YouTuber and podcaster Parris Lilly



CNN

Welcome to Influenced, where we interview creators of all kinds about the gear they use to do their jobs – and their advice for aspiring influencers. This week, we caught up with popular game content creator Parris Lilly, whose work in the podcast world landed him a spot to host one of the biggest Xbox events of the year.

Lilly has been covering the games industry since 2006, recording her first podcasts with “a generic Logitech headset with a microphone on it; the audio quality was terrible. Step forward to today, and you’ll see his talking head in a professional-looking home studio whenever he appears on shows like “Gamertag Radio” and “Kinda Funny Xcast” in addition to his own YouTube channel. . Here are some of the key elements of Lilly’s current setup and her tips for those who dream of becoming the next big figure in the game.

For simple flow management: GoXLR Mini ($ 199; amazon.com)

A frequent favorite among the creators we speak to for Influenced, the GoXLR Mini is a physical mixer designed to make it easy to balance multiple audio sources (such as your microphone, game, and anyone chatting with you) at the same time. stolen while streaming.

“It’s really great because I can bring the Discord audio, I can bring the Spotify audio, obviously, the audio that I also use when I’m on my microphone,” says Lilly, who prefers the simplicity of the Mini model. on the standard $ 499 GoXLR which features more buttons and knobs for real-time production.

“I’m not that sophisticated, so I try to keep it as simple as possible,” Lilly laughs.

For true wireless freedom: Astro A50 ($ 299; astro.com)

These days, it’s hard to find a Twitch streamer or gaming YouTuber who doesn’t use the Astro A50, one of the most popular and beloved gaming headsets on the market. The A50s have received a lot of praise over the years for their impressive sound and comfort, but for Lilly, it’s all about the freedom that just came off.

“I really like them because the sound quality is great and it’s wireless, so I don’t have to be chained to wired headsets,” Lilly explains.

The A50 has long been a favorite among creators and critics alike, in part thanks to its crisp, balanced sound, variety of customization options, and lightweight, comfortable design. It comes in PlayStation and Xbox variants, both of which work with PC.

For Perfect Sound In Any Situation: Shure SM7B Microphone ($ 399; amazon.com)

If there’s just one centerpiece in Lilly’s setup, it’s her Shure SM7B microphone, which allows her to have crisp, crisp sound during the hours of podcasts, streams and videos she appears on every day. week.

“The # 1 thing I always use, no matter what type of content I create… is this SM7B,” says Lilly, who switched to the high-end mic from Shure earlier this year. “It’s sort of the default microphone that everyone uses professionally. And his [delivered] fantastic sound reproduction and all.

A staple in every corner of the content creation world, the SM7B can be found in streamer setups, podcast booths, and music studios everywhere, thanks to its highly regarded audio quality, reliable noise isolation, and soundproofing. sturdy construction. We tested the more affordable sibling of the SM7B in the $ 249 Shure MV7 when researching the best microphones, and while we consider Shure’s mic as overkill for the average person, it easily provided one of the best qualities. registration of all models we got our hands on. .

To capture great gameplay anywhere: Elgato 4K 60S + ($ 399; elgato.com)

As someone who does a lot of YouTube gaming videos, being able to capture high quality gameplay is key for Lilly. The Elgato 4K60 S + allows it to do just that, offering the ability to record crisp 4K HDR gameplay at up to 60 frames per second – a bunch of fancy terms that mean that footage from the latest PS5 and Xbox Series X games will be. broadcast at the highest possible quality. And this capture box is portable, allowing creators like Lilly to record blank console footage directly to an SD card without even having to bring a laptop.

“I like it because it’s portable… If I’m capturing images from my Xbox, which is in another room, I can just take them over there and plug them in,” Lilly explains. “I’ll have my SD card and I can capture all these images there, then bring them back to my PC and edit them.

“But if I also want to use it for streaming purposes, I have the option to plug it into my PC via USB [and it] works very well. When the world opens up again and we can start seeing events, I can take this 4K60 S + with me on the go and can easily capture any footage I use.

If the 4K 60S + is out of your price range, Elgato has plenty of other options for those looking for a way to capture gameplay for Twitch streams and YouTube videos. The $ 159 HD60 S – which has been our personal choice for years – records crisp 1080p gameplay at 60 frames per second. Upgrading to the $ 199 HD60 S + gives you the added bonus of 4K HDR passthrough, which means you can still play your games in 4K while you record or stream at 1080p.

As with every designer we’ve spoken to, Lilly didn’t find success overnight – and he certainly didn’t have a $ 400 capture card and pro-grade camera on day one. His advice? “Use what you have,” and if you plan to invest in something early on, you should start with a good mic.

“If you want to improve the quality of your content, your microphone will be a godsend,” says Lilly.

A 15 year veteran of content creation who has really gained attention over the past few years, Lilly also stressed the importance of being patient and consistent.

“I always tell people that when you first start doing this, there will only be a certain number of people listening to it, you, your mom and maybe your loved one,” Lilly says. “Do it because you love it, don’t do it because you think you’re going to instantly have this giant mainstream audience consuming your content.

“This is how you’re going to organically develop an audience over time,” Lilly continues. “Because the more you do that the better you get there, the more you engage with it, your audience is going to notice and they are going to want to listen to your content every week, every month, whatever your cadence.”

Lilly also shared some valuable words of wisdom when it comes to using criticism as a chance to grow and improve.

“You don’t just want praise when you do this,” says Lilly, who is no stranger to giving some brutal return on his part. “Honestly, I say it all the time, I’d rather people tell me when I’m doing wrong than congratulate me and tell me what I’m doing right.

“Listen to the critical comments, because it’s very useful. ”

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