Three Podcast Formats, Two Equipment Packages
Simply plan on turning on a mic and espousing your thoughts on your own? All you need is this simple to use and portable ATR-2100. It is lightweight, durable, easy to use, is very forgiving when it comes to background noise, and will take your production to a solid 7 with a minimal investment. Also, this mic has both USB and XLR connections, which means if you decide to up your production later and get a mixer, this mic can grow with you. At the time of this post it's running $65 on Amazon. All you have to do is plug it into your laptop or PC, or if you add the right USB adaptor, you can use it on an iPhone or Android device. It even comes with its own stand and you can keep it in your laptop bag for when the moment strikes.
2. The VOIP Interviewer
Plan on connecting with experts around the globe through Skype and other VOIP solutions. Well, that aforementioned ATR-2100 is still ALL YOU NEED. Grab a set of headphones, plug it into the base of the mic, connect it to your VOIP software of choice and you are ready to go. I keep this in my bag and sometimes just hold it in my hand for a quick recording off my laptop or phone. One mic for two podcast formats.
3. The Podcast Hangout
So you and your friends/colleagues want to record a podcast together? You could go out and buy a fancy mixer, hook it up to your computer, and then learn how to wire the corrections correctly. But if the word mixer only refers to social gathering, that equipment may lead to more frustration than anything else. Instead, consider a small digital recording device like a Zoom H5 or H6. These are portable, durable, easy to use devices that let you simply plug in microphones and hit record. A Zoom H5 has two standard inputs and can expand to hold 4. A Zoom H6 has four standard inputs and can expand to 6. They are simple to use and capture an excellent sound. Pair it up with ATR-2100's or other great mics like the Shure SM58, cables, a few mic stands, and you have near studio quality production. And the whole setup can fit inside a small bag. The digital recorder will set you back a few hundred dollars, but it will last you a long time and could save you more than that in frustration.