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Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
04-01-2012, 03:54 AM,
Music  Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
I am n00b when it comes to looking for mics so I have a few questions.

* USB vs Jacks
* Not looking to spend over $100 (CAD)
* Want it so two or three people can use the same mic in front of the computer without having to switch mics* haven't seen anything on a mic input splitter, but that would be cool.
* Planning on using it for Audacity
* Not like I'm recording this in a studio so I don't really want it to pick up ambient noise

In 5 minutes of research I did find this baby with some great reviews but I am questioning using a USB mic. But they sure sell in this video:

Blue Microphones Yeti Professional USB Microphone
Tri-Capsule Array, Multiple Pattern Selection
There are no others, there is only us.
04-01-2012, 04:10 AM,
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
Just judging by the name I can highly recommend it!
That was a joke.
[Image: randquote.png]
04-01-2012, 04:48 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-01-2012, 07:00 AM by Easy Skanking.)
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
Well, your first clue is that the words "USB" and "Professional" cannot go together in the same sentence. hehe

No matter what mic you use, you will pick up ambient noise. The more sensitive the mic, the more you pick up. You have to use a gate (whether hardware or software) to "gate" the mic input when no one is speaking. You set it to a level so that you don't hear the ambient noise but you can hear when people are speaking. It takes some playing around to do that. Audacity can use VST plugins (there are some decent ones available for free) so that you can use a gate on various channels along with whatever other things you may need (compression, EQ, de-esser, limiter, etc.)

The problem with a one mic setup, is that people speak at different levels and that is further complicated by the distance they are from the mic. Using more than one mic into a multi-channel interface or multi-channel mini-mixer, allows you the ability to control the volume of each mic. When you have all kinds of different speakers, that kind of control is a must. Losing one person in a one mic setup due to volume can ruin your podcast.

You also need to know the pickup patterns of mics.
For a mic used on one source, you need either a cardioid or super-cardioid.
For a multi-source mic, omni-directional or a stereo X-Y is what you use. Since you are doing podcast and it's most likely mono, you can rule out stereo mics probably.

I think you would be unhappy with the results of a one mic setup for many folks talking at one time.
I think your best bet would be to get an inexpensive external USB (or firewire) audio interface that will allow you at least 2 mic inputs. (M-Audio, Lexicon, and so on) You can get those for around $60US.
Then go with a couple of inexpensive mics like the Sure SM48 (around $50) or other comparable. These have an XLR connector as do all good quality mics. 1/4" mics are cheaper and lower quality in make and sound. USB can be okay but if the A/D converters are shit (like they invariably are) the sound is junk. Good quality A/D converters are easily several hundred dollars for two channels. That is the big bottleneck with digital audio recording. You can have great outboard gear but loose it all with cheap converters.
If you want more than 2 mic inputs, you could get a slightly larger interface (4 channel and up ) for a little more or you could get a small mixer like a small Mackie or Behringer. Plug more mics into the mixer and use it as a sub-mixer into your 2 channel audio interface. Behringer makes some for around $100 US that is a mixer with 4 XLR mic ins and some other line ins (CD, tape, keyboard) that is a USB to your comp. It only outputs stereo or mono not individual multi-track outs.
There's lots of flexibility in those configurations.

I uploaded this book to help you with some of what you need to know:
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
04-01-2012, 11:45 AM,
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
yep, excellent suggestions from Easy.
You can't go wrong with a SM48 or SM58. Behringer once put out an equivalent for half the price at one time, and it even had a higher output than the SM58, but the Behringer stuff is not necessarily known for its longevity. Still, they got an unbeatable price/quality ratio, -just treat their stuff with some care. Don't know if their mic is still on the market though.
In addition I would suggest a pop protector for the mic, -a DIY one, made from a curved wire and a silk pantyhose, will do.
And, yes, the use of a compressor/limiter would solve the problem with multiple speakers with different volume levels.
Good luck!
04-02-2012, 06:31 AM,
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
Been looking into this myself actually. Check this out.

it's seemed a good start for me
"Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing unless you can prove it in your own research"
~William Cooper

07-05-2012, 03:02 PM,
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
for pod casting just get a good set of headphones with a mike. they are build to pick up local sounds and generally are very good even in the low price bracket. for a pod cast you dont need anything special. if you wish to sound like a radio DJ just up your low end...
08-08-2012, 11:03 AM,
RE: Looking for a Microphone for Podcasting
I don't know if you are still looking for a mic - this is quite an old thread - so my input may me a bit pointless.

I have quite a few microphones for various purposes, some I bought and some I was given; Sony ECM-MS957, Sennheiser ME66 K6, Sennheiser SKM100 and a plethora of others. I have to say that having seen the review of the Yeti you posted, I'm quite tempted to buy one when I next have a bit of spare cash. I have read a few other online reviews and I've seen it for sale for UK £90 delivered.

Of course there are better microphones out there and as any technophile knows, you can set out with a budget of £50 and by stealthy addition of dubiously necessary specifications to our requirements, end up spending £200.

For what it's worth, I think for podcasting, hifi quality is not necessary - you only need a microphone which operates within the vocal range and compression from any microphone to podcast standard will have pretty much the same result.

For interviews, I would use a pair of decent lapel microphones via a stereo minijack channel splitter and something like a Griffin iMic. They normally come with mini wind shields but pointing them downwards will eliminate heavy breathing as well. You can adjust each channel input in your audio application. Having the microphone properly adjusted and within a few inches of your subject will also eliminate all but the loudest background noise.

I used this twin lapel setup (apart from the narration) into a Canon XL-1s on this:

Streetlife DVD

I realise the video has its flaws, by the way (in case anybody spots the inconsistency of the white balance), I was operating two cameras as well as the sound and conducting the interviews in such a way that I could edit out my questions.

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