✅ Want to start livestreaming or making videos grow your business?
❌ Struggling to figure out how to get good audio or even where to start?
❌ Want to know how to get better audio for your videos and how to set up your mic and what to actually do and look out for?
Here’s where to find Pete: http://studiolivetoday.com/
9:34 🔥 Where to position your mic to get the best sound
13:05 🔥 What you need to BOLO for with your mic audio
17:09 🔥 Tips for getting better audio on a budget
⚙️Equipment Used To Shoot This Video ⚙️
Canon 90D: https://amzn.to/2R7KlQV
How to get good audio for video – Easy audio set up -Video Transcript
Sara: Thanks for joining us. So I’m Sara Nguyen, and I’m here with Pete Johns from studio live. And today we are covering one of my favourite topics. I think every topic is my favourite topic, but a really important topic. And that is how do you get good audio for your videos? Whether you’re looking to live stream on Facebook, live stream on YouTube, or even just uploading your own videos to either platform. So super excited to be here. Thanks, everyone for joining us. So Pete, thank you so much for being here. Love your channel. Where can people find you?
Pete: So yeah, you can head over to studiolivetoday.com. That’s kind of my home on the interwebs. And then from there you can then jump in and check out my YouTube channel, where I share tips and tricks and tutorials and do a lot of live streaming, which I get a lot of help from Sara and her channel because I’m not an audio guy, I’m not a video guy. So things like lighting and video and resolutions and DSLRs, not my bag, but yeah, I’ve been loving checking out your streams and your shows to learn about that.
Sara: Thanks, Pete! But Pete is definitely the sound guy, the audio guy. And also a lot of the things we’ll cover is about audio on mobile as well. So really excited, but without further ado, let’s get right into it. So we’re covering the must knows. So I guess the first question that I always get asked is which microphone, where do we even start when it comes to the microphones for using with your video? So Pete help us out, help us, help us out. We
Pete: So the first thing I say, for this question for everything, for what do you use is you use what you have to start with. So the most important thing, and I know you support this on your channel is to get started and to start live streaming, to start practising because you won’t learn what works for you and for your workflow until you actually start with it. So that’s point number one, it’s work with what you got. And you know what? Most of us have a smartphone, it’s got a microphone built into it. So that’s pretty much your first microphone. So don’t be afraid if this is all you got start live streaming, start practising. Some of the principles we’ll talk about are relevant regardless of what sort of mic you’re using. The next thing that people will probably use, and don’t underestimate is your headphones, your headset. Like all of your headsets these days have a microphone built-in, especially if you’re on mobile. That works really well. And these little tiny microphones that you have here, actually pick up your voice really well. They’re designed for phone calls. So if you’re doing live audio that could really work. If you then want to go to the next level, you know, you’ve started out, you want your audio to sort of start sounding good. So you could use something like what we’re using here. So I’m using a USB mic. I’m pretty sure you’re rocking the RODE NT-USB mini.
Sara: Yes, I’m right into USB mini, which is also a USB mic.
Pete: Absolutely. So, yeah, and these are both sort of high-ender, higher-end microphones around $100, $150 mark. But you can start out with something like this guy he’s really cute. This is my friend, the Samson meteorite. It kinda looks like a little bit like a drawing of the, for Star Wars fans out there and it’s shiny. So this thing only sets you back about $50 or $60. And it’s literally plug and play comes with its own USB cable. And the quality of audio you get from something like this is actually really, really good. So if you’re starting live streaming, you want to take it up to the next level or even your videos that you’re pre-recording either on your phone or when you’re using your computer and your webcam, something like that can really help you out. And from there, it’s kind of like the sky’s the limit.
