SGM-2X

Here’s a sample and review/explanation recorded with the Azden SGM-2X Shotgun microphone in a noisy environment. You can see the bike handgrip I added in the picture. It cuts down on noise due to holding the mic, and it makes it more comfortable, too!

 
icon for podpress  Azden SGM-2X Sample File [3:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
 

So, you want to start a podcast from scratch? It’s a lot easier and cheaper than you’d expect.

At it’s most basic, a podcast requires a computer, a microphone, and a place to host the files. You can do that (and do it well, with good sound and using good software with support) with the following:

An Apple Mac mini with keyboard, mouse, and monitor for $797.
– This comes with GarageBand, iMovie, and plenty of other stuff you might want to use for your podcast.

A Blue Snowball USB Microphone for $160.
– Get the one that includes a stand and cable for a high-quality studio condenser mic that’s ready to use right away.
– You’ll also want a pop filter.

A year of hosting at Libsyn.com ($5/month) for $60.
– This gives you a blog, rss feed, and unlimited bandwidth — in case you get popular.

WANT TO RECORD IN THE FIELD?

You can get an iRiver iFP-790 for as little as $25 on eBay. Pair that with a Giant Squid Audio Lab Mini Gold-Plated Omni Mic ($15) and a set of RadioShack Tie-clip Microphone Windscreens ($3 for four — Item #33-4006), and you’re set for recording on-the-go.

That’s it. A whole home studio/mobile podcasting setup — including the computer — for about $1,000. You may already have an adequate computer, and could drop the price to about $275! If you want to have two hosts, buy another snowball and use them together (easy on the Mac, may be possible a PC — depending upon your software).

Of course, even the best equipment in the world won’t help if you don’t have a compelling show, but the skills needed for that come with practice, so get out there and start podcasting!

 

If you listen to many podcasts, you’ll hear a lot of people asking you to call and leave a message on their comment line. The weird thing is, every one of these people seems to have a phone in Seattle.

Of course, Seattle isn’t the hub of the podcasting world, it is just the home of k7.net. k7 will give you a free phone number, voicemail service, and fax inbox. According to their site, k7:

… channels your free voicemail and fax messages directly to your e-mail. K7 Unified Messaging provides you with a free phone number. This number enables you to have your voicemail messages and faxes delivered directly to your computer. You also have the option to view and listen to your messages right here on the K7 Web site.

Oh and, in case you were wondering, k7 is a service of International Telcom Ltd. that seems to exist to promote the larger company — that’s why it’s free.

Here’s a sample message:

icon for podpress  k7 Sample: Download
 
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© 2010 Adam Weiss: Podcast Consultant