Christina demonstrates her equipment setup

I often get asked What equipment should I use for my podcast?". If you go online and you research "podcast equipment", you will find a million different articles and videos sharing a million different options. So, I know that it can get really overwhelming when you've got so many different options for podcast equipment.

So, today, I'm sharing with you what's the equipment setup that I use for my own podcast, as well as what we use in all of our courses, and the gear that we hire out to our clients as well. So, the first thing, obviously, that you need is a microphone, and there are many many different types of microphones. Some are super cheap and they range from, you know, 50 bucks all the way up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The one that I'm using right now and what I've got here is a Swamp D USB mic. Now, this is a dynamic mic which means that it's directional. So, the best way to use it is for when sound is going directly, speaking directly into the mic, and what it does is it doesn't pick up, well, it cancels out a lot of the surrounding sound. So, you can hear if I speak directly into it, it's really clear. If I start speaking over here, it's not as clear, right, and if I start speaking over the top, not as clear and not as direct. So, these mics are beautiful for getting that really crisp sound. I use these mics as well if I'm in a conference and I'm doing like if I'm going around interviewing people like this. You still get the beautiful background buzz of the conference without it overwhelming the sound, and you get that really crisp sound of whoever it is that you're speaking with.

Now, these mics are also fantastic because they have a USB. We can plug them into your computer, as well as plugging them into a digital recorder. So, as you can see here, they've got the XLR input here and then they've also got the digital one here, So, this is great because it means that you can use it for both your laptop and with a digital recorder with that analog input. Now, these are not expensive. You can get them for about 80 bucks online and they're super hardy. They come with a little mic stand, as well and the quality, as you can hear, is really good. Now, the only issue I have with these is that the stand that they come with, is actually a bit too low for a desktop. So, as you can see here, if I'm speaking, you know, normally, this is going to be too low for me. So, what I've done in the past is propped it up on a box, or, you know, some books. And then I've recently... and I recently got this additional desktop stands from Amazon and these were quite inexpensive. It was like 40 bucks for or 50 bucks for four. So, really not expensive.

Now, the second piece of equipment is the digital recorder, and this is what I am recording the audio for this video into, right here. Now, this is the Zoom H5. Now, there are many different versions of this. I think they're up to the six and we like the five (Zoom H5) because it is very very simple interface. It doesn't have a huge amount of buttons on it. It's easy to use, and you can plug two microphones into it. So, you can see I've got one plugged in here, but if I wanted to plug this one in, I could plug that in too and it also comes with a built-in mic. Now, this is a condenser mic which means that it picks up sound from all around, and what this is great for is for recording ambient sounds. So, if you want to go outside and record, you know, nature sounds or city soundscapes, that works really well too. Or if you don't have two microphones, you can pop this mic in on the table between you and your interviewee and it'll record both of you as well.

Now, when you do use a condenser mic like this and you're recording more than one person, the challenge is, is that you can't... what makes it more difficult to edit each person's audio individually because it all gets recorded onto the same track. Whereas, if you use one microphone per person, that will be recorded in two separate tracks and then you have more control over editing those. Now, you might be wondering "Christina can't I just plug the microphone into my laptop?" Yes, you can do that. I know many people do. We don't recommend doing that because laptops can crash, certain recording programs can crash, and I have found in my experience that the Zoom... with a digital recorder like this is very very reliable. It's very robust, and the quality that you get is top-notch. And you can pick up a Zoom for a few hundred dollars. They vary in price but check them out online to them to see what the best deal that you can get. But we love this setup because as you can see, it's really simple. It's really portable. You don't need a massive mixing desk or anything like that. All you need is a couple of these XLR cables to plug the mic into your Zoom and you're good to go. So I hope that that's been useful for you. This has been your Tuesday Tip. I'm Christina Canters from Podcast Services Australia and we'll see you next week.

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