However, Relay FM does an increasing number of shows on the road, at conferences and other events. To record these podcasts, I’ve put together an arsenal of equipment.
Like with my normal setup, I’m not claiming this is the only way to do this sort of work, or even that this is the best way. It’s what works for us.
- Neewer 8″/20cm Black Iron Base Desk Microphone Stand: These desktop stands are cheap, but the bases are heavy enough to make sure they won’t topple over. Their short height means its easy to get them where you want them, without blocking hosts’ faces from an audience or camera. I have each marked with a color using this brightly colored gaffers tape.
- Belkin power strip: I’ve had this one so long I can’t find it on Amazon, but something with a long cable and room for power bricks can save the day. I keep its cable and everything else tidy with BongoTies. They are the best.
- The recorder at the heart of my mobile setup is the Zoom H6. It can record four simultaneous tracks onto an SD card, or six with an optional accessory. While the H6 can be used as an interface to track into Logic over USB, I like the simplicity of recording onto an SD card. Volume levels can be seen and changed on the device, which can run of AA batteries or a wall charger over USB.
- To keep cable mess under control, I use 10-foot XLR cables. These cables don’t have the most amazing ends on them, but they get the job done time after time for me. I’ve taped the ends to match my mic stands so a host can quickly tell which input belongs to which person at the table during a recording.
- I don’t go anywhere without velcro for on-the-job cable management I can quickly undo.
- The Behringer Microamp lets up to four people receive stereo headphone feeds if they want, but most of the time, if we are doing something live, hosts don’t want headphones.
- The Shure Beta 58A is our live mic of choice. There are better microphones on the market, but these travel well and work for a wide range of voices. Some may find them to be a little on the deeper end of things, but that’s nothing a little EQ can’t fix. We went with the supercardioid model to isolate background and off-axis noise as much as possible, but some bleed is always a problem live if in a small or loud setting.
- I use my very expensive, very nice Sound Devices USBPre2 interface to bring audio from the Zoom to my MacBook Pro. The Zoom can record tracks directly into Logic via USB, but this gives me more flexibility. I record tracks onto the SD card in the Zoom, and run from the Zoom to the MacBook Pro as a backup recording and to stream the audio to our Icecast server. This backup recording is flat; I can’t isolate each input into separate tracks, but if the SD card went belly up, I’d have something recorded.