Plans, Plans, Plans… Wait… crap…

So that was a reference to my Plans, Plans, Plans, Yeah! post where I talked about my exciting plans to start an ASMR channel and vlog. Mostly, it was about equipment and my background in photography.

And in my excitement, I forgot the golden rule… Ask the experts.

I mean, we tell autism parents that all the time. Ask Autistics, well, I have now “asked” the ASMRtists and I have more information to pass on to you. I put asked in quotes because what I really did was search for videos on their personal ASMR creation advice. Of which there are a few…

(I kind of wish I had “asked” before I bought some of my equipment, but I am still pretty happy with what I have. Even if I did get carried away… crap, don’t tell my husband I said that. CRAP, he reads these! … Anyway, I’ll get more into that in a minute.)

This is about the experts. So, let me start with my first ASMR love… Gibi ASMR. This video is from 2017, and I like that because it was after she had been filming for about a year, which means that she was still comparatively a beginner, but with legit advice. She’s also, just so smart and likable. So it’s nice to listen to as well.

Overall Channel Advice from Gibi ASMR

Don’t be fooled by her youth, she’s got some sage advice in this video.

The next videos are about set up and equipment from the OG of modern first person ASMR, Maria from Gentle Whispering ASMR. She’s so smart and so lovely. I personally like her for several reasons.

First, she’s bilingual. I don’t listen to her Russian videos but I have so much respect for bilingual people. As you may already know, I have auditory processing issues so I have trouble communicating in my native language. So I’m extremely impressed that she is an ASMRtist in two different languages and cultures. Interestingly, I didn’t like her videos at first because I did not know that she had an accent. I thought it was an affectation (or poetry voice) and I couldn’t readily understand it. Once I knew that she had a Russian accent, my auditory processing clicked in and I was able to understand her quite easily.

Then, she does a LOT of research and writing in preparation in her videos, not to mention production design. I love her effort and hard work. I think one of my favorites will always be her Rainbow Tuning video, and I will probably do my own take on that in the future, since it seemed to be influenced by chakra ideas. (Chakras and reiki intrigue me because of the most interesting experience I had with a theater mom backstage, if I haven’t told you that already, I’ll get back to it another day.)

She is also probably the most successful ASMR creator today.

Setup & Equipment Advice from Gentle Whispering ASMR

I love her budget tip of socks as a diffuser! That’s so clever!

If I’m super honest, I also love that she’s a little closer to my age, and still looks fantastic in her videos. Now that she’s a mom maybe she’ll age like the rest of us mere mortals. Probably not.

Here she is about equipment-

This was one of those I wish I had looked at it before I purchased. But in reality I would have probably busted my budget had I done that. So, perhaps, it was meant to be. Marked this one for future purposes.

Here’s an overall ASMR advice video, or as one of the commenters put it, “Welcome to Maria’s Ted Talk.”

I like her advice on developing why you make an ASMR channel, and monetizing vs. passion, and especially, studying your favorite ASMRtists. Great artists steal, folks.

Now here’s a young man to watch, so I don’t seem like I only like the ladies. (Have to represent like the big bisexual I am!) Okay, that was silly. Nonetheless, the next one is a very clever and successful young man, PJ Dreams ASMR.

PJ Dreams ASMR shows his setup

This kid is a cutie. He’s probably much older than I think, but for some reason, maybe because I am a “boy mom” or because I was a teacher to thirteen year old boys for over ten years, but I think young men are kids to me until they are older than me. I know, also silly. Either way, he’s very informative and detailed. I also like his foppish hair and easy smile.

I love these Frankenstein monster tripod set ups that he creates. I’m a big fan of customization and simple hardware too. Though.. I might be worried about all my equipment getting trashed with it so localized? Then again, PJ doesn’t have a roadrunner of a toddler destroying everything he does. So, probably a little bit safer for him? I bet he can play jenga too. Not me.

So, what equipment did I end up getting for myself? Somethings I knew I was going to get right off, others were a surprise to me right up until I discovered that I needed them. (Oh god, definitely don’t tell my husband I said that, it reeks of impulse purchase. In fact, some of those I might return. You can tell him that part.)

First off, I did get my Dame Cannon Camera. I haven’t played with her yet because I was trying to deny myself until I finished cleaning up my house. That’s probably unrealistic as I can hear her calling to me from the other room. (Also the money conversation went EXACTLY as I said it would, by the way. In the end, John was supportive, as always.)

I ended up getting a camera microphone bundle off of Amazon, that I also used some KDP royalties to make a little cheaper. (KDP is Kindle Direct Publishing, I have a few of my shows published through Amazon. I plan to put all of them on Amazon one day. Plans, again.)

