CategoryAudio for Podcast Production

Picking the best microphone

Now that you have the best voice recorder… usually most buyer’s attention goes to the next piece of kit in any producers arsenal – the microphone (or microphones).  There are so many options when it comes to picking the right microphone for the job.  Is it for a studio?  Is is for in the field?  Are you connecting it to a computer, or are you just connecting it to your recording device?  What is the difference between uni-directional, omni-directional, cardioid or dynamic?  USB or XLR?  Shotgun or Lavalier?

So many questions that you need to answer, and so many choices to sift through to find the best microphone for the job.

To help you navigate the microphone market, we have set up a sister product review site just for microphones.  The Best Microphone is all about helping you find exactly that – the best microphone for the job.

Check them out once you have picked the best voice recorder for your job!

How to record your stand up comedy gig

Recently I have been listening to a lot of stand up comedy — and trying to understand how stand up comics refine their material… and nail the delivery every time – night after night.  The best thing about comedians hosting podcasts is that they regularly let a few of their tricks of the trade, unhealthy or processes out of the bag in their conversations.  Recently a number of comics have talked about their habit of recording every single gig they perform.  They record their performances proactively with the intent of replaying what happened if a particular joke got an extra laugh, sovaldi or a section of their show was a bit of a lull.

So what do comics use to record their stand up comedy shows?  Most are simply using the voice memo or sound recorder function on their phone, purchase with the phone simply sitting in their pocket.  Whilst convenient, most however suggest that whilst the audio quality is ok, managing the sound files can become tedious with the phone.  A number – particularly those that are crossing over into producing podcasts as well – have graduated from phone recordings to using a portable digital recorder like the Zoom H4n, or Zoom H6.  Better sound quality, you can hook it into the PA system at the club you are playing, and you can use it for other publishing or broadcasting activity as well.  The perfect way to raise your profile as a comic, and reflect on your practice after every show!

Review: Sony PCM-D100 Portable High Resolution Recorder

Starting up my own podcast I wanted a high resolution recorder, tadalafil with stereo mics, diagnosis that was easy to use, and that I could upload to my PC easily. I’m new to podcasting, and after getting tired of blogging I was hoping to make this as easy as possible. I knew I’d make my share of mistakes, so I wanted to be able start and stop with no time lag. After considering other devices like the Zoom H6, I took a look as the Sony PCM-D100.  After researching a bit, so far I like it.

It’s easy to use and uploads fast, which is good since I don’t want to spend too much time fussing with the configuration. The other thing I found was that the quality was much better than I could have hoped for, and I seldom have to do any real editing except for my own mistakes. Files copied with no problem, and I noticed that when I use the editing software the resolution makes the sound clear. With the stereo mics my voice doesn’t sound “tinny”. The features are simple, and I don’t have to keep searching for the controls to start, stop, or make a change. The battery life is also good, which is also a big plus for this recorder.

The problems I had is the USB port being on the left side. This made it harder to plug in especially since this USB cable isn’t very long. I did a bit more research and got a longer cable. The windscreen, which I sometimes need when working outside or in the car isn’t the best. It’s hard to fit back on, and once on it pops off too easily. Since I am new to this I’ve had some issues with the balance control and I wish this was a bit simpler to use. These are the only issues I’ve encountered so far.

Zoom H5 vs Zoom H6 Digital Recorder

Zoom H6 Digital Recorder vs Zoom H5 Digital Recorder

In searching for a high-quality digital recorder, pills there’s no better name than Zoom. In looking at the H6 Digital Recorder versus the H5 Digital Recorder, cure you will find both have great features. The selection here comes down to what’s important to you when recording.

The Zoom H6 Digital Recorder

This a great recorder right out of the box. Capable of recording with crystal clarity, it’s surprisingly easy to use considering its complex appearance. Often used by those interested in recording live music it is easy to set up. An easy to use set of features, and excellent display make it simple, even for those who haven’t used a recorder in the past. It does have a noise issues at high input levels, and a lower battery life when used without a USB power adapter.

The Zoom H5 Digital Recorder

This recorder has longer battery life, and uses rechargeable batteries. Like the H6 its switchblade microphone capsules make getting a quality recording easy. The H5 is considered by some long-time users as somewhere between the Zoom H4 and the H6. The features are easy to use, and the quality is good.

Is the H6 or H5 Right for You?

The biggest difference between the H6 and H5 is that the features of the H6 are a bit better than the H5. There’s also more power to the Zoom H6 than H5. All the power and features could be the reason some battery life is sacrificed with the H6. Both are built to much the same specifics, including a stereo line for output to connect a camera. For those interested in high quality recordings for podcasts, both of these devices are good choices. If battery life is the key element than the H5 is the winner, but for the most features, and quality H6 is the better choice.

Tascam DR44WL vs DR100MkII

Thinking about buying a digital voice recorder?  We compare two popular options, clinic the Tascam DR44WL and the Tascam DR100 MkII.

