I'm kind of over articles telling me I need £1000 to get a basic level kit to BEGIN podcasting. I mean, really? If I had £1000 spare it would 100% definitely not be going on microphones and admitting that doesn't make me a bad audio person (FTR it would go on debts, good causes and a mini break to somewhere with a cat pub).
A lot of these articles use complicated lingo or are sponsored by the mics they're recommending. *NB*-That's not to say I'm not open to a piece advertising your £700 a pop USB mics for the right price tag- get in touch, I'll happily sell out if it gets me another mini break. Either way, I thought I'd put together some basic kits for a range of budgets that won't make my head explode from insider language.
With professional audio (if you're producing a show for a client) there is a standard you should keep to (that's why people get paid) but if you're building your own show or starting out then money shouldn't be another barrier to entry. A lot of it is about using the kit correctly and not the price tag, a five grand mic isn't going to be much use if it's facing the wrong way so spend a lot of time playing around with your mic, learning about sound proofing and familiarising yourself with the battery life of your recorder.
PS- Feel free to mix and match with these kits x
Kit 1- £10
I know SO many people who use these mics, the snobbery around them needs to stop. I'd recommend doing a few test runs with placement and remember to not move around or play with them during the recording as it'll sound like DCGJUVHKBJJUYFDUTJYFHKL.
Kit 2- £50
This is a mic I've been sending out to a lot of shows during lockdown. It's VERY easy to use and clamps to your table so you don't have to get a sore arm during a recording. Check your computer is set up to record from the mic and not its built in mic before the recording, it can be really stressy if you notice it's recording from the wrong mic just before a recording (like rly).
Kit 3 - £75
Zoom IQ6/UK Handy Recorder for iOS - £77 (Yes yes £2 over, I know)
What I like about this mic is that a lot of journalists use it (watch out for it on the news) so using it makes me feel like a smart person (It also records in very good quality for a mobile attachment)
Kit 4 - £200
(Slightly over again, sozzzzzzz)
The Rode mics are for Apple phones only (eurgh) but they are really easy to use. I record a lot of interviews on them. There's even two if you happen to know another person. I've thrown in the headphones as a good set of cans (that's audio talk for headphones😏) are essential.
Kit 5- £300
Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone - Black- £86.00 Zoom H4n Pro/UK Handy Recorder- £198.25 Stagg SMC6 standard microphone cable (price dependant on length)- £5.76 SONY MDR-ZX310APB Headphones- £12.99
This is getting into professional kits now.
This mic is levitating in its pic so you know already that we're onto a winner. The SM57-LC is a dynamic mic which means it picks up the sound in front of it. The other main type of mic is a condenser which picks up more of the sound surrounding it too. Condensers give that lovely warm sound but dynamics are better if you're recording in a noisy room.
The Zoom H4N Pro is my favourite bit of kit. If there was a basic bitch podcasting kit, it would be in it, front and centre. I mean that as a compliment because SO MANY PODCASTS are recorded on them. Be warned: you need to hit recorded twice for it to record.
Kit 6 - £500
Zoom H4n Pro/UK Handy Recorder- £198.25 Beyerdynamic M58 Omni-Directional Dynamic ENG/EFP Microphone - £179.00 Stagg SMC6 standard microphone cable (price dependant on length)- £5.76 Sennheiser HD 280 PRO II Closed Back Headphones- £85.00
Marantz Professional PMD-661 MKIII Voice Recorder - Black/Black- .£379.00 Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone - Black- £86.00 Stagg SMC6 standard microphone cable (price dependant on length)- £5.76 Audio Technica ATH-M20x Headphones - £44.99
The Beyerdynamic mic is one which I used to use all the time before we had to go and stay in our gaffs. Rest it on your chin to record.
The marantz is another bit of kit that is in a lot of podcasting kits. I haven't used it too much but I know some producers who I rate swear by it.
Here are some other kit lists from the RISE & SHINE community: