.NET Rocks folks recommend podcasting gear

One of my favorite podcasts is .NET Rocks which is done by Carl Franklin and friends. I just saw that they analyzed a bunch of hardware and found a kit that works great for less than $500.

PodTech uses some $1,500 specialized recorders but our folks are doing a lot of recording (and they get banged around a lot) plus we donate them to good events so they can record their sessions. I’ll cover those in a future video.

How about you, what do you use to podcast?

28 thoughts on “.NET Rocks folks recommend podcasting gear

  1. Ok, thought about it more……

    –Toshiba Satellite Duo Core with a gig of RAM. (1100 bucks, but doesn’t count because I had it before I was podcasting.)

    –AUDIO TECHNICA ATR35S lavaliere mike (30 bucks on eBay)

    –Sony Sound Forge to record into and do a little fluffing and folding and effects on some files (Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Sony Acid to make background music (Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Sonic Foundry Vegas to multitrack it all together and put in fades and such. (Free. Bootleg version, many years old.)

    –Also just ordered a cheap compressor (Behringer COM800 MiniCom, 40 bucks on musiciansbuy.com) and a USB2 soundcard (Generic, 30 bucks on Amazon.)

    –50 gigs a month throughput hosting, free, through a cool friend.

    –Code RSS in FeedForAll (Full version, Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Cheap radio shack headphones (10 bucks, doesn’t count because I had it before I was podcasting.)

    –Learned basics of RSS and podcasting for free in one night from Wikipedia entry
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting
    and links off that page.

    –Already knew how to record (from years of music recording, and from being a college radio DJ.)

    –Already knew how to write and interview, and how to edit stories, from being author and documentary filmmaker.

    Total is, hmmmmm….30 bucks so far, will be 100 bucks when I get the new gear.

  2. Ok, thought about it more……

    –Toshiba Satellite Duo Core with a gig of RAM. (1100 bucks, but doesn’t count because I had it before I was podcasting.)

    –AUDIO TECHNICA ATR35S lavaliere mike (30 bucks on eBay)

    –Sony Sound Forge to record into and do a little fluffing and folding and effects on some files (Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Sony Acid to make background music (Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Sonic Foundry Vegas to multitrack it all together and put in fades and such. (Free. Bootleg version, many years old.)

    –Also just ordered a cheap compressor (Behringer COM800 MiniCom, 40 bucks on musiciansbuy.com) and a USB2 soundcard (Generic, 30 bucks on Amazon.)

    –50 gigs a month throughput hosting, free, through a cool friend.

    –Code RSS in FeedForAll (Full version, Free, got it to review because I am a tech book author.)

    –Cheap radio shack headphones (10 bucks, doesn’t count because I had it before I was podcasting.)

    –Learned basics of RSS and podcasting for free in one night from Wikipedia entry
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting
    and links off that page.

    –Already knew how to record (from years of music recording, and from being a college radio DJ.)

    –Already knew how to write and interview, and how to edit stories, from being author and documentary filmmaker.

    Total is, hmmmmm….30 bucks so far, will be 100 bucks when I get the new gear.

  3. When getting started, I picked up a couple of books on Podcasting (there might have been only two at the time) and found what was being recommended and why. Initially, I got the:

    Edirol R1 Digital Recorder, Electrovoice 635A Microphone, Audacity Editing Software (Freeware), Skype for phone calls, HotRecorder to record calls and a USB Headset/Microphone. This package was under $600.

    Since then, I have added an Audio-Technica and a Studio Projects microphones along with a Eurorack UB802 Mixer, Rolls 4 Channel Headset Amp, a couple of headsets and a couple of desktop microphone stands. This added less than $400 to the total. So, I am still under a $1,000 and I got a very good quality solution. That may be a lot for most folks, but I looked at it as a business investment.

    I downloaded and tried a number of editing and studio solutions that retail for hundreds of dollars, but could tell in less than 15 minutes, they were too complicated, awkward to use or really meant for music where you wanted to record 24 tracks and mix down. I only wanted to record voice. Being a Windows user, Audacity was, by far, the best solution and was the one that was recommended in the books. The fact that it is free was icing on the cake.

