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Aug 10 2014

The Podcaster / Voice-Over Artist

[I originally wrote this very basic gear guide for podcasting/voice acting on r/audioengineering.]

One of the best things about podcasting/voice acting is the fact that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to get started. Generally, all you need is a stable DAW, a good audio interface, a microphone that suits your voice, and a decent pair of headphones.

When it comes to your DAW, you don’t need anything fancy. GarageBand, Pro Tools, Logic, Audition, or open source software like Audacity are perfectly fine.

Choosing a microphone for yourself is slightly tricker. Not only do you want one that works well with your particular voice, but you need to be conscious of the proximity effect, an occurrence in audio where a sound source close to a microphone causes an increase in bass or low frequency response. Luckily, there are many tried-and-true microphones available that combat the proximity effect, such as Electro Voice’s RE20, which has been a broadcast standard for many years. Also, don’t forget to pick up (or build your own pop filter) to help to reduce or eliminate plosives (i.e., “popping sounds” that cause clipping).

On the topic of headphones, it’s not difficult to find affordable headphones that work well for podcasting/voice acting, but it’s worth mentioning that there are definitely differences between some pairs when it comes to frequency accuracy, sound isolation, and even comfortability. Many stores (such as Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc.) will let you try out headphones before you buy them, so don’t fail to take advantage of that.

  • DAWs: GarageBand, Pro Tools, Logic, Audition, Audacity
  • Interfaces: Apogee Duet, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Avid MBox
  • Microphones: RE20, SM7B, PR-40, Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone
  • Headphones: Sony MDR-7506, Audio-Technica ATH-M30x, Sennheiser HD280
  • Portable recorders: Zoom H4n, Roland R-05, Tascam DR05

Marc Maron discusses the equipment he uses to record WTF with Marc Maron.