So I know we’re talking budget and getting started here, but you’ve got other options. You’ve got, and I use them, use some shotgun microphones from Deity who do the job. RODE, there you go. RODE, a lot of people have seen this. This is the RODE GO mic for your videos, for your DSLR cameras that you can use. And then you can take it to the next level, which is what I talk about on my channel. And probably won’t go into hyper detail, but you can start using things like XLR microphones as they condense the mic, and we’ll cover what that all means in a moment or your dynamic microphones, your old handheld microphones if you’re doing a bit more interview style, you can go with a dynamic mic, but for these, you actually need yourself an audio interface or a mix that a plug into. So these won’t go straight into your computer or your iPhone, iPad, Android device. You need to have something in between, which is an audio interface or a mixer, which depending how much time we have, we can go into a bit of detail about that as well. But that’s kind of your options from like starting out with just what you have right up to buying something like a USB mic, an audio interface, or getting yourself a nice condenser mic. But yeah, you can spend anything from $20 to all money.
Sara: That’s it. And I think like with microphones, it’s really easy because of all of the options out there to get really overwhelmed because it’s like, well, what is the difference between a USB microphone and a condenser microphone? And the other one that you mentioned, so Pete break it down for us. What’s the difference between all of these microphones?
Pete: Yeah, exactly.
Sara: Apart from the price.
Pete: So, so microphone’s got to come in two main flavours. So most of your USB microphones are what’s called a condenser microphone. It means it needs power. It needs something called Phantom power. So it needs to plug into either your device or to your Mac or your PC. So it’s going to power up your microphone. And it also, if it’s a USB condenser, it has the audio interface built-in. So you don’t need anything else. It’s a very simple option, but you condenser is good because it will sort of amplify your voice because you’ve got that pre-amp, pre-amplifier in there. It will actually amplify your voice. So that’s why you and I can talk into these microphones. We don’t have to turn the volume up very much and you can hear us coming through nicely on the live stream, the different type of microphone which is the dynamic mic that we talked about before.
These don’t require any power, which means they’re good ’cause you can plug them into anything, but they do require an audio interface or something to plug into. And the benefit of these is that a condenser microphone is very highly sensitive. So if you’re in a really noisy environment, so if you don’t– this room’s not particularly treated, but I’m close up here, and you’ll hear that if I get a bit further away, you can start hearing a bit more of that room noise. If you’re finding that as a problem, a dynamic microphone like this, because you talk more directly into it. It actually rejects a lot more of that background noise. So if you’re like I’ve said during interviews, if you’re in noisy environments, if you, you know, you’ve got the kids, you know, everyone’s doing homeschooling and try to work with, with the spouses and things at the moment, if you need to get that audio directly in there, that’s why dynamic can be better than a condenser, but most of your entry-level USB microphones are condensers.
And then of course, there’s a, as you’ve pointed out, there’s the shotgun microphone, which is one that gets a little further away from you. These are good if you want to make sure your microphone is not in your shot. And we’ve got nice looking microphones here. So we don’t mind having them in our shot, but sometimes you want something where you’ve just got yourself. And that way you can use something like a shotgun mic, because if you’ve got a USB market condenser or a dynamic, and it’s too far away from you, then you start getting problems with echoing and you have to turn your gain up too loud and you get hiss and you get background noise, which are some of the things, what we’ll talk about in a minute. I’m sure.
Sara: Now, I’m really interested because I love tech like you and most people, most creators, we talked about the USB microphones and the other microphones that plug directly into your computer. What, what’s the deal with an audio interface? So there’s quite a few on the market and they look very sexy. So why do you need one? Do I even need one? Or am I just like, Ooh, that’s pretty like, why would you need an audio interface? And how would you use it?
Pete: Yeah. So audio interfaces were almost definitely required back in the day because USB microphones when they first came out, they were kind of lacking in quality. So manufacturers would make very cheap entry-level microphones, whack a quick audio interface and then plug them into USB. And they weren’t really for getting pro-quality audio. That’s obviously come a long way. We’ve got, AKG, RODE, Audio technical. A lot of these big microphone companies are now making USB mics. If you do want to sort of go the next level and, and you can actually start pretty cheaply. So this is the Behringer, this is the cheapest one on the market, the Behringer UM2. So if you are entry-level and because we’re doing a sort of budget stuff here, this is something that can get you started. So this is probably better if you’re a musician, because you’ve got a microphone, but you can also plug your instrument.
