Recently we started a podcast: Ten to One, where we make top ten lists about everything (check it out!). We try for the highest quality possible; for content, of course, but also for the audio quality and editing. In case you want to start a podcast, or just do some intermediate audio recording and editing, I’m going to write a series of articles detailing how we do it. Let’s start with the equipment.

You can record audio on your smart phone or laptop, but high-quality audio requires better equipment. If you’re just recording one person you should get:

Microphone

We use the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB, a cheap but good quality mic.

Microphone stand

The ATR2100 does come with a small stand, but we wanted something sturdier that wouldn’t pick up every table bump. The On Stage Tripod Boom Microphone Stand (MS7701B) is a floor-standing tripod that works with our mic, although it requires a:

Microphone clip

The On Stage Microphone Clip (MY325) attaches to the stand and actually holds the mic.

Pop filter

To prevent plosives (“P” and “B” sounds, which are made with a burst of air from the mouth) from making a popping sound when they hit the mic. The Dragonpad USA Pop filter is big and cheap and works.

Headphones

Not a necessity, but it does help you know exactly what your mic is picking up. You can plug them directly into the ATR2100.


The nice thing about the one-person setup is how easy it is to plug everything together:

Diagram showing how to connect one microphone to a computer

Just plug the mic into the computer and you’re off to the races.

However, with two people it’s a little awkward recording into one mic. The downside to adding a mic is that you can’t just plug it in to a second USB port. It’s important that the audio from both mics goes in simultaneously, but USB does not transfer at consistent speeds. You’ll need to plug the mics into a mixer which will combine the audio and send it to the computer. Our new setup includes the existing equipment plus:

An additional mic, stand, clip, and pop filter

Same models.

Mixer

We use the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB. The mixer will take the audio from both mics and pipe it into your computer through USB.

1/4″ to 1/8″ cable

Like the Hosa 1/8″ TRS to Two Mono 1/4″ Cable. We use this to connect audio from our laptop to the mixing board. This allows us to record Skype conversations or other audio played from the computer.

Headphone adapter

The RCA AH216 Stereo headphone adapter allows you to plug your headphones into the mixer.

The new setup looks like this:

Diagram showing how to connect two microphones to a mixer and computer

I’ve never used a mixer, so I’ll have to go figure it out before I write part two. 😎