Welcome to my equipment page. I think it is important to let you know that you could start podcasting with free software and as little as $35 spent on an inexpensive usb headset. This is actually how I started back in 2005. Full details can be found in my free Learn How To Podcast Tutorial. However, if you want to have a professional sound that puts the audio of your podcast among the top 3% of podcasts out there, then you should consider investing in professional equipment. I have created this page to showcase some of the gear that I most recommend to my consulting/coaching clients.
The only equipment I sell, currently, is what you will find listed in the two packages below. If you are looking to purchase individual items that I mention on this page, I’ll provide a B&H affiliate link in each item’s description. Please know that I do earn a commission for any B&H orders purchased within 24 hours of clicking through any of my affiliate links. I so appreciate the support of those who either order my equipment packages or use my affiliate links. Thank You!
Podcast Equipment Package
The Podcast Equipment Package Includes:
Roland R-05 Digital Recorder
Roland Recorder Power Adapter
FREE Digital Audio Recorder training tutorial included ($39 Value)
Free Inside The Studio Tutorial Tutorial included ($100 Value)
Heil PRSM-B Shock Mount
BSW RE320POP Fine Mesh Metal Screen Pop Filter
Heil PL2T Heady Duty Mic Boom Arm w/ C-Clamp
Mackie 1402-VLZ4 Mixer
Sony MDR-7506 Large Diaphragm Foldable Headphones
QTY 1 Standard XLR Mic Cable
QTY 1 2 RCA male plugs to 1/8″ Stereo plug Cable
QTY 1 1/8″ Stereo plug to 2 1/4″ Mono plugs Cable Shipping Included!
Heil PR-40 Podcast Microphone Equipment Package
Heil PR-40 Package as show above = $649 (Free Shipping) (Mic Flag Not Included)
I have created this quick video to show how to quickly setup your Heil Package:
I’ve been a huge fan of Leo Leporte from way back in the ZDTV days. I had the honor of speaking with Leo personally early on into my podcasting career. At the time, I was in the market for my first major purchase in my equipment upgrade. I had explained to Leo that I had a few hundred dollars to spend toward upgrading my podcasting gear to a professional level and asked him where he would suggest I spend the money first. Without hesitation, Leo told me to immediately go out and get the Heil PR-40 microphone. (Note: Leo’s been in radio broadcasting for more than 30 years)
That’s exactly what I did. I was blown away by the amazing sound that comes out of the Heil PR-40. You may be shocked to learn that it is a dynamic microphone. Once my wife, Stephanie, heard the sound of my Heil PR40, she insisted that I purchase one for her as well.
I had sold so many Heil PR40 packages that I had got the attention of Bob Heil, who called me one day in June 2008, out of the blue. Have a listen to the interview I did with Bob Heil.
If you are considering the purchase of a Heil PR40, please have a look at my Heil PR40 package listed above. If you are looking for only the microphone, please consider using my Heil PR40 affiliate Link.
I encourage you to have a listen to episode 46 of the Podcast Answer Man to hear a side by side comparison of the Heil PR40 with several other microphones. I recorded that episode back in January 2008. My production values have improved a great deal since then. However, my Heil PR-40 is still going strong today. I’ve gone ahead and place that review in the audio play below.
Often people will ask me what I recommend regarding a decent usb microphone for their podcasting efforts. My initial response is simply to tell them not to purchase a usb microphone. One major reason is that it limits you to recording straight into your computer. I find there are a number of issues with recording into your computer directly. However, this is an equipment list, not an audio recording tutorial page.
When I first chose to get an audio mixer, there were two main benefits that I was going for. First, I wanted to be able to record with as many as three or four people in a panel discussion. The second benefit that I was going for was being able to bring audio from multiple sources into the audio recording to reduce the amount of post production. I currently run audio from Skype and audio from sound clips into many of my live recordings. This leads me to the next benefit of having a mixer.
If your mixer has an “Aux Out” Channel, it allows you to do a mix-minus on the audio signal from any of the channels that you choose. A mix-minus is a particular setup where the output to a certain device contains everything except the input from that device. This prevents echoes or feedback from reverberating or howling and squealing through the system.