So if you’re recording and you’re doing other things, so that’s what, that’s the benefit’s going to be there. And you can actually output it to speakers as well. So if you are, if you’re looking to sort of hook up some monitors, speakers, and actually have some audio playback through then that’s where an audio interface can come in. With your USB mic, you’ve only really got the ability to have headphones plugged in, and that doesn’t give you the opportunity to plug in say, monitor speakers. The other thing is that you can actually have multiple inputs going into your audio interface. So this one’s two-input, and you can have up to 4, 8, 16, depending on what you want to spend. So that can be handy if you’re doing say video podcasts, and you’ve got two people talking at the same time. As you’ve probably experienced with USB mics, it’s actually really hard to use more than one at once.
So summing your USB mics together is a really clunky process. Doesn’t work that well. So if you get something like an audio interface or a mixer, you can plug in multiple microphones. So if I was doing an interview, I could be on one mic over here, someone could be on another mic over here, and we could be recording quality sound, and you can then record them separately as you’re recording your video and then split them out afterwards. So that’s super handy if you’ve got like a two-channel interface and you’re recording two microphones at once gives you opportunity to split those out. So they’re kind of the main reasons. In terms of quality though, like I say, USB microphones have come a long way. So it’s, and it’s what I recommend for people getting started because it’s so much simpler. As soon as you get into this, like this is a very simple interface, but you can see some of the other interfaces and mixers that you’ll start looking at. Yeah. They’re going to have a lot more options and have a bit of a steeper learning curve over just plugging in and using a USB mic.
Sara: Okay. Thanks, Pete. Now, another question that I always get asked is where do you position the microphone to get the best sound? Because, you know, I was watching someone on a live stream and they talked about coming in real close so you can get that podcast-y sound and you know? Where do you position this thing so that you’re not too loud, you’re not too soft. You know, what’s your advice for that?
Pete: Yeah. So positioning is important. And you’ll notice that by both you and I, we’re not, we’re not talking into our microphone. So both of us have the microphone either below, above or to the side. Now, the reason for that is that if you heard of a plosive? Pumping your peas? That’s what you don’t want to do. Getting, getting too close up on your microphone. You’re going exact, getting that Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled– you’re going to get that popping P sound. So you want the breath of your voice to not be going into the actual capsule because the microphone capsules, as I said before, really sensitive, and they are going to pick up that breathe and that wind that comes out. So every time you do a P or even an S sound, it’s going to start giving you that horrible sound.
So that’s sort of number one tip is don’t talk, the number of people I see ruin their audio by just talking. And I think that they have to eat the microphone. They’re like singing in and they’re like, Oh, you’re going to put the microphone right up to your mouth. No. You want to give yourself some space. So what I do is basically use the legs of your hand and work out what that is from your microphone. That’s a good rule of thumb to use, because if you’re too if you’re closer than that, then you’re going to start getting that sort of boom-y kind of sound. And if you’re too far away, then you’re going to have to either turn your volume up, which I’ll show you in a moment or you’re going to have to yell. And then it’s not going to sound too good.
So find yourself a better position around that one hand length from there slightly off centre or below or above. So you’re not talking into the capsule. Now what you’re talking about with that boom-y podcast sound. If you do want that, that’s where you do want to get up on the mic because there’s something called the proximity effect. I’m sorry, I’m going to nerd out in a bit of technology, technical terms here for the moment, but the proximity effect just basically means that the closer you get the deeper, the more resonant tones you’re actually bringing out in the sound. So you’ll notice that as I’m moving in and I get creepy on here, I can do my, Hey, welcome back to Pete FM. That was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So if you want to get that radio DJ sound? You can actually do that.
