Podcast Equipment

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

Podcast Equipment

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 PR-40
Heil PRSM-B Shock Mount
BSW RE320POP Fine Mesh Metal Screen Pop Filter
Heil PL2T Heavy 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
QTY 1 1/8″ Stereo plug to 1/4″ Mono plug Cable (not displayed)
Shipping Included! (Continental United States Only)

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Heil PR-40 Podcast Microphone Equipment Package

Heil PR-40 / PR40

Heil PR-40 Package as show above = $649 (Shipping Included) (Continental United States Only)
(Mic Flag Not Included)

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I have created this quick video to show how to quickly setup your Heil Package:

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Heil PR-40 Microphone – Affiliate Link

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.

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Mackie 1402-VLZ4 Mixer – Affiliate Link

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.

Roland R-05 Digital Audio Recorder – 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.

The Roland R-05 can be purchase by using my affiliate link.

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones – Affiliate Link

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones

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.

In Podcast Answer Man episode 269, I share my full thoughts on why I switched over to the MDR-7506 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.

Behringer HA4700 Headphone Amplifier – 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 HA-4700 can be purchase by using my affiliate link.

Need 8 Headphones Jacks? Check out the Behringer HA-8000.

Behringer MDX-4600 Compressor/Limiter/Gate – Affiliate Link

Behringer MDX-4600

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.

The Behringer MDX-4600 can be purchased by using my affiliate link.

Heil PL2T Heavy Duty Mic Arm – Affiliate Link

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.

The Heil PL2T can be purchased by using my affiliate link.

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.

The Heil SM2B can be purchased by using my affiliate link.

BSW RE320POP Fine Mesh Metal Screen Pop Filter

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.

Want To See My Studio? Click Here

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    I have never owned a YETI mic, so I am not able to say what will work for it as far as a shock mount goes. The Heil Boom arm has a standard mic holder fitting on it.

  • tucker

    This is great stuff. We’re just starting one as well for start ups and crowdfunding. I can’t remember how I heard about you but I think it was from Entrepreneur on Fire. John does really well at what he does.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Thanks Tucker. Glad you are enjoying the site.