I also have another source of audio coming into my mixer for telephone calls, but I’ll talk more about that in a future piece of audio equipment. At one time, I was producing as many as 15-20 podcast episodes per week (Click Here To See My Episode Guide). I was able to do this because of all the software and equipment that I use, but it is the mixer that brings all this stuff together into one signal that can be recorded live without the need to go in and add anything thing in post production. I believe an audio mixer is an absolute must!
I do have a digital training tutorial called Inside The Studio. The tutorial walks you though each of the pieces of equipment that I have in my studio, why I use them, and how they are hooked up. The tutorial also includes my step by step podcast workflow from show prep to publishing to the web with little to no post-production required. You can purchase that tutorial here.
The mixer I use is pictured above. It is the Mackie 1402-VLZ4. I like this mixer because it has six XLR Mic inputs. It has two Aux Out ports. It also has a great deal of additional audio channel inputs as well as something called “Channel Inserts” that allows me to to bring also use external audio processing equipment. The reason I recommend this mixer to most of my consulting/coaching clients is due to the fact that this mixer allows me to bring in audio from all the sources I’ve mentioned above with still a little breathing room to grow. If you are considering the purchase of a Mackie 1402-VLZ4 mixer, please consider using my affiliate link.
If there was one piece of recording equipment that I could not live without, it is the Roland portable digital recorder. I cannot begin to tell you just how much this small device means to me. It is small enough to fit into your pocket and the audio quality that it records is simply amazing.
It is entirely possible that one could produce a podcast with this single piece of audio equipment. In fact, Podcast Answer Man episode 228 was recorded with nothing more than the Roland recorder to demonstrate this. I often take this recorder with me everywhere I go. It’s perfect for sound seeing tours with its two on board condenser mics which record in an unbelievable stereo sound that makes you feel as though you are right there with the person who is recording the sound seeing tour.
This recorder is also great for a face to face interview. I’ll often set the recorder on a desk or table between myself and the person I’m interviewing and record our interview without the need to lug any additional recording gear along with me. To hear an amazing sounding interview with a Roland digital audio recorder, please listen to Podcast Answer Man episode 136.
Most important to me, I use the Roland digital audio recorder for every single podcast episode that I record. Rather than using software on my computer that can crash to record my audio or deal with the noise and interference from the computer’s internal components, I take the audio output from my mixer and put in directly into the line in input of the Roland unit. This produces a crisp, clean, and clear recording every single time. No more hours spent trying to use audio editing software to reduce the noise table of my in-studio recordings.
I have a full training video that I did for the Roland Edirol R-09HR recorder, which has been discontinued. The Roland R-05 is the replacement of that recorder and is almost identical to the R-09HR. Everything from this tutorial, including the step by step processing of going through the menu system to set up the recorder, applies to the R-05. If you are interested, you can purchase my Roland Digital Audio Recorder Tutorial by clicking here.
For the past several years, I had been using Bose AE2 style headphones. When I was in NYC for BlogWorld & New Media Expo, I visited the SiriusXM studios. While in the studio, I noticed that they only used Sony MDR-7506 headphones. I was so pleased with the sound quality that I decided to order myself a pair so that I could compare them, side by side, with my Bose Headphones.
Some folks have wondered why I would suggest wearing headphones while recording a podcast. While I have to admit, I do enjoy hearing myself talk, there is another reason that I believe everyone involved in the production of a podcast should wear headphones. That reason is that if anyone were to turn their head, even slightly, it could drastically drop the volume level of their audio, in the recording. Wearing headphones allows you to monitor the sound of what is being recording. When you get too far away from the microphone, you’ll hear the drop in audio volume in your headphones immediately.
The Sony MDR-7506 Headphones can be purchase by using my affiliate link.
I often have an in studio guest/co-host for many of my podcasts. Originally, I was using a very inexpensive headphones splitter to allow me connect two pairs of headphones to my mixer. The only issue with this setup was that I like my audio a bit louder than my wife does.
The Behringer HA4700 Headphone Amplifier allows me to share the headphone signal with up to four people. The nice thing is that each of the four people get to adjust the volume level to their own preference. Most new podcasters will not need anything more than a simple headphone splitter. However, if you are recording with multiple people and you find that you need to have separate audio levels, then I highly suggest this piece of equipment.
The Behringer MDX-4600 is the only piece of equipment that I did not put to immediate use. I was immediately overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to set this unit properly. As someone who hates to read owner’s manuals, I simply allowed this to sit and gather dust for months.
