YouTubers to subscribe to
April 27, 2019 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for underrated YouTubers. I currently subscribe to a few illustrators/animation artists, Ask A Mortician, some Let's Players, and generally enjoy highly skilled people demonstrating or explaining what they do best. But for the purposes of this question let's assume non genre specific. Please recommend me anyone who is producing regular high quality content that isn't already super famous. Thanks!
posted by dragonfruit to Computers & Internet (29 answers total) 108 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Baumgartner Restoration is FANTASTIC! I highly recommend following him on Instagram as well for some extra goodies. He's incredibly informative about art restoration and the videos can be really satisfying.

Lofty Pursuits is amazing. It's a candy shop in FL as well as having an amazing owner who is super interesting and he shares awesome candy history while making their treats.

A really great wholesome, informative, and visually exciting channel is Royalty Soaps. She makes artisan soaps.

Nail Career Education is a great channel. I don't even do nails but Suzie has a soothing voice and is a great teacher.

Angela Clayton and Bernadette Banner and Morgan Donner do sewing. With Angela doing patterns mostly and Bernadette and Morgan doing historical reproduction. I'm also sure you'll start to get good suggestions for other sewers.

Crows Eye Production does historical dressing and clothing information.

Mr Kate does decor and design for themselves, regular clients, and other YouTubers.

Curiosity Incorporated is a channel from a guy who runs an antique shop in Canada. They recently bought a house of a famous potter who also hoarded and they cleared the house and redid it. Fascinating series.

Poppen Atelier does doll repainting. Pretty fascinating to watch.

CinemaSins - Funny riffing on the "sins" in movies. They actually have a good amount of cinema knowledge. Lots of laughs and you'll start to notice some goofy tropes in movies. They also do Music Videos and TV.

Cinema Wins on the other hand does goodies in film. They focus a lot of knowledge on fantasy and comic based things but also seem to have a lot of cinema knowledge.

For random humor and lots of good feels I hope you're subscribed to Jenna Marbles. (NSFW language)

Random one that you may not be into but the Twitch streamer I watch is Ray (Brown Man) definitely NSFW language and themes but he's funny and I enjoy watching games I wouldn't otherwise play. (Also a very accepting person who is not racists/sexist/homophobic like other game streamers.)
posted by Crystalinne at 12:39 AM on April 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

Best answer: pannenkoek2012 does truly amazing things in Super Mario 64. He is most famous for his videos where he collects stars while pressing the A button as few times as possible, and recently he's branched out to not touching the analog stick at all. His work has previously been posted on the blue here and here.

Another MeFi favorite is 3Blue1Brown, who makes beautifully animated and intuitively written explanations of fun and interesting math concepts.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:44 AM on April 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The Chinese foodblogger Liziqi demonstrates traditional Sichuan cooking and crafts. Fantastic production values and nature sights on top of a very talented crafter. In the last few months most videos on the Youtube channel have had English captions added, and in general she doesn't do much talking.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:28 AM on April 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Danica Sills is an artist who does some thoughtful commentary on her technique and creative process.

If you liked Crystalinne's sewing recs, you might enjoy Karolina Żebrowska and Rachel Maksy for more lighthearted historical/vintage fashion videos.

ASMR is (understandably) a hard sell, but if you're willing to give it a try, Goodnight Moon and Phoenician Sailor occasionally do videos with impressive production design that feel more like very long video game cutscenes than a weird internet thing.
posted by mcfighty at 2:36 AM on April 28, 2019

Best answer: Some of these might arguably be super famous by youtube standards, but on the off chance you’re not aware of them:

Kyle Kallgren does film crit.

Abroad in Japan is an English guy who does stuff about Japan.

People Make Games does video gaming related stuff

Noah-Caldwell Gervais does longform videogame crit, primarily about the single player component of FPS, but if you have the time to spare he’s worth a look IMO even if you have no interest in playing the games in question.

Tom Scott does vaguely science-y stuff.
posted by juv3nal at 4:50 AM on April 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: James Hoffmann for everything coffee. (Seattle Coffee Gear and Whole Latte Love aren’t really Youtubers — well, arguable for Gail from SCG — but they’ve been indispensable to my coffee habit.)

ContraPoints for everything queer, trans feminist, friendly atheist, and lefty.
posted by supercres at 5:44 AM on April 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Simone Giertz, the self-proclaimed queen of shitty robots.

Jeff Schneider, saxophone and (mostly jazz) music theory.

Jon Bois for outrageously deep dives on weird sports phenomena or stories (he does a lot more over on SB Nation)

Binging with Babish, cooking, mostly recipes from movies and TV but recently some “basics” tutorials.
posted by supercres at 5:52 AM on April 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Well I think Crystalinne has been stalking my YouTube subscriber list which is a little worrying.

