Which microphone to choose to record podcast: the recommendations of the best podcasters
Although still a long way from radio, podcasting continues to grow in both audience and listening alternatives. And it is that to start a podcast practically you only need an idea ... and a microphone.
After asking them what podcasts they listen to and recommend, we have spoken with some of the best podcasters in Spain to tell us which microphone they use and why they choose.
La Escóbula de la Compass / The Hook and author of 'The Great Podcasting Notebook'
I started recording my podcasts with a Shure SM58 (113 euros), which was recommended to me by a former sound technician colleague at Punto Radio.
He advised me that it is an "off-road" microphone that is used in many audio productions, especially concerts, but is also valid for radio or podcasts.
Later I bought a USB microphone to make easier recordings, the Samson Q2U pack (102.91 euros), and I am very happy with it for the ease of use it offers and the good value for money it delivers.
I have recently changed the Shure SM58 because in my company, Yes We Cast, we have acquired a Shure SM7B (399 euros), a higher quality dynamic microphone that allows us to make better productions.
Coffee Break: Signal and Noise
We used the AKG C 555 L (95 euros) because from the beginning we wanted to use cranial microphones and this has to do with the philosophy of the program.
We wanted a mike that we could forget about, that would allow us to be talking around a table and be able to turn our heads from one side to the other without having to keep an eye on the mike. Many people do not know it but radio professionals develop a technique to always be talking to the microphone while turning and adopting different positions.
Another characteristic that we seek is that it be strongly directional. We wanted to have several people in the same room, typically 4 or 5, which is also not set up as a radio studio.
This means that there would be a lot of reflected sound causing reverberation, in addition to secondary sources of sound when the voice of one participant gets into the microphone of the other. To minimize all this, we looked for a cardioid response profile.
These were the fundamental elements for the decision, in addition to a reasonable quality / price ratio and availability at the distributors to which we had access.
Mixx.io / Needed
I have a Samson Meteor (63.95 euros), the model from a few years ago. It does not have the best audio performance but it is very low and it connects via USB without tables or stories.
With a foam, a pop filter and a support arm to avoid having it on the table, which will have cost everything another 30 euros, I made my little study, and there are already more than 500 episodes ...
Samson Meteor, Álex Barredo's microphone
Ángel Jiménez de Luis
Binary / Cuonda
Binaries has been recorded with various microphones over the years. At first I started with an Audio Technica ATR 2100 (109.95 euros) which is a dynamic microphone that can be connected by both USB and XLR. It was cheap, had a monitoring connection, and made a good sound if you got close enough. I still recommend it to those who want to start but do not want to spend a crazy team.
After those first few episodes and until very recently I have to confess that Binaries was not recorded with a microphone but with a Tascam recorder, the DRW44WL. The reason is that this device allowed me to record the program with independent channels for the guest and for me when I was traveling and only had the iPad.
My workflow is 100% adapted to the iPad and this is one of the best solutions in that context.Although you could use a microphone connected by XLR to the recorder, the built-in ones are good if you are well insulated, which in a hotel often means inside a closet.
Audio-Technica ATR2100, Ángel Jiménez's recommendation to get started on podcasts
Now that I have a small studio where I can record and it is well insulated I have switched to condenser microphones. I usually use the Scarlett CM25 ($ 285.99) from Focusrite but now I am testing with the HyperX Quadcast (159.99 euros) which although very focused for gamers, is a fairly solid condenser microphone at a good price.
In general, my advice to people is not to become obsessed with the microphone and pay more attention to the environment where you are going to record. Sometimes a cheap microphone in a room with good sound insulation sounds much better than the best condenser microphone you can imagine in a room with echo or traffic noise.
Well, I record with a Behringer B-1 (84 euros). It is a microphone that I bought years ago, in my teens, to record song demos. Since that time it has been serving me perfectly for this type of thing, and the quality is more than enough when it comes to recording a podcast.
If you have a sound card (that can be powered by phantom) this is perhaps one of the best options to consider if you are looking for something that is good value for money.
The choice of our microphones is oriented to the need to record online, that is, each one from home, therefore almost all of the chosen microphones have USB connectivity with the computer.
In this way we save a mixer in each house and limit possible problems of analog sound mass, since it becomes difficult to control 8 computers with their 8 sound cards and 8 electrical installations.
However we look for versatility to be able to respond, if necessary, to the need to perform a live show with the traditional mixer.
For these reasons the microphone that we have mainly chosen is the Audiotechnica ATR2100 (109.95 euros). It is a dynamic cardioid pattern handheld microphone that has USB connectivity to go directly to any computer and also the traditional analog XLR connection to go to a mixer.
The choice was mostly due to the versatility it gave us, then because of the good reviews it received, and finally when we verified its good performance, we gradually acquired the necessary remittance to cover any need. Its price is around € 80, which makes it a good choice for quality sound at an affordable price.
However, there are colleagues who demanded a headset or headset microphone since it gave them a freedom of movement that a handheld could not achieve. So we searched the Internet and discovered the Sennheiser PC8 USB (22.99 euros), which, as its name suggests, has USB connectivity.
The headphones that it owns are not the best nor the most comfortable but the microphone gives an excellent sound, especially considering its low price. A splendid quality / price that allows us to even send it to collaborators who, in principle, will intervene in a timely manner and achieve a very good sound from them.
Although these are the majority, we have recently acquired a Rode Podcaster (179 euros), a dynamic table microphone with USB connectivity. With them we sought to reduce ambient noise but without losing fidelity since it replaced a condenser microphone that captured more ambient noise. So from among the USB and dynamic we choose to jump into this high-end.
I do not want to end without alluding to the recorder that we won by winning the European Podcast Award 2012 and that has allowed us to record during these years the majority of conferences and presentations that we share with listeners, the Olympus DM-5 (149.98 euros) .
I started with a Behringer B-2 Pro (99 euros), which I still use from time to time. I confess that I chose it tun-tún, because I was not very clear what to buy.
For 5 years I have used an AKG P220 (166 euros) for the audios in which I am alone, and a Rode Procaster (159 euros) when I record with more colleagues, either by Skype or in person. Finally, for the recordings where we are all around the same table, apart from the Rode Procaster, I use a pair of SHURE PG 48 (42 euros). Depending on the acoustic conditions (the recording time is essential).
AKG P220 Microphone, chosen by Antonio Runa when recording alone
There are hours of the day that with the street noise, if I recorded with a condenser microphone, there would be people who would think that I record on my terrace, so better a dynamic cardicoid that only captures me and nothing else, although with it lose many nuances. I like the nuances that a good condenser microphone picks up, although for certain recordings a good dynamic microphone that does not register more than the count and is crisp and clear is always better.
However, since I was able to test the Electro Voice RE 27 N (749 euros) I dream of it every night. Too bad its price for modest pockets.
After not a few tests and possible elections we decided to opt for the EV RE320 (277 euros). The reason is simple. When several technicians were consulted about the possibility of an investment somewhat higher than a dynamic microphone with a large diaphragm, knowing that both announcers moved unconsciously in sections of the program, it considerably corrected other options and the final result seemed to improve.
We were sure that if we had to make a greater investment in something, something like non-negotiable, it would be the table and the microphones. And we are satisfied with it.
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Note: some of the links published here are from affiliates. Despite this, none of the articles mentioned have been proposed either by brands or by stores, their introduction being a unique decision of the team of publishers.
RODE Podcaster Silver Dynamic Microphone (Diaphragm, Large Diaphragm, USB Connector)Today in amazon for € 93.58