If you are in the market for a microphone and feel confused with the wide choice on offer, then don’t worry, for there are scores of others who too would feel the same way. The world of microphones is surely more complicated than what we think. There are microphones for stage shows, field recording, studio recordings, voice over, etc. All this choice could leave you completely dazed. However, it can also be a fun to research, just in case you like doing such things. Let us now come to the case of podcast microphones, which are basically used to record conversations and remember in a controlled environment. Let us take a look at the advantages of choosing a USB microphone for podcasting. Basically, there are two types of microphones, XLR and USB microphones that you can choose from for podcasts.
My Recommended Podcasting Mic Choice
Right off the bat, I am going to let you know what my choice is – the Blue Yeti. Click here to check it out on Amazon..
- It’s easy to set up
- Has a built in stand
- Sounds great
- Not too hard on the wallet!
I have to admit, it is a little on the large size but that’s just a small con to a great mic.
Want some other suggestions? Take a look at this best podcasting microphone article.
XLR vs. USB Microphones
This could sound a bit complicated for a lay person. People may feel that after all we are only talking about the end of a mic chord. A mic that has a three-pronged male to female connection is called an analog or XLR microphone. On the other hand, a USB microphone would have a USB chord that would fit into any computer or laptop with a USB port.
An experienced audiophile would definitely not worry about the end of a mic chord. They would be more concerned about the ultimate quality of the audio output. But for someone who is just about starting out with podcasts, it is important that you know the difference between the two. The choice between XLR and USB microphones would also dictate the other types of equipment that you will be needing for your recordings.
There are analog mixers, recorders, preamps, etc., which would be compatible only with a XLR mic. Remember, there are scores of XLR mic companies parading their products around the markets. While this would mean easy access and plenty of options, it could come at a cost to you. The very fact that they would d be only compatible with other specific analog based products such as an analog recorder or tape recorder, it would mean that it could complicate your requirements. You will then need a separate device to convert all the analog signal into digital and then record it.
A USB mic will help you avoid all these complications. All that you need to do is to plug the USB mic into the USB port provided in your computer and you are ready to podcast. Moreover, there is an equal variety of USB mics that are available in the market. In fact, given their inherent simplicity and high sound quality, their numbers are increasing by the day.
With a USB microphone you no longer need to worry about cables getting tangled besides your computer. There is just one single cable that you need to plug into the USB port and you are ready to record. Another advantage with USB microphones is the fact that with them device drivers are usually not required. Once you plug in the device, your computer would automatically recognize it as a new input device and start running. Moreover, you can always swap the microphone across several computers in an instant, which is another major advantage. Plus, you need not be a podcast veteran or a technology whiz kid to get used to a USB microphone. The entire technology is so simple that you will start recording your podcast in a matter of minutes.
Condenser Mics and Dynamic Mics
Without going into details of the technology behind them, the basic difference between condenser and dynamic mics is that the former is usually used in studios, while the later are used for live recordings or stage shows. Usually handheld mics, which are commonly used for live sound, are dynamic mics. Earlier condenser mics used to connect to an analog chord. These days however, some manufacturers have started to come out with models that are hybrid. These models come with a USB port, apart from having its analog connector. With an increasing number of people preferring USB microphones, this type of product innovation is not surprising.
Your job won’t end with choosing a USB microphone for podcasting. You will surely need some accessories too that will enhance your podcasting experience. Supposing you are someone who will be podcasting from various different locations, you will need a table stand to hold your mic in place. Or what about a swivel mount boom? As the name suggests, these devices swivel and you can always bring the mic in front of you and away from you, as you want, at any time. This is something that will help you a lot during live recordings, since there is always a natural tendency among people to move a lot during interactions.
While USB microphones score on every front, there are certain things that are quite unavoidable too. For example, there are chances that you could be breathing heavily into the mic, therefore disturbing the overall audio quality. This problem usually occurs whenever you are spelling S’s and P’s. The solution lies in purchasing a simple pop filter, along with your USB mic. The pop filter would cut out all such sounds with ease.
Not everyone in this world is gifted with a good voice. This is especially so in case you are speaking into a mic, for it is only after lots of practice that one can speak without any of the hissing sounds made by our breathing patterns. In the case of podcasts there is also the fact that you could be doing the recording in a studio or it could be right in the confines of your home too. So, you would always welcome a USB mic that would automatically enhance your voice while cutting out on all other noise. There are good quality USB mics available these days that come with an internal equalizer, which helps smooth out variations that may develop in the speech too.