How I Record And Edit Podcasts

Learning to edit podcasts was a real challenge for me. I tend toward visual creativity, and I just don't have as good of an ear for it as some. What I did understand was pacing. The rest came with a lot of effort.

Spaces are different. Equipment is different. Voices are different. Nothing any one person says is the "right" way to get a desired result. With that said, this is the gear I use and how I use it.

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Zoom H6

Price: $320 (2020 revised version)

The Zoom H6 is legendary. There is no portable digital recorder as reliable and versatile for anywhere near the price.

It can record up to 4 individual XLR inputs (6 with an adapter). It comes with a pair of detachable microphone modules for recording stereo and voiceover audio. It can record directly to an SD card or serve as an audio interface for your computer.

It is powered vis USB or four AA batteries which will keep the recorder running for 6-8 hours. The XLR inputs are surprisingly clean. There are two 3.5 jacks, one for direct monitoring and another for line-out audio. Each of XLR inputs has the option to deliver +48v phantom power.

There is a newer version of this recorder (Zoom H8) with more digital on-board options, but if you are just looking to record clean audio is an easily portable device there is no better option.

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Zoom P8

Price: $499

I really like Zoom products. I've used a Zoom L-12 to record Godsfall for the past two years. The recordings were always beautifully clear, but I was barely able to travel with it. I needed something more compact.

I went back and forth between the Zoom L8 and the P8. Both have six XLR inputs, both can record directly to SD cards, and both can serve as an audio interface for your computer. The P8 is limited to delivering a combined stereo feed at 16-bit /44.1kHz. The L8 allows for each mic to be recognized at 24-bit/96kHz, or up to 48kHZ if recording to computer and SD card simultaneously.

Ultimately, I went with the P8 because the preamps are a little cleaner and it allows for live mixing capabilities as well as recording. if you want a deck that works for podcasting and music, get the L8 (it's also $150 cheaper).

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Shure 58

Price: $99

There is a reason why you see Shure 58 microphones in every comedy and music venue: they are nearly indestructible, and their are excellent at isolating audio.

Where you have multiple people talking excitedly — sometimes all at once — around the same table, you want to be able to have each microphone cut down as much audio coming in from the back and sides.

I've used SM58s to record Godsfall for several years, and every one of them was bought used of eBay. They all work perfectly fine, even after a mic lost one of its 3-pin connectors. I accidently drenched one with a full cup of spilled water while it was plugged in. I am convinced they cannot be killed.

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Shure SM7B

Price: $399 (and may require a $100-150 activator)

Everything that is great in the Shure 58 is made magic with the SM7B. The range and clarity of audio it captures makes any voice sound rich, and the built-in shock mount and pop filter help make any setup sound professional.

These mics are heavy, requiring strong boom arms to support them. Depending on what you are plugging it into, you will probably need a microphone activator as well.

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