New Podcast production help

Hey all,
I'm trying to help a friend upstart a podcast on the cheap, and possibly a live-stream.  The podcast will be Poker related, including shop talk on the game as well as interview guests.  I offered him help on the production end, because I'm a little more tech savvy and have some basic PC equipment already.  My questions for the community is what other important hardware is crucial?  Can we get away with cheap mics?  Can I use mixing software? or is a physical mixer better?  Is there any good freeware software available for mixing/streaming/editing?  And any other info on the subject is also welcome, I'm sure there's lots I haven't even thought about yet.  


  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    We use relatively cheap mics.  Shure m58s, but our road gear is '48s, and honestly I struggle to tell the difference for vocals.  If it's just the one host, Shure makes an audio interface for the mic to plug directly into a USB port (X2C).  It's rugged and works well, but it's pricey.  There's also nothing wrong with just using a cheap USB mic.  I actually got pretty good results with the stupid Rock Band mic back in the day.  The default "new to podcasting" recommendation is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB.  You can use it as a USB mic, and then if / when you get a mixer, hey, it's got XLR outputs as well.

    As far as editing, you can't go wrong with Audacity.  We used it for the first 3-4 years of Bald Move.  The only thing I'd say bad about it is that you'll have to unlearn it all if you move on to a non-destructive, more full featured DAW.  You're also limited to recording a single track which is less than ideal.

    Interviewing guests is where it gets interesting.  I'm assuming they're remote.  So you can go with a Skype recorder, and there are several and none of them are great, or you can go for a full mix minus setup where you'll need a decent mixer so you can pipe all the stuff in and out to make, hear, and record calls correctly.  That's where you start to spend money.
  • lots of good info thanks.  I just realized that my girlfriend has the full Adobe CC suite, which includes Adobe Audition so I think I will be able to use that, not totally sure what its capable of, but I will learn.  I think we will have multiple talkers in the same room/studio so multiple microphones will be needed.  so at base level, all we need is 2 usb mics and a way to record and edit on the PC right?  or if we are using 2 mics will we need other equipment?
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited October 2017
    You want a separate channel for each mic. So if you have 2 mics, get a 2 channel USB audio interface like something from Presonus.  Stay away from Behringer junk. (Although I have a cheapskate 8 channel Bheringer mixer) If 3 talkers in the same room then get a 4 channel.  The dynamic mics mentioned, SM58s are workhorses.  Condenser mics pick up the whole room so don't get those if you're just doing separated live vocal tracks.  Need some xlr cables for your mics to get to the 2 to 4 channel interface.  I'm sure there are many ways to skin the cat.  I'm not a podcaster, just been around audio and recording.  I've fucked with Adobe Soundbooth which was cool. Audition is probably just the new name. GarageBand is actually really effective and easy to get good at.  

  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Behringer's are good for decent quality, great features, for a cheap price.  What they aren't great for is longevity.  We've never had one make it past 2 years.  Might be something to consider for a starter mixer, then if you're into podcasting enough when it dies, spend a bit more cash for something that will last the long haul.  

    It also seems that the consensus among podcasters has shifted away from mixers in favor of audio interfaces, which don't  necessarily offer as many features in the hardware but just provide a simple way to get a clean signal from your mic into your computer.  Then you do everything in post. What's the point of spending money on a mixer with 100 knobs and sliders to fiddle if you only touch 4-5 of them?  
  • hey thanks for the help guys, if your interested in hearing how the first podcast came out you can find it here
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