So, but if you, if you want to get more of a natural speaking tone, you want to have that distance because otherwise you’re going to sound super boom-y and it might not be the right thing. So like most things in audio, it’s kind of horses for courses. You need to work out what sort of sound you want. And the key to it is experimenting because every microphone, every bit of hardware and software that you use is different. I mean, we’re using StreamYard here. And we talked beforehand that we don’t have, we don’t have monitoring. We don’t have input volumes that we can check things. It’s hard to get your balance right. So if you then plug this in and started doing a Skype call or a zoom call, the levels may be completely different. You may need to tweak it. So test it, try it out first. Don’t just hit record and start recording your video. Always do a test recording first to make sure your audio is right, play it back and make sure that you’re sounding good if you’re not, tweak it, try again.
Sara: Fantastic. Thanks for that tip. I really liked that, you know, distance. I kind of just positioned there the mic where it is so that it’s out of, kind of out of the shot and not in my face. So it’s kind of just coincidental it’s in the right place.
Pete: It usually works. Exactly. It usually works just because that’s what it makes sense to you. ‘Cause you don’t really want a microphone right in front of your face. So most people get it around about right. But the one thing that like what most people do not do wrong, but if they do it wrong is to not have it slightly off-centre. People think, Oh, is that just to look stylish? So that it’s sort of on an angle? No. It’s actually got a practical purpose as well.
Sara: Fantastic. All right. So Pete, what other things should people be on the lookout? What do you need to BOLO with your mic audio? So we talked a little bit about clicking and, you know, adjusting the sound. So what’s your advice for things people really need to watch out for, with their videos and audio?
Pete: Yeah. So we’ve talked about a lot of it, but I really think that the, the Ps, the plosives and the popping is something that you need to really watch out for. If you are finding that you’re popping a whole lot. As I pop. A pop filter, that’s what–
Sara: And they’re really cheap as well. They’re not even expensive these days.
Pete: $10, $20, eBay, Amazon is your friend with this. So this just goes in front. And if you’re finding that you’re popping, especially if you’re recording, say a voiceover video where it doesn’t matter what you look like, like this would look kind of ugly if this was sticking up in front of my microphone at the moment but if I was doing a video that I was just doing voiceover for, putting a pop filter in front can just make sure that your audio is nice and clean. So that’s probably number one. The number two thing to be able to look out for is setting your input game. Now, I’ve sort of alluded to it a couple of times and I’m going to do it. We’re going to do a quick demo here. The reason I’m using this USB mic is that this one has on the back here, it has its gain setting.
So there are two different volumes. When you’re talking about audio and folks often get confused between the two. There’s input gain and then there’s output gain. And gain, it doesn’t exactly mean volume, but let’s just say it does ’cause we don’t need to get too super technical, but the input gain of your microphone is the volume going into it, so how much it’s actually picking up your voice. Whereas the output gain is like your headphones. So that’s your monitoring volume coming back out that has no, no impact on the sound whatsoever. That’s just the sound you’re hearing. Whereas if I turn up and if I’m going to be quiet for a sec, I’ll turn up the input gain. And you’ll hear that as it comes up, you’ll start hearing the bad noise.
So what you want to do is when you’re sitting again, you want to start with it at the, start with it bad like that, and then slowly bring it down until you just can’t hear the background noise. And that’s called the noise floor. And that’s the best way to get the best sound where you’re getting enough level coming through, but you’re not getting that background noise because if I go too low, it’s not going to come through. If I go too high, you’re going to get that background noise. So it’s a, it’s a delicate game of finding that balance in between. And if you have an input metre, the golden rule is 50% to 75%. So if you’re trying, when you’re talking normally you don’t want it to be heating right up at 90% and a 100% all the time. The reason being that if you then get excited and Sara says an amazing joke you’re like ha ha ha then you don’t want to see it clip at that point. So if you set yourself around that 70% mark, you give yourself a little bit of headroom so that if you do get louder, it doesn’t, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a video where someone’s just like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and then ha ha ha ha and then pft!
