Solo Podcast Setup for Over $1,000
Microphone: ElectroVoice RE20
This is the microphone most synonymous with radio and spoken word production. You’ve probably seen one on TV or even in a movie. It’s my favorite dynamic microphone, and I use it for my personal voiceover recordings as well as in-person podcast production.
The reason it’s my favorite mic is that it molds to my voice well. My voice is naturally a little on the deeper side, and this mic pulls that out while still keeping the highs. It’s a mic that’ll make you happy with the sound of your own voice even if you normally hate it.
From a technical standpoint, it’s not nearly as gain-hungry as its competitor the Shure SM7B, and it has all the bells and whistles of the RE320. The big difference here is that this mic is a bit warmer and not quite as focused on the “highs” as I find the 320 to be.
When you get into this price range, you’re going to find yourself really wanting to try microphones before you commit, and I definitely encourage that if it’s possible to do where you live. Alternatives I haven’t mentioned but deserve your attention here are Heil, Neumann, and Rode.
If you’re getting the RE20, you’ll want to be sure to get the shock mount for it. If you’re traveling on the road a lot, you’ll probably want to skip using this as it’s very bulky, but be prepared to ask people to keep their hands off the table. It’ll pick up thumps and bumps pretty easily. The Tie-Fighter-esque cage it comes in is great for mitigating shocks though.
As for pop filters, you can easily find some large foam covers that will work well for this to start with. Although personally, I recommend getting this pop filter and mic kit from BSW. It is phenomenal, and they’ve got a good combo price that you can’t even beat on Amazon (without being scammed).
You’ll also need a gain booster here as well. I recommend the Cloudlifter CL-1. While this mic is generally fine without them, I’ve found that the UAD Apollo’s gain is surprisingly low compared with other recording gear. Having a gain booster will ensure you can increase the volume comfortably while keeping the line noise low.
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro
As we get into pro-level gear, we’re really teetering towards a realm where the options are highly opinionated. With headphones, it’s no different. In order to mitigate that, I’m recommending the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros solely based on two factors 1) comfort and 2) dynamic range. As an editor, you’ll want headphones that you can wear for a long time, and these things are furry earmuffs. They can get hot, but they won’t get sticky thanks to their microfiber ear cups. They also don’t fit me (personally) as tightly around the head as the Audio Technica M50x headphones do. So they are comfy.
The big advantage to these is their dynamic range. They go from 5-35,000 kHz. So you will be able to hear a lot with these. They also have good sound isolation (better than the M50X’s, from what I can tell), which is important whether you’re editing audio or just listening to music. The impedance on these goes all the way up to 250 ohms, which is a fancy way of saying that you can listen to a lot of loud music without these getting distorted. So these double as good entry-level hi-fi headphones too! You can also find 35-ohm and 80-ohm versions with less impedance. This is important if you plan on these being your only pair of headphones. To that end, the biggest drawback to these is that they aren’t as compact as the M50x’s. Between the fact that I own the 250 Ohm version and that, I use these strictly for my home studio. My M50x’s still go with me on all recording sessions.
Audio Interface: UAD Apollo
Universal Audio has done a tremendous job developing hardware with built-in processing so that you can run effects in real-time. Their plugins emulate hardware you normally find in the recording booth at a studio with painstaking detail. Yes, I know that there are other post-production software plugins you can buy that are a fraction of what UAD offers, but they just don’t do it as well. They’re great for day-to-day edits, but if you really want the most out of your own voice, then I don’t think UAD’s plugins can beat outside of the real thing.
Cost-wise, this presents a problem, of course. If you think you’ll just buy the interface and use the existing plugins, you’re probably mistaken. In my opinion, finding a good expander/noise gate is crucial for in-home recording (especially without a dedicated recording booth), and that is not available with the bundled plugins. So you’ll need at least one channel strip (I recommend the API Channel Strip as it has a super fast expander/gate option). You may also want a De-Esser, and guess what’s not included in the plugins? That said, this unit and its accessories are not cheap. But, dangit, they’re worth it if you are serious about podcasting and know you’ll use the unit for a long time.
It’s also worth noting this is what I would deem a true “Professional” device. You must have an understanding of how to use not just the unit but for the plugins, too. Rode tries to make their effects as easy as turning a switch, and with the UAD interfaces, you’ll find none of that. They do provide some great manuals, but… you must READ the manuals. You can’t skip the details and “just use it.” It’s not plug-and-play. At least not until you get everything dialed in. If you already use effects processing in your own post-production work, this won’t be rocket science. But if you’re just looking to buy a unit because it’s expensive and I talk glowingly about it, just don’t. Get what’s easy to start with and learn from there… or buy this and take the time to learn it. If you don’t, you’ll be very frustrated.
One last note on this interface, assuming you do get this, I highly recommend getting Loopback. This software will help make it easier to ensure you’re broadcasting your mic in stereo when you’re on a Zoom call. The standard audio output for the UAD will output computer sound as well, and with Loopback you’ll be able to isolate your output to just the microphone, ensuring nobody hears all your Slack notifications.
Podcast Gear Pricing Sheet
|RE20||Microphone for podcasting. This comes in a bundle with a pop filter, XLR Cable, and shock mount.||1||$549.00||$549.00|
|XLR Cables (Additional)||XLR Cables are included with the RE20 bundle, but you will need 1 more for using the CL-1 below.||1||$20.00||$20.00|
|Rode PSA1+||Sturdy microphone arm. Note: NOT Sold on Amazon||1||$130.00||$130.00|
|Cloudlifter CL-1||Gain booster for increased volume and performance from RE20 microphone||1||$150.00||$150.00|
|UAD Apollo – Heritage Edition||Audio interface for podcast production that also can run virtual effects (compressors, channel strips, etc.) in real-time. Great for both live and recorded content.||1||$699.00||$699.00|
|Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro – 250 Ohm||Headphones suitable for use with the Rodecaster Pro, smartphones, and laptops||1||$170.00||$170.00|
- RE20 Podcast Kit – $549
- Microphone for podcasting. This comes in a bundle with a pop filter, XLR Cable, and shock mount
- XLR Cables (Additional) – $20
- XLR Cables are included with the RE20 bundle, but you will need 1 more for using the CL-1 below
- Cloudlifter CL-1 – $150
- Gain booster for increased volume and performance from RE20 microphone
- Rode PSA1+ – $130
- Sturdy microphone arm. Note: NOT Sold on Amazon
- UAD Apollo – Heritage Edition – $699
- Audio interface for podcast production that also can run virtual effects (compressors, channel strips, etc.) in real-time. Great for both live and recorded content.
- Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro – 250 Ohm – $170
- Great headphones for monitoring & editing audio
Total Price: $1,718
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