But would like to add English Heritage as well as Townsend & Sons to the list if you're a history buff of the more domestic everyday side of history.

Frank Howarth. Frank makes beautiful things out of wood and makes interesting videos to show himself doing that. Will sometimes include stop animation, time lapse & all sorts of clever techniques in the videos too which make them super entertaining.

Lindsay Ellis. Not exactly unknown but not super famous. Long indepth very articulate videos about everything from the Death of Hollywood musicals to Manufacturing authenticity for YouTube for fun & profit.

Anything but underrated, but Primitive Technology videos. There are many trying to copy him now a days, but he is still the original & the best.

Legal Eagle. Started doing reviews of how law & legal procedures where shown in film, but the past month or so has gotten a little more political with videos about the Mueller report, Trumps Emergency declarations etc which I am finding fascinating, but might not make it as escapist as it once was.

Film related. FilmJoy is great & nthing Cinema Wins, I find his videos interesting & so uplifting.
posted by wwax at 7:03 AM on April 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My current obsession, thanks to this FPP, is this terrifyingly talented kid. He doesn't update his own channel much these days (though he just did yesterday, so it's not completely extinct), but I urge you to explore the back catalogue. (Also not unknown, clearly, from the subscriber count, but atomized internet etc I have know idea what counts as well known.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:16 AM on April 28, 2019

Best answer: I’m not sure if he’s “super famous” or not, but Rick Beato’s “Everything Music” is one of my personal favorites. Especially his “What Makes This Song Great” segments.
posted by doctor tough love at 11:12 AM on April 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A few channels that are fascinating if you're into building things:
  • Fran Blanche who started out building and selling guitar pedals and corsets, but also does vintage electronics (she's trying to build a replica of the DSKY controller from the Apollo CM, for instance) and general how-to/how-did stuff.
  • This Old Tony, for dad jokes and home-machine-shop how-tos.
  • AvE, for dick jokes and home-machine-shop how-tos that are decidedly less politically correct (great info, but, he's a dude making content for people he mostly figures are dudes, so that may be a reason to give this a pass, depending on your personal values).
  • Acorn to Arabella, for two 30-something dudes who said "f*** this, I'm building a wooden boat and sailing around the world."
  • Lindsay Ellis, friend of jscalzi and hbomberguy and maker of pretty good intro-level critical theory video essays.
  • Punished Props Academy, a husband-wife team who build cosplay props. Kind of commercial/social-media-influencer-y these days but they have good advice for those kinds of projects.
  • Vintage Space (and Amy Shira Teitel's personal channel), a journalist who's interested in 1950s-1970s space history, does bite-size space history summaries. I kind of prefer her older, pre-book-deal content, but she's good in general.
  • Wintergatan, that band that made the marble-contraption music machine video a few years ago. Martin, the lead singer, is building a better marble machine with lots of collaborations with other youtube machining/music people. I'm not really sure what happened to the rest of the band, since the videos only feature the lead guy, but if you like French dudes building intentionally-overcomplicated things, this will scratch your itch.
  • Air Command Rockets, an Aussie guy and his family build and launch air-pressure/water rockets.
  • Regular Car Reviews, a sort of post-modernist take on automotive journalism, by an english major who reviews average/not-rare cars along with their historical/social context.
  • Clickspring, a guy with a tiny shop who builds intricate clocks and other mechanical things. He's currently building an interpretive replica of the Antikythera Mechanism, and making guesses about how the builder/designer might have achieved the required level of precision with tools available in greek antiquity.
  • Ishitani Furniture, a Japanese woodworker who makes videos about his custom furniture.
  • Bad Obsession Motorsports, two british blokes who are stuffing a 90s Toyota Celica AWD into the chassis of an original 1970s Mini.
I could go on. Warning: if you don't already have a shop, you're going to want a shop by the time you're done with these links.
posted by Alterscape at 11:48 AM on April 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Oh forgot one, if you've any interest in football (soccer) tactics & history, Tifo Football is really, really great.

I'll also ditto Binging with Babish though he's been on mefi before so I figured that was definitely in the too famous category. Other cooking ones that have made the mefi front page which I like are Jun's Kitchen (which has bonus adorable and supernaturally-well-behaved-in-the-presence-of-food cats) and the Bon Appetit channel.
posted by juv3nal at 4:43 PM on April 28, 2019

Best answer: Non-gaming youtube channels
I've not watched a ton of this channel, but what I have seen is really cool, it explains engineering concepts on a level everyone can understand. Like, why are I beams shaped like an I and not a square?

0xabad1dea. She updates very rarely, but she is making a series called My Guild Leader is a Demon, about young mostly-queer people stuck in a small southern town and playing video games. Oh, and then there are demons who are pretty OK people actually. Heavily based on her personal experiences from what I can tell.

