Dependable, quality information that you can use.
KunaLand Productions                Copyright 2005, all rights reserved
I’m not an engineer, so creating my DVD, “Depression What You Must Know,” and my Podcast, “Psychiatric Secrets Revealed with Dr. Mike” involved a lot a research and learning.  The information listed below is a compilation of that work.  I hope you find it helpful.  Mike Kuna

Please Pass The Alternatives!


There are so many variations of the versatile rig that I just had to tell you about some of them.


Option 1: Create your own USB mixer


There are a lot of good mixers that would be perfect for Podcasting.  Companies like Behringer and Peavy sell many mixer models for less than $100.  As an example, the Behringer Eurorack 802 mixer offers 8 inputs including 2 XLR microphone inputs for less than $50.  These mixers can easily be made into an USB type mixer by adding a little interface.  Behringer makes one called the UCA202 USB interface ($30 street).  Plug your mixer’s output into one end of the interface and plug the interface’s USB cord into your computer and you just created an USB mixer for less than $100.  


Option 2: The Chinese studio-style condenser microphone


Not that many years ago studio-style condenser microphones were so expensive that only recording studios used them.  When trade with China opened up, the world was flooded with inexpensive electronics. Included in these shipments were Chinese copies of elite German microphones priced at 1/10 th of the original version.  These microphones are awesome in their sound quality.  Studio-condensers offer a clarity and depth that no other microphone can, but like any other diva, superior performance comes at a price.  Studio-style condensers are fragile creatures that can be destroyed with a simple knock.  They require phantom power, which also limits where you can use them.  Their supreme sensitivity requires special precautions like using a pop filter and possibly a shock mount. If you can accept these demands, a condenser may be just right for you.  Here again, the magic price point of around $100 will get you a fine sounding microphone and a good value too.  Brand names of quality Chinese condensers include Behringer, Nady, CAD, Samson and MXL.  At PSR we have used condenser microphones from Nady and MXL and we have been very pleased with them.


Option 3: The super-cheap Chinese dynamic microphone


The Chinese manufacture more than studio microphones, they also make a lot of dynamic handheld mics that are copies of the Shure SM57/SM58 series.  Is it possible that these super cheap microphones sound good?  Yes they do!  In the past a cheap microphone sounded dull, flat and lifeless.  But these microphones have a open clear sound that is amazing at this price point ($10-$30).  Nady’s “Star Power” series, Samson’s R11 and Behringer’s XM8500 are good examples.  Now you may ask if these microphones are truly as good as the original Shure mic.  Honestly, they sound almost as good but other factors (see SM57/SM58 benefits) are unknown.


Option 4: No USB option


OK, by now you have figured out that I’m a big fan of USB devices.  However, if you already have a great sound card you can forgo the USB option.  This scenario uses Option 1, but instead of connecting your mixer to an USB interface you patch directly from your mixer to the “aux-in” on the sound card.  To get an idea what a good sound card sounds like, click here.






Next, perfect portable Podcasting