The Tascam DR44WL and the Tascam DR100MkII are both very similar in rugged construction, pilule and design. Each has unique features, and both have a few issues that separate them.

The DR-44WL

The Tascam DR-44WL allows you Wi-Fi transport control from a remote start so you can set up and walk away before recording. The sound is comparable with other more expensive recorders, and you can transfer files and stream to smartphones or computers over Wi-Fi. If recording with four channels or dual recording mode to create a safety track are among the features important for your purpose this is a good choice for the price. You can also create a 96kHz/24-bit recording for an MP3, but you also have the option to create a WAV or BMF. You have options when transferring files of popular OS software, including Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android. The issues for some are the “click” wheel instead of button menu, it uses only 2 batteries, the SD cover is not well protected, “real-time” is often difficult to use, and some have had issues with the Android app.

The Tascam DR-100mkII

Two sets of microphones and a dual battery system, giving you hours of play are strong pluses for the DR-100mk. This device also has a rugged construction giving those who need to use it in the field a better opportunity for clear recording. While it does have wireless remote control (RC-10) it is more limited than the DR-44WL. A windsock does offer you a better chance of getting solid, great recordings no matter the conditions, and omnidirectional pickup makes it a great choice for the outdoors.

Looking at the Choices

In looking for a recorder that has the quality of preamps, and can match the abilities of more expensive recorders both are good buys. The differences between the two will mean taking a good look at what you need, and which is more suited to your needs.

Portable Digital Voice Recorder Buyers Guide 2017

A portable recording device is useful for on the go recordings of any kind. These are usually handheld devices that can be used to record music, cialis sounds of any kind, pilule conversations, buy and thoughts – just about anything. Of course professionals require it to tape interviews or to record their music. So what are the top three essential things which you should be looking out for when buying these digital recorders?

  1. Internal or external microphone: Do you want an internal microphone or an external one is more appealing to you? Take a closer look at your work field and find out which one your nature of job requires more. Some devices have both internal and external microphone while some have only one. Others have built in microphones so you don’t have to worry about carying additional gear.
  2. Memory: How much memory do you need? Do you use and store a lot in your device? Again, assess your requirement to come to a conclusion about it. Pay attention while buying though, because many come with microSD or SD card support, while others do not. It is always good to have some additional features. Not having a microSD or SD slot may be a disadvantage.
  3. Accessories: Do you need a tripod, a Pop Filter or windscreens for better recording? Make sure all your necessary accessories are present in your device before purchasing it. If you need only one accessory then pick any one that has it, but we suggest you always pick the ones which come in a wide range of accessories.

Top 3 voice recorders which have these features:

  • Etekcity Dictaphone/Pen: This device is on the lower budget end and has all the basic features including 8GB memory drive. If you want a simple voice recorder with just plug and play feature, then this is the best one. It costs only 16 USD.

 

 

  • Zoom H4: The Zoom H4 is our favourite portable recording devices in the 200 USD price range.  and comes with prominent features such as noise cancellation, windscreen, etc.

The recording gear you need to start your Podcast

A lot of people ask me what recording gear would I recommend if you are starting a podcast.  Now to be completely honest, simply using the recorder on your iPhone is a good start!  But what if you want to take it to the next level.  Here is a list of recording gear that could be on your shopping list

  1. Hardware voice recorder

    For the perfect balance of robust recording capability, as well as the flexibility to have more control over your recording when you improve your skills… the Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder is a great place to start.  It has a great on-board microphone, as well as the ability to add specialist microphones via the XLR inputs… or as a capsule attached directly to the recorder.
    is a great place to start.  Recorders like the H5 make it easy to record anywhere!

  2. Microphones

    My “go to” microphone I use now for almost every podcast I record – whether I am out in the field interviewing people in their office, or at home connected to my PC… is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone.  Great sound quality, with the flexibility of an XLR input (for your hardware voice recorder) and USB connectivity (to connect it to your PC or Mac).  I now have a couple of them which enables good quality two person recordings.If you are using the Zoom H5 and you want a great way to capture voice in crowded or public spaces whilst minimising the need for bulky microphones or cables, I really like the Shotgun Microphone Capsule you can attach directly to the Zoom H5 (or the Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder).  It is small, portable and doesn’t draw attention — and enables you to capture great voice from yourself or your talent

We are all looking forward to hearing your podcast!

Zoom H6 vs Zoom H4n

So, you are thinking of buying your first (or next) digital audio recorder. Which one should you pick? The Zoom H4N, or the Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder? Let’s explore the pros and cons of each model and help you decide which portable digital recorder meets your needs.

What is the difference between the Zoom H4N and the Zoom H6?

Apart from price – the Zoom H6 is around 180-200 dollars more expensive – there are some features which set the H6 apart.

