Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters
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Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters
Contact: podcasting at mikephillips.me Twitter: @mcphillips
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On-Stage Stands MS7920B Microphone Stand

On-Stage Stands MS7920B Microphone Stand | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

If you don't have the space or don't want to spend the money on a boom, take a look at this very handy microphone stand from On Stage. The MS7920B is designed to accurately position a mic for a bass drum, but it also works very well for podcasting. The mini boom is adjustable so that you can get the base out of the way and free up your desk space. Most music stores carry the On Stage brand. Street price is $25 to $30.  

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Oscar Sound Tech Lavaliere Microphone

Oscar Sound Tech Lavaliere Microphone | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

It's rare when you find a good product at a reasonable price from a company that gives excellent customer service. You get all three with Oscar Sound Tech. Vance Willis bought one of these lavaliere microphones for his on camera webcasts. It's connected to his wireless mic system.

 

The mic is omnidirectional, meaning that it theoretically picks up sound from all directions, including room echoes, but with a little practice, you can get a good sound with it. Almost all TV news rooms use lavaliere mics.

 

Whether to use a lavaliere mic is a question of aesthetics versus sound quality. Using my favorite comparison, a lavaliere mic is not a Heil PR40 in sound quality, but it is very useful when you want to go on camera and not have a gigantic mic, shock mount, and windscreen stuck in your face.

 

The mic is about $80 plus the appropriate connector, which is $15 and up. If you want to use the mic as an XLR mic, you will need to get the power adapter ($60). Contact http://oscarsoundtech.com for all the details. 

Vance Willis's comment, October 17, 2011 6:15 PM
Mike, I did test this microphone against my Heil PR-40 and I was pleasantly surprised. It has a great background canceling ability as does the PR-40. I am very pleased so far with the results.
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Audio-Technica AT803 Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

Audio-Technica AT803 Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

As webcasters and netcasters bec0me more video oriented in their broadcasts, some prefer the aesthetics of a lavalier microphone as opposed to stand or boom mounted studio mics, such as the Heil PR40. There is no way that a lav mic will have the fidelity of a studio mic. However, lav mics are used in TV everywhere, and the quality is sufficient for the application. 

 

The AT803 from Audio-Technica is a good choice for a lavalier mic. Since it is a condenser mic, it requires battery or phantom power. The kit includes a power pack with a standard XLR output. Street price is about $150US. Note that this mic is a wired mic, not a wireless one. Unless you specifically need a wireless mic, a wired mic is much less hassle and is much more reliable.

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Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun Microphone

Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun Microphone | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

You might be interested in knowing that a lot of voice-over artists use a very unique microphone for their productions. The Sennheiser MKH-416 is actually a shotgun mic designed for boom use in video settings, but it became popular when it was used by the late Ernie Anderson ("The Love Boat"). If your voice is resonant, this mic will suck the bass out of your mouth and put it on the air. Unfortunately, it's not very flattering for the ladies. It's a condenser mic, it requires phantom power, and it's about $1000US. However, for the right person, there is nothing better.

 

The Sennheiser MKH-416 is overkill for podcasting, but if you're looking for the ultimate voice-over microphone, you might want to rent or borrow one to see how well it complements your voice. For everyone else, it's hard to do better than the Heil PR40.

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FEATURED ARTICLE: Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. The only mic a podcaster will ever need.

FEATURED ARTICLE: Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. The only mic a podcaster will ever need. | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

The ATR2100-USB from Audio-Technica is a fabulous microphone as either a main mic for a casual podcaster or as a mic for use by guests or in the field. It includes an XLR connector for studio use and a USB connection for stand-alone use. There is even a headphone jack to hear the return audio as you would want with Skype. Best of all, the microphone is available for less than $50US. It's not a Heil PR40, but it's a lot more useful than a Shure SM58. 

 

UPDATE: April 14, 2012. Leo Laporte has just discovered the awesomeness of the ATR2100-USB microphone. At one point during his show, he did an A-B comparison with the fabulous Heil PR40. The difference was not as dramatic as you would think. 

TopDawg's curator insight, March 10, 2013 1:13 AM

I purchased this the ATR2100-USB after reading this article by Mike Phillips. Thanks!

