Portable podcast recording is actually a thing. My portable setup isn't exactly the same but it's a good idea to talk about this.
Read the linked article to see what they are using.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working on building a portable podcast studio. This process has involved ordering a lot of useless equipment (sorry Bossman!) and lots of tinkering around. But, finally, I’ve fixed on a set-up that I’m happy with.
My setup for mobile recording
First, I built mine to record directly into an iPhone or iPad so that I wouldn't have to buy a Zoom portable recorder. So, you'll see the “recorder” part of my gear missing. And, I actually have two different setups: one for solo recording, like when I was covering Ramadan, and the other for recording an interview.
- One microphone: Samson Q2U, Audio Technica ATR2100-USB or Audio Technica AT2005USB
- Apple Camera Connection Kit
- Headphones (the actual model isn't that important for this)
- Software to Record (currently GarageBand, Bossjock Studio, Auphonic, or TwistedWave)
For recording an interview
I'm only recording two voices, so my “mixer” only has two inputs and I only need 2 microphones
- Two microphones: Samson Q2U, Audio Technica ATR2100-USB, or Audio Technica AT2005USB
- Two XLR cables to connect the mics to the preamp and D/A converter (each of my mics came with an XLR cable, so I didn't need to buy one)
- ART Dual Pre Really cool preamp and digital to analog (D/A) converter that can connect to a computer via USB and can be powered by adapter (sold separately), USB power, or 9V battery
- Apple Camera Connection Kit to connect the USB out of the ART Dual Pre into the lightning adapter on my iPhone or iPad
- Headphone splitter
- Headphones (guests bring their own or use the headphones that come with the Samson Q2U)
- Software to record (currently GarageBand, Bossjock Studio, Auphonic, or TwistedWave)
And, that's it.
Notes about the gear
The Audio Technica ATR2100-USB is a combination USB/XLR dynamic microphone. That means that you can use it to plug directly into your computer via USB or into many iOS devices via USB using the Apple Camera Connection Kit. It does a good job of capturing voices clearly while excluding much of the environmental noise. And, as you grow, the microphone can grow with you, moving to XLR with a separate mixer, Digital to Analog (D/A) converter, preamp, etc. It ships with the microphone, a USB cable, an XLR cable, instructions, and some software.
The Samson Q2U is another combination USB/XLR dynamic microphone. Like both of the Audio Technica microphones, it does a good job of capturing voices while excluding environmental noise and can “grow with you.” In addition to the cables, instructions, and software, it also ships with a pair of headphones. They're not high quality but if you need headphones, this mic comes with them.
The ART Dual Pre is the newest addition to my gear. While I've not used it a whole lot, so far I'm satisfied with it. The sound is clean and it works well with my computer, iPad, and iPhone. My only challenge so far is that the output level via USB seems a little low. But I think I'll get that dialed in with a little more practice.
How about you?
If you podcast on the go, what gear and software do you use?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”