I’ve switched about my gear quite a bit since I started podcasting, and I think things sound pretty good. I thought I would go ahead and share what I’m using, what I like about my current setup, and what I might change in the future.
Microphone: Heil PR-40
The mic that I’m currently using, and that I’ve used on most episodes of The Run Loop is a Heil PR-40. I like the sound of it pretty well, although sometimes think it might be a little too hyped sounding. The thing I really like about it how much rejection it has for anything that’s not in front of it. Considering I’m recording in a small downstairs apartment with loud upstairs neighbors, that’s pretty essential.
I was using a Shure SM7b for a couple episodes but didn’t like it so much because it picked up a lot of room sound and the very low output made it a bit challenging to deal with, even with nice preamps.
On the episode with Bob, I used an Electro-Voice N/D767a for his voice, and on the latest episode with Michele Titolo I used a Shure SM58. They both seemed about as good but I’d probably give the edge to the Shure.
Headphones: Sony MDR7506
Although the hyped high end makes these a little weird to use if you were going to try to mix on them, I love the Sony MDR7506 for tracking. I have less trouble with bleed getting into the mic than I did with the Sennheiser HD 380 PRO, and they don’t need anything special to drive them. That’s pretty much what I’m looking for in tracking headphones. As a bonus they also look extremely cool.
Audio Interface: Focusrite Clarett 4Pre
I traded my Apogee Duet 2 for this, and for the most part it’s a great upgrade. Comparable sound, 4x as many inputs, and way better software. Plus it actually has knobs. The Duet had one knob that you needed to click to change what it did.
The only thing I don’t like about the Clarett as much is that the built in preamps have less gain available at 57dB vs the Duet’s 75dB. It’s totally sufficient for most things though; the Duet just had more headroom.
I would absolutely recommend the Clarett to anyone looking for an interface in this general price range. The value it gives for the cost is just nuts. Really pleased with it.
Preamp: API 512c
At $900 a channel, plus requiring a $650 box to put it in, I can’t really recommend this unless you have a lot of money and want something truly professional, or plan on recording music as well. For podcasting, the built in preamps in a decent interface are going to be great, but I already had this, so why not use it?
Software (DAW): Logic Pro X
I used Pro Tools way back in the past, but I’ve been on Logic for many years now. I have custom presets saved for most things and muscle memory for the key commands. I really like this app and I’m pretty good with it.
- Tivoli Audio Model One for mixing and listening back. I'd like to get some real studio monitors hooked up but space is very limited.
- Auphonic Leveler Batch Processor. I use the desktop version of Auphonic for loudness normalization. I don't mess with the other features too much.
- Zoom H6 handy recorder for mobile recording.
- Electro-Voice RE-50b microphone. Also for mobile recording.
- Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter for using low gain microphones with the Clarett preamps.
If I make any significant changes I’ll try to post what they are and why I switched. Right now I think my gear is pretty sufficient though and I’m going to try to focus on just making great episodes with what I’ve got for a while.