Formidable Mac trio drives pro streaming rig [Setups]


This setup generates a 2-hour streaming show twice a week.
This setup generates a 2-hour streaming show twice a week.

Ahoy there, would-be video streamers — today’s featured computer setup comes from an airtight and seaworthy pro streaming operation you might want to emulate.

The folks behind Sailing Illustrated streams shared their rig, based on a Mac Studio, an M1 Mac mini, an M1 MacBook Pro, a Rode RodeCaster Pro production studio and a slew of related gear and software.

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Mac Studio, M1 Mac mini, M1 MacBook Pro, Rode RodeCaster Pro form heart of pro streaming setup

Redditor and video streamer SailingIllustrated (“S.I.”) launched the social-media-worthy setup in a post entitled, “Live streaming and productivity setup.” Sailing Illustrated is also the name of the streaming show, skippered by Tom Ehman and available on YouTube and elsewhere.

“Your ultimate source of sailing and yacht racing news: America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and North American Clubs, classes, regattas and personalities,” is the SI website’s description of the operation.

S.I. noted the setup handles two roughly 2-hour shows per week streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter via Restream. S.I. relies on OBS Studio, popular streaming and broadcasting software, with more than 550 shows completed.

How it all stays afloat

The base model Mac Studio runs OBS streaming at 1080p30 and 5000Kbps, driving the main, 32-inch BenQ 4K monitor, S.I. said. The 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro below runs Keynote with images and embedded videos for the host to see in presenter mode during the show.

Here’s more detail from S.I.:

In presenter mode so the host can see both the current and next slides, appearing in OBS full screen or PIP with talking-head/host. HDMI out from MBP into Mac Studio (via cheap capture dongle) seen as a video source by OBS. 15-inch portable monitor to the right of MBP is the display used by M1 Mac mini, for yet another video input to Studio OBS (display capture via NDI from the mini to the Studio) for guests on Zoom, websites, etc. All audio sources go through the Rodecaster Pro, then via audio interface into the Studio for OBS.

S.I. anticipated the question of why not use the USB in/out on the RodeCaster Pro [RCP] for audio into the Mac Studio. It has to do with other audio sources for guests on the show:

(Why not use the RCP’s USB in/out for audio into the Studio? Because that is used for in/out from Skype, Zoom, and other VoIP apps running on the Studio, providing for mix-minus of the program audio into those apps). RCP Bluetooth Channel 7 takes audio from an iPhone for live chat with any audio-only guests (rarely; mostly live video guests via Skype or Zoom).

You can get much more description of the site in S.I.’s post. And see the gear list below, of course, for not just the Macs but displays, an Elgato Stream Deck MK.2, microphones, headsets, lights, stands and more.

Old iPad mini and iPhone 7 report for duty

Somebody noticed the old iPad on a mount and asked about it. Even old-timers have jobs when it comes to keeping the ship afloat, as S.I. described:

Old iPad mini, I think it’s a 1st Gen, running app called ‘Digital Clock.’ Also, can’t see it in the photo, but the main monitor (BenQ, on the left) for the Mac Studio runs a great free app called Clocker that is set to display, in the menu bar, local times in UTC (GMT) plus eight cities around the world where we have regular viewers so we know their local time when we chat live with them during the show.

And that’s not the only Apple old salt on the ship’s manifest. An iPhone 7 also joined the crew. While an Elgato Facecam is Camera 1, the old iPhone is Camera 4. As S.I. described it:

Between Cam 1 and the mic is an iPhone 7 that is Cam 4 shooting the Samsung 32-inch TV/monitor on the right (via IruinWebcam software wireless into the Studio/OBS). Why shoot that monitor? During live shows, that (right) monitor displays the output from the Keynote from the MBP (via HDMI splitter) so the host can cut to Cam 4 and point to items in the images and videos for explanation.

As for cable management, S.I. offered a hearty laugh. “LOL, you can’t see the mess behind this set-up. Actually, backside is fairly well, and simply, cable-managed, but would not win any awards.”

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Displays and cameras:

Input devices:

Audio and lighting:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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