    I also found a podcasting server solution, Podbus, that is $5 per month. How can you go wrong. They provided the RSS code I needed and they are always on top of answering any email questions I might have. I don’t understand how they make money at $5 per month, but they have me as a loyal customer. To date I have gotten three clients up on podcasting and using Podbus and have a couple more in the wings.

  4. When getting started, I picked up a couple of books on Podcasting (there might have been only two at the time) and found what was being recommended and why. Initially, I got the:

    Edirol R1 Digital Recorder, Electrovoice 635A Microphone, Audacity Editing Software (Freeware), Skype for phone calls, HotRecorder to record calls and a USB Headset/Microphone. This package was under $600.

    Since then, I have added an Audio-Technica and a Studio Projects microphones along with a Eurorack UB802 Mixer, Rolls 4 Channel Headset Amp, a couple of headsets and a couple of desktop microphone stands. This added less than $400 to the total. So, I am still under a $1,000 and I got a very good quality solution. That may be a lot for most folks, but I looked at it as a business investment.

    I downloaded and tried a number of editing and studio solutions that retail for hundreds of dollars, but could tell in less than 15 minutes, they were too complicated, awkward to use or really meant for music where you wanted to record 24 tracks and mix down. I only wanted to record voice. Being a Windows user, Audacity was, by far, the best solution and was the one that was recommended in the books. The fact that it is free was icing on the cake.

    I also found a podcasting server solution, Podbus, that is $5 per month. How can you go wrong. They provided the RSS code I needed and they are always on top of answering any email questions I might have. I don’t understand how they make money at $5 per month, but they have me as a loyal customer. To date I have gotten three clients up on podcasting and using Podbus and have a couple more in the wings.

  5. P.S. You should have seen how the guys glommed on to the two Lip Gloss and Laptops girls (one being my wife) on the Gnomedex bus when they brought out the MacMice USB adapter and dynamic mic. “What is that?!” “Where’d you get it?” “How well does it work?” It was like geek bait.

  6. P.S. You should have seen how the guys glommed on to the two Lip Gloss and Laptops girls (one being my wife) on the Gnomedex bus when they brought out the MacMice USB adapter and dynamic mic. “What is that?!” “Where’d you get it?” “How well does it work?” It was like geek bait.

  7. Over at Inside Home Recording we use some medium-range gear to get high-quality sound (I use a $70 MXL990 condenser mic — an amazing value — $40 Behringer UB802 mixer, $120 dbx 266XL compressor, and $350 M-Audio FireWire 410 audio interface into an eMac; my co-host Paul has a $250 Rode NT2 mic, $300 Focusrite Trakmaster mic pre/compressor, and $400 UAD-1 interface card), but I’ve gotten remarkably good sound from the lid mic on my MacBook (check out the interview with Craig Northey where I’m on the lid mic and he’s on the phone via Skype), decent sound from a Blue Snowball USB mic, and not-bad sound in a very noisy environment at Gnomedex with an Electro-Voice dynamic mic with a windscreen, a MacMice MicPlug USB converter, and the MacBook.

  8. Over at Inside Home Recording we use some medium-range gear to get high-quality sound (I use a $70 MXL990 condenser mic — an amazing value — $40 Behringer UB802 mixer, $120 dbx 266XL compressor, and $350 M-Audio FireWire 410 audio interface into an eMac; my co-host Paul has a $250 Rode NT2 mic, $300 Focusrite Trakmaster mic pre/compressor, and $400 UAD-1 interface card), but I’ve gotten remarkably good sound from the lid mic on my MacBook (check out the interview with Craig Northey where I’m on the lid mic and he’s on the phone via Skype), decent sound from a Blue Snowball USB mic, and not-bad sound in a very noisy environment at Gnomedex with an Electro-Voice dynamic mic with a windscreen, a MacMice MicPlug USB converter, and the MacBook.

