Rodecaster Pro review: a podcast studio you can carry on your back via The Verge

Rode is one of those brands that I can’t seem to get away from at trade shows like CES and MWC. The company makes some extremely popular directional microphones, which I see mounted atop video producers’ cameras with big and bold RØDE lettering adorning their sides. As a result, I had grown to associate Rode with pro audio recording even before I’d tried any of its gear for myself, trusting the collective wisdom of the professional content creator crowd. Having spent the past few weeks reviewing the Rodecaster Pro, I’d say that wisdom is spot on.
Read Rodecaster Pro review: a podcast studio you can carry on your back via The Verge



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The best microphones to start podcasting with via The Verge

A decent microphone is one of the first — and most critical — pieces of equipment you need. Sounding good, though, is relatively easy and cheap with a wide variety of mics on the market. Here are 6 to choose from. — Douglas
 
As the resident audio engineer at The Verge, I am occasionally asked what microphone one should get if they wanted to start a podcast. For professional use, the answer is complicated. You can’t just plug any microphone into your computer and start recording. But for a hobbyist or someone starting out in the field, there are now more options than ever to get your show up and running for a fairly low price.
Read The best microphones to start podcasting with via The Verge



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IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic HD records audio right to your iPhone or Mac via 9to5Toys

 
IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD Microphone features:

  • Handheld USB Condenser Microphone
  • Mobile Recording on iPhone and iPad
  • Studio Recording on Mac and Windows
  • 24-Bit/48 kHz Audio
  • Onboard Gain Control Adjusts Input Level
  • Multicolor LED Level Indicator
  • Detachable Lightning and USB Cables
  • Includes App/Software Bundle

DJI Osmo Pocket – A 3-month-in REVIEW via Techmoan

Read DJI Osmo Pocket – A 3-month-in REVIEW via Techmoan



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Blue’s new XLR mic will help podcasters and YouTubers step up their set-up via The Next Web

Blue’s new XLR mic will help podcasters and YouTubers step up their set-up via The Next Web
 

If you’ve ever created a podcast – or looked into doing so – I bet you’ll know Blue. Whether it’s the Yeti or its Nano counterpart, the company is famous for building USB microphones that make recording audio easy.

Well, Blue is expanding its ambitions. Today at CES, it announced the launch of a new XLR condenser microphone: the Ember.



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† Available from the LA Public Library

The [Ultimate] 5-Step Sound Guide for Great Sound via Stage 32

 During my filmmaking career, I’ve run the gambit on all different sides of production. Back in Baltimore, I worked with skeleton crews writing, directing, and doing sound on my own productions. Since moving to Los Angeles I’ve found a lot of work on set sound mixing, and I wanted to give some easy, actionable steps that can help all filmmakers, at every budget level, get the best sound possible.

 
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New Media Gear: HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone, for PC, PS4 and Mac

I was introduced to the HyperX Quadcast by my college-aged son (Overwatching the Competition) who also happens to be a big gamer. He regularly reviews HyperX products and, while he hadn’t laid hands upon the mic, he thought it looked like a good product. While I am posting this as simply a way of introducing you to the mic, I am hoping to get one in for review and give you some more information

HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone, for PC, PS4 and Mac, Anti-Vibration Shock Mount, Four Polar Patterns, Pop Filter, Gain Control, Podcasts, Twitch, YouTube, Discord, Red LED – Black

New Media Gear: HyperX QuadCast - USB Condenser Gaming Microphone, for PC, PS4 and Mac

Firstly, it is nice to see that they include a shock mount for the mic. Too many companies make this an optional add-on even though using a mic without one is going to lead to sub-par results and lots of noise. Also included is a mount for a standard mic stand if you want to attach to a boom arm or other stand. Including a matching pop filter would have been nice too, but they are available for $10. The specs say it includes a built-in pop filter, but I wonder how much that can suppress the hard plosives (t’s, p’s, b’s) that so often show up on podcast and game play recordings.

New Media Gear: HyperX QuadCast - USB Condenser Gaming Microphone, for PC, PS4 and Mac

The has 4 selectable pickup patterns so it can be used for a wide variety of recording situations and a integrated headphone jack so you can have lag-free monitoring when you are recording.

While less important than the technical specs, I do like the overall design. I am also a lover of red and black contrast on devices. Perhaps that goes back to my school colors being the same. You never know how your childhood memories are going to manifest themselves.