When I finally learned how this one piece of equipment could eliminate 100% of the static in the background of my my telephone interviews from the JK Audio Broadcast Host, when my interviewee was not talking, as well as help keep my audio levels from peaking, and make my voice sound a little more “powerful,” I decided I would finally dig in and figure this thing out.
While there are many other Compressor/Limiter/Gate options out there. This is the only one that I’ve taken the time to learn out to set up. As a result, many of my clients have chosen to purchase this exact unit just so they can copy wiring setup as well as all my knob and button settings.
I had been hired so many times to help clients set up the Behringer MDX-4600, that I decided to create a tutorial to help set this up. If you would like to purchase this tutorial to walk you through the setup of the unit, please click here.
When you have as much equipment in your studio as we do, the last thing you want to do is try to find a clear space for a table top mic stand. We use the Heil PL2T microphone boom arm which allows us to bring the microphone right up to us and it simply hangs there, suspended in mid air.
Using a microphone boom arm also keeps us from the need to lean forward to stay in front of the microphone. When you are recording a podcast for an hour or more, you tend to appreciate the fact that you can sit back in your chair and bring the mic to you.
Heil Shock mount PRSM-B for the Heil PR-40 Microphone – Affiliate Link
I can tell you that having a shock mount for your microphone is very important if you are using a table top mic stand or if your microphone is any way supported by something that vibrates or moves in any way shape or form during the recording of your show. Our microphone arms are mounted to the wall in our studio. However, we still find that we like to adjust the position of the mic arm as we record, from time to time, and it is less noticeable in our recordings since we added this shock mount.
This pop-filter has been designed and manufactured by BSW and was made to fit the Electro-Voice RE320. However, this filter works wonderfully with the Heil PR-40 microphone as you can see shown in the image here.
You simply MUST have a pop-filter of some sort in front of your microphone if you want decent sound without all the popping of your “p’s.” You can find less expensive pop filters out there, but I can attest to the fact that they are big, heavy, clumsy and they simply get in your way. I absolutely love the fine mesh metal screen and the low profile that this pop filter offers.
I do not have an affiliate relationship with BSW. The only way that I sell these is through my equipment package above. You could purchase this screen filter directly through BSW using this link. (Note: Not an affiliate link)
More To Come!
Please know that I still have so many items that I have not yet had time to add this this page. I hope that my site will become a regular stop for you. Please be sure to come back and check out this page to see if any new items have been added.
Greetings! I'm a veteran radio guy researching setting up a studo for both podcasting and voiceover work. I like the package above, but would like to add one or two more mikes to the setup as well as like number of headphones. Also, a laptop/computer for production/assembling a pre-recorded podcast, I'm not seeing it in the mix. Please enlighten me.
Hey cliff, an interview I recorded, the .wav file is bad? Every file before and after is fine. Is there a way to split the 1/8th in output to record on the Sd card as well as directly into audition on a second computer? Them I'll have the Sd card as a back up. It's really embarrassing to call my guest and ask to redo the interview.
The Roland recorder is fine and the cards are file. I'm just trying to prevent this from happening again.
Hi Cliff, I host a two hour music show on BLOGTALKRADIO, I use my cell phone to call into blogtalk and input my host pin number to activate my studio and begin my broadcast. I use a Bluetooth headset with a boom mic to broadcast with, but I am not happy with my vocal sound. What do you recommend as far as making my voice both clearer and more resonant? I do this all from my computer.
I'm a retired IT guy and I've been asked to create a podcast for our monthly Community meetings. We have between 100-200 people in the audience, 5 Board Members sitting up front and a podium for community members to go to to speak to the board. We generally use 3 wireless mikes for our meeting which are shared. Not sure of my budget, but 500-2K would be my guess. We have the computers and a high end audio sound board (Roland) with 16 channels etc. I'm not an expert in it's use but would hope it can be utilized. Biggest need is a good camera for the recording. Also we show a Powerpoint presentation from a laptop to a screen using a ceiling projector.
We would have the personnel to move the camera from one point to another to handle the various speakers.
Two questions Cliff, First: What do you think of the rode procaster mic not looking for professional quality, only decent (if there is a better one in the same price range please tell me). Second: does B&H ships to Portugal?