Sara: I get it all the time.
Pete: Which is cool. But yeah, if you just give yourself that little bit of extra headroom that can really help. now did I–
Sara: With the audio metre, okay so I understand the percentage now it also comes in colours, right? So you can see it go from green to yellow, to red. So should they be watching for it just at which point? Which way should they be watching for in that colour metre?
Pete: Yeah. So make sure, so the red bad. So if you brought it up in the red, red is usually bad. And what most of your metres will do is that it leaves behind a little red dot, that usually means you’ve clipped your signal. So if you’ve, if you’re talking and if you’re recording and it’s different on every bit of software, which is a bit of a pain, but if you’re recording, if you see your metre go up and start hitting that, that red section, then that’s bad. And again, we could get into the technical, like more of the technical details, but you’ll notice that almost your metres it’s got things like minus 12, minus six and zero, zero DB, because audio people are weird, is the maximum volume. And then as it goes down, minus six is lower minus 12 is lower again. So what you’ll generally find is that your audio will sort of flooded between minus 12 and minus six. It’ll jump up to minus three, minus two, minus one. That’s all good. That’s sort of your natural range, but as soon as you’re hitting that red and you’re bouncing off the top there, then that’s when you’re going to start getting some pretty poor sounding audio.
Sara: Fantastic! Thanks, Pete. That’s very handy. What other tips do you have for getting good audio on a budget? So you talked about the audio interface and that helps level it up, but what are some tactics like? I’ve heard things like throwing the towel or a blanket on the floor. So what are some other budget-friendly tactics for getting better audio?
Pete: Absolutely. So yeah, there are things that you can do around gear, but gear is not everything. Like I said, you use what you have and just start and do it. My secret weapon is actually, you can’t see it. It’s at a shop, but it’s my walking robe. So if I want some really dead-end audio sound or I want to make sure there’s zero room noise, I want to really crystal clear audio, I’ll jump into the closet. The reason that that’s good, and you said the blanket method is good, because in your closet you’ve normally surrounded by soft clothes that are all reflecting or not reflecting, they’re not reflecting, they’re absorbing the sound, then that can actually really help. So going into a smaller place, maybe not your toilet or your bathroom, ’cause that’s going to have bouncy, reflective walls, but a soft, small place, which is why a walk-in closet is good.
Or just anywhere that you can go to. Like you said, if you’ve got a blank, if you, if you, if I put a blanket over my head right now, then that would actually be blocking in the sound because one of the enemies of sound, and I say this in a fairly reflective room, that the enemies of sound are any reflective surfaces. So make sure that if you’re, if you’re trying to, if you’re talking the reason I’m on an angle here in my room is I’m talking into the corner and that’s just going to help. If you’ve got a square room and you’re talking directly to, and from a wall, you’re going to get a lot of those bouncing signals that are coming back into your microphone. And that can actually give it a lot of echo. You might’ve heard people if you, if you’ve watched videos and hear that really echo-y sound, it’s usually because they’re in a room that has sort of square walls and not a lot of soft furnishings or couches are good, blankets are good, anything soft that can actually absorb the noise is really good for you to have.
And the other thing is, yeah, having something, if you’re outdoors, make sure that you can avoid the wind, say having something on your microphone, that’s going to avoid the wind. So you can just use your standard foam windshield like this, or your different microphones have things that you can use that you can put over them. And then I’ve, the microphone I use on my mobile are like these things. You can get these. They’re called dead cat windshields. So these, probably like this,
Sara: I wonder why they call it dead cat? It’s like, it’s a very strange term.
Pete: It’s a strange term. But you could use something like this. And again, you can make these things yourself. So if you’re talking budget-friendly, anything that you get with some fabric, that’s just, the reason that these are all over the place is that uniformity is your enemy. When it comes to audio sound, you don’t want sound that’s going to bounce in a square space and you don’t want things that are going to just channel the audio into one place. You want it to deflect and to diffuse. And that’s what something like this does. What your windshield does. And of course, what your pop filter does that we’ve got over there. So early on, when I was recording outside, I would literally put this down the front of my shirt, and that would actually be my windshield because anything that can just stop things hitting the microphone that you don’t want to can work.
