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The Best Podcasting Equipment for a New Podcaster (indiehackers.com)
52 points by deviio 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

So this is neat. I disagree with a good bit of it, though:

- I wouldn't go with a Yeti (which, despite all the idiotic memes around it, is fine for a starting microphone). A condenser mic is generally going to be more touchy and more susceptible to room noise issues, which you'd probably rather avoid. Instead I'd go with something like the AT2005USB[1]; its DAC is fine and it provides an XLR output as well (and you can use both, which I do for some tasks such as voice comms in games plus routing audio to my mixer). Knox also makes a good knockoff[2] with similar characteristics.

- Audition is a good call, especially at $20/month, but IMO (and this is all totally subjective, don't take my word for it) Logic Pro X is my jam. However, these days, live-shows-to-podcast seem to really taking off, particularly on Twitch; to that end, you're probably going to be mixing in either OBS/Xsplit/vMix (eww) or mixing in your audio app and routing to the video compositor, so be ready for that.

- Zencaster, Skype Call Recording, etc. are all fine, but they all have one really big drawback: they're most useful for offline shows. The work required for Skype/VOIP guests in online shows, unless you're happy letting Skype mix the voices for you (and you shouldn't), is nontrivial. I'd try very, very hard to stick with in-person podcasts with local people until you can really hack it, because VOIP'd casts are noticeable and often have a big hit to both flow and to audio quality.

[1] - https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT2005USB-Cardioid-Dyn... [2] - https://www.amazon.com/Knox-Gear-Cardioid-USB-Microphone/dp/...

I run a system called Cleanfeed, which is VOIP designed for live radio broadcasts. Sounds like it might be a good fit for your needs:


It handles all the audio routing for 3-way (or more), and recording too if you want it. VOIP interviews can be unnoticable -- in practice you have probably heard remote interviews on the radio done with systems like this, and may not have even realised it.

The problems with remote casts are not just audio ones, but yes, you can do good point-to-point audio. Very few people do.

I've looked at Cleanfeed and it looks like a really cool beta product, but it doesn't feel like the product appreciates how existing audio stacks and production flows work. And that's not entirely Cleanfeed's fault, because there are browser limitations, but at the same time the browser is not a good audio production platform (only Chrome seems to recognize the existence of multi-track audio devices, and that seems to be more of a "here's a 5.1 surround sound system") and that's a problem too. Like: I run a US-16x08 locally. It has eight mikes and eight line-ins. Cleanfeed (and this is probably Chrome) gets confused and says there's no microphone unless I go into Chrome's settings and force-pick the US-16x08, and then it just gives you mic one? It's mixing down the remote, too, so I just get back a single audio stream. This isn't acceptable; I 100% need to feed this into my mixer, not just splat out the audio. If I just wanted to mix down, Discord provides acceptable-not-great audio quality (and it appears there's probably a way, if one is a wizard, to rip audio streams out of it separately and push them through something like Soundflower).

If Cleanfeed was a local server that connected to you guys and had VSTs I could drop on instrument tracks in Logic to get individual voices out, I would pay you nontrivial money for that.

Also, video is pretty important. If Cleanfeed supported video at a size/quality that I could cap it out of a browser window I'd probably pay for it despite having to rework everything else; that would be a killer-app feature to compete with vMix Call.

Feel free to ping me offline if you'd like to chat--my email is in my profile. I think Cleanfeed has potential and I'd be happy to talk about this more in-depth.

My co-host wrote a better guide.[1] Can say there's some overlap, but I definitely think my co-hosts pick of mic is way better, after having experience with both.

[1]: http://smull.net/podcasting-equipment/

++ on the AT2100USB. I mentioned the AT2005USB elsewhere but this is a very similar mic (the sound profiles are basically interchangeable). And it's cheaper. And it's not a condenser. And it supports XLR without having to buy a "pro" model.

No surprise that there are better options than Audacity, but for those that don't already have the Adobe subscription, Audition is going to be a bit expensive. I don't do podcast editing, but I'd probably recommend people take a look at Reaper, particularly if you quality for the discount licensing price of $60. (Commercial use bringing in < $20k p.a.)


If use Reaper, try Ultraschall.fm (https://github.com/Ultraschall/REAPER). It's an open source extension for Reaper for podcasting. It's extrem popular in the German podcasting scence (you know that one obsessed with chapter marks).

Missing the important piece of a sound dampening room. Record in a closet with a bunch of clothes and the audio quality will be noticeably better than in your living room.


And no mention of headphones or speakers for yourself either.. Which then ties into the A/D converters which were earlier dismissed as superfluous..

My bet is that even if the mic is not quite as good, something like the focusrite scarlett solo studio pack (~199 - comparable to the 'pro' mic cited) will net overall better results since you get a full loop of prosumer/pro grade audio rather than just the input side covered.. not to dismiss the high importance of a good source track..

don't know this kit though; check sound on sound and soforth if someone is serious. I do have focusrite USB IF and it sounds great.

I think a small podcasting setup is maybe the only situation where the simplicity of a USB mic makes sense. I don't have first-hand experience with Blue mics, but I'd have no hesitation in buying one of the Audio Technica USB mics and not bothering with a separate audio interface, if that's all that my requirements were.

Most of the AT USB mics, except (I think) the 2020, support XLR to keep using them later. And, as I mentioned elsewhere, you can often drive both USB and XLR in most (all?) of them, if you play and record games.

Lil Jon said he started out recording songs surrounded by upright mattresses.

