Is The Audio Technica ATR2100 Still the Best Podcasting Microphone?

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Today we are going to get our gear on. All you gear heads are going to love this. We are going to talk about some of the best places to purchase gear, we are going to talk about mixers, and we are going to compare three microphones that are under $100

Because of My Podcast – I Had to Quit My Podcast

John Dennis is the co-organizer of the Thrive Make Money Matter conference, and the moderator of the Podcasters hangout Facebook group. He is also a podcaster with with smart time online, or he was until his podcast brought him so much business he had to stop podcasting to take care of his customers. AMAZING!

Our Sponsor: Emerald City Productions

Special Pricing: Get four episodes edited for $15/each (every episode after that is $40 each) by visiting www.emeraldcitypro.com/sop Danny And Erin are real pros and can save you time during the busy holiday season in addition to making you sound amazing. Don't believe me? Click on www.emeraldcitypro.com/sop and click on the “Listen” button. Isn't your time worth more than $15?

Best Places To Shop For Podcast Gear

Isn't the quick answer, “Amazon, DUH”? Not always. Here are some places to check out.

Amazon

When it comes to shopping for selection and price, it is hard to beat Amazon.com

Now for the record, I am an affiliate for Amazon. However, you will hear where this may not always be the best place to purchase your gear. If you want to shop via Amazon, please use our affiliate shop at www.schoolofpodcasting.com/shop The other advantage Amazon has is if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get free two day shipping

Same Day Music

If you were going to purchase an Electrovoice RE320 Microphone you might be tempted to go to Amazon where the price is $279. Did you know that Same Day Musichas the Electrovoice RE320 microphone for $299 and they have non-new versions for $269 AND you don’t have to pay tax on your purchased unless you live in New Jersey.

BSW

BSW (www.bswusa.com ) is all about audio and broadcasting so they have some niche items that you may not find in some places. They also run specials and have bundles that you won’t find at some places. For example if you wanted to go totally pro and buy an Elecrovoice RE20 Mic, 309A Shockmount, BSW Broadcast Microphone cable & REPop Filter Package it would be $479. If you bought the equivalent at Amazon.

B & H Photo

Their prices are typically about the same as others (occasionally more expensive), but if you can’t find it in another place, chances are you find it at BNH. For example they have a package for the RE2o that has a cloud lifter.. The other thing you will find at BNH (and you will have this at BSW) is a knowledgeable staff. For example one package with the RE20 comes with a cloud lifter which boosts your signal (which is a pretty good idea). They have another package that has the RE20 and the DBX 286 preamp (a totally pro setup)

Podcast Stock Test

If you were using a microphone like the Heil Pro40, or a Sure SM7B, these need a lot of gain to work properly. One Solution is a piece of equipment called a “Fethead” so I went to the above mentioned place.

BNH – Yes $89

Same Day Music – No

Amazon – No (suggested a cloud lifter)

BSWUSA – No

So like I said, it helps to know where to shop based on what you are looking for.

Do I Need a Mixer

What is an Audio Mixer?

If you and your co-host are in the same room, and you are playing music in your podcast the purpose of the mixer is to allow you to adjust (mix) the audio levels of you, your guest(s), and the music so the listener does not have to ride the volume knob and make constant adjustments.

Key Word Here is NEED

When I say NEED here, I mean “Can’t do it without it.” You can always find a use for a mixer, but I’ll explain when you NEED one, and when you WANT one (there is a big difference). Keep in mind that the simpler you keep it, the less headaches. The more you add, the more things that can go wrong.

When You Need a Mixer?

If you have multiple people in the same room. Everyone should have their own microphone, and that should go into a mixer.

If you are mixing in live music and sound effects.

When You DON’T NEED an Audio Mixer

If you are recording a solo podcast and you are going to add any music or sounds in later.

When You DON’T NEED a Mixer, but Probably Could Use One

If you are doing a show with a co-host or guests who are remote. You could record this with an ATr2100 microphone and a portable recorder (and use Skype as the mixer)

Best Podcast Microphones For Less Than $100

Today I test the following microphones:

Samson Q2U

Audio Technica AT 2005

Audio Technica ATR2100

Overview: For the most part, if you look at the specs of these microphones they should sound very close. They all are dynamic (pick up less room noise), and you can plug them into a mixer, or directly into the computer using USB.

Out of the three the AT2005 looks the best. In regards to which one sounds better I rank them in the following order

  1. ATR2100 – TOP
  2. Samson Q2u – a little warmer
  3. AT 2005 – Still sounded good

Realize sound is subjective and some microphones sound good with one voice, and not so good with another. This is where a mixer can be handy (even if you're flying solo).

BOTTOM LINE: These are all fine choices, and you won't regret purchasing any of them. The big take away, is you don't need to spend $1600 to start a podcast.

Great content can save poor audio, but great gear will not save horrible content. Once you get your microphone, focus on the your audience and the content.

One Final Note: So many podcasters recommend the Blue Yeti. Is it a bad microphone? NO. Is it a good choice? NO WAY!. Why? It is a condensor microphone and condensor microphones pick up a ton of room noise (I know I have not one, but TWO in a drawer). It's always interesting when I hear someone recomend the Blule Yeti, it is often with the phrase, “I use that one when I started out.” One other point, the  Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Silver is $149. It would be great for gamers who don't want to wear a headset.

Podcast Glossary “E” Part Two

Mark from the Resourceful Designer had a comment stating I skipped a bunch of “E's” in last week's show, so here they are. Let it never be said that Dave Jackson is not up for some constructive feedback. You can find out more about Marc at http://marksmandesign.ca/
Episode zero
Episode zero is a podcast episode that is often a simple introduction episode used as a placeholder as you need one live podcast in iTunes.

Effects
Effects are things you can add to your audio such as reverb, echo, compression.

Equalization
Equalization is a fancy word for adding bass, treble, etc that affects the tone of your audio.

Enunciate
Enunciation is talking in a way that everyone can clearly understand what you are saying. So instead of saying “I’m doin’ allrigh….” you would say I’m doing allright.”

Ecamm Call Recorder
Ecamm Call Recorder is software for the Mac platform that allows you to record skype conversations. Some people refer to the software with just the phrase “ecamm.”

Evernote
Evernote is a free software that allows you to organize…. Well anything you want. You can have text,pdf, images, these all then sync to all of your devices. As you can share information with other people, this is a great tool for collaborating on show notes. You can learn how to use Evernote quickly in the Organizing Your Podast Course.

Email List
An email list is a software (typically a web based company such as MailChimp, Aweber, Convert Kit and many, many others) that enable you to put a form on your website. Your listeners can sign up to get updates via email. You then can go in and right one email that goes to all of your subscribers.

It's a Boy – Derek Daniels Launches a New Podcast

One thing I don't do enough of on this show is spotlight new podcast from members of the School of Podcasting. So this week I'm spotlighting the Derek Daniel Podcast. Find it at thederekdaniel.com real people doing real life.

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)


  1. Kim Krajci
    9 months ago

    Thanks for the shout-out!


  2. Brandon Uttley
    9 months ago

    Great equipment list and tips, Dave! Thank you for sharing this.

    Brandon Uttley – author of Pod Castaway

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