Thank you so much for this list. When will you finish this list? I am very interested in getting this set up. Do you do consulting?
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!
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
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:
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.
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.
The Roland R-05 can be purchase by using my affiliate link.
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.
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.
The JK Audio Broadcast Host is another piece of equipment that I ordered based upon the recommendation of Leo Leporte. Sever years ago, I wanted to do live, interactive, podcasts where folks call call in by telephone. At the time, using Skype to dial out to normal telephone calls was simply not reliable. It seemed that nearly every call that was longer than 30 minutes would have a minimum of one instance where the call would get disconnected, and ofter it would happen as many as three to four times within each 30 minute period. This was back in early 2006.
There were a number of solutions available for free conference calling. With the Broadcast Host, It allowed me to use my studio telephone line to dial into one of these free conference calling telephone bridges. When my listeners called into the same conference call, their voice travels down the phone line, into my broadcast host and then into my audio mixer mentioned above.
Using the aux output with a mix-minus setup mentioned in the mixer section above, I was able to send all the audio from my microphones and audio inputs from my computers back out of my mixer into the broadcast host and back down the telephone line for all those dialed in to hear.
Another benefit of having the broadcast host was that there were times when I wanted to interview someone who is not tech savvy enough to figure out Skype. The Broadcast Host made it possible for me to simply have my guest call my studio line or for me to dial them directly from my studio and record the call this way.
My Inside The Studio Tutorial thoroughly explains how I have my JK Audio Broadcast Host hooked up with all of my other equipment and provides additional information about how I deal with the static that typically comes from brining a telephone call into your mixer. You can purchase that tutorial by clicking here.
Please note that I wrote all of the the information about the JK Audio Broadcast Host in “Past Tense” intentionally. You see, I still have this device in my studio setup. However, it’s been well over a year, maybe two, since I have actually used it. Today, nearly everyone is able to figure out how to use Skype on their computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone or tablet, BlackBerry phone or tablet and Windows phone or tablet.
For those situations where you still need the ability to dial out to a regular telephone line, Skype’s telephone service is more reliable than ever. In fact, I’ve found it more reliable than my Smart phone at times. They have pay as you go options for dialing out to telephone and the also have very low cost subscription options.
For those who require the ability to give out a phone number so your telephone interview guest can call you, the Skype Number feature is a solution worth looking into. With this feature, anyone using a normal telephone can call your Skype Number and it will automatically bring that call into Skype.
In 2006, I am confident that using a telephone interface device, like the JK Audio Broadcast Host, was the best choice for me. However, today, I am confident that if you have a good connection to the internet, Skype is a superior solution for telephone calls. If you are still considering the purchase of a JK Audio Broadcast Host, please consider using my affiliate link.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Want To See My Studio? Click Here
Thank you so much for this list. When will you finish this list? I am very interested in getting this set up. Do you do consulting?
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.
Thanks for any advice.
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?
Again, tremendous thanks!
I've been dragging my feet getting started but I ordered the Marantz 661 MkII. I was wondering your thoughts on that particular recorder as it arrives tomorrow.
I'm just getting into this stuff and was wondering if I could save $$ by using my existing Bose QC2 headphones for monitoring?
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!
I'm just about to click buy to get everything for my studio from your affiliate links and learn from your tutorials, but I have one large issue that I'm not sure about. My co-host and I are in different locations and I'd like to be mobile on my side as well. I'm new to podcasting and despite what I've learned from listening to your podcast I'm just not sure how it would work. Do we need to make two totally separate studios for us both or is there another way to get the high quality? I'd inquire about consulting, but I'm assuming your several months out and I'd like to get this going right away so if you have any podcasts about this or could give me a quick response that would be great. Thanks!
Hi, I do not have a lot of time to devote to being AWESOME at figuring this stuff out. I am very untechie 52 yr old gal reinventing herself-but will get it done.
With that being said- My goal is to put out as professional as I can, podcasts for training using the least amount of money I can start up with, and adding on as I can. I also will be traveling in an RV so my studio needs to be flexible. Phone interviews a must- telephone, maybe skype. I can get loud and boisterous, so the gate thing sounds fantastic. I have a newer laptop PC.
I will purchase your stuff, links and your how to's as you are a huge value- saving me time to get my stuff up and running by learning from you. I have to figure out what pertains to me.
Where do I start. Do I need the $600 mic-or can I do a $199 and add the gatekeeper.......
If you can respond SUPER-AWESOME, and if not, I understand you are over the top busy.
Cliff, I am connecting to the behringer gate/compressor and I see on your diagram that your have two outs (blue) going from the back of the board into the compressor/gate. There are outs that loop back to the inputs.. Are there 1/4inch outs right back to the inputs? Can you explain these two "loops" at the gate/compressor please?
P.S. Your staff (Andrea) is awesome!!
Sorry if this has been asked before (I did a quick search but I did not find the answer): Do you have european shops affiliate links? (For european customers)
I'm asking because, as you'll know, there are usually heavy taxes, customs agents comissions and import tariffs applied to everything coming from outside the European Union, so I'm afraid ordering from USA would not be an option for people like me (I'm in Spain), since I could end up paying a hefty overprice.
