This updated podcasting setup is for creating an affordable mini studio for remote interview recording as well as for creating solo and co-hosted episodes. The focus is on a flexible decent dynamic microphone, a good USB audio interface, and optionally the newest and most affordable digital podcast recorder from Zoom.
This gear package was recently updated to include Rode’s new Podmic as well as Zoom’s P4 recorder.
At the time of this writing, the bundle would set you back around $370 without the optional digital recorder.
First Choice For Microphone
The all-new PodMic is a broadcast-grade dynamic microphone designed for podcast applications. It features a built-in pop filter and a rich, even sound it will give your voice a silky, professional quality.
At Polymash this microphone is our choice for "budget" only because it is so affordable. Really the quality of this mic places it into mid-range to higher end microphones, and the fact that it has a pop filter and shock mount built in are a great plus as well as a money saver.
The internal shock mount and pop filter work very well, here is what Rode has to say about that:
Does the PodMic need a shock mount and pop filter?
- Due to the design of the swing mount, the PodMic cannot be attached to an external shock mount.
- However, the PodMic’s capsule is internally suspended and the swing mount is internally decoupled from the body, so you do not need to use a shock mount. There's also an in-built pop filter, so you do not need to use a windshield.
Alternate Choice For Microphone
Often recommended by our fellow podcasters, these microphones are our former pick, and still a great starter choice.
Most importantly, they are Dynamic mics. This means they reject background noise and are perfect for studio that are not sound-proofed. They need to be quite close to the speaker's mouth, as is true with all dynamic microphones. Therefore they require mounting on a boom arm. I also recommend using a shock mount as this improves sound quality and eliminates desk banging noises.
- These come with XLR audio cables long enough for a 2 person interview setup
- They also include a desk stand, which we will likely NOT use, but is handy for mounting the Zoom H6 recorder.
- These can be plugged directly into a computer with the USB port, and plugged into the Zoom recorder using the XLR cables.
- However, for much improved quality I would recommend using these with XLR cables and a good USB pre-amp to connect to your Mac or PC.
This affordable USB interface has 2 high quality pre-amps, and 2 XLR inputs. I have had an early version of this for over 10 years, and am still very happy with it.
These headphones are basically a similar design to the Sony MDR576 with similar performance.
But there are some things I like better about the Senal models (which were designed and are owned by the megastore B&H Photo & Video). Namely, these headphones have a detachable chord.
Why would a replaceable chord even matter?
- Ability to change from long curled to short mobile phone friendly chords
- If anything is likely to break on a pair of headphones, it is the chord attachment. If you get hung up wearing these, the chord simply comes out, no damage done
What makes these great for podcasting?
- Closed back design, means no sound leaking back into your microphone during recording.
- Flat frequency response, which is important when making mixing and editing decisions. Your typical music headphones often emphasize the bass, and when making mixing decisions you are likely to compensate — resulting in a thin sounding mix lacking depth.
Heavy Duty Mic Arm Microphone Stand Suspension Scissor Boom Stands with Mic Clip and Cable Ties.
This Boom arm is necessary when using any dynamic microphone so that the podcast hosts and guests can be comfortably seated and position the microphone close to their mouth. These boom arms are longer than most budget arms and therefore have a greater reach. They also have better construction overall and are easier to clean than models with external springs.
I consider these to be mid-range investments. They are better than most base models, but still far inferior when compared to the market leading HEIL stand in the premium package.
Optional Digital Recorder
- 4 high quality microphone inputs with phantom power
- 4 headphone outputs with individual volume control
- 4 programable Sound Pads + multi-track recording for all inputs and Sound Pads
- Automatic Mix-Minus for call-in phone interviews + remote interviews via TRRS jack and USB Audio Interface mode
- Up to 3.5 hours on 2 AA batteries
From what I could see, the Rode Procaster mic bundle does not come with any XLR cables, so you will need these to connect to the recording device. Depending on your own setup, you could choose shorter cables.