The microphone in the bundle is a Rode Shotgun Go Microphone. If you watched the videos above, Maria was like, “I wish I never bought this.” And I was like, “Ack!” But her reason is that it’s not legitimately binaural. And you know, I’m okay with that.

In fact, I’m gonna tell you a shameful secret here… I don’t like binaural.

In the audio community, that is like saying I have a crush on my stepbrother. People look aghast and say, “What’s wrong with you?!” But I don’t like surround sound either. It creeps me out. I don’t actually want to feel like you’re in the room with me. I like the separation of computer and reality. Some binaural videos have actually made me whip around in fear because I thought someone was breathing behind me. So, you will probably never see me do “ear to ear” anything. Not unless I develop a taste for it. Who knows?

I also broke down and got the big Blue Yeti, such a lovely fat microphone. I couldn’t resist a fellow plus size lady. I also wanted at least one condenser microphone for their sensitivity.

Here you might say, what’s a condenser microphone? Well I won’t go into the whole explanation, I’ll refer you to a youtube expert for that, here. BUT I can tell you that there are dynamic microphones and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones are more like what you would use as a handheld microphone. They really do a great job of reducing the extra “noise” and zero in on your vocals or whatever is directly in front of it. I also have a very nice dynamic microphone from my father-in-law, it’s a Sennheiser E835.

This microphone is actually from my husband’s youtube channel days with 2P Press Start. That’s right. I’m married to Giantkiller. I know, you’re jealous. It’s only natural. I don’t mean to brag, but my husband has the best broadcaster voice. If you watch one of his videos you will also notice that he is hilarious and quick with a pun. He hasn’t uploaded since before our son was born but I think he might consider going back to it. I want him to be involved in my own channel, for sure, as he is also a wonderful artist with a very tingly soft spoken voice. (Okay, that’s enough about John. What is this? Holly loves John?? Oh yeah… right…)

WAIT, HONEST TO BLOG, STOP THE PRESSES… He just alerted me that he didn’t use the Sennheiser as much because he liked his crappy headset mic that he Macgyvered a pop filter on with an old headphone and garbage bag tie. WHAT?! He used a garbage bag tie! A GaRbAgE BaG TiE! AT least, I used the Sennheiser for my Drama Academy courses with Theatrefolk. I’m too classy for a garbage tie pop filter apparently. No wonder he doesn’t approve of my equipment standards. GARBAGE TIE?!

I’m getting distracted again. You chose an ADHD blogger, friends. We both knew this was gonna happen.

OK, where was I? What I got…

I also picked up a couple of cheap tripods, some bounces, a few more color changing bulbs and fill lights, a lavalier microphone, and a few windscreens, including foam and “dead cat” fluffy windscreens. You might be surprised that I did not get a pop filter. I skipped the pop filter because I feel like I can avoid “plosives” with my performance. (Meaning where I put the microphone, or how I speak into it. This is something I try to teach to public speaking students. It’s one thing to perform without a microphone, but once a microphone enters a performance, you need to be aware of it. It’s a tool, not magic… Of course, I could always use a headphone and a garbage tie? … Garbage tie…)

What do I regret getting or not getting?

I got this amazing little device, a DXA- MICRO PRO Audio adapter, so that I could monitor and add microphones to the audio that is recorded directly into the camera. I don’t know that I regret getting this. I think I just regret spending the money. It’s not actually that expensive, most people would call it a reasonable purchase. But it wasn’t in the original plan, so I am cautious about it. But then a ring light WAS in the original plan, and I decided against it. So maybe they cancel out?

I think I will use it and if I find that I am just not using it enough, I will sell it to another vlogger for a reduced price. Yes.

Ok, what do I regret not getting?

Part of me really wants to get better editing software than my free computer software. BUT, I just can’t justify ANOTHER monthly subscription. What do I mean? Do I really even need to explain? Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Youtube- and then there are the medical expenses we pay monthly for our son’s therapies, that incidentally cost more than our mortgage. And, oh yeah, our mortgage!

So, yeah, I can’t afford an editing software subscription mentally. We could probably swing it monetarily if I really got into this project, but right now, I am at my spending limit for my anxiety. We passed my husband’s anxiety at, “Honey, I want to buy this camera…” He’s extremely financially conservative… or you know, Scottish.

Summing up, I don’t think that I would change too much of what I purchased for my ASMR/Vlog plans. If I had an unlimited budget I would get two of everything I am sure, and build myself a sound proofed studio. But that’s a perfect world.

And honestly? If I had a sound proof studio, I would probably live in it, passing my food through a sliding grate in the door. Oh, what a beautiful world it would be.

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