  • You get six recording channels with the Zoom H6 – four XLR inputs, and two on device microphones. On the Zoom H4n you only get four channels – two XLR inputs, and two on device microphones
  • You can use an SD card to record up to 128 GB of audio data on the Zoom H6. On the Zoom H4n you can only record up to 32 GB of audio data on a single SD card
  • There are physical gain knobs and pads for each XLR input on the Zoom H6. On the Zoom H4n you can control gain through the on board menu system
  • You can detach the on device X/Y stereo microphone from the Zoom H6. On the Zoom H4n the stereo X/Y microphone is permanently attached
  • You can purchase additional microphone capsules for the Zoom H6 to extend the versatility of the device. For example, the Zoom SGH-6 Shotgun Microphone Capsule can give your Zoom H6 a highly directional shotgun microphone. The Zoom XYH-5 Shock Mounted Stereo Microphone Capsule can minimise vibration and handling noise, perfect if you are capturing audio whilst the Zoom H6 is attached to a camera. The Zoom EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Capsule adds an additional two inputs so you can capture more lines in.
  • The Zoom H6 has a separate line out, whereas the Zoom H4n just has a Microphone Out option
  • Finally, you should get about twice the battery life out of a Zoom H6 than a Zoom H4n
Attention: The internal data of table “1” is corrupted!

So which one should you pick? Here is how I would decide. If you are just starting out, looking for an affordable portable digital audio recorder with the option of XLR inputs and good quality on board microphone recording, you can’t go past the Zoom H4N. It is a great device.

However, if you are looking to get into videography, and want to attach the audio recorder to the top of your camera rig – or are looking to record many different inputs, like different instruments in a live band set up, the Zoom H6 is worth the extra investment.

Creating a Blockbuster Podcast – Alex Blumberg on the Tim Ferriss Show

This evening I was listening to the Tim Ferriss show – and for anyone who is interested in creating podcasts I highly recommend you listen to this episode. Alex recently started Gimlet Media, and before that was on the team at one of the most popular documentary style radio/podcast shows – This American Life.

Tim’s interview with Alex goes under the covers of the long form documentary style of production – which includes great insights into how to structure, edit, and ultimately produce very high quality shows. Early in the episode, Tim and Alex discuss podcasting equipment. Whilst Tim uses the ZoomH4n
voice recorder (as I mentioned in the post about recording my first podcast), Alex uses the TASCAM DR-100mkII Portable Digital Recorder
. Bottom line from the discussion is that the recording device at that level of quality doesn’t really make a difference…. They are both equally as good! As Alex suggests, the more important focus is the microphone you select. For example – make sure you use a uni-directional microphone, not an omni-directional microphone to ensure that you capture a better recording in the field. Specifically Alex uses the Audio-Technica AT8035 Shotgun Microphone
, which is a different style of Microphone from what I use for recording my podcast about Yammer Community Management (and also different from what Tim uses for the Tim Ferriss Show).

The advantage of a shotgun microphone like the AT8035 is that you can focus in very closely on your interviewee’s voice and drown out all other background noises. It gives you more control over what you are recording.

Portable field recording at a conference with the ZoomH4n

I had a great opportunity to travel from Australia to Singapore to deliver a presentation this week.  At the conference I wanted to capture some field based interviews for my Yammer podcast.  As I was only going to be in Singapore for about 47 hours, illness I decided to travel with carry-on luggage only.  The small and light nature of my Zoom H4N
and my two microphones made traveling and recording a breeze.

I have taken the ZoomH4n through airport security at least eight times now – I thought due to the design of the voice recorder (and specifically the stereo microphones on the top of the audio recorder which look similar to the silhouette to a stun gun) my bags would be stopped for closer inspection more regularly.  To be honest it has only been picked up once, and that was by a trainee xray machine operator.

At the conference I wanted to capture a few different pieces of audio.  Firstly, I captured some background noise – the vibe or buzz of the conference room that we were speaking in.  To do this I turned on the Zoom H4N
and then used the built in stereo microphones.  After pressing record, I checked the levels and notice they were a little low, so I used the “rec level” button to push up the sensitivity of the recorder.

After I had captured the ambient noise of the room, I decided to record my the introduction / preamble / monologue for the podcast.  To do this I switched from the built in stereo microphone on the Zoom and instead used my Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
connected via its XLR connection.  The sound was fantastic – despite the loud voices in the room from the 10 tables of 8 people working on desk exercises in the room – I could talk with my normal voice into the Audio-Technica Microphone and get a very good recording.

Finally I plugged in another Microphone – my Behringer XM8500
– to do some 1 on 1 interviews with some of the conference organisers and attendees.  Again some great conversations were captured with next to no issues.  Despire the loud background noise of all the people speaking in the room the ZoomH4n coupled with the two microphones did a stellar job!

You can check it out for yourself – listen to Episode 8 of The Yaminade at http://www.theyaminade.com

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