The Podcast Closet (Studio)
My husband and I (mostly him) turned a former air conditioner closet into a cubicle-sized studio for podcasting. Which is great during the non-summer months, here in Austin. I’ve hung old bed sheets (aka painting drop cloths) to deaden sound, and added foam to the walls. The plywood shelf that serves as my desk is also covered with cloth, and there’s a sheet hanging inside the bifold doors. I have two Ethernet ports, but I can also reach the wi-fi network. I’ve added a few “platforms” to raise the audio gear and the laptop off the desk. That makes it easier for me to see and manipulate the dials.
I added an old office chair that we affectionately call “the Star Trek chair,” and a cheap bookcase under the plywood, for storing podcast paraphernalia. My main podcasting computer, a 2013 MacBook Pro, lives in there. The MBP is a great podcasting machine, because its SSD makes no noise. It’s a less-than-great podcast machine because it lacks a line-in port. I added an Onyx Blackjack audio interface to solve that problem. I also use an iPad Pro to cue sound effects, or read a script: it sits in an iRig holder, clipped to a mic stand.
The studio is large enough for one podcaster. When he who built the studio records with me, he stands outside the closet and speaks into a stand-mounted mic.
Here’s the gear I use in and around the podcast closet.
- Heil PR-40 (my mic)
- Heil Shock Mount
- Desktop Boom
- Yamaha MG124cx mixer
- Behringer PRO-XL MDX4600 compressor
- Marantz PMD 660 digital recorder
- Sony MDR 7502 headphones
- MacBook Pro (2013)
- Mackie Onyx Blackjack audio interface
- iPad Pro 9.7′
- Adobe Audition
- Amadeus Pro
- Audio Hijack
- Call Recorder
- The Levelator (living on borrowed time)
I cover trade shows and conferences, and sometimes record interviews with people I meet. I’ve recently gotten my field recording rig just about where I want it.
- Rode NTG-2 mic
- Pyl and Shure dynamic mics
- Audio-Technica ATR-2100
- Audio-Technica AT804 omnidirectional dynamic mic
- Zoom H6 recorder
- Tascam DR-100mkII recorder
Neither Studio, nor Field
Sometimes, I meet up with podcast pals to record remotely. I believe it is rude to arrive at a party empty-handed, so I carry mixer and mics.
- Mackie 402-VLZ3 mixer
The passage of time, and lust for new stuff means that I retain custody of a few things I no longer use. I’ve sold, given away, or worn out a number of things that don’t appear on this list.
- MXL 990 mic
- M-Audio mics
- M-Audio MobilePre audio interface
- Griffin iMic
- tk clip-on mics
- Really old iPod mics