Welcome to the very first episode of Stuff You Need For, where you can find information on all the gear you’ll need to achieve professional level results when taking up a new activity, project or hobby, without breaking the bank. For our first episodes, appropriately, we’ll be starting with podcasting. In this first episode we’ll cover a number of microphone options before following up in Episode 1 with the remaining items you’ll need, including software, audio interfaces and mixers, as well as web services for hosting your media and making it available to iTunes and other podcast apps.
If you’d like to purchase any of the items mentioned in today’s episode, please follow the handy links below:
Recommended Starter/Budget Microphone:
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB / AT2005-USB: With a headphone jack for direct monitoring, both XLR and USB connections (and cables for each), this dynamic microphone provides good sound and great background noise rejection and takes our recommendation for best starter microphone for podcasters. Its dual cable setup allows you to start podcasting right away with its USB connection while moving up to an XLR connection through an audio interface once you start incorporating additional mics for cohosts.
Recommended Pro-Quality Microphone:
Heil PR 40 Package (Includes shockmount, boom arm, pop filter & 20′ XLR cable for $369 at the time of writing): Just barely edging out the Electro-Voice RE320, the Heil PR 40 takes our recommendation for a pro-quality microphone for podcasting. While at this price level, you’ll want to look at a number of options to find one that best suits your voice, the boosted highs of the RE320 can make it a less well rounded choice, causing some uncomfortable sounding audio when paired with certain voices without subsequent EQ adjustments. Additionally, we like the package that comes with the Heil PR 40 Slightly better – the included desk-mounted boom arm (missing from the RE320 package), completes the package with everything you need to get started.
Other Items Mentioned:
Rode Podcaster / Rode Procaster
Electro-Voice RE320 Package (Includes shockmount, pop filter & 20′ XLR cable)
Shure SM7b – not mentioned in the audio/video, this microphone has a similar sound to the Heil PR 40 with a slightly smoother overall sound, however even more so than the Heil or Electro-Voice options, it requires a very powerful, clean, and potentially expensive preamp given its very low output making it harder to recommend for those not investing in a more limited range of high quality recording equipment. Grab a Cloudlifter or FETHead otherwise. Available in a bundle with a Cloudlifter at Guitar Center for only $385, which is an excellent bargain.
Electro-Voice RE20 Package (Includes shockmount, pop filter & 20′ XLR cable)
Electro-Voice RE27N/D Package (Includes shockmound, pop filter & 20′ XLR cable)
I maintain an Amazon list with all the mics mentioned above if you’d like to purchase any of them (although in the case of the SM7b, Heil PR40 and Electro-Voice RE models, I recommend checking out the packages available from Broadcast Supply World linked above). Purchases made through this link will generate a small referral fee that will help us in the production of future episodes.