There is a daunting array of podcast equipment setups available nowadays. In this edition of Podfly Academy, we break it down into two basic configurations:a USB microphone or an XLR microphone, with an audio interface or mixer.
Review of the NT-USB
We recently reviewed the Rode NT-USB. This microphone has fast-become a popular choice amongst podcasters looking for a great-sounding condenser microphone with easy setup. As noted in the review, this microphone is optimal when you are in a quiet, sound-controlled environment. Loud, echoey rooms and this microphone do not play well together. This is by no means a flaw in the microphone itself, rather it is the nature of condenser microphones, which tend to be relatively more sensitive.
Our favorite “starter” microphone.
Far and away, the clear, entry-level choice is the Audio-Techinica ATR2100. The price point is low, the quality is good, and it gives you lots of flexibility in terms of connections. Being both USB and XLR compatible, this has become a staple in any podcaster’s arsenal.
Our favorite USB interface.
We have been using and recommending the Focusrite family of interfaces for years. These units not only sound fantastic, they often come with a software suite of audio plugins and add-ons used by professional engineers. The Scarlett 2i2 is a great starting point, enabling you to connect to your Mac or PC via USB. The new Clarette line of Thunderbolt interfaces have many Mac users excited to add these lightning-fast units to their signal chain.