Want to know what gear we use for podcasting and where to get it?..
WELCOME TO THE NEVER-ENDING QUESTION: "What gear do you use?" If you're a podcaster who's active in social media, you know. This is the most-asked question (with the possible exception of, "Should I have a co-host?" or "Would you listen to a podcast performed by mimes?"). The gear listed here is not for novices. None of it is cheap. There is no silly looking mic with a cute name. Is there better gear? Of course. Are there good alternatives? Naturally. These components represent my personal preferences after 15 years of doing location recording for radio advertising, and a couple of years living on the road and recording CoupleCo. In my estimation, it all sounds good, it's all built to withstand professional use, and none of it has ever failed me. I can feel good about recommending any one of these components and suspect you will enjoy using them as much as I do.
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I used to schlep around a laptop and a USB interface. It was bulky and often gave me problems. That all evaporated with the Zoom H6, and it sounds great. (NOTE: We have only ever used this with external microphones and XLR cables. The mics that came with the unit are still in the box. They sound OK. We just have different demands.)
I've spent a good part of my adult life sitting in dimly lit rooms in front of big recording studio monitors. When you're on the road and living in an RV, that big-monitor luxury disappears. But these mighty mites do a fine job considering the size and price. The obviously pro-user reviews at Amazon helped persuade me to try them. I was not hopeful. I was pleasantly surprised. They've not disappointed.
I was looking for a dynamic mic that would be just a cut above the standard bearers in podcasting, and this has been a solid performer. The Fabulous Honey Parker and I use these specifically to record wraparounds for the show when we're working fast in close quarters. (Admittedly, I'm a sucker for the de facto endorsement of social proof, and there's a lot of review chatter about how these mics are seen a lot on camera during NBC's Olympics coverage.)
Sounds good. Takes my abuse. Travels well. What's not to love?
Sennheiser has long been a favorite headphone among pros. The HD280 is one of my personal faves because it packs up well, and it isn't too delicate. These babies have traveled thousands of miles via plane, car and motorhome and they're still going strong.
Yes, it's a condenser mic, which means it's not the most forgiving creature. But as a shotgun, it's highly directional. We record our show in a lot of hostile environments. We've recorded in wine caves with forklifts running around. We've been in distilleries and breweries with lots of compressors running. We've recorded outside with traffic and other environmental noise. This mic rejects spurious off-axis signals well. It also sounds great for the price. (Mic stand not included.)
One pro audio engineer I know has called iZotope RX "like Photoshop for audio." When I asked him how he liked it, he became giddy. I've learned to love this software, which has saved some of our audio from a world of hurt. It reduces and even removes all kinds of noise, from air conditioners and mouth clicks, to popped "P" sounds and wind. It's amazing. NOTE: This is the standalone version. There is an "Elements" version of plugins only, but that slows down the editing software too much, and doesn't offer as much utility for my money. This standard version offers the best bang for the buck, IMHO. (But at a price of 300% more, there is also an "Advanced" version here. This is the one that I've upgraded to after many, many years of using the program.) And yes, RX works on both Mac and PC.