  9. Hey I thought I’d mention that we actually use much more expensive and sophisticated gear to record .NET Rocks and the rest of our podcasts. The kit is really for non-geeks (business types) and those on a budget. We use the Presonus Digimax preamp with digital IO (not the LX model), and digitize with a Layla 24/96. We do it on a dedicated PC with lots of storage. We use Adobe Audition 1.5 to edit. We do use the Audio Technica mic though. That’s a great mic for 99 bucks. We also have 3 4′x6′ soundbooths in the studio that we got from http://www.soundsuckers.com. Of course, none of that is necessary, but we record music at the studio as well, and all that goodness comes in handy. :-)

    Carl

  10. Hey I thought I’d mention that we actually use much more expensive and sophisticated gear to record .NET Rocks and the rest of our podcasts. The kit is really for non-geeks (business types) and those on a budget. We use the Presonus Digimax preamp with digital IO (not the LX model), and digitize with a Layla 24/96. We do it on a dedicated PC with lots of storage. We use Adobe Audition 1.5 to edit. We do use the Audio Technica mic though. That’s a great mic for 99 bucks. We also have 3 4′x6′ soundbooths in the studio that we got from http://www.soundsuckers.com. Of course, none of that is necessary, but we record music at the studio as well, and all that goodness comes in handy. :-)

    Carl

  11. I guess someone’s got to be the one to say it: we talk directly at the iMac’s built in microphone. To our credit, the podcast was a skunkworks project at the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s resource centre, so we did a lot of making do with what was available, but it’d be nice to try out some new gear.

  12. I guess someone’s got to be the one to say it: we talk directly at the iMac’s built in microphone. To our credit, the podcast was a skunkworks project at the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s resource centre, so we did a lot of making do with what was available, but it’d be nice to try out some new gear.

  13. You can buy most of the stuff that Carl suggests for cheaper. Amazon has many of the items (brand new, not from “3rd party sellers”) for cheaper than the list price. I think about $280 should get you everything Carl (PWOP) mentions.

    Paul – You need to flesh out your suggestions some. Why do I need (or not need) a “external voice/signal processor”. And your packages don’t give me “everything” I need to start podcasting. Just some of the parts. I have never done podcasting (or any sort of recordings). I’d like to start, but where do I start. At least PWOP gives me a list of everything I need, known to work together, and a couple of simple videos to get me going.

  14. You can buy most of the stuff that Carl suggests for cheaper. Amazon has many of the items (brand new, not from “3rd party sellers”) for cheaper than the list price. I think about $280 should get you everything Carl (PWOP) mentions.

    Paul – You need to flesh out your suggestions some. Why do I need (or not need) a “external voice/signal processor”. And your packages don’t give me “everything” I need to start podcasting. Just some of the parts. I have never done podcasting (or any sort of recordings). I’d like to start, but where do I start. At least PWOP gives me a list of everything I need, known to work together, and a couple of simple videos to get me going.

  15. Anyone know how much recording time you get on a 1gb device? (like the iRiver T30-1G that PWOP uses).

    I know the quality level will affect time, but I think getting some recording equipment would be a good way to make some story books for my kids… (and I can do some podcasts on the side… :) ).

  16. Anyone know how much recording time you get on a 1gb device? (like the iRiver T30-1G that PWOP uses).

    I know the quality level will affect time, but I think getting some recording equipment would be a good way to make some story books for my kids… (and I can do some podcasts on the side… :) ).

  17. We deploy college students into live venues (art galleries, product launches and street vox pops) with the Sony ICD MX-20, a Binh bag, two AAA batteries and their shownotes. In more than 50% of the time, they often return in under an hour with edgy content that’s suitable for release at http://www.podcasting.ie — after they drag-and-drop their audio into a sound editor. We use SoundForge and Audacity.

    They do not use a computer to create the files because that would tie them down to a fixed point. They need the computer to convert audio bit rates, embed the ID-3 tags, and FTP up to the server.

