If you are a gear head, you might be interested in what I’m using to make this podcast. Simple stuff for now. I may upgrade down the road, but I want to know FROM EXPERIENCE what else I need (if anything). Keep on reading if you want my annotated list of goodies.
I have an Audio Technica ATR 2100. It is amazing. About $59. Sounds great. Makes my gravely voice tolerable. Records direct via USB or I can run it through a mixer with a standard XLR cable. Seriously, the sound quality is remarkable for under $100. I found the mic stand included in the box to be worthless, so I bought a $12 desk mount mic stand off Amazon. That thing is great. Easy to use. No fuss.
For when I need a second mic to do interviews, I also have a classic Shure SM57 with a Shure A2WS windscreen. I bought that mic about 15 years ago to record some guitar stuff. It cost $100 then, I think that is what they still cost. The windscreen was $5 and really helps cut down on popping Ps. It is the type of mic you see on the podium when the President of the US is making a speech. Also it is bulletproof and can be used for all kinds of other recording applications.
My mobile rig includes a Shure MV88 plugged into my iphone. This is actually on loan from my buddy Howard. The sound is too good to be believed. However, I find recording on the iphone a little tedious. I’m over 40 and I need reading glasses to see what I’m doing.
If I’m not recording direct via USB with my ATR 2100 mic, I use the Mackie Onyx Black Jack 2 channel audio interface. It turns guitars, basses, and live sound from a mic into zeroes and ones. Analog to digital. Plugs into my computer with a simple USB cord. Totally amazing. $99 on sale from $199. Crystal clear. Built to last. No power cable needed – it runs of laptop batter power. Tiny, ergonomic, and smart footprint on my desk. The thing is the size of a small book and all the wires point in the right direction. All of my theme music was recorded through this in my house. Sounds like a million dollar studio from 1970.
I have some old Audio Technica ATH-M40fs headphones. They sound good and are comfortable to wear for a few hours at a time. I don’t remember what they cost, but it wasn’t too much. Less than $100. The black faux-leather started peeling off after a few years… sometimes I have black specs of it stuck to my ears when I’m done. But all in all, they do the trick.
Computer and Software:
I’m using a Mac. Anything would work. Garageband is what I have been recording with. Audacity is simpler. I may tinker with the software later, but less is more right now. I’ve got enough stuff to figure out. No need to complicate things yet.
I tried the $9 BossJock app on my iphone. That is an amazing all in one podcast recording studio tool. Seriously, $9? However, the app lends itself to recording things in one take like a live radio show. Since I move around alot (to find quiet spaces where cats and kids aren’t interrupting me), I find the app doesn’t mesh with the workflow of my recording. Maybe one day when I have more practice at getting things done quickly on the first try.
The theme music for MAKE MOVES was recorded on a home made guitar that I built in my garage and a bass that I bought off ebay. Actually, I drilled some holes in the bass and added an extra string to it… because… I dunno. I like the guitar and the bass. You can hear ’em doing there thing here: https://soundcloud.com/user-745515786-958499975/make-moves-theme.
I move around a lot, so the most important part of my rig is a shoe box. I carry everything in it every day. Fits in my backpack with my laptop. It is the box for a pair of size-13 “1901” wingtip shoes that I bought at Nordstrom (on sale). Couldn’t live without the box.