Podcast Gear

IN-PERSON INTERVIEWS:

Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder — For in-person recording, I use the H6 with simple stage mics (below). For recording 2-4-person interviews, it’s easier to use than the older H4n model. Pro tip: ALWAYS put in new batteries for every important interview. I use simple earbuds for sound checks and set up.

Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Vocal Microphone without Cable — Thanks to Bryan Callen for introducing me to these. I’ve tried all sorts of fancy lavalier mics, booms, etc. For my money, nothing beats these old-school stage mics for in-person podcasting. You could throw them against a wall and they’d probably be fine. Some people use mic stands to hold them, but I do not. I prefer to let/make guests hold them, as they’re less likely to lean away. Sound levels (volume) are therefore more consistent, requiring less fussing in post-production.

XLR 3 Pin Microphone Cable (6 feet) — To connect the Shure SM58-LC microphone to the H6 Zoom recorder. Don’t cut corners here. In my limited experience, if anything is going to go wrong (and undetected until too late), it’ll be a loose fitting on one of these. Have extras.

Bluecell 5 Pack of Microphone Windscreen Foam Covers — These minimize the clicks, pops, and motion noises picked up from vocals, as well as background noises and actual wind. Brand doesn’t matter much here.

PHONE/SKYPE INTERVIEWS:

Ecamm Call Recorder — This is used for recording “phoners” via Skype. I haven’t found any software that blows me away, but this gets the job done. I’ve used it for 50%+ of my podcast interviews. ZenCastr also gets good reviews but requires a lot of hard drive space on the part of your interviewee.

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone — This is my go-to travel mic for all phone interviews. It can also be used for recording intros, sponsor reads, etc. with Quicktime. I will often mail guests this mic via Amazon Prime if they need one, as it has the best bang-for-the-buck value I’ve found. Be sure to use a foam ball windscreen or “pop filter.”

Yellowtec: iXm — I use this mic for last-minute travel recording and post-production intros. It is an amazing all-in-one mic, which allows you to record without a Zoom or laptop. It automatically corrects levels and — quite frankly — produces some of the best audio of all the various mics I own. I use it for many of my intros (“Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show…”) and sponsor reads, which I record separately from the interviews. If I’m traveling but might need a mic, I stick this in my backpack. [2019 update: I no longer use this iXm mic much, as I had some technical issues and find the below much more convenient. Technology changes quickly.]

Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone for iPhone — This fits in the palm of your hand and grab great audio. For field recordings (impromptu interviews, sounds of nature, etc.), this is my current default.

FOR BOTH:

Auphonic — I often use Auphonic.com to finalize and polish my podcasts. It’s a web-based audio post-production mastering tool, designed to help you improve the overall audio quality of your podcast.