Ok, so I would like to say that these are all awesome gaming channels you can trust, but I was recently burned by a youtuber who seemed OK, then I discovered had a..history. So these ones are fine as far as I've seen at least:

Stop Skeletons from Fighting Ok, this channel is awesome. Derek Alexander & Grace Kramer talk about ambitious games, from great triumphs to hot messes, like trying to put FPS on a Gameboy level of stuff. They are currently in a series comparing western and Japanese versions of games, and they treated Poison respectfully, which I take as a good sign.

The Runaway Guys. Three letsplayers get together and shoot the breeze while playing games. I recommend starting with the Super Metriod play through. They contain my personal favourite LPer, ProtonJohn

Proton John. One of the very first LPers in the world. Canadian, and pretty fun. Start with the Castlevania LP, then go to Superman 64.

Girlfriend Reviews is a channel that is taking off right now. It is written by a women about what it is like to live with someone playing said game, and from now and then, what it is like to play a game herself. It is generally hilarious.

Pixelmusement: A Canadian retrogamer. I think I've seen every video of his, and they are very relaxing. He is currently moving from focusing on reviews of DOS games to modding dos games, and analysis of how they work, since a lot of manuals back then lied or had missing features.

Ok, hear me out. Jack Black has a youtube channel, and it is basically someone's weird Dad with a camera. This has everything from him playing with boomerangs in the park with his stunt double, to playing with trains with his kids, to interviewing Karen Gillan on her favourite games.

Ok, I came to his channel REALLY late, but LazyGameReviews is kinda wholesome fun. He does crossovers with other retrotubers, he goes shopping at thriftshops, he builds old computers, and best of all he delves into the history of old hardware companies. He used to do game reviews, but that seems to have stopped now.

ClementJ64. Canadian Let's Player who is really into Sonic. I started with the Sonic's Lost World LP, just finished the The Bouncer LP and am starting the Shadow the Hedgehog and The Hobbit LPs.
posted by Canageek at 9:37 PM on April 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The CrafsMan is a gentle soul with a wonderful puppet. He makes various crafts and toys.
NileRed is a chemist who does demos of different chemical reactions and experiments.
Ace of Clay makes cool polymer clay sculptures.
Watercolor by Shibasaki has nice watercolor demos (in Japanese with English subtitles).
donoteat01 is a civil engineer who explains city planning concepts (with a leftist perspective) by playing the game Cities: Skylines.
my mechanics is a Swiss metalworker who restores old stuff to sparkling perfection.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:33 PM on April 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The Project Farm channel creates content about using alternative fuels, engine additives, epoxies, testing shop tools, etc.
posted by zinon at 10:55 AM on April 30, 2019

Best answer: My Self Reliance is a Shawn James, an outdoorsman building a remote cabin using all hand tools. He shows the process and explains afterwards. Some bits of him telling his story of debt and rebuilding his life. Many episodes. He has been asked to write the forward for the re-release of the Dick Proenneke book/documentary Alone In The Wilderness.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:09 PM on April 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hand Tool Rescue - restoration of old machines/tools
Mustie1 - fixes up old cars/motorcycles, and small engine repair
Machine Thinking - history of machine tools
Maker's Muse - 3d printing and design
Stefan Gotteswinter - precision toolmaking and machining
Ox Tool Co - precision machinist, shop projects
April Wilkerson - woodworking and metalworking projects
The Post Apocalyptic Inventor - hardware hacking (salvaged motors / etc)
Captain Disillusion - visual effects, viral video debunking
The Signal Path - reviews, teardowns, and repairs of electronic lab equipment, with a specialization in microwave RF test equipment
The 8-Bit Guy - reviews and repairs of old computers (see also 8-Bit Keys for reviews of old musical instruments)
AkBKukU - vintage gear, collecting and repair - calculators, typewriters, old computers
Techmoan - comprehensive reviews of consumer electronics, with a specialization of old and obscure audio formats and technologies
John Ward - various electrical topics, often focusing on mains power delivery (sockets, wiring, safety devices, etc)
Brainiac75 - science videos: strong magnets, lasers, element collecting
Technology Connections - history of consumer electronics and related topics
Curious Droid - aerospace history (rockets, satellites, etc)
8-Bit Music Theory - music theory meets video game soundtracks
Steve Mould - science and math
standupmaths - mathematics topics with a bit of humor
Mathologer - mathematics with animated visualizations
Grand Illusions - toy collector shares his extensive collection of rare and handmade toys one bit at a time
posted by Rhomboid at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Matthias Wandel does woodworking and machines.
South Main Auto for brake job videos.
Todd in the Shadows reviews pop music and has features about one-hit wonders and terrible albums.
Big Clive does electricity, electronics and lighting.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:25 PM on April 30, 2019

Best answer: The Gentleman Wake reviews decks of playing cards.
posted by reductiondesign at 6:34 PM on April 30, 2019

Best answer: I don't watch a ton of youtube, but:

- Look Mum No Computer is a punky virtuoso of building crazy music-making hardware systems out of combinations of modern controllers and vintage synths and toys and... a bike? He explains his builds, encourages all levels of experimentation and learning, and comes up with some decent jams. A paragon of the DIY ethos.