Would be very glad for a response and as always, please keep up the great work!
First off, can't thank you enough for the help! Your generosity is amazing and sets a wonderful example for the rest of us.
Was watching a recent video of yours and wondering what you are using now as your audio cart (where you keep your music, sound clips...). I know you've previously used Soundbyte. Looks like you are running it off your iPad, but doesn't look like the interface for the Soundbyte iPad app. Is it still Soundbyte or have you moved to something else?
Any chance you could put together and equipment list (with affiliate links of course!) that is just the equipment you would need to record a single person podcast with no co-hosts, no phone calls, etc.
The mic, recorder, headphones, stands, etc I would assume stay the same. But the mixer and amps seem to be overkill.
I want to buy the right stuff and not have to come back and upgrade...but at the same time the format of the show will never involve a guest, so I'd rather just get what I need and spend the savings in another area. Thanks!
@JuniusStone I only sell the two packages as shown above. The Heil Package is for those who want to add extra mics to the full package listed above it (or those who just want to get the Heil with it's additional components).
Links to headphones and even a Headphone Amplifier are included above if you choose to purchase those items and are looking for the type that I use.
As for a computer, just about any computer will do the job.
@WuxiIxuw I'd have to disagree with Cliff on this. Mackie's are amazing! Behringer however, as cheap as it may be has taken the digital sound world by surprise. While at the small level the Behringer mixer may not match up to a Mackie, at the large level, the new Behringer X32 far surpasses any other live mixing unit I have ever seen.
That being said for a beginner a Behringer might be a solid choice. I have used both and for the price my old 6 channel Behringer is still alive and kicking after years of abuse. Now if price is not an issue definitely go with the Mackie. But Cheap knock off is a little harsh, especially when it is being used for a podcast. Unless you plan on recording bands and mixing for live sound in front of an audience. If you're doing that well then you wouldn't be visiting this website.
The best way I can explain it is Behringer is to Mackie as Android is to Apple. While Mackie makes very expensive solid products it doesn't mean that the cheaper brand and competitor can't make a quality product. It gives people out there an option to at least do something they are passionate about with a smaller billfold.
@gavin welch So sorry to hear that hear you had lost an interview. It is possible to use Male RCA to 2 Female RCA Y Cables to split the audio from TAPE OUT on the mixer to send to both the line input of your computer and the Line Input of the recorder.
@lomu09 I may be making some significant changes to this page in the 2014. However the gear above is the gear that I typically recommend and have for several years.
I do not offer one-on-one consulting. However, I do have a group coaching course at http://PodcastingAtoZ.com that gives you direct access to ask my anything you like for a total of four weeks.
Those who buy the equipment package, however, do get a wiring diagram that shows how to hook everything up and they also get a set of tutorials that I have created. One of them shows you what every knob and button on the mixer does.
@doctorice I recommend recording everything locally and uploading your high quality local recording to replace the audio that BTR records. I also suggest that you not worry so much about your "live" audience as they are such a small percentage of people you could reach if your audio quality were better and the format were not so focused on those where were there live when the show was recorded.
@mcopeland47 Morey, not sure if you found a solution for video yet but if you can dig a little deeper and get the Canon VIXIA HF G20 camcorder, it will record hi-def .mov files which are native to mac based software. The software I use is Final Cut X but it has a slighter higher learning curve. However, it will handle any sync issue. The camera would require a mic adapter to input to a 3.5mm connection on the camera from the audio XLR or phono connection from the sound board. Otherwise, you can record to a digital recorder and sync the video and audio in post (be sure to record audio on camera too). The Roland that Cliff uses is great for this. For the same price a lot of people really like Camtasia Studio for Mac for the ease of use (I have not used it).
Flash media live encoder has worked wonders for when we cast local kickball games in my city. It funnels all the video and audio through it to make sure audio and video are in sync. My suggestion is you have a production guy running a computer that all video and audio will be hooked up to. You will need a server to stream it. But if you are an IT guy I'm sure that is no problem. Other than that sounds like you have everything you need.
@mcopeland47 Morey, you had me until you mentioned camera. While I've done a lot of video work since 2008, my experience with video gear is limited to the three cameras, and a few web cams, that I've used since 2005. I'd recommend seeking the advice of someone who focuses on video at this point.
