Choosing My Podcast Equipment – Day 3 of 30 Day Challenge #POD30

Day 3 of my podcast launch challenge and it’s time to ensure that I will be choosing the right equipment to launch. First an inventory of what I have already got and then an review of that against what some of the experts recommend including John Lee Dumas, Cliff Ravenscraft, Pat Flynn and Dave Jackson.

I’ll then see if there is anything that I am missing, where I can get it from and how much it costs.

We’ll take it as read that I have a PC or MAC (it’s actually a HP PC that’s about 4 years old). It should be up to it but again I will need to check this along the way. So here goes.

Existing Equipment

I already have a microphone. It’s an Audio Technica ATR2100 (Amazon) USB/XLR Dynamic microphone. I purchased this 2nd hand back in late January after having heard about it at NMX. I wish I had thought about buying one in the US whilst there as they are like gold dust here in the UKAudio Tehnica ATR2100 Podcast Microphone

If after reading below you decide to go with one of these bear in mind unless you can find a 2nd hand one on Ebay you may have to wait a while for it to be delivered from the US or Germany. It cost me about £60 including the shipping.

I also have a boom arm from a seller on Amazon as well as a double screen pop filter.

Software I have either downloaded or registered for includes Audacity, which was a free download and Spreaker which you can register with for free. Again more on these later.

Recommended Podcasting Microphones

I’ve done a fair bit of research on these and this is what I have discovered as recommended podcast microphones from those who have been doing it successfully for some years.

But before getting into that if you have been doing your own research you may have realised there are two main types of connections for popular microphones; USB an XLR. Now I understand USB as most of us will have something connected to our computers with a USB. And where mics are concerned that’s a good thing as it can be plugged straight into your computer.

xlr microphone connector

However XLR was a mystery – until now. I though the XLR would stand for something particular but it turns out it was just the style of 3 pin connector that was designed for the original Canon X series microphone, which then developed to the XL and now the pretty much industry standard XLR.

Unfortunately you can’t plug an XLR connector directly into a computer and therefore either need a recording device, mixer or XLR to USB adapter (Amazon). There is however an added complexity to this from what I understand in that some XLR based mics also require addition “pre-amp” power to give a good quality signal and thus are weak when used with a non-powered xlr-usb as against a powered xlr-usb (Amazon).

My tip would be for those just starting out – keep it simple.

Pat Flynn
Cliff Ravenscraft
Dave Jackson
John Lee Dumas
Audio Technica ATR2100 (USB/XLR)
Heil PR-40 (XLR)
Blue Snowflake (USB)
Logitech Clear Chat Headset (USB)
Shure SM-58 (XLR)

Note: Nothing appears above for Dave Jackson as unfortunately at the time I was compiling and checking the information his site was not available – as soon as I can I will update. Also please note that the abscence of a check mark does not necessarily mean that they do not recommend them but just that I could not find reference to any such recommendations on their sites or in the podcasts i have listened to.

It looks like my previous choice of the ATR2100 has been a pretty good one for a good quality low cost USB microphone to start my podcast with.

Mix or not to Mix?

Now for me this is a fairly easy one to answer from the offset. Being realistic in that I have only set myself 30 days and as yet have not decided on the content I do know I am initially going to keep my podcast to just me on the mic. I think adding interview scheduling at this stage is just asking for trouble, especially as I am doing this smack bang in the holiday season.

So for me it is no mix = no need for a mixer. Now if I was planning on getting anyone else in to do the podcast with me or recording others over the internet then this might be different. If I have some time towards the end of the challenge I might just revisit this equipment option.

Other podcast equipment.

Podcast Microphone Scissor Boom ArmI have also purchased a Scissor Boom Arm for the microphone which will attach to the side of my desk and allow me to manoeuvre the microphone directly in front of my mouth when recording. Again I picked this up fairly cheaply on Amazon.

Dual Layer Pop FilterAnd to make sure that my voice sounds as crisp as I can possibly get it I have also invested in a double screen pop filter (Amazon) to reduce those “popping” noises when you pronounce letters such as “p” uuh and “b”uuh.  You can get single filter ones as well as double but I just wanted to be doubly sure.

Today’s Other Actions

  • Website – I will be doing a whole post on the creation of the website from registering the domain name, hosting, installation of wordpress all the way through to plugins and privacy policies. However today I installed:
    • Amazon Link plugin (used to create some of the links above)
    • UK Cookie Policy plugin
    • Table Creation plugin (I used it to create the table above)
    • Posted a Cookie & Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions and Affiliate Disclaimer pages.
  • Facebook – joined the PodcastCommunity Group

Your Turn

Are you currently on your own journey to launching your podcast. Will you be going with an interview format or partnering with someone else. If your set-up requirements are different what have you discovered or what are you unsure about.

Please let me know in the comments below. Any questions I will do my best to answer as I progress along the road to my launch date.


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