all the time.

Printer

Brother Wireless Color Laser Printer

When I left my fancy lawyer job and set up my solo practice, my first purchase was the this printer. It has worked fine as printers go. It always works with iOS devices and sometimes gets fiddly with my Mac.

Mounting Arms

Amazon Basics Monitor Arm

Nothing special here.


Favorite Mac Software – Coming Soon

iPad - iPad Pro 12.9"

I love my iPad Pro. I love the design, and I love how wicked fast it is. I have the 12.9” iPad Pro with 512 GB of storage (which in hindsight was probably overkill on storage).

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Apple Smart Keyboard

Love the portability and the way it doubles as a protector when the iPad is in my bag.

Apple Pencil 2

Superior to the first iteration in every way.

Draft Table Stand

I like this so much, I made a video about it.

Favorite iPad Software - Coming Soon


iPhone - Apple iPhone XS Max (White)

Love this phone.

Apple Airpods

I'm not alone in thinking of these as some of the best things Apple has made in recent years.

Portable Battery - Anker PowerCore 13000

I've been buying Anker batteries because I trust the company. I'm not sure they're any better than the other reputable companies.

Supplemental Camera Lenses - Moment

I don't use these all the time, but on family outings, they fit in my jeans pocket and significantly increase the photography options with the iPhone. I’d particularly recommend the wide and superfish moment lenses.

Favorite iPhone Software - Coming Soon

Podcast Gear

I started with very simple podcast gear. My first mic was a Blue Snowball. Over the years, I’ve upgraded my equipment. I wouldn’t recommend the below equipment for starting out but it sure is nice, if you have the means.

Microphone - Neuman 105

My Precious. I recently upgraded my microphone to this beauty. I'm thrilled with it. It does a great job with my voice and a decent job with my saxophone.

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Pre-Amp - USB Pre2

It took me years to get around to getting one of these. I got mine used, and it works great. It is an outstanding pre-amp.

Cans - Bose QuietComfort 35

I rage bought these in an airport once after sitting for hours surrounded by too much noise. These are some great noise canceling headphones, but they are also pretty comfortable. I keep these mounted to the bottom of my desk with the Elevation Labs Anchor. For podcast recording, I use the wired connection.

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Whirlwind Mic Mute

I bought (and returned) several lousy mic mutes before I found this one. If you get it, buy longer cables so you can run it to the floor and activate it with your foot.

K&M Microphone Desk Stand
My old boom arm started creaking and popping. This one is much more stable (and quiet).

CISNO Studio Pop Filter and Shock Mount

One of the best values in my podcasting rig.


My Desk

NextDesk Terra

I bought this years ago. Since then the company has rebranded to “XDesk” and I have no idea where they stand in the market since so many new sit/stand desk vendors have shown up in the meantime. Ikea even sells one, which I’ve checked out and was not impressed by.

For me this desk is not a novelty. I work with it sitting and standing every day. I’d never go back to a conventional desk at this point.

Desktop Digital Clock

Also, here is the underside of my desk:

Click to enlarge.

Fancy Pens and Paper - Coming Soon


Music Gear - Coming Soon