I’ve always been fascinated by radio, and as of late, podcasts. In college, I hosted a radio show on the local campus radio station, and a few years ago, I hosted a podcast called Northwest Wedding Weekly. I was perhaps a little ahead of the podcast craze – especially for the wedding industry – but now that podcasts have exploded in popularity as a great “on-demand” audio medium for content, I’m excited to announce that I’m producing a couple of podcast shows, which will be released soon!
With that said, I’m also excited to offer a virtual tour of the remodeled podcast studio at my office; and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It all started with finding the perfect desk, and the Ikea desk you see in the photos I randomly stumbled upon at a Goodwill was just that: perfect. (And with a price tag of only $20, it was a no brainer!) A couple of days later, the podcast studio at Tony Schwartz Productions was completely transformed: brighter, warmer, more intimate, and capable of including three in-studio guests, plus a producer, one call-in guest, and two podcast guests.
In other words, in my humble opinion, it’s a pretty awesome professional podcast studio!
Here’s a look at the equipment I’ve selected for use inside my podcast studio setup, as well as how to build your own podcast setup, starting with the microphones:
I love the Heil PR-40 microphones for podcasting. They sound great, and best of all, because it is a dynamic microphone, the room doesn’t have to be acoustically perfect! I have three of these dynamic microphones in my podcast studio.
HEIL PR-40 AMAZON AFFILATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2pfxfkS
For each microphone, I’ve added a pop filter, a PRSM-B shock mount, and a PL-2T boom stand. A word of advice: yes, you can get the cheaper shock mount and boom stand, but they do make a considerable amount of noise that did make it into each recording. The ones I’ve selected for my podcast studio are a little more expensive, but well worth the money if you want to produce a professional podcast.
Before I connect each microphone into my mixer, I run them into a DBX 286s Microphone Pre-Amp Processor. I feel these are a necessity for the Heil PR-40, as it boosts the level of the signal cleanly, and the on-board processing will not only give your voice that “broadcast-style” sound, but it will help with removing background noise, too!
It’s a little difficult to setup at first, but a couple of great videos exist on YouTube that will explain how to configure the DBX 286s and help you dial in that perfect sound for your voice.
DBX 286s AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2oskTpx
Finally, I’ve included a couple of mic mutes for my in-studio guests. Also known as a “cough button”, mic mutes do exactly what one would think they do: mute the mic instantly with the push of a button. The rolls MM11Pro is built to last – and highly rated! – so I’ve selected it for my podcast studio.
ROLLS MM11PRO AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2osxEjT
When it comes to headphones, it’s hard to beat the industry-standard Sony MDR7506 headphones. And at $80 each, they are a great value.
SONY MDR7506 AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2pfuhN5
In between the two mic mutes, I’ve included a headphone amplifier/splitter, the ART Pro Audio HeadAmp 4. It allows for up to four headphones to be connected at once, and each headphone user has independent volume (gain) control. My in-studio guests love it, and at $65, I think it is absolutely perfect for podcasts with multiple in-studio guests.
SONY MDR7506 AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2obdNoc
Yes, a Mackie 1202VLZ-4 mixer works well for podcasts, as does a number of other mixers on the market. My previous podcast studio featured the Allen & Heath XB-10 and I loved that mixer, but I really wanted a mixer with channel faders and two Telco input/outputs. Enter it’s big brother, the Allen & Heath XB-14 2. It allows up to four microphone inputs, two Telco input/outputs – I use one for Skype and one for phone calls – and four audio inputs, which allows each guest to plug in their own media source.
For me, it’s all about options, especially since my podcast studio is available for rent, too.
ALLEN & HEATH XB-14 2 BROADCAST MIXER AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2pzVR70
The last requirement of a podcast studio is something to record your show with! The Allen & Heath XB-14 2 has a USB output that allows me to record directly into my iMac, but I use that method as a backup solution. Why? Because I love the Zoom H5 Portable Recorder, which produces a much louder – and better – recording. Plus, if I’m in a hurry, I can take the SD card from the Zoom H5 after I record and edit it on my laptop while I’m in between meetings. Quick, easy, efficient, and awesome quality.
ZOOM H5 AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK: http://amzn.to/2oeh9X3
The following list of equipment isn’t critical, but it does enhance my podcast recordings and the work I accomplish in my studio, so therefore, I’m including it for reference.
- PreSonus Eris E4 Studio Monitors – LINK
- JK Audio BlueDriver-M3 – for phone calls – LINK
- Roland DUO-CAPTURE UA-11 mk2 USB Audio Interface – for Skype calls – LINK
- Heil Sound FL-2 Permanent Flange Mount – LINK
- Auralex SonoLite Acoustic Absorption Panels – LINK
- Furman PL-8C Power Conditioner – LINK
- Seagate 8TB External Hard Drive – LINK
- Apple 21.5″ iMac (4K Retina Display) – LINK
- Stand Steady TITAN Adjustable Monitor Stand – LINK
What equipment would you put in your dream podcast studio? Sound off in the comment section below.
This content uses Amazon affiliate referral links, which helps to support this blog. There is no cost to you! Please read my disclosure policy for more information.