Marty is a HAM Radio operator and he wants to create a podcast in a round table format with his friends. What does he need? Leo says that Marty should have a mic for each user and a mixer. One thing Leo likes is the Behringer XR16 Rack Mounted Mixer, which will enable him to wirelessly mix his mics with his iPad or iPhone and it automatically turns up whoever is talking. It has effects, real time equalizer, bus EQs, along with 4 Shure SM58s. That's an ideal system for under $1000.
Larry visited the Brickhouse to see Leo's operation and got motivated to up their podcast game. They've boosted their lights and added a switcher. They got Blackmagic 4K cameras. Now they need a way for the director to talk to cameramen and talent. How can they do it inexpensively?
Leo says that doing a simple conference call would work. Often this is how it's done with a phone line and headsets. Mobile phones are remarkable. We're using consumer grade electronics to reinvent television, and if he thinks out of the box, he can too.
Brian picked up the Heil PR40 Microphone to do some podcasting. He also uses a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo. Leo says the Heil PR40 is a mic that Leo uses all the time. The PreSonus makes it possible to use a professional analog broadcast mic with a computer. Brian is wondering what he should use to record podcasts when he interviews people who call in. Leo says that Skype is the way to go, especially when he's having guests all over the world. The quality is amazing, too. The reason why, is because the telephone network is intentionally inferior with extremely low bit rates of 4-6 bits.
Brandon wants to get a mic for his computer so he can do let's play Minecraft videos. What should he get? He wants a mic with XLR outputs. Leo says that a good affordable option is the Shure SM58. They're cheap at under $100 and very robust. He won't be able to break it. He should also get a mixer that has a USB connector that can interface digitally with his computer. Podcaster kits like this from Behringer are a great place to start.
Travis listens to music via the Tune-In radio app. But he's been trying out a new app that is centric to his favorite radio show and his cell connection dies. Leo says this isn't unusual with personal apps. It's likely just bad programming. Bugs happen and it helps to enlist people who do software as their primary job. A radio DJ is great at radio, while a programmer has the edge with making apps. Another issue, however, is that the cell provider provides data to him in "bursts" and if the app can't handle that, then it will have issues.
David is planning a new podcast and he wants the best audio quality he can get interviewing over regular phones. What's the best option and is there a better option than Skype?
Darla bought a new computer and she sees that her headphone jack also works as a microphone jack. She does an outdoor sports podcast and needs to use her old headsets with it, though. Leo says it's true that new computers use the headphone jack as a mic in as well. This is by far the worst way to get audio into the computer, though. Leo advises using a USB audio interface. It will take any microphone, even professional grade XLR mics, and connect it into an interface that will convert the analog signal into digital data that will be transferred over USB. That will eliminate any RF noise.
Danny wants to make videos for his kids at school who have problems learning. He got a podcaster kit and he's looking for a screen to go in front of the microphone. Leo says it's called a "Dead Cat." There's also a circular screen called a "pop screen" and Leo uses the BSW REPOP Pop Filter. But that's for a directional microphone. For omnidirectional microphones, it's called a Dead Cat.
Jim was podcasting back when Leo was still on TechTV. Jim had to walk away from it a few years ago but now he's ready to get started up again. He sees that Leo had recommended the Sennheiser SMD25 and is wondering if its still a good option. Leo says he wouldn't go with that. He uses a dynamic directional mic instead. Leo recommends Bob Heil's HeilSound PR40. It's great for studio work and it'll make Jim's voice sound really great. They're about $350.
Sean is getting into reviews and wants Leo's recommendations on how he can do it. Leo says first and foremost, he should make sure he returns everything a company sends him for review. Leo prefers to buy everything so that way he can give a frank and honest review without being beholden. But that can be rather pricey. So borrow and request anything he can. Leo recommends starting the YouTube channel or blog first and building his quiver of reviews.