Erik Marshall's comment, July 10, 2013 12:09 PM
I love this mic. Cheap and versatile and sounds good.
JudyHalle's comment, September 7, 2013 4:28 AM
fantastic
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Blue Microphones Snowball Mic

Blue Microphones Snowball Mic | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

The Blue Snowball mic is actually a very nice microphone. It's a little awkward to position properly if you're not accustomed to speaking into a mic. Plus, if your room is noisy (room fans, air condititors, lighting, kids), the Snowball will do what it is supposed to - pick up sound. Many podcasters prefer dynamic microphones because they have more restrictive patterns. You can decide for yourself. 

 

The Blue Snowball retails for $99. I bought one for $63 and another for $37 on sale. If you decide to buy one, look around. They qualify for free shipping on Amazon. Even if you don't like it for your main podcasting microphone, it's usable for any application where you need a USB microphone. They're available in white, silver, and black. At any one time, one of the three colors may be cheaper than the other two. Do your homework and save some money.

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JZ Microphones JZ - Products

JZ Microphones JZ - Products | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

Here is a new product that you might find useful. It's a very unique microphone pop filter. Take a good look at the surface of the filter. It has a "ripple" surface that claims to do an exceptionally good job of reducing the splosives that cause "P" pops when you're speaking into the microphone. Caution: The JF PF is about $120US.

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Atdec VF-AT-D Focus Dual Display Monitor

Atdec VF-AT-D Focus Dual Display Monitor | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

If desk space is a premium on your webcasting setup, you might be surprised at how much real estate you can get back by using a dual monitor arm, such as this one from Atdec. The price seems to be reasonable although you can get some much nicer ones for much more money. 

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Delta 1010LT 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio

Delta 1010LT 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

The Delta 1010LT multi-channel PCI sound card is a fabulous device for integrating two-way conversation resources (Skype, telephone hybrids, SIP clients) with a computer. Each two-way resource requires a unique mix-minus signal. The 1010LT allows the creation of four separate mix-minuses. (Technically, the card provides five channels, but the fifth channel is S/PDIF, and most podcasters probably don't have S/PDIF-enabled equipment.) A real benefit is that the 1010LT allows disabling input monitoring so that the caller's audio does not appear on the channel output where it will cause an echo in the podcast. Having four channels on a single computer can save the necessity of adding a third or fourth computer in a podcasting studio.

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Festool CXS Cordless Drill and Screwdriver

Festool CXS Cordless Drill and Screwdriver | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

My wife gave me a Festool CXS cordless drill set for Christmas. This drill and screwdriver is one of the finest pieces of equipment you will ever purchase. It should last a life time. The drill is variable speed, but it also has a coarse fast/slow speed adjustment. The torque is maintained at all speeds. Give one a try at your local Festool dealer. Don't spend a lot of time looking for a big discount. Pricing is reasonably well controlled by the authorized Festool dealers.

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Jing by TechSmith - Instant screenshots and screencasts

Jing by TechSmith - Instant screenshots and screencasts | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

Here is an unusual recommendation. TechSmith offers a free screen capture program called Jing. It's a fabulous way to create and distribute screen captures, such as tutorials. The reasonI'm mentioning it here is that the audio setup portion of the program has a neat list of all of the audio sources on the computer. So, if you're trying to figure out where the audio is being fed to or from in your system, load the program, go to Options, and look at the Audio Input, Select Device. Watch the audio. Plus, it does a great job capturing screens with your narration.

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AKG D330BT Dynamic Microphone

AKG D330BT Dynamic Microphone | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

Since this microphone has been discontinued, there is not a good webpage to link to. It is very similar in appearance to the AKG D310, but the head is larger. Most people have never heard of this mic, but it was one that the musical group ABBA liked and used. They are prominently displayed in the live concert that ABBA recorded in Australia in 1979.

 

There's not a lot that's particularly outstanding or unique about the D330BT except that it has two switches that can be used to tailor the audio response. One switch controls treble boost, and the other switch controls bass cut. If you look around, you can find one for less than $100, but make sure you get a good one because it is unlikely that AKG has parts for them or will still repair them. 

Sean Shakespeare's curator insight, February 16, 2014 11:11 PM

Pro: if you can find one you can probably do so for under $100.00

con: they are discontinued, finding a good one may be difficult. There's not much unique about their sound for the search.

Tam Huynh's curator insight, September 15, 2015 3:46 PM

Cardioid dynamic microphone with 3-way low-cut and high-cut filters. Conceived for vocals and live, but can also be used to record a guitar amp.

