WANTED: podcasting rig suggestions

I’ve surfed the forums, I’ve listened to podcasts about podcasting, and I’ve read what there is to read, but it all gets so outdated so quickly.

So, faithful readers (both of you), who has suggestions for a podcasting rig?

I need to it to come in under $400 (not my money, don’t worry), preferably under $300. I need something that can record a) interviews AND b) ambient sound. It needs to be able to record ambient sound while hanging around a photographer’s neck. If this means buying two different microphones, that’s okay.

I don’t need a zillion GB of memory – an hour of recording time should be enough.

I prefer something that involves transferring the recording as a wav or mp3 file via usb, firewire, or flash card if absolutely necessary. Mac and PC friendly, please.

Is an iRiver an option? What about an old iPod off eBay with some sort of line-in?

Clues? Anyone?

Thanks.

[tags]podcasting, podcast, podcasts, podcasting rig, iriver, ipod, recording equipment, microphones[/tags]

3 Replies to “WANTED: podcasting rig suggestions”

  1. My wife was an Anthro major and got one of those digital voice recorders from Sony for interviewing people. Neither of us has tried podcasting from it (she mostly plays back on the device itself), but it came with a cable. Dunno if it uses MP3 format, since Sony has a preoccupation with proprietary technology, but if not, I’m sure other brands do.

    Will probably run you about $100, though.

  2. I haven’t had a chance to blog this yet, but Andrew DeVigal of SF State, one of the speakers at the JACC Rethinking Journalism Education conference, talked about multimedia equipment and software at one of the Friday sessions.

    Here are my notes on his recommendations:

    *Marantz PMD660 — a compact flash recorder, approx $499, durable, fast data transfer, accepts higher quality XLR microphone jacks
    *M-Audio MicroTack 24/96 — small, compact flash, decent quality, mini-jack for microphone, comes with a small microphone, $399
    *Sony ECM-MS907 Stereo Condenser Microphone — $100 (sweetwater.com); no external batteries, has to be charged, lasts about 4 hours
    *Olympus recorder — an alternative recorder, small, cheap; search for it on interactivenarratives.org
    *He says a camera w/external microphone can also work fine for audio

    He recommends Transom.org as good resource on audio equipment.

  3. Howdy,

    Here’s what I use:

    Zoom PS04 Palmtop Studio (with smart media card) – $199 http://froogle.google.com/froogle_cluster?q=PS-04&pid=2365093732405808687&oid=8201170103049944261&btnG=Search+Froogle&scoring=mrd&hl=en
    Heil PR-20 or PR-30 dynamic mic ($160 or $290) http://www.heilsound.com/proline/pr-30.htm
    Sound Forge with Sound Reduction Plug-in. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000933HTE/sr=8-2/qid=1142893844/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-7914103-1656823?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

    This is higher than your budget seems. You could get away with Audacity and some careful filtering, but the Sound Reduction 2.0 is whizbang and supacool.

    The Zoom PS-04 has a built in condenser mic that does a darn good job. It would be great to capture ambient sound with a Mic gain increase (you can set it with the unit). It is also a four track recorder with more possible in virtual tracks. You can also use the built in compressor settings for any input including the microphone. This is a real booster. It’s a great little all in one unit at a great price.

    Combine this with a good dynamic mic (i know audiophiles will disagree – but I dislike having to run phantom power and the so-so capabilities of many of the expensive mics on the market. Heil mics are top-notch.

    Steve

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