Thursday, 4 September 2008

Rode Podcaster USB microphone

I just spent rather more than I'd planned to on upgrading my microphone, from a $50 Audio Technica lapel mic (still a reasonable piece of gear, it's Audio Technica after all, but definitely low end) to a Rode Podcaster. It's the USB version of their Broadcaster product.

Damn, this thing is quiet. And by "quiet" I mean "lacking in background noise", not "low-gain". I'll be getting much cleaner audio out of this, I think, for my hypnotherapy recordings, podcasts and videos.

I just recorded a few words in Audacity and played them back through my laptop speakers, which aren't exactly top-of-the-line. When I'm not speaking, you hear... nothing. Just as it should be.

I haven't tried it through GoldWave yet - that's the application I use for recording, it's got a couple of nice features that Audacity lacks, though one of them that I used a lot with the other mic was noise reduction. I suspect I won't be doing that quite so much now.

I did consider a Snowball, which I hear good things about all over the Net and which is somewhat cheaper, but this review at Emusician mentioned that the Rode was specifically designed for spoken voice, and when I went on TradeMe a guy was selling one second-hand but basically unused for a much discounted price. Turned out he lived just up the road from me so I picked it up same day.

I just got a mic stand delivered (also bought through TradeMe) and set it up. You wouldn't want to use this mic without a stand. It's bigger than I expected, about 20cm long and a good 4cm in diameter (plus apparently it can pick up noise if it's hand-held). I'll be recording in a carpeted basement on a concrete slab, so I probably don't need the optional shockmount to eliminate noise.

I'm just glad I'm not a Freudian, given the shape of the Rode vs the Snowball.

No comments: