Our new recording kit

In Episodes 1 and 2, Gil and Kevin used combination headset/boom microphones to record.  These weren’t great from a quality perspective, so we stepped up to Blue Yeti microphones:

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Gil and Kevin each had one, and it was a big improvement in audio quality, but Kevin and Karen still had to share one microphone because this microphone is USB only and it picks up a lot of background sound, even when the gain is turned all the way down and the recording pattern set to cartoid.  This enabled Kevin and Karen to record directly to a PC, while bringing Gil in over Skype.  The result was Kevin and Karen together on one track with Gil on a separate track.  If you are recording just yourself and USB only is okay with you, this is an excellent microphone with lots of features.

We stuck with this setup through Episode 15, but we weren’t exactly thrilled with the quality of the audio we were producing, and we really wanted to have everyone on a separate audio track, so we did some research on equipment we could buy to improve on that.  We also realized quickly that this setup wouldn’t work if we were going to do live events, the first of which became a reality very quickly for us.  What we settled on were the following:

Zoom H6 digital recorder

This recorder works well for us because it enables us to have up to 4 plug in microphones.  It also enables us to split everyone’s audio into separate tracks for easier editing in post production.  In addition, we can plug in a computer or tablet to act as a 5th audio source, so we can bring in someone over Skype or directly dub in music or other effects while we’re recording.  It also has a built in mixer so we can adjust audio levels on the fly while recording.  The H6 records everything to a removable SD card, but you can also plug it up to your PC/Mac to download the audio files for post production.  Finally, and most importantly for live events, there is a 1/8 inch output jack on the H6 for plugging in to house audio.

ATR-2100 USB microphones

We bought 4 of these so that we could support all 3 hosts plus a guest at a live appearance or all together around a table.  Previously, Karen and Kevin shared a microphone, but it frequently resulted in audio quality problems, particularly for Karen.  There are better quality microphones on the market, but for our purposes, this one gave us the best feature set for the expense.

I think the results speak for themselves.  The audio quality in Episode 16 was a huge step forward for us!