My podcasting “studio” is a home studio. It’s a 12′ x 13′ bedroom that obviously isn’t used as a bedroom. It started out over 20 years ago as my wife’s sewing room, but she outgrew it and now has a much bigger space (which she needs to hold all her sewing equipment, fabric, and other supplies). A couple of years ago I posted this podcast episode over at LeaningTowardWisdom.com to show people how I podcast. My workflow has never changed, despite the major changes in equipment. I use a broadcast workflow, meaning I prepare, prepare, prepare, then I hit RECORD and go (incorporating a minimal amount of editing). The sound quality live is identical to recorded. That’s the advantage of hardware over software.
Around 2018 I made another major change by ditching my 20-year-old Heil Sound PR40 dynamic mics (two, pictured here), replacing them with large-diaphragm condenser mics. I don’t often recommend those to podcasters because most people don’t have a space that is acoustically suited for such mics. They pick up much more than dynamic mics. When they’re set up well, and proper mic technique is employed, they sound glorious though!
This is where I sit to produce my awesome podcasts. 😉
I went from a good-sized rack of equipment to a single mixer. And I completely changed my microphones, too.
Because I’m always asked, “What can I get to improve my online audio without breaking the bank?”
One of the best USB mics is also very inexpensive – the Fefine K670. It’s currently well under $50.
If your budget can go up to $100 – I’m a fan of the Rode NT-USB Mini. The build and sound quality are excellent. It also has an excellent headphone amplifier so you can listen to exactly what’s going on in the recording (or live stream).
Rode now has a great pair of headphones coupled with a broadcast quality mic attached – Rode NTH100M. It’s less than $200 and ideal for most folks.
Or, the Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone. This mic is also about $70 and is more friendly for most home environments. Dynamic mics won’t pick up every bit of background noise like condenser mics. This mic is widely used by podcasters and live streamers worldwide. You can plug this mic directly into your computer via the USB cord (included). You can also connect the mic to an audio interface via a more professional XLR cable.
A very inexpensive alternative might be a lapel mic with a USB connection. It’s infinitely better than the built-in mic on a computer, but you have to take care to place it just right for clear sound and to avoid clothing or your hands brushing up against it. The closer to your mouth – the better. Additionally, there can be noise generated from the cord if there’s excessive movement. But the cost is so inexpensive, it’s worth a shot!
Version 3.0 Planning Is Underway
I’m still unsure what it’ll look like, but I know the hardware will largely remain unchanged. I plan to upgrade to the Rode Rodecaster 2. I may also add a mic or two because I’m weak like that. 😉
The focal point of The Yellow Studio Version 3.0 will be a great desk. I’m always on the prowl for great desks that won’t break the bank. Currently, I’m leaning toward a large 62″ or longer and 24-30″ deep standing desk (I want one that will operate at regular sitting height and one that will raise up higher). I enjoy drafting chairs/stools so I may incorporate one of those, too (which means I’m also having to check out chairs to occupy 3.0).
And now, here’s the current list of gear Inside The Yellow Studio
The Recording Software (I’m on a Mac):
The Audio Plugin:
Wavearts Dialog 2 (I use it occasionally to clean up audio, but rarely use it for my recordings)
Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Condenser
Rode NT1 Large Diaphragm Condenser
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone (ATR Series)
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone for Recording and Streaming on Computers
The Boom Arms:
Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead (I have two of them; one of them is attached to a Heil Sound RS-1 12″ riser)
The XLR Cables:
Kopul Premium Performance 3000 Series 15′ XLR cables in green, blue, yellow, and red
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones with improved pads by WC Wicked Cushions replacements
AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio Headphones
Furman M-8X2 Merit Series 8 Outlet Power Conditioner and Surge Protector
The Field Recorder:
The Field Microphones:
Electro-Voice RE50B (two)
I use Zoom video conferencing for recording guest conversations (when I do them). I’m giving more serious thought to Riverside.fm.
Use the contact page if you have any questions. I’m happy to answer them. Version 3.0 of The Yellow Studio is in the planning stage. Stay tuned.