I have a number of posts on my podcast setup for Unsupervised Learning, a show I’ve been doing since 2015.
Or as permanent as anything can be these days.
This one is different because I’m in my permanent setup at the new place.
The gear I’m using for this setup has been mentioned before, and I’ve used it before, but not in this combination.
- A Neumann 87 ai Microphone
- A RODECASTER PRO Podcasting Rig
- The Hindenburg Podcasting Software
- Acon Digital’s DeReverb Plugin (anti-echo)
- iZotope’s Nectar 3 Plugin (noise gate)
The Neumann 87 Ai Condenser Microphone More
In my previous place, a small apartment with hardwood floors, the audio situation was horrendous so I couldn’t really use a condenser microphone—much less a Neumann. So I was using a Sure SM7B, which is a fine choice no matter what. Many top podcasts uses that mic when they can use anything, including Rogan, Sam Harris, and actually most big podcasters.
I prefer the crispness and liveliness of the Neumann condenser though. Or at least I do right now. If I had to summarize, the SM7B takes some of the character out of your voice and adds in some awesomeness. The Neumann U87 Ai extracts every little detail from your voice, and brings it to the front. So it’s a completely different sound but I currently like the latter.
The RODECASTER PRO Podcasting Rig More
I have been alternating between this device and the Apollo Twin X for a while now. Mostly to try to solve my audio issues in the apartment. I prefer the Apollo for day-to-day audio management, and for listening to music, but the RODECASTER PRO has an audibly tangible advantage in podcast quality. So I’m sticking with it.
The Hindenburg podcast application More
Hindenburg is like a Tesla. It doesn’t do nearly as much as other top-end cars, but what it does do it does really well.
It’s far simpler than other DAWs, just as Teslas are vastly simpler than, say, BMWs. If you like a pretty interface with a million knobs and colors, you won’t like Teslas or Hindenburg. But if you like a DAW that does the core functions very well, this is the way to go.
The Acon Digital Deverberate plugin (for echo) More
I’ve tried probably five echo plugins over the last six years. This is the one I always come back to, and although I need it less in my new studio that has carpet, I still keep it in my chain.
The iZotope Nectar 3 Noise Gate More
I’m a huge fan of iZotope stuff, and this Nectar 3 Plugin turned out to be exactly what I needed just now for my latest podcast setup.
My RODECASTER PRO has a noise gate built into it, which is good at removing a steady background hum, but not so great with more active sounds coming into a super-sensitive mic like the Neumann. Examples include breathing and mouth noises.
So I added the iZotope Nectar 3 plugin to the mix, with a noise gate that not only takes out any background noise from AC or whatever, but also removes breathing sounds and mouth noises. This is so important if you want to maintain high voice quality, basically giving me complete silence between phrases that you only normally get with professional editing.
The final thing I’m doing for my studio is adding sound dispersion and absorption. I’m ordering some GIK products that are art pieces for the walls as well as bass traps for the corners. Those combined with the carpet and added furniture might give me enough treatment to get rid of my de-echo plugin.
If you have a pretty quiet room and the funds to invest, I’d say this is a really solid stack for producing a show.
It’ll give you NPR-level voice quality combined with near-professional-grade (and automatic) removal of the noise between words and sentences.
Hope this helps someone on the same journey.