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Old June 25th, 2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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Equipment for podcasts

I have been asked to create some podcasts. Now, I am not super duper sophisticated when it comes to audio and I will not be able to buy Sound Devices recorder for $3000 but would you guys help me out a bit here? I currently just have a lav mic and I normally record directly to my camera. Should I get a different mic and a separate portable recorder?
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Old June 25th, 2014, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Equipment for podcasts

HOW and WHERE you are recording are important to what gear you use.
It is not clear how the destination "podcasting" has anything to do with equipment selection decisions?
Is there something about these "podcasts" (not revealed here) that prompts your question?
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Old June 26th, 2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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Re: Equipment for podcasts

One could just get a USB mic and record to your favorite audio editor or DAW. OTOH, recoding the audio directly to a camera and import edit/master/encode the audio in your favorite audio editor or DAW would work, OTOH, A budget recorder with an internal mic wold work as well...them import that to edit/master/encode the audio in your favorite audio editor. OTOH hire a pro studio with a pro engineer and do it....OTOH, OTOH, OTOH. Off the top of my head I can think of at least ten ways to accomplish it.
+11 to what Richard stated, as well as the talent in front of the mic. That's why VO artists get the big bucks.
Sorry for the sarcasm.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: Equipment for podcasts

All you really need is a (free) copy of Audacity as your recording software, and some sort of microphone.

Heck, you could use one of your pocket recorders for all it matters, since it will be in a digital format when you're done.

For podcasts, the quality of the recording gear isn't quite so important. You want something reasonably clean, but it's not (usually) a big deal. If you want a professional handheld microphone that is cheap, the Shure SM58 is the gold standard, and at $100 or so each, its as cheap as a good microphone gets and they're almost indestructable. Get a windscreen for them.

The main thing will be to have microphones in clips/holders/stands (i.e. NOT handheld or loose), so you don't get handling noise. If more than one person will be talking, you'll need some form of audio mixer for your 2+ mics. If you use one for videography, that will do, otherwise your computer *might* handle two different USB mics plugged in, but I'm honestly not sure if free or inexpensive software will do that.

For multi-microphones, the issue is consistency - use the same two microphones and get the volumes of the people the same. Usually, same as wedding speeches or any other time we see people speaking, there is generally one person who is louder, the other quieter. If you can, get the louder person to be further away from their microphone is the best first choice for volume control (I do the same thing when I'm an MC... even if I'm being louder, I move the microphone further away so the volume is the same, but the intensity is there).

If you do have multi-mics, sit them opposite each other. Not only is it more natural for them to look at each other when they talk, the microphone opposite them will pick up less cross noise from other person.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #5
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Re: Equipment for podcasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
I have been asked to create some podcasts. Now, I am not super duper sophisticated when it comes to audio and I will not be able to buy Sound Devices recorder for $3000 but would you guys help me out a bit here? I currently just have a lav mic and I normally record directly to my camera. Should I get a different mic and a separate portable recorder?
Richard nailed it. "Podcast" is a distribution avenue for programming. What equipment might be required to produce the program is as varied as any radio or TV station or network would face when preparing its programming - location coverage of a sports event would require a different kit of gear from that used to produce a 'talk-radio' studio production. So without knowing what your program will be it's impossible to offer any advice.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 01:20 PM   #6
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Re: Equipment for podcasts

For computer based recording, I setup an author turned podcaster with Audacity and a Rode Podcast USB mic with very good results. I assume you are talking audio podcasting.

If that's wrong, then there's nothing special about podcasting versus recording for video. Your sound is as good as your gear plus your the skill in using it.

Is the discussion about getting a recorder because you have a DSLR with crappy sound capability? If so, then yes, you need a good mic and recorder. A Tascam DR-40 and Studio Projects B1 is my go to device.
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