So that’s kind of it. Make sure that your positioning is right. So again, for your free tips, your positioning super important, don’t eat the microphone but don’t be too far away. Don’t have your breath going directly into the microphone capsule that can ruin things for you. Watch out for those reflections. And then, yeah. Do your Home Economic, get your children to make you up something, some nice cloth sort of windshield or, or, or, or dead cat windshield, so that you can, have the lack of that, especially if you’re outdoors. And if you’re doing things on mobile, that can really ruin your day. And I think, worsen that wind sound in your microphone,
Sara: Now I have a trick question for you that came through last night. So I had a question from someone who said that, they love the idea of, you know, recording at a desk, but they also need to do recording that requires them to be wireless. So they’re moving around. They need to be a little bit away. What are your recommendations for wireless microphones and getting that to work? ‘Cause it’s a little, I find it a little bit tricky with wireless. I could never figure it out.
Pete: It is. And yeah, I’ve actually, funnily enough, I’ve got a wireless microphone that, that I’m about to test out that uses the old, like the actual wireless UHF sort of frequency. So I’m keen to try that because I haven’t done a lot with wireless before, but I’ve actually got a tip. And if you don’t have to be live, my tip is to actually use your mobile and have something plugged into that to record your audio separately. So I’ve done this on a bunch of occasions and it works really well. So I mentioned before that, especially for, for spoken word, just using the headset, we can even use your Bluetooth so if you’ve got your ear pods, or if you’ve got Bluetooth earbuds, you can actually record your audio separately on your mobile device and then record your video separately.
And because we have the joys of video editing, we can actually bring those two together and then you can actually get good quality. Audio is a lot of people get stuck because they think that their audio has to be with their video. That’s really only a problem if you’re doing live streaming and live recording if you’re actually doing things that are prerecorded, that you’re going to edit in post, don’t forget that you can set record your audio completely separately. And that’s probably a good tip to keep in mind is that if you’ve just got a pair of headphones and yet your phone, you’re going to get much better audio than your camera. Say you’re doing a shot that’s sort of three or four metres away, you’re not going to get good quality audio from the microphone on your camera. Even if you’ve got something like a, like a RODE Shotgun. It’s not going to do the best job. But if you can have your own microphone, grab a USB microphone and plug it into your iPhone or iPad record that good quality audio, doesn’t matter where your camera is, you can bring that footage together. So I know that’s a cheap, it’s a cheap answer to a trick question, but, yeah, I, haven’t had a lot of luck with the wireless ones, ’cause they’re either super-duper expensive or they’re really clunky and difficult to set up. And I don’t like the gear to get in the way of the creating the gear should help and aid with the creating. That’s a, that’s my bottom line.
Sara: And secretly you can, you know, instead of going wireless, you can wire up, you know, plug that extension cable and hide that cable. So technically like wireless gets complicated. You can this wire up. Now we have a question for you. And, I know that you do a lot of, well, a lot of tutorials on, you know, recording with your iPad and Apple device. So classical crossroads says, “Apple is featuring the new mics on the 2020 iPad Pro studio quality. Have you tried them?” I know you have a lot of experience with these. So Pete, what’s your opinion on the iPad pros microphones?
Pete: Yes. Well, here’s one I prepared earlier. So I do actually use, I’ve only just updated to the 2020 iPad pro and I did also, so I did a video before I bought this about all the, all the specs and all the hypes that, that Apple went in with. And yeah, they did say, I think it’s, I think they said, it’s got like three studio-quality mics in there. Yeah. Look, the, the microphones on your iPhone or your iPad actually do a pretty amazing job for what they are. So if you are saying like I said, if you’re starting out and that was probably my first comment, is just use the microphones that you have in your modern Android, iPhone devices, iPads, tablets, they do have decent microphones. They’re more, when they say studio quality, I mean, I wouldn’t record an entire album on them.
