Pivotal Podcast recordingI’m just back from recording a ’round-table’ style podcast episode for the first time with 4 microphones.

Here are just a few observations I want to log for future consideration:

  • It was good to have the differently colour-coded microphone wind shields but I should have put sticky tape of the same colours on the mixer – I placed the microphones in the wrong order and so twiddled the gain and level of the wrong one for a bit until I realised (doh!)
  • It would be best to have all microphones the same make and model – I had 3 Samson Q2Us and 1 Shure SM58 – as you’d imagine, they needed rather different amounts of gain etc.
  • It’s best to try and tweak the gain for the speaker who’s speaking at the time and reduce the gain of the others – I got used to this as I went and it improved the overall sound
  • Getting people to speak towards the microphone is difficult – and it’s even more difficult to get people to avoid bumping the desk when they get animated
  • Laughter peaks the levels and there’s not much you can do about it with a minimal set up – even though on the recording it’s not as ear-shattering as I expected
  • In this kind of setting, it’s not really possible to set the levels, gain etc. and just leave it
  • Sharing microphones does work – as long as you are prepared to tweak the gain etc. as you go
  • Remember to take some kind of Swiss Army Knife or toolkit with you – I didn’t and one of the microphone stands drooped so I couldn’t place it properly in the optimal sound position
  • Monitor the sound via the digital recorder – not the headphones jack on the mixer – the sound can be very different – I changed to monitoring the sound like this half way through to find I needed to mix the microphones differently for the best sound

Mobile podcasting set up

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