As the host of the Fine Art Photography Podcast, I’ve tried a lot of microphones. Here’s the one I love.
You may or may not know that in addition to being a photographer, I am also the host and creator of the Fine Art Photography Podcast. I’ve had several people remark on the quality of the recorded sound of my voice, and others who asked how I get that rich professional sound.
Well, here is the secret: you need a great quality microphone.
Here’s the microphone I use and recommend: the classic Shure SM7B
I know there are a ton of great mic options out there, but I didn’t know where to start when looking for a mic, so I looked for recommendations. At first I went with a USB microphone that cost under $100, but the sound was too flat and I had a tough time getting rid of background hiss.
Then I tried a second option, which was better but still didn’t have the rich, pro podcast sound I wanted.
Finally, I looked at what top podcasts were using and discovered that several hosts I listen to were all using the Shure SM7B. I called it the “classic” because it’s been around for a long time. Many musical legends have used this mic in the recording studio, so I expected it to cost thousands of dollars, but to my surprise, I was able to get it for well under $500.
One caveat — you’ll need a preamp
In getting started, I tried recording the podcast’s audio on my phone using earbuds. I tried using my Rode Video Mic. And I tried the two USB microphones mentioned previously. To step up to the Shure SM7B, I found out I’d need a signal booster called a cloud lifter — it’s an inline preamp that raises the volume (also called gain). You need this because the Shure SM7B is a great mic with a notoriously low signal output. Here’s an amazon link to a variety of these.
You may also need an audio interface. There are a ton of great options out there, including many designed specifically for podcasters. Since I’m not an audio engineer nor do I know any, I went for this simple option: Behringer U-Phoria UMC22.
I record into Apple’s GarageBand, which is good enough for my simple needs.
I hope this information has been useful!
Thanks for reading.
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