As a podcaster, your microphone is the most important tool you have. Without a quality microphone and a good setup, your audio just won’t be as professional, so you need to get this piece of equipment right, especially if there’s more than one.
How do you use multiple mics for podcasting? There may be times when you require more than one microphone to record a podcast, like if you’re going for a certain audio effect or you have more than one person speaking.
The best options are using a multi-channel mixer, hosting software, or USB mics, depending on your setup.
Getting the audio just right is critical for your podcast, but it can be a little trickier when you throw another microphone into the mix.
This guide will help you get multiple mics set up for recording and show you some other technical tips you can use to achieve sound perfection.
How Do You Use Multiple Mics for Podcasting?
There’s nothing as magical as a podcast with two or more hosts that have great chemistry, and inviting someone to join you on your program can be just as fun.
To ensure you get the right type of audio needed for this setup, these are a few of the options you might want to try to have multiple microphones when recording a podcast:
- Dual USB microphones: Although not the most preferred option, if you’re in a bind, you can plug in two separate microphones to your laptop and speak on one of these each. The issue here is that you’ll need to have some distance between you and the other host, otherwise the audio will be off. We recommend using a quality USB mic for single-host podcasts instead.
- Multi-channel mixer: If you are recording in person with someone else and plan on doing this regularly, a multi-channel mixer is ideal. This is a separate piece of software or equipment that will ensure each microphone can have its recording which will be stored as a separate recording. You can edit in postproduction as needed before splicing them back together.
- Digital recorder: A digital recorder is a piece of hardware that lets you plug multiple microphones into it, with each one having its own recording. You can use a digital recorder at home to get more professional-sounding audio and they’re not too expensive. However, you’ll still need to be mindful of where you and the other host are positioned to avoid issues.
- Hosting software: It’s common in this day and age for podcast hosts to not record in the same room, or to have guests that are recording from all corners of the globe. Using hosting software makes it easy to connect everyone in one space but creates a single audio track that can be uploaded to your podcast hosting platform.
Positioning for the Best Audio
The positioning of the microphone and the person speaking into it will be critical for achieving good sound. When two or more people are recording, it can get even harder to find the right positioning, especially if space is already limited.
The best approach is to sit with one speaker on either side of the laptop, giving as much distance between each other as possible. You should be about one foot away from your respective microphone and at least four or five feet away from the other speaker.
This allows for space and reduces the chance for reverb and distortion as your microphone picks up the other person’s voice.
If you’re using a multi-channel setup where the other speakers are connected online, this isn’t as much of a big deal.
However, you will need to make sure that the other hosts on your podcast have tested their microphones and understand how to position themselves for the best audio quality.
Other Key Podcasting Equipment
There’s no denying the power that the microphone has in the podcasting space, but it’s not the only piece of gear you need to consider. Here are a few other things you’ll want to check off before you jump in and press record.
- Laptop: A laptop that’s compatible with both your microphone setup and the software you’re using is key. It doesn’t need to be the latest and greatest but as long as it has enough memory and speed for the processes you need it to, it’ll be adequate.
- Connectors: Depending on the microphone you use, there’s a good chance you’ll need something to connect it to the computer with. These include USB and XLR microphone connectors, so check that you have all of the necessary parts first.
- Digital audio workstation: A DAW (see also ‘What Is Reaper DAW Used For?‘) is like audio production software that you can use to both record and edit your audio files. While it’s not as detailed as music production, there are things you can do to improve sound quality and ensure it’s a polished podcast.
- Sound treatments: These include things like soundproof walls and acoustic panels. Depending on the space you record in and what’s needed, this could be as basic or advanced as you need it to be.
- Podcast hosting platform: Once the podcast has been recorded and edited, you’ll have to publish it. This is more easily done with a podcast host like Whooshkaa, Transistor, or Audioboom, as they take you through all of the steps needed to get your podcast onto the top streaming services and analyze its success.
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Choosing the Best Podcast Software
A quick look online will show you just how large the market for podcast software has become, and why it’s so necessary. To find the best fit, think about what you require from a program to help you make your podcasts professionally.
- Tech support: How much tech support is offered for this software and what hours will they be available. If the chances are high that you’ll be relying on it, this part matters.
- Compatibility: Does the podcast software work with your laptop, microphones, operating system, and other technical gear? There’s no point choosing software if it’s not compatible with the rest of your setup.
- File storage: Some software will save files on your computer or hard drive and others will be stored on the cloud. Depending on what setup you prefer, either of these will likely be preferable.
- Editing features: Does recording software also give you the chance to edit in post-production? Not all podcast software is built for editing so make sure you choose one that meets your needs.
Tips for Getting the Mic Right
As an audio-only experience, you need to get your microphone set up to perfection when recording a podcast. We’ve compiled a few tips that you can use to ensure that every episode you record has a professional sound.
- Test the microphone: Create a few different recordings of your voice and position yourself somewhere new each time. You’ll find that certain locations and angles work better for the microphone than others, and the only way to figure them out is by testing them in real-time. Once you’ve hit the sweet spot, snap a photo or write down where everything is positioned so you can set it up like that for your next recording.
- Warm up before you start: Start every podcast recording with at least 10 minutes of warming up. This includes exercises that let you warm up your mouth muscles to assist with the pronunciation of words. There are loads of exercises available online that can help you prepare for your podcasts and improve your speech.
- Play around with settings: If you’re trying out a new podcast recording software, spend some time learning the program before you record anything. Read the manual, watch tutorials on YouTube, and see what difference the various settings make when you tinker with them.
- Position the mic right: You’ll need at least a few inches and up to a foot of space in between you and the microphone. The closer you are to the mic, the louder and more distorted it will be, so try to keep this distance for the entire recording. We recommend using a pop filter to get rid of sounds like movement and breathing as well.
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Quality Audio for Every Podcast Setup
The goal for a multi-host podcast or one with special guests is to ensure that everyone comes across clearly and professionally, which is only achieved with the right microphone setup.
Whether you use a multi-channel mixer or have everyone connect online through hosting software, it’s essential to spend some time getting it right before you hit record.