Kurt’s 2019 Pro Podcasting Equipment List

Last updated: May 3rd 2019

When it comes to podcasting, your content will always be more important to your success than your gear, but good gear doesn’t hurt. (And poor quality doesn’t help.) As our show has evolved and improved over the years, so has the gear we use to record. When we started, the first show was recorded on a $30 Samson Go Mic. Soon I upgraded to the now discontinued Shure PG42 USB. Today, we’ve moved on to a more traditional broadcast setup.

Mic: Shure PG42 USB

I love this mic. The SM7 series has quite the legacy. Micheal Jackson used it to record Thriller, Robin Quivers uses one on the Howard Stern show, and Joe Rogan uses them on his podcast. It has that sought-after rich, warm tone that makes it works so well for voice work. It’s not particularly sensitive so it cuts out a substantial amount of room noise.

The downside is this mic requires a lot of gain. It's not USB, it’s a proper studio equipment and uses XLR cables. To get the best result, you’ll need a pre-amp that can provide +59db of clean gain. Worth it.

Get it on Amazon.


Processor: dbx 286s

Not only does this dbx channel strip provide the necessary clean gain the SM7B requires, it also serves to sweeten the audio by adding dynamic compression to keep volume level, proprietary equalization, a noise gate to cut background noise, and more. Sure, you can add those things in post production, but what about all the other times you use your mic? With the dbx, you’ll sound great in webinars, video conferences, and as a guest on others’ interviews.

My dbx286s settings:

Gain: 59 (one click below maximum)
80Hz High-Pass: On
Drive: 5
Density: 3
De-esser: 5kHz, Threshold: 2 (To set this, turn threshold up to 5, and adjust frequency while making saying 'A,B,C,D' until it lights up only on 'C'. Only turn the threshold up if you have natural sibilance or a bright mic.)
LF Detail: 2.5 (Don't overdo this one.)
HF Detail: 2
Gate Threshold: 35db (Set it to off, then turn it up until the red LED lights, then turn it three clicks past that.)
Gate Ratio: 1.6:1 (For this to work right on voice, don't go past 1.9:1)

Get it on Amazon.


Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

This guy converts the output from the dbx286s into digital via USB. It’s not flashy, but it’s reliable and high-quality. It only has to do one thing: be a reliable sound input for your computer. It does that job very well. It doesn’t even need special software or drivers. Plug it in. It just works.

Get it on Amazon.


Miscellaneous

XLR Cables: Mogami Gold - These are an absurdly spendy choice relative to other options, but I didn’t want to ever worry about bad cables. You could safely downgrade here to save a bit. Seismic Audio is a good value brand. I'm using their 1/4" TRS patch cables without issue.

Mic Stand: Rode PSA1

Room Treatment: The room you record in will have a massive impact on your sound, and no amount of expensive gear or post-processing can completely fix a noisy, echoey room. Find a quiet place to record (i.e., not in a warehouse next to a furnace) and then add acoustic treatments and lots of soft things like throw pillows and curtains to stop echoes.


Have questions?

Hit me up on Twitter: @kurtinc