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The Heil PR 40 Microphone

The Heil PR 40 Microphone | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

The Heil PR40 is one of the best ever microphones for voice. The EV RE20 was the standard for many years in the radio industry. The PR40 is more durable, less expensive, and better sounding. If you're going to spend $325 on a microphone for podcasting, listen to this one first.

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Stereo In-Line Adapter from Radio Shack

Stereo In-Line Adapter from Radio Shack | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

This audio adapter (274-0378) combines the right and left stereo channels from the 1/8" stereo plug into a single channel on the mono phono jack. The phone jack sends a mono signal to both left and right channels of the 1/8" stereo phone plug, which is connected to the LINE INPUT of your computer. The cable that connects to this adapter has an RCA plug on one end and a 1/4" mono phone plug on the other. The mono phone plug connects to the Aux Send on your mixer to create a mix-minus. Make sure that you do not use this adapter to combine left and right OUTPUTS to the input of your computer. You could damage your computer. It's better to run the computer output to the mixer input full stereo (1/8" stereo plug into speaker computer output and 2 RCA plugs into the left and right inputs of the mixer channel).

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Product: DR-40 | TASCAM

Product: DR-40 | TASCAM | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

This recorder is pretty high on on the "I gotta get it" list. Not only does it have XLR mic connectors, but it can also record in mono. While the ability to record in mono does not seem like a big deal, my Sony PCM-M10, which does a STELLAR job, records only in stereo. Recording in stereo unnecessarily burns up twice the SD card space. Since I usually do voice-only recording, it's not a big problem, but it could be on a long session, particuarly if the card was not cleared before the session.

 

I have not tested this recorder. If you have, your comments are appreciated. The PCM-M10 is not often mentioned in podcasting circles, but it is widely used in the remote recording business. One reason is that its analog-to-digital converters are very good. The real test with the DR-40 is whether it has sound as good as the PCM-M10.

Robert's comment, February 28, 2013 10:21 AM
You have have gotten one of these since writing this, but here is my review and some comparison files. http://www.podcastinglife.com/?p=1332
Robert's comment, February 28, 2013 10:22 AM
Also, I recorded this short podcast episode using the DR-40 and an Audix OM2 mic. I forgot my pop shield that day! haha. But it gets are really good sound, and is easy to use. http://www.podcastinglife.com/?p=1444
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Lindstrom 8140 Diagonal Cutters 4 5/16"

Lindstrom 8140 Diagonal Cutters 4 5/16" | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

You may never have heard of Lindstrom diagonal cutters. There are the finish quality wire cutters I have ever used. This pair is 20 years old, and they still look and cut like they're new. They are undoubtedly a premium product. If you take care of them, they should last forever. The US street price is about $45 per pair. There are very few products that truly impress. This one does. 

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Blackmagic Design: Intensity

Blackmagic Design: Intensity | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

This card seems to be the perfect solution for getting Skype video from a computer into a PC. We have not tested it yet, but it is highly recommended by several people who we know who use it for the same purpose. Put the Skype video into full screen and capture as a camera in Vidblaster, Wirecast, or Xsplit.

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ATR2100-USB Dynamic USB/XLR Mic

ATR2100-USB Dynamic USB/XLR Mic | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

The ATR2100-USB from Audio-Technica is a fabulous microphone as either a main mic for a casual podcaster or as a mic for use by guests or in the field. It includes an XLR connector for studio use and a USB connection for stand-alone use. There is even a headphone jack to hear the return audio as you would want with Skype. Best of all, the microphone is available for less than $50US. It's not a Heil PR40, but it's a lot more useful than a Shure SM58. 

TopDawg's curator insight, March 10, 2013 1:13 AM

I purchased this the ATR2100-USB after reading this article by Mike Phillips. Thanks!

Erik Marshall's comment, July 10, 2013 12:09 PM
I love this mic. Cheap and versatile and sounds good.
JudyHalle's comment, September 7, 2013 4:28 AM
fantastic
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Behringer Shark DSP110

Behringer Shark DSP110 | Equipment and Techniques for Webcasters and Podcasters | Scoop.it

A friend needs to delay his audio feed to Skype by about 200 ms so that the audio feed from his mixer is in sync with his video feed from his Tricaster. He'll be trying one of these units to see if it will do the job. As always, the Behringer products have a fabulous price point. The question is whether it's too good to be true. 

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