Journal: News & Comment

Friday, January 13, 2006
# 1:49:00 PM:

A good low-midrange audio podcasting setup

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Audio recording and podcasting setup for NavarikAt my work at Navarik we're going to be producing some screencasts and training videos, and perhaps in future some podcasts, so my boss Bill assigned me—as resident audio geek—to go buy some basic recording gear and screen-capture software to get it done. (Yeah, he sure had to twist my arm to get me to buy stuff from a music store.)

In case you're interested in doing something similar, here's what I decided on, which differs a bit from what I recommended in my December blog and email posts on a similar topic:

  • The Samson C01 studio condenser microphone, which performs remarkably well for a mere $100 Cdn (about $80 USD). Since we're not recording singing or instruments, we don't need a high-end microphone, but for that price, a condenser mic provides more pleasant sound for voice narration than a more rugged but common dynamic mic.

  • Edirol's UA-25 USB audio interface (about $275 Cdn). I would have preferred a FireWire interface myself, but USB is both a bit cheaper and more widely supported on both Macs and PCs. It's likely we'll use each at some point, so I wanted to keep our options open. This particular interface has phantom power for the condenser microphone, multiple inputs and outputs, and a built-in limiter, which prevents overdriving the mic preamps if you speak too loudly.

  • Audio-Techica ATH-M20 sealed monitor headphones. These are smaller than the Sennheiser HD 280 set I own myself, and their sound isn't quite as good (less top-end detail, a bit too much bass), but they're just great for speech, they're extremely comfortable, and they're less than half the price of the Senns.

With a little desktop microphone stand and a couple of cables, plus a copy of GarageBand, we're all set, for less than $500 Cdn before taxes. We're planning to use Camtasia Studio on the PC and Snapz Pro on the Mac when we do the screen captures, which gets us a complete hardware-software combination for under $1000.


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