Overall, this looks like a mic worth investigating further if you are looking for a starter mic for podcasting, streaming and gaming videos.

Check out the HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone, for PC, PS4 and Mac on HyperX Gaming.

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Advice on using drones for video via Tom Antos

Drones are becoming such an important part of nearly any video shoot. So here are some tips for getting great footage without destroying your expensive investment. — Douglas
 
 

More drones on Amazon


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New Media Gear: Parrot Teleprompter

A teleprompter can greatly increase the quality of your videos by giving you a professional look and tone when presenting. Past teleprompter devices have been quite expense, while this one is more in line with the prices YouTubers and other video makers can afford. — Douglas

Parrot Teleprompter

Telepromter 2

Teleprompter

 

  • Professional quality 30r/70t teleprompter glass
  • Sets up faster than any other teleprompter in less than a minute
  • Compact so you can take it anywhere your videos take you
  • Works with the most common camcorders and slr cameras
  • Easy to use free parrot teleprompter app works with all major smartphones.Compatible with Camcorders and DSLR cameras with standard lens sizes.

Similar Gear

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DaVinci Resolve 15 is a free, Hollywood-grade video editor via Engadget

Free software is usually worth looking at, even if it might not meet all your needs. Download this video editor software available for both Windows and Macintosh. — Douglas
 
With the latest release of DaVinci Resolve 15, Blackmagic Design has radically made over its editing suite to create one of the best video-editing systems at any price — even against mainstream options like Premiere Pro CC and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. It now comes with Fusion, a powerful visual effects (VFX) app used in Hollywood films, along with an excellent color corrector and audio editor. Despite doing more than most editors will ever need, the full studio release costs just $300, and you can get a stripped-down version with most features for a grand total of zero dollars.

SiOnyx Aurora is an Action Camera that ‘Turns Night Into Full-Color Daylight’ via PetaPixel

SiOnyx Aurora is a new action camera that claims to be the world’s first day/night camera for consumers. It’s ultra-light sensitive, allowing you to shoot full-color images in low-light conditions.

The Aurora is “the only HD action video camera with true day and night color imaging,” SiOnyx says, noting that it has received over 40 patents related to the camera. SiOnyx was founded back in 2006 by Professor Eric Mazur and Dr. James Carey of Harvard University.

Samson Go Mic Mobile Review: Wireless Microphones for All! via SomeGadgetGuy

What wireless microphones do you use for your podcasting and video production? Share your gear in the comments!

Oddly enough, I was struggling with some older wireless mics today as I was recording a presentation by my wife. Sometimes this hand-me-down set works well and at other times the audio fades in and out as the presenter moves about the room. It is long beyond time to get a “real” set of wireless mics so I will take a look at this Samson unit as one possibility for replacement? — Douglas

New Media Gear: Beyerdynamic FOX USB Studio Quality Microphone Unveiled At NAMM 2018 via Geeky Gadgets

During the 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, USA this week a new studio quality USB microphone has been showcased in the form of the beyerdynamic FOX, which combines a microphone, preamplifier, converter and headphone amplifier in one handy desktop system. The beyerdynamic FOX microphone will be available later this year during April 2018 from specialist stores and the official beyerdynamic online store priced at €179.

Features of the beyerdynamic FOX studio microphone include front controls that provide access to the headphone amplifier, microphone signal to the headphones volumes providing instant control. While a button on the rear of the microphone regulates, the gain enables the use of the FOX for, especially loud sources. The microphone also includes the obligatory mute button, and a range of accessories are also available including a pop shield, mounting base, clamp and more.

New Media Gear: Spire Studio is a recording studio that fits in your hand via The Verge

 

iZotope is best known for creating mixing and mastering audio software, but a couple weeks ago, I got to check out Spire Studio, the company’s first piece of hardware. Spire Studio is a palm-sized device that musicians can carry with them to record professional-grade multitrack audio anywhere they are.

While there are lots of gadgets on the market for portable recording, most interfaces I’ve seen need to be plugged in to your phone, cater to recording a specific type of instrument, or need lots of dongles. Spire Studio, on the other hand, has a lot of use in a very small footprint, and connects to your phone wirelessly. On the front is a built-in mic and headphone jack, while the back has two XLR/TS combo jacks with Grace Design preamps, another headphone jack, and a 48V phantom power button for powering your own condenser mic. The top of the Spire Studio has recording control buttons, and the option to perform a soundcheck, where it will listen to the audio you’re playing for 10 seconds and then adjust the input levels accordingly. Of course, it all comes with an accompanying app.

