Podcasting Equipment to Grow On

I went ahead and took a minor plunge into purchasing audio equipment for the podcast of my future. Well, one of my co-workers was grousing about her cable bill for the month, and I don’t have a television, and I spent less than one cable-bill on the equipment, and therefore, the purchase was entirely justified.

I also don’t smoke or drink while I don’t watch television, so… I do need some kind of vice.

I’m not looking to record the New York Philharmonic. Just a few stories to send out over the internet. And while I might–at some point–expand to have a co-host, I don’t have anyone in particular in mind. If I did, we’d probably be editing files together long-distance, anyway.

No, really, we’re best friends, and we’re in the same room sharing a sandwich.

So, this is about what I need right now, and what has enough quality and growth potential that I won’t have to immediately replace it when I move to the next step. (Admit it. You knew your kid wasn’t taking that sparkly pink bike to college when you bought it.)

In terms of microphones, what I need right now is something that will plug directly into my computer. (USB connection.)

And what I’m likely to need in the future is something that will plug into other audio equipment. (Specifically a mobile recorder. Which is on my wish list. Or the PR system at dance studio or bookstore. Or…well, whatever) And that would be an XLR connection.

There are not a whole lot of microphones that have both a USB and an XLR connection, but the price range on them is jaw-dropping. (the Blue Yeti Pro is $250 dollars, the Audiotechnica ATR2100 is right at $70. No, they’re not the same, but the Yeti has functions.) Welcome to YouTube, where you can get anything compared to anything else by an attractive member of your preferred demographic.

You can pick your own videos, but essentially, the video gives you the opportunity for a side-by-side comparison of whatever mics you’re considering without actually dragging them home. And you get to see the functions functioning.

Since I couldn’t hear a difference between the ATR2100 and the Yeti recording on the cardioid function(Which is apparently your story-readin’ and pod-cast yappin’ function), I went with that.

And truth be told, right out of the box (which includes cables and a cute desktop stand) the ATR2100 is probably enough to start a podcast all by itself. Just plug it into your computer, set it as the default recording device, and go.

I happened to get mine bundled with some other stuff (for about $10 more, and there were bundle choices.) Mine came with a microphone boom arm, and a pop filter (It’s supposed to make you sound smoother when you’re saying Ps and Bs.) Well, let’s say the boom arm is probably worth it because it will lift the microphone out of the general area I’ll probably be spilling coffee on,(insurance!) and the pop filter? Well… it looks good, but you could pretty much make your own with a couple of layers of nylons and an old embroidery hoop.

Separately, I also bought a shock-mount, which is basically a microphone holder held up by elastics, so that vibrations don’t transfer (Again, I’m a klutz. I’ll be knocking into the table, and my recordings would wind up sounding like a knight in shining armor being kicked down the staircase.) It screws onto the end of the boom arm. You could do this as a crafts project, and there are plenty of build your own shock-mount tutorials on the internet.

And a pair of studio headphones (Audiotechnica, again. ATH-M2X) which are on the budget end of the line, but still better than I’ve had before. They plug directly into the microphone, so–in theory–I can–horror of horrors–listen to my voice without delay. Pretty sure whatever you have lying around would work just as well, or no earphones at all. This one’s something I’ll wind up using to listen to music, regardless.

And I’m still under the price of a month’s worth of cable television. (Admittedly, co-worker probably gets sports/premium channels.) And about half of the Blue Yeti Pro.

So tell me what you use, and what you’d like to hear about when I get the podcast up and running. What are your favorite podcasts?


  1. Reply

    Brave girl and yeah for you. Proud of you stepping out. Your humor and perceptions will make your podcast fun and entertaining.

    Another author friend started one with another author and it is going well for them. They made it quite humorous. It is called Writer’s After Dark and the podcast The Writer’s Podcast, if interested in checking them out and seeing what they are doing.

    We are critique partners through IWSG when they first set that up in the beginning that is about 3 or 4 years now.

    They started this last year or the year before. I do not remember for sure.

    My favorite is JoAnna Penn and Johnny Truant and gang, and Mark Dawson has some good ones, all about writing or author interviews. JoAnna is who I listen to the most and even go through her back list and relisten.

    • Reply

      They actually started this as a video podcast. Check the video tab in the menu next to podcast if interested. They have ground a lot since the very first one.

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