Podcasting Microphones Extras

So since my last post where I discussed my recommendations for a good podcasting microphone I have received a couple of orders from Amazon. First is a shock mount which is designed to remove some of the vibrations that may occur from moving the microphone to bumping the desk. This is the one I grabbed: Shock mount https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C86FA0E/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The only problem was that I didn’t check the sizes so I needed to 3D print a part so that the microphone sat comfortably. Mic Enlarger I also purchased a foam microphone wind protector to help soften the noise of the microphone. This is the one I grabbed: Foam Cover https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EMUQ08O/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Together they all look pretty cool: Mic with Foam Cover and Shock Mount

Podcasting Microphones

For all intensive purposes do not record audio through the microphone of your laptop, these microphones pick up far to much background noise and never provide any kind of reasonable quality. A starting point is to just use the microphone attached to Apple AirPods - which will provide a clearer recording just by the fact that it will sit closer to your mouth. It also works well while on the move. In my experience the “feel” of a podcast changes dramatically based upon the quality of the recorded audio. Some of the clear “low quality” sounding podcast generally arise when the presenters are located in the same location sharing one microphone. So how do you choose a good microphone that has a reasonable price? Well you could head to this blog post by Marco Arment of Tumblr, Instapaper and Overcast fame. Podcasting Microphones Mega-Review tl;dr - get yourself an Audio Technica ATR2100-USB.

An amazing value for the money: it sounds great for the price, and pretty decent at any price, as long as you speak up very closely to it. With USB and XLR outputs and a built-in headphone jack for USB mode, I don’t know of a cheaper or simpler all-in-one solution to recommend. Compared to other inexpensive USB mics aimed at beginners, which are usually large-diaphragm condensers, the dynamic ATR-2100 picks up far less room echo and background noise. But you have to speak up closely to it — get more than about two inches from it, and it gets very bad, very quickly.
AT2100-USB This microphone is fantastic and provides great value for money. Tracking one of these down in Australia is its biggest down sides. I managed to grab one from my local PLE computers for $99.

So why this microphone - other than price?

Inputs and Outputs

USB

Connecting to a laptop or even iPad could not be easier.

XLR outputs

Flexible enough to connect to any professional audio equipment and cabling.

2.5mm Headphone Jack

Plugging your headphones directly into the microphone enables the ability to listen to exactly what the microphone is picking up. This actually makes a huge difference while recording.

A small stand

Easy table top setup.

Example Recordings

Like what Marco did in his review, below I have included some example recordings I made using the internal microphones from an iPad Pro 12.9 and a MacBook Pro with also recordings made on both devices with the AT2100-USB Microphone. MacBook Pro Internal Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/macbook-pro-internal-mic.m4a"][/audio] MacBook Pro with AT2100-USB Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/macbook-pro-mic.m4a"][/audio] iPad Internal Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ipad-internal-mic.m4a"][/audio] iPad with AT2100-USB Microphone [audio src=“http://172.105.180.81/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ipad-mic.m4a"][/audio]

iPad Setup

iPad Connection

Podcasting Series

One of the many ways I like to pass time while running or driving is by listening to Podcasts. They cover so many topics, themes and styles that really there is an endless amount of content available. I like to listen to podcasts covering technology, education, science and tv shows. At the end of this post I’ll link to some of my favourites that I could not live without. Over some of the next few posts I will go through the setup that I have been putting together to record, edit and publish a podcast so that people can subscribe and listen. I will try to cover my experiences and choices that I have made - like keeping costs to a minimum. I would like to point out a couple of resources that I recommend - and that I have used to help in my decisions. Six Colors - Podcast Posts Casey Liss - How I Make Podcasts

Podcast Recommendations

Accidental Tech Podcast Connected Hello Internet Future Tense

Podcasting Activity

This week I am beginning a new task with my Year 10 class. So far this year we have looked at photography, movie creation and coding. I wanted to finish the year with something that I am very interested in and will be fun for the students. I had come up with a couple of ideas; one was to create a TED Talk style presentation and the other was for creating a Podcast. I gave my class the choice and they (quite rightly) voted for Podcasting. Below is what I will be providing the students with as our starting point.

Definition:

A podcast is a digital medium consisting of an episodic series of audio, digital radio, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism and portmanteau derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod, as audio podcasts are often listened to on portable media players. Merriam Webster defines Podcast: a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Podcast,“  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Podcast&oldid=634757873 (accessed November 24, 2014).
For this task you are required to create an episode of a podcast on a topic of your choice. You will work in groups of 2-3 and produce a “high quality” recording using applications including Skype, Quicktime, Audacity and Audition. You will also use your laptop, microphones and headphones. You will also need to investigate methods of hosting a podcast for people to subscribe to. The podcast will need to be at minimum 15 minutes long and a maximum of 30 min. To achieve this you will need to plan at least one topic each and discuss for around 5 minutes. You will also need an introduction. As you will see that most podcast have a theme that they stick to for the whole epsiode ie movies, technology, health, fitness or even a tv show. If you have not listened to a podcast before you may find iTunes has many podcast in its “podcast” section. If you have an iOS device there is also a podcast app that will allow you to find podcasts. Some of Mr Brown’s favourites are inlcuded: Serial - A real life investigation into a high school murder No Such Thing As A Fish - From the people who make QI, 4 interesting facts for the week Connected - A weekly panel discussing Apple and the impact of technology on our lives Analog(ue) - A show discussing how technology makes us “feel” Accidental Tech Podcast - A group of nerds discuss tech, Apple, programming and anything around This blog post (from Casey Liss - a famous Podcaster) explains the process used by some of the more professional podcasts.