New Media Gear: Roland R-07 Audio Recorder via Bless This Stuff

With all the choices audio and video recorders these days, there really isn’t any exceed for getting your New Media project — be they audio podcast or full-fledged video shows — up and running at a level of quality only dreamed about in the past. This Roland R-07 is yet another excellent entry into the market and a great place to start recording whatever you do today! — Douglas
 
 
Your iPhone is pretty handy for making quick audio recordings, but unfortunately, the quality of the recordings isn’t good enough for actual music making. Roland´s new sleek and ultra-portable audio recorder works with iPhone and Apple Watch, allowing wireless listening and remote control. The Roland R-07 gives you the quality of a proper recorder with stereo mics, and the convenience of an iPhone app. But the best feature is that you can control the recorder from your Apple Watch. You can lay the recorder wherever you like, and trigger it from your wrist. For example a guitarist could place it next to an amp speaker, sit down on the other side of the room, and record interesting ideas at will using the remote. 
 

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New Media Gear: DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

The accessory’s main improvement is a better internal battery, said to offer up to 15 hours of video shooting —more than three times what the original Osmo Mobile allowed. The Mobile 2 is also lighter than before, and equipped with a revised button layout, including a built-in zoom slider.

While iPhone video is normally best shot in landscape mode, the Mobile 2 can also be used to shoot in vertical orientation.

Software-based features include subject tracking, panoramas, timelapses, and “Motionlapses,” which are timelapses shot while an iPhone is moving.

Read DJI shows off iPhone-ready Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal with better battery life, easier controls via AppleInsider

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New Media Gear: Razer Seiren X Microphone ($100) via Geeky Gadgets

Razer Seiren X Microphone Now Available For $100 via Geeky Gadgets

Razer Seiren X Microphone

As well as launching their new Razer Kiyo streaming camera, Razer has also unveiled a new desktop microphone they have created in the form of the Razer Seiren X which is now available to purchase priced at $99.99

Equipped with supercardioid pick-up pattern to reduce background noise, the new microphone has been designed to complement the new Kiyo web camera which is also now available to purchase priced at $99.99.

Specifications of the Razer Seiren X Microphone :

  • Condenser microphone made for streaming
  • Supercardioid pick-up pattern to reduce background noise
  • Built-in shock mount to dampen vibrations
  • Mute button
  • Zero-latency 3.5 mm headphone monitoring port

 

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New Media Gear: Lavalier Mic Furry Windscreen Muff/Micromuff

New Media Gear: Lavalier Mic Furry Windscreen Muff/Micromuff

Sometimes the simplest needs are the most important needs. I have gotten tired of losing the little foam windscreens that came with my fav mics. One bump and they drop off. If I am shooting in the garden they are often gone forever. Leaf litter is very unforgiving to dropped items. It swallows them up before you can even see where they have dropped.

Looking for a replacement, I decided to go for windscreens that were less likely to drop off and were more effective at blocking wind noise. Again, filming out in the garden with even a small breeze can give my mics trouble, so these muff-type windscreens seemed just the “step up” I needed.

Lav mic muff 1

Lav mic muff 2

I have found these to be very useful in both ways. First, the elastic makes them easy to install and yet they fit tightly enough that there is now way you are going to knock them off the mic. They are also easy to remove, though, so another big advantage.

Second, they do significantly cut down on wind noise as should be expected by their design. In my experience, “Furry” windscreens offer a better method of dissipating wind than any foam windscreen. It also seems to cut down on the noise created should a interview subject happen to brush against them during a recording.

This is a simple yet important and effective upgrade for my podcasting kit. You might find them useful, too!

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What I’m “Driving” Today via Instagram

Zoom h6

What I’m “Driving” Today

Podcast recording underway for client. Interviews and more!

Instagram and Follow

 

Join me on Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook

Zoom H5 (and other recorders) from Amazon

More Zoom recorders

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New Media Gear: $20 photo lightbox sure comes in handy via Boing Boing

I often have need to photograph or video objects and this could come in very handy. It is especially useful if you want “knock-out” the object from its background so you can composite it with a different background. — Douglas
This is simply a white plastic box with some very white LED lights and two foam backdrops. There is nothing to it. You can fold it up to the size of a legal pad if you want to put it away, or take it someplace.

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