Which microphone to choose for Podcasting.
There a few choices to make, starting with how much money you have to spend. There is free, as in the microphone built in to your computer, but it would be much better to buy a cheap external one for under €10 to give you a big increase in quality. Your audience will not continue to listen to your podcast if the sound is really bad, they might put up with poor video but not poor sound.
Dynamic or Condenser microphones.
The technical type of microphone is a factor, dynamic or condenser. A dynamic type is one that the recording artists will use on stage. They are less sensitive than the condenser type and can be a good choice for a podcaster. The old favourite of this type would be the Shure SM58. The condenser mic is better in a setting where it is quiet. So is better for you, if you have a studio set up and there are fewer extraneous noises around, such as a TV in a nearby room or kids playing outside, or a neighbour working in the garden. If you are subjected to a lot of ambient noise then get a dynamic mic.
A consideration with a Condenser mic is that often you will need to supply it with phantom power, usually 48 volts and you will need a mixer to be able to do that. The Samson C03U is a condenser mic but is connected by USB so doesn't need phantom or a mixer. There are other devices like the Blue Icicle product that will allow you to connect a mic that has the standard 3 pin XLR connector. The Icicle from Blue has a pre amp, 48v phantom power, is balanced and converts any XLR to USB.
Specialist Podcasting Microphones.
Connecting the microphone.
Overview based on how much money you have to spend.
- No money, then go ahead and record with whatever you have, just to try out making a podcast. You can upgrade later.
- Some money, buy a cheap external mic or head set. It will be a big improvement.
- If you have about €50 to €100 to spend then get a USB microphone which will work great with AmadeusPro, Audacity or Garageband.
- With approximately €200 you can get a a good condenser microphone and a proper stand and a small mixer to connect it up to your computer.
- No limit, Buy a couple of microphones, Get a Shure SM58 to use when you are interviewing outside, or a portable option like a Zoom H2 or H4. Then have a studio set up with sound deadening material to cut out any echo, and use a good quality condenser mic like the Behringer B2 connected with a mixer. Then you could also go another step and add in a hardware noise gate audio processor, like the DBX 266XL Compressor, limiter gate.