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Proper Microphone For Recording Podcast?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by blairh, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. macrumors 68020


    Hey guys,

    So I'm planning on recording a podcast soon with my MBP & I'll be using Ichat (conference chat) & Garageband to do so. A friend recommended I purchase a "condenser" microphone to use to record my voice.

    Do you agree with this recommendation and if so, any specific model I should invest in? I'm tight on money but would be willing to spend up to $80 if necessary. Thanks.
  2. macrumors member

    Whilst your friend is correct that a condensor mic will in most cases give a superior sound to our macs built in mic there are other considerations.

    Firstly Condenser mics require a preamp with phantom power, you would also need an audio interface to get this signal into you mac (though you could use the internal input in a pinch) - there are many combined options with mic preamp and interface in one.

    I would recommend getting a USB mic such as -




    These have the benefits of being better quality mics than your standard mac mic and also require no other equipment to function, just plug and play.

    That said I would consider a "pop shield" to stop bursts of air hitting the mics diaphragm which will go a long way to making your podcast sound more professional.
  3. macrumors 68020


    wow. thank you for all that.

    any place i can a cheap pop shield? (known large retailer).
  4. macrumors member

    No problem,

    I guess you are in the USA?

    if so Walmart has this one http://www.walmart.com/catalog/prod...0000003260420&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=12457594

    but if you google pop filter you should be able to find quite a few, (we call them pop shields in the UK but pop filter seems more common in the US).

    They vary in price and can get quite expensive but a cheap one should be more than enough to start. In an emergency a pair of tights stretched over a coat hanger has been known to suffice or if you need something very low key and not visible a pencil taped to the centre of the mic will divert some of the burst of air from plosives a bit

  5. macrumors 68020


    If you wanna go ultraportable, there's a cool little USB Condenser by Samson called a Go Mic that'll fit in your laptop bag, clips to the top of your laptop and is within your budget
  6. macrumors 68020


    thanks for all this again. yeah i'm in the states. like most americans i have a tendency to assume everyone lives here. sigh.

    thanks again. if i have any follow up questions i'll post them here.
  7. macrumors 68020


    wow, that Go Mic looks amazing. how is the quality?
  8. macrumors 604


    Try one of Blue's mics. The Snowball is one of the best mics for podcasting.
  9. macrumors 68020


    For novice podcasting, it should be fine. There are a ton of mics out there that will do the trick. It all comes down to portability, price, and whether you wanna deal with accessories like pop screens, mounts, headphones, etc

    I recommend checking out reviews and sound samples online on the Go Mic, Snowflake, Snowball, and whatever Condensers you're interested in. Check out youtube too, you should be able to find podcasts that were recorded using some of this gear.
  10. Moderator emeritus


  11. macrumors G4

    Where and how you record matters as much or even more than what mic you use. The more sensitive mics pick up _everything_ including the car driving down the stree outside, the fan in the computer and reflections of your voice from the wall you are facing as you speak the air movement caused by your breath.

    Even a cheap $100 mic is good enough, you don't have to go "over the top" and buy a high end studio mic but you do want to keep all those sounds away from the mic.

    Simple and cheap things work. For example a long cable, so you can get the mic far away from the computer, a bed quilt to kill echo from hard surfaced walls, a foam wind screen on the mic. This kinds of things matter a lot. This kind of no-cost stuff makes the different between amateurish and decent sound.

    When you do buy a mic you might want to think about one intended for stage use rather then studio use. The directional stage mics reject sound except for what is directly in front of them. Other less directional mics are designed for very quiet sound proofed recording studios.
    You might consider using a very stung pop filter and speaking very close (inches away from) a directional mic.

    After you've experimented with recording technique, mic placement then you might some day upgrade the mic but at first there is no need to spend a fortune.
  12. macrumors 68020


    stereo headset mic?

    hey guys,

    so here is a follow up. one of the members of our potential podcast is insisting on using a headset stereo mic. i recommended he use a usb condenser mic but he's putting his foot down about using a headset stereo mic instead.

    are there any good stereo headset mics (that don't cost a fortune) that he could use? is there any way the sound quality on his side will be on par with what is coming from me and my other podcast partner (who would be using a usb condenser mic like myself).

    UPDATE: another follow up question: hypothetically could three guys use usb condenser mics on their respective laptops in order to record a conference conversation (recorded for a podcast) using ichat and garageband? one of the issues my podcast partner is bringing up is that our voices would be re-recorded onto each other's usb condenser mics. essentially he's saying we can't do a three way convo using condenser mics and must use headset stereo mics. is he right?
  13. macrumors 601


    stereo = ugh. voiceovers should be in mono, imho.
  14. macrumors newbie

    The quality you achieved with your snowball mic is great. What software did you use? Garageband? And did you use any effects/settings?
  15. Moderator emeritus


    I used screenflow to record everything with no post processing for audio. I had some kind of soft material behind the mic, in order to cut down on echo. And the mic was sitting on a cloth to minimize vibration.

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