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Hey y'all! I'm a mixer from Idaho, and I've noticed there's quite a few podcasts coming out of my area, but most have limited audio quality (aka cheapo USB mics). I would love to be able to offer these various groups my services to show them how good of quality they can get with the right equipment. However, my mic collection is generally just production oriented (shotguns and lavs). What mics do you guys find work best for podcasts? I'd love to also have them work as table mics for live events etc, but I'm just interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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I've been doing quite a few podcasts for a company in the Atlanta area.  Typically they involve 3 people at a time.  I just put lavs on them.  I considered using mics on table stands for more of an "FM radio" type sound, but the people on these podcasts are "amateurs" and not accustomed to doing this.  My fear was they'd never get close enough to the mic, or they'd move around too much.  Granted it's not the pristine sound I'd like, but it is practical, and the client keeps calling me back!

 

I usually record with the Sound Devices 633 using the Dugan automixer.

 

Tom 

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For podcasting I recommend a large diaphragm studio condenser mic. Usually the mics are going into a mixer or USB audio interface so this isn't an issue. But a nice dynamic like an RE20 or Shure SM7b will also work nicely. Joe Rogan uses the SM7b on his youtube show/podcast and it sounds great. 

 

If you want to go with a large diaphragm condenser, you don't need to spend a ton of money. There are some great options out there for under $500. I have two sitting right here on my desk. The Rode NT1 (it's what I've been using for VO on all of my videos) and an Aston Origin (just got this in to play with). Audio Technica also makes some great options that I used when I worked in video games. 

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I have an SM7 and would very much non-recommend it for other than pro-voice talent.  It works well with trained voices in a very close talk setup (like right up on top of the ws).  Otherwise, if the speaker is a "normal" person they will be uncomfortable being "up on" the mic like that, and will not be consistent in their position so the sound quality and level will vary.   Among the ongoing interview gigs I do is the (quite successful) biotech science podcast "Two Scientists Walk Into A Bar".  This is a host + 1 or 2 guests usually, with very limited time avail with all the talent and a not-great room whose convenience for them is its most important aspect (as opposed to how it sounds).  We've thus gone with a film-interview style of micing, Schoeps MK41s on overhead booms in boom holders/grip head/light stands, with a furni pad on the table they sit around and some other pads up on stands to help with some of the wall reflections.  For me the MK41 has been "the mic that everyone sounds good on" for decades, (no time to test drive mic vs voices), and not having it right up on the speakers means they can lean or move some without needing to be reminded not to, and I set the stands together near me so I can adjust the distance if a speaker

decides to move their chair a bit during the recording.  We come in from above, a la on-camera interviews, which eliminates the need for any but a fairly minimal windscreen, and also keeps the mics out of the speaker's sightlines.  In post we are able to control the room sound by judicious editing and signal processing.   The lavs+Dugan method described above sounds great for something quick in (surprise!) unfavorable environments that won't have much of any post.  Again--the speakers will forget the mics and the mic-to mouth distance will be consistent w/o coaching.  (Our podcast goes through many levels of legal and etc review and is heavily edited for clarity...)

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Depends on how much you want to spend at first.  If you're on a budget, can't go wrong with an SM57 with pop filters.  Key is mic placement and having talkers know the proximity effect on a microphone.  At least that's what my brother and his friends use for their podcast do.  Sounds "fine" but then again they are not pro's and are just recording in living rooms and get about 100 listeners an episode so they aren't exactly looking to spend a ton of coin on it.

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