Podcasting Microphones

“So, what kit do you guys use?” We get asked that question a lot on the UK LoCo’s Ubuntu Podcast. I’m always happy to answer it, of course. I’m a geek and enjoy getting the most out of sound equipment as much as my camera and computers.

For the last couple of years, I’ve given a talk about podcasting. I talk about the human and practical side of podcasting, but quite deliberately keep away from the technical. (You can see my talk here, if you’re interested.) Why shy away from the geeky details? Because it makes for dull listening! But a blog is just the place to share these secrets, where anyone interested can just keep on scrolling. So in the run up to our next live episode on Tuesday 29th, I’m going to run through all the equipment we use, starting with the microphones.

Every presenter has their own microphone, and most of the presenters use the famous Shure SM58, renowned for its robustness and sufficiently small to easily slide into bags. Some of us come straight from work to the recording session, so a light microphone is appreciated! The microphone is combined with a cheap and cheerful microphone boom stand. Some of the presenters have had fun chopping their stands down to a smaller size to reduce their weight and so they fit in backpacks. As the other presenters all sit down during the recording, they don’t need a full height stand.

I use an AKG C3000 microphone. I prefer this to the SM58 as it has a deeper sound quality and, well, I have one so I might as well use it! Unlike the SM58 it needs phantom power, provided in this case by the Soundcraft M12 mixer. I have added anĀ anti-pop screen to my microphone which helps prevent unwanted hiss and pops. Microphones like the AKG C3000 are more sensitive to this type of noise than the SM58. My fellow presenters make do with a cheap foam wind shield on their microphones which stops the worst of the heavy breathing! Each of the microphones is connected to a standard XLR microphone cable.

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