Affordable Microphones for PodcastingPosted on: , by : earbrow
When starting a podcast, people often ask me about the best microphones to use. I have worked in recording studios for the guts of 15 years, I could chat all day about the best microphones around and the amazing sounds they give back. However I realise that 90% of podcasters work off their own back on an extremely tight budget, so this tip is very much aimed at getting good quality at a very affordable price.
I have read a lot about microphones like Blue Yeti, but personally I think they give off a rather poor sound and there is much better value and quality to be had in the microphone market.
I have come across a couple of amazing microphones that I consider to be fantastic value. Both are USB microphones so require no complications when recording. You can just plug them into your laptop or computer and go, it couldn’t be easier. I know a range of broadcasters and professional voice actors who use these to get a high quality sound on the go. They will give a lovely raw sound that a producer will then be able to polish even further.
Starting with this absolute bargain, the Superlux E205U is a USB microphone of incredible value at just under £50 Pounds on Amazon. If you’re looking to start a podcast and you don’t have a huge budget, look no further. This is a condenser mic that gives a great professional sound. It will plug straight into your laptop or computer and has a gain control on the front to make everything so easy even for an absolute beginner. It also comes with a mini stand so you can set it up on any desk and go.
Two of these mics for less than 100 UK pounds and you will have yourself the makings of a home studio!
Moving on to a slightly more expensive but equally affordable microphone for podcast recording. Audio Technica is a very reputable brand in the recording world, striking that balance of quality and affordability that so much of the market is now looking for. This is another microphone that I see professional voice overs use and send their audio to studios across the world to be used on radio and TV. Like the one above, it makes your life very simple with a direct USB connection.
If you’re looking for something slightly higher in quality this may be the option for you.
A quick tip to giving a pro studio sound
Something incredibly important. A good microphone will give you a certain amount of quality, but where you are recording is equally, if not, more important. Not many of us have the budget to kit out a home studio. There are some microphone covers you can buy that will reduce the noise within the room you record.
The rule of thumb is the smaller and softer the room the better. For example if you record in a large room that has hard floors and walls, the sound of your voice has nothing to soak into. As a result you get an ‘echoey’ sound as the voices bounce off everything and back into the microphone. This is why a lot of people record in clothes cupboards, or with a duvet over their head (really!!). This however is not completely practical when recording a podcast, here’s a fantastic and affordable solution:
A simple piece of foam that goes around your microphone. Not only will it block a lot of unwanted noise like computer hum, but it will reduce the reverb that any non sound proofed room will give you. This has been revolutionary to people I work with in the audio and voice recording industry. I highly recommend this or something similar to save you trying to turn a normal room into a studio