-Nico's Photography Show. While not the most engaging youtube personality, Nico is definitely passionate about the film photography community and is a great weekly source of news for what is going on in that world. He has a lot of access to high-level folks at (European) film manufacturers and occasionally takes you through some of his own darkroom work.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:13 AM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kim Justice for deep dive Retro Gaming reviews, re-appraisals and the like. Posts plenty of UK-ish stuff, but not exclusively and always contextualised for an international audience.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 4:10 PM on May 1, 2019

Best answer: OS First Timer - A geeky kid has his parents navigate through Irix, Nextstep, SunOS, etc...
Laurence PC Systems - Guy runs his own small business installing networks / ethernet. Kinda the ins and outs of the business.
Down the Rabbit Hole - Veers towards 90's-2000's internet culture (TimeCube, TempleOS, Sonichu, Furries, etc..) but does deep dive cover some other weird things.
Lazy Gamer Review (LGR) - Old tech reviews, oddities (Sony MiniDisc Data?)
Pablo From Tokyo - There's like 100's of "Westerner in Japan" youtubers, this was the one that got me into the genre.
Innuendo Studios - Anti-fascist info-comics about our current political state
Signals Everywhere - Mostly about SDR (Software Defined Radio) and what signals are out there. Overlaps some with amateur radio / HAM stuff, but explains all the radio signals that are out there.
Tom Explores LA - Tom goes to local interesting spots in LA, like Murphy's Ranch or The Old Zoo
Company Man - Dives into either how a company failed (Sears, JCPenny) or their history (Snapple), or how it's bigger than you think.
Adam Papagan - Aka "The Del Talk Show". If you're a fan of Tim & Eric's extras: James Quall, David Liebehart, etc... then this is for you. They aren't T&E characters, they're actual people in LA, and they appear on cable access.
posted by wcfields at 5:27 PM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: LoadingReadyRun - A Canadian sketch comedy troupe that has a variety of shows and content, including a streamed improv show, a panel show, a gaming news show and a lot more. Seriously, they've got a lot going on, and odds are you'll like at least something they do. (They're also the crew behind the annual Desert Bus for Hope charity stream, and are awesome people in general.)

RetroManCave - If you're into the likes of LGR, the 8-Bit Guy, or Techmoan, you'll likely enjoy his videos on older computing and gaming hardware. I find his restoration videos especially therapeutic; he has a lovely voice.

Food Wishes - a chef demonstrating a bunch of recipes that almost always look really tasty.

Let Me Explain Studios - a pretty awesome animator that animates various stories and shorts, often drawn from personal experiences. (YMMV on the underrated part, I just realized she has >2M subscribers, but I had no idea she was that popular.)

PlayFrame - A Let's Play channel done by Dan Floyd, formerly of the Extra Credits channel, with some insights into game design along the way.

Practical Engineering - Videos on various civil engineering topics, presented in a fun and informative way.

Seconding This Old Tony and Technology Connections.
posted by Aleyn at 11:26 PM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cooking Tree does some great ASMRy, fancy korean baking videos which always hit the spot
posted by zsh2v1 at 9:45 AM on May 2, 2019

Best answer: Seconding both Curiousity Inc. and Lofty Pursuits, and adding a few:

Modern History does videos about medieval history, I actually think I like the little Vlog sidelights best, with bits about typical meals for various classes, how people kept warm, and so on.

Jelle's Marble Runs, which is currently featuring the Marblympics, various teams of marbles competing against each other in his very clever marble run designs.

Wildlife Aid, which is about a wildlife rescue organization whose main figure is very dryly funny and kind.
posted by tavella at 3:24 PM on May 2, 2019

Best answer: Nthing April Wilkerson, great woodworking videos
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:52 AM on May 6, 2019

Laura Kampf - woodworking and re-using materials and a lot of dubstep and oontz soundtrack to her videos. Has collaborated with Simone Giertz and with (Mefi's Own) Adam Savage.

baremetalHW - Hot Wheels restorations.

Marty's Matchbox Makeovers
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 3:33 PM on May 10, 2019

The Comedians Comedian is a podcast, so no pictures, but lots of comedians from all over the world talking about comedy.

Lots of great comedy YouTube clips and channels chosen by Sean Morley, including:
Chris Gethard - Manhattan Cable show
Ben Swithens - usually some kind of historical focus
George Cottier - mostly George Cottier's face
posted by asok at 3:41 PM on May 21, 2019

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