One of the goals of the podcast is to create episodes with the highest possible sound quality. It just makes it easier to listen.
I am not an audio engineer, but I do have ears. This means that I am constantly learning about audio production in an effort to create the best possible audio that I can.
Putting out a quality product requires quality tools. So, with that in mind, here is a rundown of my podcasting gear.
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these items via the links on this page, I will earn a commission. I have linked to these products because I actually use and like them.
I lusted after this microphone for years, before the podcast was even a glimmer in my eye. It is a condenser mic, made to work well in rooms with less than ideal acoustics. I am absolutely in love with the sound that this microphone produces.
I use this mic on the road and for recording at home. I’ve even begun using it on videoconferences, just because I like the sound so much.
When I’m on the road, I travel with two of these for recording interviews when the subject and I are in the same room.
Recorder & DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
Buying this device was one of the most agonizing decisions that I had to make. I was totally stuck on using Shure SM7B mics, which require a TON of clean gain – a minimum of 60 db.
It was also a priority to minimize the number of components that I need to travel with – I didn’t want to have to haul around an audio recorder and microphone preamps.
What that meant is that I needed a recording device with powerful, high quality integrated preamps, and let me tell you – the Zoom F4 has that in spades. I can turn this thing WAY up and get little to no self generated noise.
There are two SD card slots on the back of the Zoom F4 that allow you to record directly to the device. You can also hook the Zoom F4 up to a computer with a mini (not micro) USB cable. In USB mode, you can choose whether the Zoom F4 sends a mixed stereo signal or individual mono channels for each input connected to the device.
Mic Boom Arms
The Shure SM7B microphones are very heavy, so I needed a quality boom arm that could handle the strain. The Rode PSA1 has done a tremendous job of holding the mic right where I want it. Be aware that the arm will NOT stay in place until you attach the microphone. It needs the extra weight for the springs to work properly.
It attaches to a desk or table with a little cone shaped clamp. The top of the clamp is padded, so it wont damage your desk or table surface.
The boom arm also comes with 3 handy hook and loop straps to hold your mic cables in place.
Tip: If you intend to use this boom arm with the Shure SM7B microphone, pick up a Shure A26X 3″ Extension Tube. This will allow the mic to rotate without hitting the boom arm.
- XLR Cables – 10′ Amazon Basics
- These are nothing fancy, but they work just fine.
- Headphones – Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II
- These are great for listening to music and movies. The noise cancellation is especially great on flights. I have found that these are NOT great for editing the podcast. My files come out very bass-heavy when I use these to edit. I really need to pick up a quality pair of studio monitors to use instead.
- Updated Headphones – AKG K553 MKII Studio Headphones
- After struggling with the Bose QC 35s, I did a ton of research and found the AKG K553 MKII Studio Headphones. These headphones are exactly what I was looking for. The frequency response is very flat, which means you hear exactly what you are creating. The closed-back design also means that I can wear them while recording and no sound leaks into the microphone. The stock ear-cups that came with them were a little uncomfortable, so I added a pair of these and they feel and sound great. If you’re looking for a good audio editing headphone, try this combination!
- Software – Adobe Audition
- I realize this isn’t gear, per se, but I thought it was important to mention. If you don’t want to spend the money, there are some great free audio editing programs out there like Audacity. I love Audacity, but I use Adobe Audition to edit the podcast because it is just SO MUCH easier. The built-in effect presets and editing features have had a pretty positive effect on the final quality of the audio that I am publishing.