Assemble a Small Recording Rig

Podcasting on the road opens up a whole new realm of interesting and engaging content. Learn how to build a small audio rig that will give you sound that sounds as good on the road as it does at home.

To get quality field recordings you need to start by getting a good recording device that fits into your budget. Next you need to put the right microphone [Hack #13] on it and understand a little about how to use it. I’ll walk you through these steps, and then I’ll give you a few tips at the end of the hack.

This hack is not just about field recording, though. Solid-state recorders, such as the Marantz and the Edirol, can do a better job at recording than a computer with hardware at the same price point. Plus they have the advantage of being portable, so you can take them anywhere. They are dedicated to the task, so you never get glitches or missing samples, and they inject no noise into the environment. So, if you are thinking about a studio with just you and a microphone, you might want to look into one of these rather than an adapter for your computer.

When it comes to audio recording, you get what you pay for. If you’re doing lots of critical recording, it makes sense to spend the money on a professional machine. A recorder with XLR connectors, good mic preamps [Hack #14] , reliable metering, and digital inputs and outputs or data transfer capabilities will make your life easier.

Consumer-level recorders have some downsides: the microphone inputs ...

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