The audio version of this blog is available here.
So, you are ready to actually start recording your podcast, how exciting! Time to look at your set up for recording. The beauty of podcasting, is that anyone can do it. You can even record simply through your phone, but if you are after a listenable, great quality sound, I wouldn’t recommend it.
There are so many mics to choose from, it can be daunting to know where to start. USB mics are affordable and easy to set up and use, and your sound won’t suffer too much, but depending on your budget and the goals for your podcast, you can go bigger and better. This previous blog of ours goes deeper into which microphone could work best for you here.
Secondly, will you use a mixer? I personally record using two Shure SM58 mics plugged into a Alesis multimix 8 USB FX, which I connect to my mac via USB, and record through Logic X. There are of course many other options, but this has been my set up since recording music a few years back and it gives me great sound. You can of course skip mixers all together and invest in a Zoom H5 Portable Recorder in which you can plug your mics directly into the handset. An advantage of the H5 is you can just use it as a mic itself for when recording out and about, which brings us to our next subject, recording guests.
Recording a guest in your own ‘studio’ is no issue, all you would need to set up is an additional mic. However, if you are meeting them out in a public location, you will need a portable recorder. The H5 again, is great for this. You can still bring your own mic for a more professional set up, but it is also a good idea to have the Zoom handset sat between you and the guest. I use a ZOOM H1, very small, lightweight and simple to use with great sound, you can plug a lapel mic into it, but for a one on one conversation, it works perfectly well just sat between you and your guest (depending on the background noise of your environment of course).
The trickier one to pull off is a Skype or Google Hangout recording. It still amazes me that you can record a conversation with anyone, anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. The easiest way is to use a Skype recorder. This will allow you to put the audio straight from your conversation into your program to edit. The disadvantage of this is that you are relying on the audio from your guest being of good quality. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that their recording will sound as good as the audio coming from your end. The best way I have found to overcome this, is to ask your guest to record their end of the conversation. If they don’t have a portable recorder, even using a phone to record can work. Nowadays, audio recording quality on phones is fairly good, if they send it over to you at the end, it’s a nice back up in case the initial recording didn’t sound too great for release. This way, you can line-up their end of the audio alongside yours and depending on your editing software, you can create a much higher quality sounding recording. In a later blog, we will discuss various types of editing software, and which we recommend.
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