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duskvstweak

Podcast Mixer Help

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So, my library wants to sponser a podcast and I've been charged with putting it together. It's going to have two hosts. I've found the mics, a pair of Audio-Technica ATR2100, and we're going to record into my laptop. The thing I haven't been able to figure out is

 

1. should I get a mixer and

2. what mixer should I get?

 

From what I've read, since it's the two hosts, we'll need the mixer, but maybe not(?) because the mics are also USB.
If I did get a mixer, I needs to be on lower priced, but I can't seem to find one that will support to mics, and connect easily into my laptop. Or would it and I'm just missing something?

 

Thanks!

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I think you're looking for an Audio Interface. OR, you can use 2 USB hubs on your computer, and just run a free DAW like Garage Band for all of your mixing/editing, keeping track of your sessions, etc. Even though a podcast is straightforward audio-wise, you'll want some editing flexibility.

 

You could also keep an eye out for PreSonus' Studio One Prime, which is supposed to be a free, feature-limited version of S1. Assuming it gives you the option to export your audio how you'd like, it might be worth looking in to. I'm sure there are other free, limited-feature DAWs out there, just do a little google research.

 

Here are some cheap options for an interface, if you decide to go that route (in which case, you'd get XLR cables for those mics):

 

PreSonus Audiobox USB ($99)

Focusrite Scarlet 2i2

M-Audio M-Track II

 

 

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I believe Hayeser has outlined the best option above. It's cool that the mics you've got both have built-in USB, but if you want to use them both at the same time that way, you're likely to run into complications like long latencies and system instabilities- particularly if your laptop is running Windows. There are ways to make it work (for free, which is worth noting if your budget is really tight on this), but you may end up spending quite a lot of time and accruing some headaches doing it. I'll link up a few examples if that option interests you.

 

The other option, as Hayeser said, is to get a two-input audio interface (which is not quite the same as a mixer) and use your mics' XLR jacks (with a couple of matching cables) to connect them to it. This means the interface can look after all the timing and buffering and such. It's definitely machines' work. And almost all interfaces will allow you to adjust the volume of each mic independently so you can balance the two voices. There are mixers with USB that will also do this job, but in my experience, the USB interfaces on tiny little mixers like these is often pretty shoddy, so buy at your own risk.

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Get a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. If your laptop isn't a Mac (and even if it is), you'll have a really hard time getting both microphones to record at the same time if you're plugging them in via USB. With a 2i2, you can record two channels at once. I own one, and use it all the time to record vocals--it's clean, drop-dead easy to set up (as audio interfaces go), and rock-solid.

 

Also, for basic podcasting (if you're just doing some sort of voiceover with no extra processing or music, etc.), you don't need anything more than Audacity. Here's a link to that: http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/

 

If you need to do any sort of additional stuff, like adding music, etc., then look at Reaper. It's free to download, and it has an incredibly generous trial method: it just bugs you to buy it when the trial period runs out, without actually cutting functionality. 

 

Furthermore, if you haven't already purchased the microphones, I'd suggest you look at buying a couple of these: http://www.amazon.com/GLS-Audio-Vocal-Microphone-ES-58/dp/B000RKWTPC/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1435207773&sr=1-1&keywords=es-58+mic You'll need to buy XLR mic cables no matter what, so you might as well not buy the USB mics as they won't do you any good if you're trying to use more than one. These ES-58 mics are great little workhorses--they're mimicking the ultimate workhorse microphone, the Shure SM58, and they sound nearly the same for a third of the price, and should last you a LONG time.

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Thanks all,

I ended up getting the Scarlett 2i2. I guess I really didn't understand what I was looking for until you pointed out the difference. 

I was planning to use Audacity, since it's free and I've got some experience with it.

Again, thanks for the help!

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