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Here is a listing of what we use to produce The Geoff & Jeffrey Show, and to produce audio books and voice over work. There are also suggestions for upgrades you may want to make later as you grow.
Recording your first podcast can be as simple as plugging a USB based microphone in to your computer and recording into a free program like Audacity.
For more complicated processing, such as a noisy live recorded interview, I have used this software to clean it up. It has some advanced features Audacity doesn’t handle as well.
In my opinion, the best “bang for the buck” starter microphone is from Audio Technica, and comes in various versions for the US and European market. They can plug directly into the USB port of your computer, and then if you expand to using regular recording studio mixers and recorders later, the same mic will also plug into those using the 3 prong, XLR connection. They sound great and are a dramatic leap forward, making podcasting easier. In addition, they are dynamic mics like the kind used on stage for noisy concerts and don’t pick up much extra noise from around the room. Here are the various versions.
Suggested microphone upgrades:
Heil PR40 Dynamic Studio Microphone -Higher end, requires preamp and mixer to operate.
The microphone I use to record audio books and do voice over work is the Audio Technica AT4047/sv This is professional studio condenser mic that requires a couple of things: it must have phantom power to operate, (from a mixer, digital computer interface or recorder) and it must be used in a sound treated space since it is so sensitive it will almost pick up the breathing of your next door neighbor’s dog. Check out this article I wrote a while back on inexpensive Sound Treatment Of Your Recording Space.
This mic is quite pricey, but a great investment in professional level audio work.
A great sounding but cheaper alternative condenser:
I am a big fan of keeping your recording chain as simple as will give you good results. So far, I have been able to avoid complicated mixers, processors, and the like by going instead with Zoom digital audio recorders. My main “go to” recorder is the Zoom H5. This little wonder will allow you to plug in two XLR mics, either dynamic or other mics requiring phantom power to operate, such as my professional studio condenser mic. In our sound booth, not having a computer fan running is a big plus for our sound quality.
This works well in podcasting for up to two people at the same time. Both mics have independent volume levels with killer preamps, low cut filters, compression, and other things that can make your recordings clean and awesome sounding. A variety of professional recording formats are also available. Then you can unplug the handheld device and take it on the road for in person interviews, using the additional shock mounted X/Y stereo mics for a quick “man on the street” back and forth interview, or sit down with a couple of those ATR2100 mics mentioned above for a more formal interview at a table. Light, mobile, capable. A full recording studio in a can. I love it. If you want to go with the exact same system, but with 4 mic inputs instead the 2 the H5 has, go with the Zoom H6. You can mic a panel discussion with it.
In addition to the H5, I also own the smaller Zoom H2n recorder. It has no mic inputs, but is great for directly recording audio coming from other sources like mixers, computers and the like. You could use it for recording audio from a Skype or Google Hangouts session, or plugging into the sound system at an event where a line out was provided to you. It also excels at open sound recording, its on-board mics can be used in the traditional X/Y stereo configuration, but also a mid-side stereo mode or even a 360 degree recording on a conference table in a reasonably quiet room. Recording outdoor sounds in nature can be captivating with this device. I keep it with me at all times to be ready for a quick interview opportunity.
Keep it simple, keep it safe!
This is what I use to do the actual sound and video editing for The Geoff & Jeffrey Show, audio books, voice over, and YouTube channel.
I use Dee’s laptop for research for The Geoff & Jeffrey Show:
Instead of using a laptop with noisy fan or rustling papers in the sound booth, we use this tablet with a touch screen. Again, no added noise in the booth!
I also have an older Dell 15″ laptop I use for general word processing for blog posts, show notes and other articles. It is also good for an extra machine to bring in a Skype call for audio purposes.
We use of variety of storage options, flash drives for transferring files between computers, and also the SD cards used in the recording devices and cameras.
Eggsnow Camera Universal Microphone Shockmount Holder -For the AT2100 and similar mics
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