Mazel Tov! You’re reading another article by me?! Wow, you’re a glutton for punishment. This time we’re talking about microphones…
A Quick Word About Room Tone
Sit comfortably in the room, you’ll be doing your podcast in. Now close your eyes and just listen. Pay attention to every little detail. Now open your eyes. What did you hear? My guess is, more than you thought you would.
I was not going to include this but felt I’d better. There are various mic types to choose from but for our purposes lets focus on Dynamic & Condenser mics. These two mics have different polar patterns, which denotes the mics ability to accept or reject sounds, coming from different directions.
Now unless you’re recording in a whisper room (which I’ll get into at another time) you’re going to have to deal with two sources of noise. Noise inside the room, and noise outside the room.
The noise inside the room can be anything from your laptop fan to your cell phone going off, etc. Outside you have much more to contend with. You’re sitting at your desk. You turn on your mic, put on your headphones, and you hear it… the roar of the traffic on the street. Cutting through that….the screams of your kids. They’ve gotten into the sugar, and now your room sounds like Mad Max Fury Road.
So to set your room, turn off your cell phone (GASP!), position your mic away from any fans, put a sign on your door that tells everyone to go away, and if you want to go the extra mile, you can put up sound proofing on your wall (this is not the same as a sound proof room).
This is the #1 question I get about starting a podcast. If you go onto Amazon or B & H Video, you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of options. There are rules in life that seem to follow us everywhere. The rule I’m talking about today is, the more specialized you want – the more expensive it will be.
Beginners ($0 – 50)
- Mic on your laptop/Tablet/Phone. If you’re going to use your laptop to record your podcast than you have a high chance that it comes with a built in mic. This mic won’t be that high quality but since it’s a sunk cost it would be handy to do for a test show.
- Headset Mics. I used the, Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390 (Black) mic, for a few shows. Besides the mic, it also serves as a pair of headphones.
These mics are the intermediate (medium range) mics in both price and quality. I’ve used both mics and the aforementioned problems with room tone came to late using them. They’re not bad mics but you if you purchase one you should definitely look into buying a Pop Filter.
- Mic: Pyle PDMI C58 – Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone
- Board: Behringer X1204 board.
- Mic Stand: On Stage DS7200 Desk Microphone Stand
- Clip: Shure A25D Microphone Holder
- Pop Filter: Dragonpad
- Headphones: Sound Intone I65 Foldable Headphones
- Adapter: 5-Pack, Gold Plated 6.3mm (1/4 inch) to 3.5 mm Male to Female Stereo Adapter
- External Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB
- Cables: XLR 3 Pin Microphone Cable (6 feet)
This is what professionals use. Every pro podcast, including my show, has a set up similar to this.
Which is Right For Me?
If you have to ask, pick the cheapest. Don’t be that guy that jumps into podcasting full force, buys all that expensive gear, and then decides he hates it, and all that gear sits in a closet for years. Also I want you to pay attention to the the project management triangle. There are three sides to the triangle…
If you want something to be Fast & Cheap, it won’t be Good. If you want it Fast & Good, it won’t be Cheap. If you want it Cheap and Good, it won’t be Fast. Just keep this mind as you’re putting not only your podcast but future projects as well.
Key Take Aways
- Pay close attention to how loud your room is. You’ll be amazed at the small noises that can pop up.
- Last post we figured out your concept so keep that in mind for buying mics. If you’re having a round table style podcast with guests in the room with you, you’ll need that many dynamic mics.
- There is no shame in buying the cheapest mics & headphones to start as everyone has to start somewhere
Where to next?
So far you have your concept, and now you have an idea for what equipment to buy. And we know what to look for to minimize background noise and interference. So now what?
Before you start asking people to come onto your cool new podcast, I want to talk about you. That’s right YOU! In the next article we’ll be talking about finding your interview style, and I’ll also tell you the tricks of hosts like Howard Stern, John Lee Dumas, and more.
Are you excited yet?! You should be!