Did he start a podcast that I missed?

Why the author would choose to not use REAPER in a budget recording scenario is beyond me.

Does anyone who podcasts with multiple people in the room, or interviews or whatever, have experience or pointers for setting up digitally phased array of microphones? There are commercial systems that do this [0] but I haven't seen much example code online. I'm assuming with ~5 very cheap microphones [1] you could get a crisp sound and filter out localized noise in post processing.

[0] - http://www.clearone.com/products_beamforming_mic_array

[1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjVmMvmQFOM

I don't understand--why would you need or want a "digitally phased array of microphones"? What problem is it trying to solve that normal multi-track recording doesn't? Get five reasonable dynamic microphones (elsewhere I linked the AT2005USB for $79 and a Knox knockoff for $59), sit people about four feet apart (you can do closer if you have to), and treat the walls a little.

Professionals will do basically the same thing, only upgrading the mics to ElectroVoices or something.

It's more difficult to perform such a setup on the go. You can't bring 5 expensive mics to some places. You can't bring audio insulation to most places. You can bring a laptop, a device to multiplex recording devices, some stands, and a few cheap lapel mics to most places.

Maybe you want to, or have to, record audio outdoors.

Maybe you need to record somewhere where construction or work is happening in a single direction.

Many reasons

What you're describing doesn't really parse to me. A laptop, an audio interface, and a few pretty-cheap dynamic mics are my usual setup in the first place, and audio quality, even in relatively hostile rooms, is pretty okay. Outdoors recording has never presented much of a problem (but that's what shotguns are for anyway, yeah?), either. Maybe you're dealing with more specialized stuff than I run into, but something like single-direction noise seems kinda corner-casey to me?

The Logitech H390 is recommended for podcast guests. I do video conferencing from home, and I am dissatisfied with the quality of my home headset. This looks like it might be a good candidate for me to invest in.

Does anyone else have other recommendations for my use case?

Other than being just about the comfiest pair of headphones I've worn, the Kingston HyperX Clouds have a detachable mic with great quality. Also reasonably priced, regularly go down to $50 on sale.


I actually went to regular headphones and a stand mic (like the Blue Snowball). I get more use out of the headphones and the mic works great.

This may not be the perfect guide, but I appreciate that they

1. made a good choice for the everything you need

2. went ahead and picked a solid choice.

For someone starting out, it would be better to just make these choices than have to suffer the tyranny of the paradox of choice.

If you look at the side-by-side comparisons on YouTube, the Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ sounds much better than the Blue Yeti. Note that you need to watch in high res with headphones to fully hear the differences.

Depends on how many people you are recording. Also it's generally twice as ecpensive

It is a rare situation where you want to be recording multiple people off of one mic.

Want to or have to. But I agree anyway

I just want to throw my podcasting hosting solution Pogo into the comments (I know I'm a little late but I digress) - if you'd prefer to host your own feed on your own servers it's a fantastic solution - especially considering I haven't seen anything like it (hence the reason of creation) - https://github.com/gmemstr/pogo

Not knowing anything about podcasting, please excuse my ignorance. Using pogo to host your own podcast episodes, hoe would you then 'advertise' your feed for people to find them when searching on a popular Android or Apple mobile device?

For some reason, I always click on these podcasting equipment links. We just cut episode 001, so we'll go live after we cut a few more.

I think we'll have to put together out list of varying equipment as we cast from very remote places.

SE radio has a guide

I'm pretty sure from this article and a Google search this person might not have the best advice. He scoured the Internet so you don't have to, seems laughable. Maybe he should've searched for his podcast first because I can't find his podcast show anywhere on the webpage or the Internet.

As an audio professional for over 30 years I have one question for you. What is one thing that people will stop watching/listening before any other? Yup, it's bad sound. Google did some research on this in the beginning of youTube. People are more likely to stop a video with bad sound than bad video quality. So my recommendation is to spend some money on a decent mic and interface (ADC/DAC) than buying a usb microphone. So as I'm recently starting a podcast of my own I decided starting off I wanted an EV RE20. Standard radio mic for like 50 years or something. For a good reason, high quality sound and the proximity effect is minimal. Which is important when talking on a mic, saves time in post eq because of variable distances guests or you when speaking into the mic during an interview. Now not everyone has $499 to drop on a mic right? So they've also made a cheaper version for $260 called the EV-RE320. That sounds pretty freggin good. There's also the Shure SM7B for $399 which is a pretty damn good standard. Standards are there for a reason because that is literally what you're competing against and what your listeners are expecting. You can check out the comparisons on the web that helped me make a decision other than an erroneous article that seems to be way off base to me.

I have found Audition to be extremely limiting is how I would like a DAW workflow to operate. There are too many problems for me to take it seriously but I really don't have the time to go into at the moment. I would however recommend Reaper after using it for the past 3 years on and off. Although it may not have the prettiest UI it sure can do some amazing things with audio routing that kinda makes it ahead of the game in a lot of ways. I have spent many years in front of Protools and although I still have a soft spot for its ease of use, they kinda just started pricing themselves out of the market for me upgrading towards my needs as I'm not a professional studio engineer anymore.

So here's my suggestion within the author's cheap equipment budget of $369-439: Take the $240/yr you're going to spend on Audition and buy the EV-RE320 and Reaper. That leaves you with $40 towards your mixer (if you plan on having multiple guests in your studio) and audio interface which will cost you around another $200. Just my brief ideas of how to spend the money better and get a better sound. Now as far as the content well that's up to you!




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