Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Loving your latest gear addition? Regretting your recent purchase? Post your Gear and Equipment review here (software reviews are also ok here too).
User avatar
tomtate
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:57 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by tomtate » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:02 pm

Okay, okay. I know "launch-worthy audio" quality is subjective...

I cross-posted this on the podtopod slack group, but would love to get more feedback.

I have an interesting question… I have an opportunity to do a local workshop outside Philly for a bunch of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are interested in starting a show. In the presentation I want to present a simple audio setup that will give them the best quality for the least amount of money? Initially I was thinking a ATR2100-USB and that’s all you need. $60… but was trying to get it even lower for people not ready to commit...

Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 for $16 w/ a XLR to USB cable? Never tried it. What’s the cheapest but still launch-worthy mic setup you'd recommend?

Some Android or iOS app that records audio and syncs to dropbox or something so you can edit on desktop/laptop?

My current setup retails for ~$350, so looking for something more affordable to pass on. Thanks!

User avatar
StargatePioneer
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by StargatePioneer » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:14 pm

Personally I think the foursome of an Audio Technica AT2005 (my preferred out of the bunch), an Audio Technica ATR-2100, a Samson Q2U or the Knox Podcast Microphone are the obvious choices. They all do have USB capability but also have XLR which a new podcaster can use to grow into. They are a relatively good dynamic cardioid microphone which is preferred for podcasters to try to eliminate ambient and background noise much like how a lead vocalist in a band will use a dynamic cardioid microphone in a band to cut through the instrumentation sounds better than say a condenser microphone. And they are extremely cheap for the quality sound that you get. The cheapest out of them is the Knox Podcast Microphone currently retailing on Amazon in April 2017 for $40 in the USA while the most expensive is the Audio Technica AT2005 tops out at $80.

I have experimented with cheaper USB dynamic cardioid and cheaper XLR microphones. Unfortunately the sound generally isn't as good as the quartet of USB/XLR dynamic cardioid microphones listed above. Secondly there is limited trade-space for growth. Currently there are very few options to record multiple USB microphone simultaneously but there are a plethora of options available to record multiple XLR capable microphone at the same time using audio interfaces or mixers. And Thirdly in order to use a cheaper XLR microphone solo you would need an audio interface or a mixer to supply enough gain in the system to operate the microphone in the correct signal range for a proper signal to be transmitted to the recording device.

If I was starting out solo podcasting today, I would grab one of those four microphones I listed above in a heartbeat, consider it job done and move on to creating content. If you were going to have to record more than one person in the room my answer would be different.

Good luck with the entrepreneurs and the business owners!
Host of www.betterpodcasting.com and Vice President Network Deveopment GonnaGeek.com

User avatar
tomtate
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:57 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by tomtate » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:17 pm

Thanks! The YouTube video you shared on Slack was totally helpful, as well. I'll post here for anyone else interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG8tn3xhcLw

I like the idea of presenting options. Some may be willing to spend up front, while others may be fine with the Knox via USB. If anyone has any other "cheap but suitable" rigs, please share! Thanks :)

User avatar
MaxFlight
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:28 am

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by MaxFlight » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:02 pm

Yeah, best quality for least amount of money for a solo podcast would be one of those AT/Sampson/Knox mics, a laptop (with real USB), and Audacity (or Garageband if you swing that way). For a multi-host show I'd recommend a small mixer of the Behringer flavor, or a multi-mic USB interface, like a Focusrite. For CMS I'd recommend Wordpress because of the support network. Media hosting on Blubrry or Libsyn. There are a lot of website hosting services. Processing with Auphonic or Levelator (which still works, by the way, and the price is right!). Mic accessories are important too: pop filter, mount, arm (expensive) or stand (can be cheap).

There are certainly more expensive starter kits that I might recommend for a business, but you said least amount of money. Also, as we're talking about a business podcast, I wouldn't go cheaper or with an "everything on the iPhone" solution.

So for the basic, inexpensive, but great sounding solo podcast, it's pretty low cost: The mic that comes with a cable and stand (that you'll need to put on a stack of books), windscreen/pop filter, domain name, website host, media host. The last two could come from the same company.
Max Flight
Aviation Podcasts: Airplane Geeks | The UAV Digest | #PaxEx Podcast
Social Media: ​Twitter | LinkedIn

User avatar
StephenJondrew
Site Admin
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by StephenJondrew » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:53 pm

I personally would recommend the Knox microphone if you're on a budget. I've done some tests of the ATR2100 vs cheaper XLR only microphones, and the ATR2100 has a better balanced sound. A lot of people looking to save money choose to go with the Behringer XM1800s because of it's 3-pack price. For me personally I've only found one use case that I can recommend for the XM1800S: Placing it on my backdrop to fill space.

I've been a believer the ATR2100 is worth the money, but after hearing the Knox test by SP (mentioned above), I'd happily recommend it if people want to save money - just with the footnote that it has yet to be proven as far as life goes.
The Podcast Forum, Administrator
GonnaGeek.com, Owner/Podcaster • Better Podcasting, Co-Owner/Podcast

User avatar
joshuacliston
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by joshuacliston » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:45 am

AT2005 > USB > Audacity (I prefer it on my iMac also to Garageband - as Audacity is a more editing-friendly DAW for spoken word IMHO).

I see the above set-up as baseline quality for the medium today, and dollar-for-dollar it bats way above the average! ..if you can get a 4-5/10 for $40-$50 and 7.5-8/10 for $60-$80, I think that extra two points matters in today's production heavy Podosphere.

Note: I have a very sibilant voice and the AT2005 with the variant-grill - eats up those sssSounds which come out rather harshly on many other sub-$100 mics.**

User avatar
StephenJondrew
Site Admin
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by StephenJondrew » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:56 am

joshuacliston wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:45 am

I see the above set-up as baseline quality for the medium today, and dollar-for-dollar it bats way above the average! ..if you can get a 4-5/10 for $40-$50 and 7.5-8/10 for $60-$80, I think that extra two points matters in today's production heavy Podosphere.
I totally do the same now with considering it a baseline! They're so affordable that people who don't want to spend the money make me second guess them. :D
The Podcast Forum, Administrator
GonnaGeek.com, Owner/Podcaster • Better Podcasting, Co-Owner/Podcast

User avatar
Jason Bryant
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:00 pm
Location: New Brighton, MN
Contact:

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by Jason Bryant » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:28 pm

If you have an extra $100 to toss around, the Focusrite 2i2 is a nice piece of hardware to run your XLR mics through.
Founder, Mat Talk Podcast Network
www.mattalkonline.com

User avatar
StephenJondrew
Site Admin
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by StephenJondrew » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:41 am

Jason Bryant wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:28 pm
If you have an extra $100 to toss around, the Focusrite 2i2 is a nice piece of hardware to run your XLR mics through.
Do you know if the Focusrite does new versions of the 2i2? I'm just curious because it's been around for a while and curious if it's one of those pieces of hardware that varies depending on the specific revision, or if it's just been "THE 2i2" so to speak. I keep thinking I should pick one up to have on hand when they're on sale.
The Podcast Forum, Administrator
GonnaGeek.com, Owner/Podcaster • Better Podcasting, Co-Owner/Podcast

User avatar
Zandrax
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:17 am
Contact:

Re: Cheapest way to obtain launch-worthy audio

Post by Zandrax » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:51 pm

As I said in the "YOUR Gear" thread, I am living proof that a decent USB mic is all you need to start out with. Gear is awesome, but you don't need to break the bank at the start. Every hobby starts small.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest