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Premium Remote Interview Kit

Premium Remote Interview KitOur recommended bundle from Polymash, with a focus on an excellent Rode Procaster dynamic microphone and a good USB audio interface. The main difference between this and less expensive packages are that the microphones and boom arm I recommend here are of premium quality.

Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone

The Rode Procaster Broadcast Quality Dynamic Microphone from Rode is what I personally use at Polymash.

It is designed for capturing speech in broadcast radio, voice-over recording, podcasts, and similar applications. It features a tight cardioid polar pattern and tailored frequency response that result in optimum speech reproduction without off-axis noise. The all metal construction, internal pop-filter, and internal shockmount further minimize handling noise and contribute to the microphone’s durability.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

A USB audio interface is essential when using high quality XLR mics.

A good USB audio interface like this solves the following common problem: Dynamic and USB mics with a built-in USB interface often do not produce a strong enough signal when connected to a PC. In our experience this results either in weak audio recordings, or in the podcaster positioning the microphone very close to the mouth. With good recording technique this may not be a problem, but consistency and mic technique is key. Every small move towards or away from the mic results in annoying volume level changes.

The Focusrite solves this with great pre-amps that boost the audio signal with no quality loss. This means that the host can position the mic at a more comfortable and consistent distance, and still get a really strong audio signal.

For most podcasters I would recommend the dual input version, which is only slightly more expensive, but allows you to connect 2 microphones do co-host or interview recordings. This makes your gear setup more flexible and future proof.

Our Pick For Best Audio Interface
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface
$179.99

This unit can support 2 microphones and can thus serve in-studio guests as well. There are additional models with up to 4 microphone ports.

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06/30/2022 05:14 pm GMT

High Quality Recording Headphones

When choosing headphones for recording podcasts it is important to get a closed design. Mics can be very sensitive and pick up “bleed” through earbuds or open design headphones, resulting in an echo in the recording.

Our Pick for Closed Design Podcaster Headphones
Senal SMH-1000 Professional Field and Studio Monitor Headphones
$84.99

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.
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06/30/2022 05:47 pm GMT

Choice of Studio Boom Arms

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RODE PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
$98.00

After years of podcasting, attending conferences and talking to other podcasters, the one overlooked component in podcasting is a boom arm. The higher quality of Rode makes such a difference over time, compared with creaky and flimsy podcasting boom arms. (Note, if not available the next best choice is the Innogear Studio Arm)

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06/30/2022 04:44 pm GMT

If the Rhode studio arm is not available, here is a good alternative

Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom
$115.00

This studio arm is my second favorite and a good substitute for the also excellent Rhode PSA1 (which is not always available).

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06/30/2022 03:05 pm GMT

Accessories and Necessities

Good Deal, Usually $100+
Rode PSM1 Shock Mount For Podcaster, Procaster, PSA1, and DS1 Microphones
$39.00

Every great mic deserves a good shock mount. I have found that even when I move the boom arm around, the shock mount prevents handling and desk sounds.

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06/30/2022 07:00 pm GMT

Rode WS2 Microphone Pop Filter/Wind Shield for NT1-A, NT2-A, NT1000, NT2000, NTK, K2 and Broadcaster Microphones
$12.99

A high quality foam pop-filter for a range of Rhode microphones.

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06/30/2022 05:58 pm GMT

Heil Sound FL-2 Permanent Flange Mount
$29.00

I have found that studio boom arms that are mounted with desk clamps are far inferior to a permanent mount like this. For people who don't want to mar the top of their desks, there is also a vertical permanent mount.

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06/30/2022 03:46 pm GMT

Heil Sound WM-1 Vertical Surface Mount for Heil Booms
$29.00

I have found that studio boom arms that are mounted with desk clamps are far inferior to a permanent mount like this. I use the alternative flat permanent mount, but for people who don't want to mar their podcast desk surface, this is ideal.

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06/30/2022 03:51 pm GMT

GLS Audio 12ft Mic Cable Patch Cords - XLR Male to XLR Female Black Cables - 12' Balanced Mike Snake Cord - SINGLE
$15.34

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.

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06/30/2022 03:29 pm GMT

Optional Studio Recording Options (From premium to basic)

If you are recording with remote interview software, then you might not need these local in studio options, but they are great for solo podcasts and if you need to accomodate in-studio guests or co-hosts.

Best All In One Studio
Rode RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio
$494.44

We use this at Polymash for all of our streaming calls as well as when we are interviewed. Some people feel the Rodecaster Pro is overkill in terms of using an all-in one solution, but there are several areas where this is an invaluable tool for use:

I get to shape the sound of my voice when live-streaming, in videos and Zoom calls and when I am a guest on other people's show. The Rodcaster Pro has built in sound processing effects based on the built in Aphex processor, and this lends options for compression, a "big bottom" broadcast sound etc.

Of course there are a myriad of features I am not mentioning, but here is a summary:

  • Whether you are new or a seasoned broadcast pro, the RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio is all you will ever need
  • 4 high-quality mic channels power studio condenser mics and conventional dynamic mics and feature automatic level setting and one-touch recording to a microSD card
  • 8 programmable sound effects pads allow instant triggering of SFX, music, and more; record audio direct to the pads from any input or add files from your computer
  • Interview remotely by simply connecting your phone via Bluetooth or with a TRRS cable; automatic “mix-minus” audio prevents echo being heard by callers
  • Connects to computer via USB to record using your favourite recording software or stream live; separately record multiple tracks for editing in post-production
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06/30/2022 04:07 pm GMT

Our pick for digital recorders
Zoom H6 All Black (2020 Version) 6-Track Portable Recorder, Stereo Microphones, 4 XLR/TRS Inputs, SD Card, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered
$349.99

This is one of the best and most flexible audio recording tools out there. I recommend this primarily because it makes for a future proof investment. It can be used in a range of situations inside the studio or out on the road.

  • Podcast studio recording with up to 5 persons
  • On site interviews when attending conferences
  • Pro sound for video recordings with a DSLR or smartphone camera
  • Videos with wireless lavalier microphones

The H6 It has powerful and clean pre-amps, which alleviate the most common complaint about Dynamic Mics having a weak signal output level. These amps are plenty strong to get decent recording levels.

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06/30/2022 05:31 pm GMT

Our Budget Pick for Digital Podcast Recorders
Zoom Digital Multitrack Recorder (P4)
$214.38

If you only record remotely, you may not require a portable digital recorder, but it does add a lot of flexibility and the ability to record with a co-host.

Zoom recently released this, their newest recorder, specifically created for podcasting. The great news is that is very affordable (compared to previous models like the Zoom H6), has quality pre-amps and can accomodate 4 XLR inputs, so it really is a podcast studio in a box.

It also features "mix minus": new podcasters may not know what that is is, but this is an important feature: Echo cancellation on Zoom, Skype or other live streaming calls where you have guests that otherwise would hear a bothersome echo.

Another important feature for creating pristine audio when recording in-studio guests is to make sure that everyone wears headphones — and the fact that this device has 4 separate headphone out jacks makes that easy. These are advanced features for the price, usually found only on much more expensive mixing consoles.

Other specs include:

  • 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


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06/30/2022 02:10 pm GMT

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