As you may know I have recently started a Podcast. I published my first show a month ago and am working on show number two. I am a total neophyte when it comes to podcasting. I am good with technology. It was my career for 30 years. But I have zero experience with sound or recording.
I have been doing a lot of research on podcasting. I believe in learning by doing so I just dove in and published my first show. I'm glad I did it. It was a lot of fun and I think the content turned out to be pretty good. But the sound quality was horrible. So I have been focusing on learning more about what is needed to produce a more professional show.
One of the resources I found which has become invaluable and has quickly become my favorite Podcast is The Podcasters Emporium, a show by two Australian guys James Williams and Dave Gray about how to improve your podcast. I like it because it isn't too basic but it also isn't aimed at experts. Plus I really enjoy the authenticity and personality of Dave and James. They have a great voice and a very engaging show. I think I need to start a side bar list of my favorite podcasts. The Podcasters Emporium will be on the list.
The first things I learned were all about gain, what gain is, and how I need to adjust it. This was covered in episode 11 of Podcasters Emporium. I suspect turning my gain down will make a very big improvement to my sound quality.
In studying ways to improve my podcast I also became convinced that if I am going to be doing interviews I need 2 mics. Handing the mic back and forth or holding it between the two of us just doesn't cut it. But if I use 2 mics I need a mixer. So I started shopping for a mixer. My only complaint about Podcasters Emporium (and it is a minor one) is that it left me with the impression that I would need to spend at least $500 if I wanted a good enough mixer and mics. And I really don't want to invest a lot of money getting started.
So I posted a comment on Twitter saying that I was looking for a good mixer but I thought I ws going to have to spend hundreds of dollars. One of my twitter and blogging friends Ryan of Ryan Jerz :: Reno Blogger responded almost immediately recommending the Behringer 802 8-Input mixer. The key things I learned from Podcasters Emporium were that I should buy a mixer with at least 2 XLR inputs and with phantom power. I didn't know what those things were but I learned that too. I went to my local Radio Shack store but the $30 mixer they had didn't have XLR input and the cheaper Behringer mixer for sale on Amazon didn't have phantom power. So I ordered the 802 from Amazon for $59 and should be receiving it next week. Hopefully it will do the trick.
For now I am going to keep using my very cheap microphones but once I learn how to use the mixer I may be upgrading them too. If you have ideas or suggestions on other things I should know or do please let me know. Post a comment or email me.