Besides helping you out, the fact of having european affiliate links from you would bring some additional peace of mind (trusted sellers). And it would be ideal to find one single store with all the products (instead of having to buy the items separately).
On the other hand, I guess most of your audience is from the US, so I absolutely understand that it might not be worth for you to establish european affiliate relationships, but well, I'm asking just in case. Thank you and congratulations for your show.
Hi Cliff, I went through "Learn how to podcast 101", an Ah.Mazing resource, thank you!
I decided to go for it and have a soundcraft mixer, good´ol Edirol and Focusrite 18i8 external sound card. I have Skype installed on my MacBook. But the thing I can´t figure out is how to "split" the incoming Skype-calls (one or more), since I want to do the recording in Wav on my Edirol. Any advice? My second Q is about software requirements: Is it enough to buy the Ecamm Call Recorder, or do I need something else to run the show?
Hey Cliff, what's the name or type of second sound card you have in your Mac? Is it internal or external? Thanks
@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.
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.
@DerekCOlsen I do not think it will work. The Heil Shock mount is very specific to the bezel for where it is meant to connect on the Heil Mic.
@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. ;)
Just in case Cliff is busy and can't get back to you right away I can at least inform you that B&H does ship to Portugal.
Cliff will have to chime in regarding the Rode Procaster because I don't have any experience with it. Anyway just thought I'd add to the discussion.
@jesusat2am I still use SoundByte for my Desktop and I will sometimes use the iPad app that you may have seen in one of my recent videos and it is actually the SoundByte app for iOS. You can get it at http://gspn.tv/soundbyte and instructions on how it works can be found at http://gspn.tv/soundbytefaq
@DanielOrtego I've never used that specific recorder. Looks nice enough.
@reginaldwalton Yep. you sure can.
@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
@BarbAvery Barb, I get just over 20 requests a day for help in filling specific equipment needs like this. As you might imagine, I'm not able to answer all these requests. I share some basic thoughts on equipment in video number 3 of my free Learn How To Podcast tutorial at http://LearnHowToPodcast.com.
If you need help beyond that, I can refer you to a podcast consultant in my referral network for paid one-on-one consulting.
Or, if you prefer, you may be able to find someone who would be willing to help you out in the Google Plus Podcasters community at https://plus.google.com/communities/102333709604116814839
@gavin welch Gavin, thanks for the feedback on Andrea. She is amazing. As for the loops you are referring to, these are "INSERT CABLES" that have a single 1/4" TRS (Stereo) plug on one end and two 1/4" TS (Mono) plugs on the other end, where one is labeled TIP and the other RING.
The TIP sends the audio out of the mixer into the Compressor/Limiter/Gate (goes into the INPUT of this device) and the RING is meant to bring the audio from the OUTPUT of the Compressor/Limiter/Gate back into the mixer.
@photoshopeando I know that B&H Photo, whom I do have an affiliate relationship with, does ship outside the US. My link with them is http://gspn.tv/bh. I do understand, however, about the shipping costs and import taxes involved. I have not yet had the opportunity, within my schedule, to research and establish relationships with European equipment dealers. Perhaps one day in the future. But will not likely occur in 2013. So sorry.
@Torill Call Recorder could be a good backup. Some use it as primary. I don't like relying on software. For splitting the signal, if you want to do that, you could send your mic into left channel only and Skype audio into right channel only. I prefer getting audio levels right, as I am recording and the audio gets to hear it the same way I heard it as I was recording. ;) This reduces the amount of post production greatly.
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.
Thank you both for your help.
Thank you so much for your answer Cliff! And yes I want the procaster I am not confident on USB mics my personal experience is awfull lots of interference... XLR for the win!
@DanielOrtego Obrigado Daniel! É bom saber que há portugueses interessados nesta area!
i can't wait! still lots to learn, but i'll get there.
no worries! found you thru Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income blog. :-)
I didn't mean without a mixer completely, just one with fewer channels.
I get what you are saying, leave room for potential growth, but the format of what we are doing is more instructional, almost lecture like...not the typical podcast.
@Cliff Ravenscraft @BarbAvery I understand and I was SURE you did/do have 80000 requests!!
I am on this like a fly on flypaper!
THANK YOU for pointing me in the direction to find my answer........
HEY! Maybe someday I will be so freakin awesome that my studio will look like yours only with leopard wallpaper.....LOL
H5 and thanks again!
Off to conquer the world....TY!
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.
@mcopeland47 I'm not familiar with Mac software, but nearly any video editor will handle this simple task.
I use Sony Vegas on my Windows box. Maybe they have a mac version, not sure. It only cost about $100 when I first bought it.
@mcopeland47 it's not that hard to sync the audio and video manually in post. I would just do that.
@mcopeland47 I've never had an issue with audio sync with the videos I've produced, especially if you record audio into the camera through an external mic input.
@SarahAdams2 That is awesome. I'll be sure to tell Pat when I talk to him later today.
@JasonMunger My pleasure.
@BarbAvery I totally look forward to the day when you email me a picture of your studio with Leopard Wallpaper. :)