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 (pg TK) 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.

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 the best audio of all the various mics I own. I use it for all 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.

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.

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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.