Everyone who’s privileged enough to have access to broadband internet and a fairly fast computer can launch a podcast or even an internet radio station of their own for a relatively small amount of money these days. However, the microphone built into your laptop isn’t going to cut it, and the acoustics of your soon-to-be studio space could probably do with a little treatment too – so read on to find out how you can get pro-grade podcast audio quality on a budget!
This Is What You Need
A solid microphone makes a world of difference when compared to the microphone inside your laptop.
- The simplest way to start involves getting a decent USB microphone such as the Devine M-Mic USB.
- But what you have to realise is that USB mikes don’t offer a lot of expansion potential, and connecting two of them to a single computer is not only more expensive but bound to cause issues. As such, it’s recommended to use a stand-alone audio interface that has two or more inputs for ‘normal’ microphones. A no-nonsense model like the Devine Centro alone can get you pretty far, since it comes equipped with two XLR microphone inputs for hooking up, for instance, two Devine M-Mic XLR microphones.
- When it comes to live podcasts or broadcasts, having more control is always better. A mixing console like the Devine MixPad 802-FX-USB sets you up with handy volume and tone controls for all incoming signals, and offers a stereo USB connection for a direct link to a computer. This particular mixer accommodates up to four microphones.
- To counter unwanted feedback, noise, echoes and other sonic nuisances, use a pair of headphones like the Devine Pro 2000 instead of speakers or studio monitors.
Treating The Acoustics
As you’re probably aware, professional radio voices sound really ‘dry’, which means there’s virtually no reverb in the broadcast or recording.
- The first step to achieving reverb-free recordings costs you nothing. All you have to do is position your microphone as close to your mouth as possible and keep it there. A microphone boom arm like the Innox IVA USB or the Innox IVA XLR (depending on your microphone) can help out.
- To counter loud plosives (harsh consonants like Bs, Ps and Fs), simply mount a pop filter like the Devine SPS 150.
- To curb unwanted reverb and noise some more, you could use a reflection screen like the Devine RF 20. Bear in mind that reflection screens are usually not strong enough to support microphone boom arms. Alternatively, you could get a sturdy floor stand like the Innox IVA 12.
- By setting up one or more absorber panels like the Devine Studio Pad, you can fend off any reflections bouncing off the wall behind your microphone.
Need more advice? Check out: Podcasting Tips and the Gear You Need to Make it Happen
» Audio Interfaces
» USB Microphones
» Condenser Vocal Microphones
» Dynamic Vocal Microphones
» Portable Recorders
» Pop Filters
» Reflection Filters
» Studio Headphones
» Broadcast Stands
» Floor Stands
» Table Stands
» XLR Cables
» Podcasting Tips and the Gear You Need to Make it Happen
» Teaching Online – How to Improve Live-Stream Audio Quality
» Live-Stream Your Gig with Great Sound!
» How to Connect a Microphone to Your Computer
» Recording and Amplifying Vocals for Beginners
» How To Record a Great-Sounding Demo
» What Does a Producer Do?
» This Is What You Need to Make Music at Home