You already have most everything you need for audio. Simply from from the main out or tape out of the mixer into either your computer with software to record, or I personally would recommend going to a digital audio recorder to record.
@Mike Brookston Mike, Looks like Daniel answered your question about the shipping. I think the Rode Procaster is a nice mic. I like that it is XLR. I DO NOT like the Rode Podcaster. It's exactly the same mic but has USB instead of XLR. ;)
@SarahAdams2 Congrats on your purchase. I'll never forget the day I got my first Heil PR40. I felt like I had just won the lottery that day. Enjoy! And thank you for using my affiliate link! Merry Christmas!
I wish I could go into much greater detail about all the other possibilities. I do have a tutorial called "Inside The Studio" at http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/products that gives you equipment options for every budget and even has a tutorial on how all that equipment is hooked up and works together. It includes the mic listed above and a lot of other options.
The amp and mixer etc is definitely not overkill. They are needed to give your voice the depth that is needed to create a good product ie... podcast. You might not need co host equipment but you might be the best podcaster ever and become super popular so you gotta prepare for the future your a visionary I'm sure you will be great
In 2009, a majority of my week, every week of the year, was spent selling podcast equipment. (Note: Today, I only sell what you see on this page) I would say that I was having my supplier shipping approximately 5 to 15 Behringer mixers a week. At the time, my time spent on customer services issues on these mixers was EXTREMELY HIGH!
I had clients who were dealing with massive interference sounds coming through the mixer. These Behringer mixers simply are not shielded as well as Mackie and other branded mixers.
I had mixers that came with channels that were DOA (Dead on Arrival). If I had to guess, I had to do a replacement (only offered within 1st 30 days - after that, you have to deal with Behringer) on approximately 5 out of every 100 mixers that were shipped to my clients. I just thought that this was normal at the time.
Static noise in the volume control after about 12 to 18 months (Sometimes sooner). It was very common for a Behringer mixer to start to generate a static noise whenever adjusting the volume control up or down. This happened quicker on the mixers with knob volume controls than it did on the sliders. However, I noticed that it did, often, happen on the Behringer mixers with sliders as well.
I had a Behringer mixer in my own studio. After two years of use, the headphones jack had one channel that quit working. I could only hear audio in the left ear in my headphones. Everything else seemed to be fine with the mixer. However, this was frustrating so I replaced the mixer with a new one.
It just so happened happened that Behringer had a FULL RUN on their production line with mixers that came DOA. Now, this could happen to anyone. And this does not figure into the what I shared in problem #3 listed above. However, when I ordered my replacement Behringer mixer, I was the sixth person in a row that my supplier had shipped this mixer to that had a DOA mixer.
For two months, my supplier had to pull out every mixer and manually check each one to make sure that they worked before shipping them out. It was cheaper for them to do this than it was to pay for all that shipping and customer service time spent replacing all the defective ones.
My sales rep with my supplier, who has been in this business for more than 35 years, begged me to try a Mackie mixer instead. He is the one who told me that these Behringer mixers are a cheap knockoffs of the Mackie Mixers.
I saw the price difference and I was taken aback bit. Thankfully, I was at the place where I could afford it. I simply took him at his word that the Mackie mixers would be worth the extra cost.
I'll never forget the day I brought that mixer out of the box. While the Mackie 1402 is about the same in every dimension as the Behringer 1222FX-PRO mixer that I had previously, it seemed like it was about four times heavier.
My sales rep told me... "I wouldn't recommend that you try it, but he said that you could stand on top of the mixer with your shoes on and the knobs and sliders won't break. However, if you were to do the same to the Behringer mixer, you would crush every component in the Behringer mixer." (NOTE: I do not recommend trying this)
From that moment on, I vowed that I would never sell another Behringer 1204 or 1222FX mixer again.
PLEASE NOTE: I do think the build quality of the Behringer 802 and the Behringer 1002 mixers is MUCH BETTER than the 1204 and the 122FX mixers. This is why, Benjamin, your six channel mixer is still alive and kicking after his years of abuse. I bet you would be singing a different tune if you had either the Behringer 1204 or 122FX mixers.
I still do not recommend the Behringer 802 or the 1002 mixers because A) they do not have any insert ports and B) I now only sell gear that I would personally use myself.
