Greetings PM Family,
Happy spring and happy Easter and Passover to those who celebrate. We get several excellent questions from podcasters in our Facebook Group. The group has over 32,000 members and a variety of categories and diverse backgrounds represented. One of the common questions that we see is about podcast microphone recommendations.
Podcast Movement has a free class in the form of a 28-day challenge that we offer for aspiring podcasters or podcasters that are looking to relaunch their shows. The challenge shares an email each day that covers primary topics necessary for launching a new podcast.
Today we will take a segment from one of those lessons focused on microphones, mixers, and digital recorders. We believe that this information will be helpful whether you are actively looking for a mic now or considering an upgrade down the road.
We will also share some recent PodMov Daily highlights and community updates as well.
Podcast Microphone Recommendations
Today we're going to make like Olivia Newton-John and “get physical” as we discuss the equipment needed to start your podcast.
You will find a lot of opinions on microphone options. The best advice that we suggest (and will continue to mention) is not to overthink this. Remember to KISS (Keep It Super Simple). Everything we do can be made more advanced, but we're starting with basics.
If there is one piece of equipment that most podcasters will need to purchase to get started, it's a mic.
There are thousands of microphones that range from surprisingly affordable to very expensive. However, some of the expensive ones won't be right for you. Maybe an easy-on-the-wallet model will be the perfect fit.
Since we're working on launching this project as smoothly as possible, we've compiled a list of some lower-cost, high-quality mics that we love.
- ElectroVoice RE320 – Not only is it a favorite amongst professional broadcasters worldwide, but also a go-to for new and veteran podcasters alike. It's good enough for professional musicians, but versatile enough to take on the road for live shows and events. Video Review
- Heil PR40 – This is a very popular mic, and rightfully so. It doesn't require an obscene amount of EQ to make it sound great. It also pretty much seems excellent with the EQ set flat. Video Review
- MXL BCD-1 – The MXL BCD-1 is one of the newer entrants into the podcast microphone market, but it's certainly already made a splash! Video Review
- Samson Q9U – We love the versatility of the Samson Q9U! Whether you’re in the studio, on the road, or anywhere in between, it brings together USB and XLR options into one dynamic mic. Video Review
- Shure SM7B – An all-time favorite, the Shure SM7B dynamic cardioid microphone is known for its warm sound and minimal proximity effect. Video Review
- Yellowtec iXm Podcaster – The Yellowtec iXm is unlike any we've ever seen, and think it could be a great fit for many podcasters! This is not only a microphone, but an all-in-one recording device that lets you monitor levels on-the-fly, and a whole lot more! Video Review
- Audio-Technica ATR2100x – This is the new version of the mic that I (Jared) started with, and is excellent due to both affordability and reliability. The quality and value of the ATR2100x make it a smart purchase for starting. We also like the convenience of a USB mic that can plug easily into your laptop. This XLR mic can also be plugged into a digital recorder or a mixer. Video Review
What we encourage you to do is check each of these out, watch the video reviews of the ones you think might be best, and then go from there.
PodMov Daily Highlights
The PodMov Daily newsletter continues to grow! It has over 11,000 subscribers and is now considered one of the top newsletters in the podcast industry. If you haven't already subscribed, you can do so here.
Here are some recent highlights.
- Integrated Content: Authenticity as Currency in Radio – Broadcasting industry veteran Jon Savage is a co-developer of inBroadcast, a division of South African marketing agency HaveYouHeard. For Bizcommunity's April feature on radio and podcasting, Juanita Pienaar spoke with Savage about the staying power of radio as a mass medium.
Savage thinks of services like Netflix and Spotify as ‘neutral emotive entertainers' that “quench a different thirst that is unique to radio and content.” The familiarity of radio “requires more care and better insights because you are able to get right up close to your customers and organically build affinity.”
That organic feel could be refined across South Africa's airwaves, where “big personality radio DJs” still dominate. The “ability to be vulnerable and yourself while you are on-air” is a meaningful trend, Savage says. “We throw this word ‘authenticity' around, but that is essentially currency in the new world.”
- Aspiring Latinx: An Inclusive Seat at Chicago's Podcast Table – Ariel Parrella-Aureli of Chicago Reader speaks with the creators of Aspiring Latinx, a new bilingual podcast from the city debuting May 1. Within the white-dominated industry, Jocelyn Moreno and Emily Santos aim to diversify access and “give the local Latinx community a seat at the podcast table.”
The podcast grew from an earlier magazine Moreno and Santos, published called Aspiring Latinas. Its evolved audio iteration “tells the stories of everyday Latinx Chicagoans from different perspectives, industries, and identities to build community, empower one another, and accurately represent the community in the media,” Parrella-Aureli writes.
“The goal is to have a platform that brings together the Latinx community because I feel like there's such a disconnect with Latinx in terms of generations,” Santos said. This rift is just one topic on a show that isn't afraid to smash stereotypes. Moreno and Santos are going strong into new projects and a second season.
- Comic Stripped: How Podcasting's Comedians Maintain the Flow – In these days of mandatory distance, comedy podcasts face unique obstacles. “Without the ability to meet face-to-face, the dynamics change, which can affect the style, approach, and kinds of jokes that result,” writes Becca James of Vulture. James caught up with some of the genre's top hosts and producers to see how they're adapting.
Some shows have opted for audio-only sessions. Though visual chemistry may be interrupted, Nichole Perkins of Thirst Aid Kit says, “We've found that recording with no video helps remove any delay or sound hiccups.” Chemda Khalili of Keith and the Girl suggests a silent peek: “To gel better together, we see each other's faces on FaceTime through our phones on mute.”
Conversely, Scott Aukerman and the Comedy Bang! Bang! The crew has been using Zoom to record. To avoid overlap, he began raising his hand before speaking. “It seems to have worked,” James says of the surprisingly polished result. “Aukerman says it's ‘not quite as awkward as the few times I've had people call into the show.'”
You or someone on your team may have an interest in the possibility of being a contributing writer for the PodMov Daily newsletter. If so, we welcome you to send an email to our editorial team. Please feel free to email them. [email protected]
PM Community Updates
The Podcast Movement community is a great way to stay connected with fellow podcasters, collaborate, get some perspective, ask questions, and more! Here are a few popular posts from this past week.
- 33,000 Members! – The PM Facebook community has over 33,000 members! Please celebrate with us by sharing your podcast link in the comments of this post.
- Share Your Instagram Account – The PM Facebook community loves to support each other. You are welcome to share your Instagram handle links in the comments below. Please feel free to follow others that you want to help.
- What goes into your preparation for a new episode? – Share with us on Twitter!
- Podcasting Tip of the Week – Check out this week's tip via our Instagram and share your perspective!
We would love to hear your suggestions on community posts. Please feel free to reply and let us know what you recommend.
How is your quarantine experience so far? We hope you are finding new opportunities to spend time with your family or tackle some projects that have been on the back burner. Mostly, we hope that you see growth with your podcast!
Keep recording and publishing!
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.” – Juliette Gordon Low