Podcasting, Start to Finish: Equipment

  1. Equip­ment
  2. How to use a mixer
  3. Soft­ware
  4. Record­ing with Au­dac­ity
  5. Edit­ing with Au­dac­ity

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. 😎

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