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After attending many Linux conferences and trade shows, I’ve met a lot of people and some of them are doing their own podcasts. It’s pretty cool, you can just go over to iTunes and subscribe to a podcast feed and download the feeds to your iPad or iPhone. This is a great way to learn a lot of cool stuff. So I have been thinking about starting my own podcast or at least just starting to record some content, using Audacity, and wow, my voice really sucks with the microphone that I used. So I decided to get a real mic that is designed for podcasting.

Podcasts are mp3 broadcast shows (and less frequently video shows) that are syndicated through feeds.

To get started podcasting you don’t need a lot of equipment but if you want to create a quality show you will need a decent microphone to record your voice.

Up until recently when you wanted to record audio on your pc you needed an audio interface, a microphone preamp and an xlr microphone. This is still a valid approach, and arguable is the way to go to deliver the best sound quality for your podcast, but for beginners then best strategy is to bypass all that gear and get everything you need in device – a usb microphone.

Usb mics come in all shapes and sizes and it can be difficult to make decisions about what you need. Here are some things to think about:

A Condenser or a Dynamic Microphone

Most of the usb mics on the market are of the condenser variety. This means that they are electrically powered and are very sensitive. They will typically capture a lot of detail in the recording. This can sometimes be a bit of a problem for podcasters because they can pick up too much background noise i.e. squeaky chairs and whirring pc fans.

On the other hand dynamic microphones and much less sensitive to background noise but they are less accurate.

If you want crystal clear clarity go for a condenser mic and control your room recording environment or if you want a more punchy am radio sound go for a dynamic microphone.

Polar Pattens

If you are having more than one guest on your show at the one time an omni microphone can be useful for recording multiple voices in the same room. This is because omni mics capture sound in all directions around the mic so multiple people can work around the mic.

If you only ever need to record one voice then a cardioid pick up pattern will probably be better for you. A cardioid pattern mics up more of the voice and less of the room sound. This can be invaluable especially if you are recording in room with less than flattering reflections.

What Mics Are Best?

For dynamic mics the Rode Podcaster is a stand out, and for condenser microphone the Blue Yeti and and MXL USB 009 are 2 really good mics.

Wait A Second I’ve Already Got Good Analog Mic

I’ve you’ve already got a good analog XLR mic you might want to consider something like the Blue Microphones Icicle to simply connect your microphone to your pic.