Technology · RADIO

What is the Best Internet Radio Talk Show Equipment?

Ray Shreder CEO of WealthCare Connect

March 23rd, 2015

We are looking for ideas on setting up our website radio talk show. What are the best mics, headsets, mixers, optimum length of time for each topic, etc. And ways to identify the best wealthcare professionals to be guests on the show.

Todd Bachmann Business and production development in public media, other non-profit industries and start-up tech companies.

March 23rd, 2015

Ray, you'd be able to get quality sounding podcast from using Garage Band. However, there are audio programs that offer more versatility when it comes to ease of editing and mixing. I would recommend trying those over Garage Band. You will more than likely only need to use up to 4 - 5 audio tracks.

Ray Shreder CEO of WealthCare Connect

March 23rd, 2015

Todd, thanks for your input.  Our short list is: Four AT2020 condeser mics or Rode Procaster dynamic mics. Or the more expensive Rode Broadcasters.  The environment is relatively quite. Also, still not sure if 30 minute or 60 minute topic / segment s is best. Ipad digital mixers are available.  We need to also patch in VOIP callers at times - so a Nom Send feature is required??  Thus we are considering a Mackie ProFX8. We want to be up and running on April 4th, so we can't wait for the technology to catch up to what we want - and it must be very simple to run.

Todd Bachmann Business and production development in public media, other non-profit industries and start-up tech companies.

March 23rd, 2015

That transom site I told you about actually has audio examples of the Rode Procaster and the USB version of the AT2020.

Sounds like you want to record this podcast live similar to an on the air broadcast? I would still recommend to you to make sure you record each subject on a separate track. Will help you correct things in post if needed.

I also recommend starting off slowly. Shoot for a 30 minute program at first as you're starting from scratch. Maybe also 30 minutes is sufficient  can your audience handle 60 minutes of content?

When you say Voip callers, are you talking about skype?

David Schwartz Multi-Platform (Desktop+Mobile) Rapid Prototyping + Dev, Tool Dev

March 23rd, 2015

You're kind of jumping all over the place and not giving any guidance in terms of requirements, making it hard to give specific suggestions. If you're going to record separate tracks, then you don't want an external mixer unless it gives you multiple tracks into your computer via USB, FireWire, ethernet, etc. You DO want a software mixer on your computer that will give you the ability to save individual tracks and do a virtual mixdown later. I'm not sure GarageBand is the best tool for this.

Also, I don't recommend Apple's mobile devices because their audio isn't nearly as high quality as the various Macintosh computers have, but that's just me. For instance, get a used 21" iMac and use it as a dedicated machine for this. It'll cost about the same as a good quality 8-ch mixer..

As far as mics go, I prefer dynamic mics because they have no self-noise, although they require better pre-amps. I'm partial to Audio-Technica Pro 8HEx headset mics. The main benefit of them is they're fastened to people's heads, so the mic stays a fixed distance from their mouth the whole time. With pole-mounted mics, you need a pop-filter and the people need to move their head in front of the mic and be virtually touching the pop filter to ensure they're the proper distance from the mic. The signal levels can move around as they move their heads back and forth, which will always be a problem with some folks.

David Schwartz Multi-Platform (Desktop+Mobile) Rapid Prototyping + Dev, Tool Dev

March 23rd, 2015

BTW, check out the - REAPER - sound mixer software. It runs on both Windows and OS X, and interfaces with most external hardware. You can probably use the personal license option for this.

If you only need up to 4 channels in, check out the TASCAM US-4x4, or for up to 8 channels, see the TASCAM US-16x8. They're simple multi-channel preamps and USB interfaces that will let you use your computer to mix and record multiple audio tracks in real-time.

mp3pete

March 23rd, 2015

The best mics for Radio are Electro Voice RE-20. These are pretty standard in broadcast and they will make you sound great for around $450. You'll want a shock mount stand for it as well. You can use any headset that gives you a flat response to get a good sense of what's going out. Most music stores will have mixers and audio interface that can connect to your PC.

Ray Shreder CEO of WealthCare Connect

March 24th, 2015

It sounds like Reaper would work nicely as it records multiple audio tracks - but how do I get separate audio track loaded into Reaper?

David Schwartz Multi-Platform (Desktop+Mobile) Rapid Prototyping + Dev, Tool Dev

March 26th, 2015

I can't speak specifically to how Reaper does it, but usually you'd record or load each WAV file individually. If it handles multiple tracks, you'd typically load a file and then add it to one of the tracks in track view. Some apps work mainly from track view and let you load material directly into a specific track. If you have a multi-track input device, then you'd enable a track for each channel you want to record and then start recording, and it'll record each channel to it's associated track.