The rise and rise of the podcast has not been without its hiccups. At the beginning everyone said it was going to be the next big thing; it stalled. Then came Serial and the rest is history. The joy of the podcast is that anyone can make and broadcast their recordings. Technically, you can even do it on a smartphone, though it will sound a touch homemade. To produce a professional podcast you don’t really need a studio, but you do need a proper studio-style stand microphone and monitor-standard headphones. This all-in-one kit from the renowned Austrian microphone manufacturer AKG is a complete podcaster outfit, including software and leads. All you need to add is a PC or Mac and, voilà, you’re ready to podcast.
What’s in the box? The centrepiece is AKG’s Lyra USB microphone, a superb heavy-duty device with switch positions to adjust its reception field from recording just one person, to hosting a discussion with other participants round a table. The mic connects into the PC’s USB slot, and also has a rotary control on it for the interviewer to double as producer and effect smooth, intuitive level adjustments and fades.
The kit’s AKG K371 headphones also plug into the microphone, which makes perfect sense ergonomically. It’s a joy to use, and the podcast producer I lent the kit to also loved it. She was particularly enamoured of the cans – wired, no Bluetooth – for the comfort and the flat, unadorned, accurate sound. The kit also comes with Ableton Live 10 Lite audio production software, which is well regarded, although my producer continued to use her preferred Reaper, and there’s a free Berklee online introductory recording course.
AKG Podcaster Essentials, £278, uk.akg.com
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