Today I want to talk about mobility in Podcasting, and the best mobile podcasting setup.
Mobility in Podcasting
I think that when most people think about podcasting they think about setting up a studio in their home. Usually in their office, or the room in which their computer is located.
In addtion they often think in terms of taditional audio production. Mixing boards, radio boom arms, rack-mount quipement, and so on.
On the other hand some simply start Googling for information on how to start podcasting. What sort of equipment to use, and how to go about recording a publishing a podcast. They often run into advice based on the sort of traditional audio production I mentioned earlier.
The best equipment and method for mobile podcasting
Well, today, I want to take a few minutes to set the record straight on podcast hardware as it relates to mobility, because one thing nearly all beginning podcasters have in common is that they will eventually – and often very quickly – want to record somewhere away from their studio.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to design a solution for podcasting where my studio was truly mobile. I wanted to be able to take my actual studio – not a separate feild recorder, or a secondary set of equipemnt – with me wherever I thought I might want to record.
Why go mobile?
There are many use-cases for a mobile studio.
- Recording interviews on location in another person’s home, or office
- Recording spontaneous on the street interviews.
- Recording interviews at conferences where you may have access to many people you wouldn’t otherwise.
- Recording ambient sounds outdoors to mix with your podcast. These can include anything from automobile traffic, to animal noises.
- Recording pubic speeches, live events, or rallies.
While a mobile studio is a perfect solution for these sorts of recordings, it is also a great solution for recording in the home, or office.
Thanks to today’s technology there’s no need to worry about a loss of quality using mobile equipment. In fact, in many cases, the quality of a mobile studio is better than the quality of a stationary studio.
As far as I’m concerned there’s no reason at all to purchase stationary equipment. It’s a waste of money, space, and mobility.
The Best Hardware
The Best Recording Device
So, what solution do I propose? Well, in my course I teach the best way to use the Zoom H6, along with other hardware to get a fantastic stound anywhere. The only variable tends to be the environment, or course. But the hardware itself is the best!
The Zoom company doesn’t pay me to promote their product, but I have been using Zoom for nearly 10 years. Needless to say, I’m a fan.
The Zoom H6 is really the unit that allowed for an amazing mobile studio. Before that, I stuck with stationary equipment for a long time, but I was glad to ditch all of that with the release of the H6.
However, I must admit that I’m not using the H6 alone. The rest of my set up is just as important. I use a Electrovoice RE320 – as I’ve mentioned before – and a CloudLifter mobile Preamp (the CloudLifter doesn’t require any power).
Together, this quipement creates the perfect mobile studio!
I’m using this set up right now, in a home I’ve never been in before.
I mentioned before that I have been in Eastern Europe, and while I was there I set up my mobile vocal booth as described in my previous episode. While it’s s simple and super cheap it works as well as professional vocal booth.
However, I only set that up when I’m going to be in a location for a while. A month, or more.
Right now I’m in Iceland for a few days. I prerecorded some sessions, but I wanted to give an example of how my setup sounds without any sound-proofing in an echoing room. While you can still here some reverb, it’s really not that bad. Most podcasters today actually podcast like this regularly.
While I could never podcast like this regularly I don’t mind publishing some epsides like this while I’m traveling.
And it’s easy for me, because of the mobile setup I have.
Now there are other mobile devices out there, but my set up is the best for the price.
The reason for this is because the Zoom is highly flexible. It comes with it’s on removable mic system on the unit itself so that you don’t have to plugin another mic at all. This can come in handy for unplanned interviews, or walking around while recording. Zoom also sells several mics that attach to the unit including a nice shotgun microphone used to pic up sounds far away – like animals, or speakers you can’t get close to. The shotgun mic also works really well for street interviews.
You can connect up to 6 microphones to the Zoom. Each of them amplified by the internal preamps.
The Zoom also comes with some options for automated compression, and low-end roll off at many different frequencies.
The settings I use are all detailed in my course at HowToStartAPodcast.ORG
The Zoom has excellent preamps for it’s size. It also allows you to record to either your computer (via USB), or to an interal SD card – or both.
The Zoom has a loopback function that can record the both your mic, and the sounds on your computer into the same recording – or separate tracks. As a result, you can record interviews over skype without even using software on your computer at all. Or, you can use the suggested software as I detail in my course. This will allow you to do much more than recording with the Zoom alone.
The Zoom has physical volume level controls that are very easy to use while recording.
All-in-all the Zoom is a perfect device for podcasting in, or out of, the studio.
I use the CloudLifter because it ads 25db of crystal clear gain to the signal from my microphone. I’ll talk more about this in a future session.
Other Great Hardware for Mobile Podcasting
There are a few other things that completer my mobile set up.
I use a Smatree Adjustible Arm Clamp Mount. You can buy them on Amazon.
Now, they’re not meant fit a microphone. They’re actually designed to fit Cameras. However, if you take the camera mount off you can fit the adapter from the Koolertron Universal Microphone Sockmount – which is an amazing peice of quipment for the price. It fits so many micrphones. You can fit the adapter into the top of the Smatree arm, and tighten it down. You’ll then be able to scree the shockmount into place. It’s hard to explain, but once you see it you’ll know what I mean.
I’m using this set up right now. It took my less than 5 minue to pull my equipment out of my bag and set it up with my laptop to begin recording.
This smatree adjustable arm mount goes with my everywhere. It’s small but sturdy enough to hold one of the heaviest micrphones on the market.
This setup has been a secret to me, and my clients, alone over the years. It’s the highest quality, most mobile set up.
I could go on-and-on about it, but I maybe I’ll touch on the topic again in a future episode.
If you want to learn about how I use this equipment, and almost everything else about the most optimal, cost effect, yet professional podcasting system then head on over to How To Start A Podcast .ORG and check out my course. It’s not live yet, but it will be very shortly. And once it’s up, and I’m accepting memberships, you’ll want to be one of the first to sign up, becuase the first 50, or so members will recieve a free phone consulation with me as well as a free vocal processing plugin stack setup designed specifically for your voice. What that means is that I will take an audio sample from you, and configure an effect stack that you can copy on your computer (using my suggested software, and plugins) and use for podcast. One of the most difficult, and confusing, parts of podcasting is learning how to utilize vocal processing plugins to get a high-qualiy, professional sound. After 10 years of audio engineering for podcasts I’m a pro at it, and a customized effect stack is really worht more money than my course itself. However, I want really want to get feedback on the course so I’m offering this big bonus for a limited time.