This is a continuation of my podcast gear list. In my Beecher House studio at Mansfield University I use a Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop. I like the 17-inch wide screen for detailed editing.
I bought this more than two years ago when 80 gig was a lot of memory.
I use a Mackie Onyx 1220 mixer. I bought it mainly for the Onyx fire wire sound card and the sound really is excellent. But, as I said in my previous post, there’s no need for that large an investment. Mackie is the workhorse mixer, but a six-channel Mackie is plenty, or as I mentioned before, the $99 four-channel Peavey I use at home is more than adequate.
My Samson monitors, bought because they’re small for cramped quarters, do an excellent job. I like using monitors. I’ve found my students prefer headphones so they bypass the monitors completely.
I’ve tried a lot of different microphones over the years, both in the office and at home. I’ve settled on Heil mics. I use a PR40 for myself and a PR30 for my guests. The PR40 lists for $375 and the PR 30 lists for $299. My voice is low and quiet. I have to get in close to it but the result is a warm, rich sound that you can hear on podcasts from the past year, the length of time I’ve been using Heils.
The PR 30 is really just as good for one-on-one interviewing. Again you can hear them with a lot of different voices on our various podcasts over the year.
The mics do an excellent job of picking up the voice and not a lot of ambient sounds, and believe me, unless you have an enclosed, sound proof studio, you’ll find many challenges with ambient sounds, from passing trucks to slamming doors.
I use a Heil PR 20 in the field. It lists for around $179.
Having said this, there are dozens of mics that are more than adequate for departments on a tight budget. Shure makes a great line. The SM57 and SM58 have been standards in the music business for decades.
And there are others that well adapt to or were designed for podcasters.
Buy as good a mic as you can afford and remember if you’re doing interviews, you’ll need two. Buy two of the same thing so you and your guest are on equal footing. It will make life easier for you during the editing/mixing process.
The world of microphones is a huge and diverse one. Discussions and comparisons are all over the Net. If you use a microphone, I’d love your feedback. Let me know what you use and why you like it.
If anything I’ve talked about raises questions, feel free to post your question.