    Some of the episodes are 100% Sony Digital Dictaphone like this one made on the streets at the Kilkenny Arts Festival:

    http://podcasting.ie/podcast/30-minutes-in-kilkenny/

    The academic term starts with studio work where we use a $195 mixing desk to slot in tracks from different student MP3 players (e.g., iPods, iRivers, and Walkman phones). We also jack in their mics (we have multimedia students who have their own gear), and let it rip. They’ve limited post-production time and the course training standards restrict outputs to no more than four minutes of post-pro for every one minute of final content. By the end of the term, most are consistently delivering content at better than 3:1 and that standard will get them interviewed for jobs here in Ireland and the UK.

    It’s horses for courses, but we’re doing the business with a $260 recorder, no external mic, a $195 mixing desk for some sessions, and a beat-up (no cash value) laptop we snagged from a past graduate. We also have a wide variety of mics, one valued at $2100, that we can jack in as needed for voiceovers and studio work.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. We deploy college students into live venues (art galleries, product launches and street vox pops) with the Sony ICD MX-20, a Binh bag, two AAA batteries and their shownotes. In more than 50% of the time, they often return in under an hour with edgy content that’s suitable for release at http://www.podcasting.ie — after they drag-and-drop their audio into a sound editor. We use SoundForge and Audacity.

    They do not use a computer to create the files because that would tie them down to a fixed point. They need the computer to convert audio bit rates, embed the ID-3 tags, and FTP up to the server.

    Some of the episodes are 100% Sony Digital Dictaphone like this one made on the streets at the Kilkenny Arts Festival:

    http://podcasting.ie/podcast/30-minutes-in-kilkenny/

    The academic term starts with studio work where we use a $195 mixing desk to slot in tracks from different student MP3 players (e.g., iPods, iRivers, and Walkman phones). We also jack in their mics (we have multimedia students who have their own gear), and let it rip. They’ve limited post-production time and the course training standards restrict outputs to no more than four minutes of post-pro for every one minute of final content. By the end of the term, most are consistently delivering content at better than 3:1 and that standard will get them interviewed for jobs here in Ireland and the UK.

    It’s horses for courses, but we’re doing the business with a $260 recorder, no external mic, a $195 mixing desk for some sessions, and a beat-up (no cash value) laptop we snagged from a past graduate. We also have a wide variety of mics, one valued at $2100, that we can jack in as needed for voiceovers and studio work.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Just got an Edirol R9 portable recorder. Excellent sound, about the size of two iPods. You can plug in an external mic for people who don’t like talking into a box, but you don’t need to. Watch levels, etc. on the box while she records.

    Also loving my Samson CO1U for voice over work, etc. So nice to have the large diaphram sound without having to plug into anything.

    Paul Colligan

  20. Just got an Edirol R9 portable recorder. Excellent sound, about the size of two iPods. You can plug in an external mic for people who don’t like talking into a box, but you don’t need to. Watch levels, etc. on the box while she records.

    Also loving my Samson CO1U for voice over work, etc. So nice to have the large diaphram sound without having to plug into anything.

    Paul Colligan

  21. You can actually get pretty darn good audio in the field with an Olympus DS-2 and a couple of standard studio mics plugged into a splitter directly into the recorder. You can’t really set levels, though you can see them. And the storage is limited at the highest audio quality level. But the recorder samples at up to 44.1kHz and 128kbps, costs just $100 online and works with both Macs and PCs. I’ve recorded several, out-of-studio podcasts with this set-up. And this recorder is now standard issue for Mercury News reporters who want to capture audio in the field. And best of all, it’s a snap to use. O’Reilly did a good review of the recorder here: http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2005/05/18/ds2.html

  22. You can actually get pretty darn good audio in the field with an Olympus DS-2 and a couple of standard studio mics plugged into a splitter directly into the recorder. You can’t really set levels, though you can see them. And the storage is limited at the highest audio quality level. But the recorder samples at up to 44.1kHz and 128kbps, costs just $100 online and works with both Macs and PCs. I’ve recorded several, out-of-studio podcasts with this set-up. And this recorder is now standard issue for Mercury News reporters who want to capture audio in the field. And best of all, it’s a snap to use. O’Reilly did a good review of the recorder here: http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2005/05/18/ds2.html

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