Best Microphones for Podcasting

podcaster_02I remember my first attempts to record the music I was creating back in the mid-80s. Home recording equipment was just becoming affordable to the average musician and I was slowly building up the components of a home recording studio.

But, having just bought the equipment, I was rather surprised at how bad my initial recordings sounded. Not really knowing anything about proper microphone placement and other basic elements of a recording engineers skill set, I spent a lot of time with trial and error, got lucky sometimes but ended up ruining a lot of recordings because of poor recording studio fundamentals.

With so many people creating podcasts now, the basic knowledge of what makes a good recording is gradually coming from the specialized world of the recording engineer into the mainstream. Podcasters who want to improve the quality of their productions need, at some point, to learn about microphones – there’s no question, having a good, professional-grade microphone will immediately increase the quality of your podcast production.

Today there are many microphones being marketed expressly for podcasting

When you begin to look at the possibilities for podcasting you will start to see various types of microphones including headset, lapel, wireless, and standard tabletop microphones.

Your microphone should be chosen based for the recording situation in which it will be placed. For instance recording a lecture for a podcast requires a different microphone than recording a table interview between two people. IF possible, try to hear actual recorded samples of each microphone to get an idea of each mic’s strengths.

A professor or lecturer that wants to podcast could get great use out of the AudioTechnica wireless mic. You can connect it to any laptop or mixer and get great quality. What would I recommend to those interested in dialogue type podcasting with two or more people? The MXL-990. You can’t beat it for the price.

If you have a little more money to spend, consider these USB microphones, most created by the manufacturers to appeal to the new podcasting market.

Rode – Podcaster
Blue Microphones Snowball
Marshall Electronics MXL USB.006
Heil PR-40
Samson Q1U

See also Podcasting In The Classroom and Tools to take Podcasting to the next level

If you are interested in sound effects for your podcast to create openings, transitions and endings between your interviews and other broadcast segments, then check out this sound effects set created specially for Podcast production.

Music and Sound FX for Podcasting

Podcaster, from Blastwave FX, is a sound effects, music and imaging elements library of 500 web ready MP3 sounds.

This package starts off with loopable beats to give your podcast the pulse and energy it needs. Next, there’s a well rounded selection of 200 general sound effects including Animals, Cartoon Effects, Crashes, Human Effects, Vehicles, Weapons and more.

There’s also a section of 200 imaging elements that can be used to accent, punctuate and highlight virtually anything! Finally, there’s a collection of 50 multimedia sounds to help your audience interface with your show.

Demo the Podcaster collection