So let's get back to the question above..... Wuxi had spent a lot of time googling for reviews between a Mackie 1642-VLZ4 and a Behringer XENYX QX2442USB.
Notice that the question included "MONEY IS NOT A FACTOR" and that the request was which one was better regarding features and quality.
This is how I came to my decision to recommend the Mackie over the Behringer.
Had the question been "I'm trying to get one of these mixers but I'm on a really tight budget," I would have probably said that if you can afford the Behringer now but it would take a long time before you could afford the Mackie, then you could get the Behringer and it will likely work well for you for approximately two to four years (maybe more). However, the Mackie mixer you are looking at is definitely a much higher quality mixer than the Behringer mixer you are looking at.
@BenjaminRuidoso@WuxiIxuw I'll amend my statement to the following. My only experience with Behringer products are as follows:
- The Behringer 1222fx PRO and smaller mixers
- The Behringer HPS300 Studio Headphones
- The Behringer MDX-4600 Compressor/Limiter/Gate
- The Behringer Headphone Amps (4 channel & 8 channel)
I can tell you, from personal experience, that the Behringer mixers (at least the 1222fx and 1204) and the MDX-4600 units are simply not built to last. I've sold over a half million dollars in podcast equipment since 2008 and I started out with the Behringer product line.
When I started out in podcasting, I could barely afford the Behringer mixers.
My equipment packages have always been based upon people wanting to purchase the same equipment that I am currently using. Back then, I was using a lot of Behringer Gear and so I was selling a lot of Behringer gear.
There were a few problems that I found myself running into....
When I got to the point where I wanted to add audio processing gear to my mix, I found that it was no problem for me as I had channel inserts on my Behringer 1222fx pro mixer. Channel inserts allow you to run audio out of the mixer, through the processing gear, and then back through the mixer with a single cable.
The problem is that when I added the MDX-4600 C/L/G to my setup, a LOT of my clients wanted to add this to their setup as well. The problem is that many of clients had told me that they didn't need a 12 channel mixer when they purchased their gear, so they went with a Behringer 1204, 1022, or 802 mixer. NONE OF THESE MIXERS HAVE ANY CHANEL INSERT PORTS! However, the Mackie 802, 1202 and 1402 all have have at least two channel inserts.
My Behringer MDX-4600 was given to me as a gift many years ago. When I finally got it out of the box and figured out the benefit of having a "GATE" in my setup, I fell in love! Sure, this could be done in post production. However, at the time, I was producing 7 to 15 podcast episodes each week. I wanted to avoid as much post production as possible.
Now here's the thing. The Behringer MDX 4600 is very cheap at $149. Fresh out of the box, it does it's job well. However, even sitting in a studio rack, WITH NOTHING TOUCHING IT AT ALL, I'm already on my THIRD MDX-4600 unit.
People often ask me why I don't include this piece of equipment in my package found on this page. This is that reason! I'm at a place where replacing the gate at $149 every two to three years isn't so bad. I already have a firm understanding of how this unit works, where to turn all the numbers, what buttons should be pushed in, etc.
However, it has become abundantly clear to me that the Behringer MDX-4600 is about the same build quality as the Behringer 1204 and 1222FX mixers.
@gavin welch However, if you are recording Skype, you could run into a feedback issue where the Skype audio is sent back to the caller. For this, I would try a MIX-Minus. Or, you could use software like http://gspn.tv/callrecorder (Mac) or http://gspn.tv/pamela (PC) to record on the computer without any more cables required.
@Cliff Ravenscraft@lomu09Hi Cliff, I'm trying to find the cables you have on your package. I've found everything on your affiliate links...but not the cables. Where do I find them? I noticed that you mentioned a wiring diagram...do you sell that separately? Thanks so much for the equipment links, they are very helpful for getting started.
Any suggestion for a good video camera in the 400-600 price range. Good zoom, wide angle and able to produce an acceptable picture in an indoor ballroom lighting environment. Accepts the audio feed from the Mackie sound board. Produces file that can be processed on a Mac to create multiple podcasts from a long meeting. Live streaming is a possibility down the road.
CANON XL1s $300 to $500. Its a little older but it will shoot 16:9 aspect ratio not HD but no camera at this price range will rival its picture. It has xlr hookups and a FireWire out which should connect to any mac pro pre 2012... after that point you just need a simple adapter to plug it into your Mac. Cheers.