Podcast Microphone

People keep asking about my microphone that I use for podcasts. Let me post it here once for everyone (including Roland Tanglao, who says no one is telling him what mike to use). I use a modest Radio Shack mike, 33-3004 is the number. It costs $40, and you can see if they are in stock in your area. I’ve had it for nearly 10 years and it continues to work like a champ without incident.

I also run that through my cheap Radio Shack mixer to do the role of a pre-amp. The signal straight from this mike isn’t strong enough for the iMic input. This is a unidirectional mike, which is imporant because you don’t want it picking up all the room noise, just you. Make sure it is oriented so that all the noisy computers and crap are behind it, and it will help a lot. Be sure and spring for the extra $2.99 to buy the foam windscreen, aka “clown nose”, to put over the wire mesh. It makes a world of difference for a negligible amount of money.

Update: Roland asks the follow-on question, what mixer am I using? I’m using the Radio Shack SSM-60, SKU 32-1214. Looks like they don’t carry that anymore because searching on that item number brings up user manuals but no way to buy it. The closest equivalent I see is this thing. You could maybe use a mike pre-amp but the advantage of buying the cheap mixer is that if you get another mike or external source you want to pipe in, you can do that all in hardware with the mixer. The downside is the lack of portability. I’ve been happy with all my cheap microphones and my cheap mixer for a very long time.

8 Replies to “Podcast Microphone”

  1. sorry for being lame and not doing my homework, Dave! serves me right for staying up late and not taking the time to do a proper search!

    Thanks for the Mike recommendation. Follow on question, which cheap mixer from Radio Shack did you buy?

  2. sorry for being lame and not doing my homework, Dave! serves me right for staying up late and not taking the time to do a proper search!

    Thanks for the Mike recommendation. Follow on question, which cheap mixer from Radio Shack did you buy?

  3. The mixer you link to above at RadioShack is one of the ones I use for th TechShow. It’s interesting you mentioned lack of portability as an issue though because that particular mixer is a portable mixer that will run on a single 9 volt battery. Having used it on a few occasions, it works well, although it’s not very featurefull 🙂

  4. Linc, I saw that after I posted that it runs on DC power as well. Portability is not quite the right word. “Luggability” is more it. I was just thinking the difference between a preamp the size of a tic-tac box vs a mixer the side of a lunchbox. The one I have is about 8″X12″X2″, which ain’t huge but was big enough I wasn’t taking it to Bloggercon, for example.

    The one I have looks like it has a few more bells and whistles, like a few multi-input sliders and stuff like that. I used this thing for years to do Reality Break from my house. I’m actually glad I have the one I do, it seems a little more flexible. Not that I use the extra stuff, but I like that it’s there.

  5. Yeah, I have a second mixer, which is really my main mixer, as well. It’s a RadioShack SSM-50, which has the usual bells and whistles. And there is still a 3rd, an *old* RadioShack somethingorother which we use as a base mixer for the Tech Show. I guess in this line you can’t have too many mixers 🙂

  6. mic and mike are both valid. If you want to be pissy, petty and pedantic it works a lot better when you are also correct.

    From Dictionary.com:

    mike
    1. Also, mic. Informal. a microphone.
    –verb (used with object)
    2. Informal. to supply or amplify with one or more microphones; attach a microphone to: to mike a singer.
    –verb (used without object)
    3. Informal. to use or position a microphone: to mike properly when recording a singer.
    [Origin: by shortening and resp.]

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