Are you a podcast GearHead?

SHOEBOX

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. 

Mics:

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.

Audio Interface:

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.

Headphones:

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.

Music Stuff:

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.

The ShoeBox:

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.

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