As someone who records and edits his own podcast, as well as for clients, and who also records in-person interviews and occasional live events, I need a few different bits of kit. But let’s start with the essentials.
I bought a pair of these in 2017 and haven’t needed another since. They don’t cause any bleed into the microphone when recording, and are comfortable to wear for long edits (and I’ve used them for very long edits).
They’re more than accurate enough for podcast editing work, especially if you take pride over your audio, but they don’t carry an audiophile price tag.
I joke that this is the kind of mic you buy your teenage daughter for her Adele cover channel on YouTube, but it’s a responsive and reliable mic, that comes with everything you need.
I have the much-lauded Heil PR40, and have used both professionally, but I prefer the responsiveness of a condenser, and appreciate not needing extra gadgets to boost the gain.
Ignore the alphabet soup of a name; this is simply a USB audio interface for taking an XLR input and spitting out a digital signal. I used to use cheap Behringer mixers for this purpose, but as I started to play with different mics over the years, I wanted something with a decent pre-amp, to cope with more gain-hungry mics.
I also needed something with a minimal noise floor, that was small enough to fit on a desk and not take up too much room.
I’ve a number of Zoom handheld recorders, but this is the one that gets regular use. It can take two XLR inputs and record from its internal mics. It stores everything on an SD card, and takes AA batteries.
If you’re recording two people in a room, this is what you use (with mics). Just lay it on a desk, plug in your headphones, set it recording and go.
I bought these for recording in-person guest conversations for List Envy. Honestly I haven’t properly put them to the test yet, as I need much taller tripods so that I can get the mic as close to speakers’ mouths as possible, but I’m not afraid to let a little room tone into an in-person recording, and can counter a lot of unwanted background noise with filters, so for £45 a pop, considering they come with a shock mount, I think they’re a pretty good deal.
Initially I used this mixer for mix-minus recordings, but it served as a driver for the podcast festival I put on in 2018, allowing me to simultaneously record four mics, play music from an iPad, record the lot and output it to the venue’s PA system.
It’s a beast, and a budget item (like all Behringer gear), but it’s been reliable.
Also in my kit bag
It’s a note-taking device, a research assistant, and at a pinch, a workstation for light audio editing (there are people who use apps like Ferrite to edit long podcasts with an Apple Pencil, but that’s mostly to prove a point that it can be done).
This machine is much maligned (for good reason), but I’ve never encountered a problem with the keyboard, so I don’t really have any complaints about this workhorse of a computer.
Becoming a citizen of Dongletown is something you have to get used to, but there are lots of USB-C hubs that bring back all the sockets a professional needs.