Probably, people do, and you can get good quality sound, but you will want to upgrade at some point in the future. They’re really designed for what we’re doing now. If you’re doing a zoom call or Skype call, StreamYard, you’re going to get good quality sound from that. And they have spent a lot of time, but remember the difference between a capsule of this size and the capsule of the microphones, which are like these ones on your headset, the tiny little ones you’re not going to get the same level of quality. It’s not going to pick up the same level of detail and the same frequency range as something that has a nice big, chunky capsule, like the microphones we’re using here. So it really just comes down to you using what you have. I do, again, I do like them and I have used them. I actually recorded a, I did a video where I used just the microphone. I have to do it again. And maybe I’ll do it. That’s inspired me. I’ll do a new one in the next couple of weeks where I record a song using just the iPad 2020 microphone. And we’ll actually put it to the test and see how studio quality it is.
Sara: Apple, Apple studio quality.
Pete: Apple, Apple studio quality. Yeah. And look it is, I did see that. And I went, is it studio quality? Yeah. It’s some sort of studio. It’s a home studio.
Sara: It’s on studio. The studio is somewhere.
Sara: I think like, just going to it throw in there, in terms of mic that I just happen to have around. One of the ones that I do use with my iPhone is the RODE VideoMic Me-L. And one, it’s a really good one. It plugs it’s lightning, so you don’t have to get any cables. And it goes directly into the mobile device just like that. And this microphone is really good. Like it’s just really good quality. It’s reasonably priced and just works. So that’s another microphone given that we’re talking about microphones today?
Pete: I know. As you can probably tell, I could, I could probably chat for hours about all the different things I try to, I try not to ignore it out too much, but the one thing that we didn’t talk about, and it’s actually a really, a really good option that I probably should have mentioned is to use a lavalier microphone. So especially if you’re doing spoken word and voiceover live, live stuff, lavalier mics can actually work really well. And to your point about the mobile, they often come with a super long cable. So if you get something like the RODE SmartLav, it sounds like were sponsored by RODE, RODE, if you’d like to sponsor Sara and I, we’d be more than happy to talk about your microphone. But yeah, they do the SmartLav and I’ve got an audio technical lavalier microphone.
They have long cables yet again, you can hide them, you can just pull them up your shirt and do that sort of fancy on TV thing and just have them popping out there. And that, if you’re looking for something that you’re moving around or you’re demonstrating things, you don’t want to think about it, you can use that. And again, you can use that record that on your phone, in your pocket. If you don’t, if you want to be completely mobile, because the audio quality you’re getting your phone is absolutely fine. And I know I’m biased from a mobile perspective, but the one final thing to think about is that the place you’re recording to generally, doesn’t actually matter because digital audio is ones and zeros, right? It’s just data at the end of the day. So the important part of audio is the quality going in and the gear that you’re using to capture the sound.
But whether you’re using a PC, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPad, an Android device, it really doesn’t matter. It’s recording the same quality of sound on whatever device ’cause it’s just a digital audio file at the end of the day. So when people say, Oh, you’ve got to use this software, or you’ve got to use this hardware to record into, generally, they’re not sort of looking at the detail, which is that this is doing all your analogue to digital conversion. It’s just sending ones and zeros out to your computer. It doesn’t care what it’s sending it to, it’s going to record the same sound.
Sara: Now this is like probably not related, but I’m just curious, what do you think of the RODE Podcasts PRO? That expensive RODE caster that everyone seems to have and think I won’t.
Pete: Yeah, so I actually use them and it’s off-camera, so I can’t really show it without sort of moving everything, but I use the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, which has kind of almost exactly the same, not exactly, but it’s kind of on the same level. And I did look at the RODE Podcaster at the same time. So what we’re talking about here is bolty channel mixes that are also like audio interfaces, kind of like the best of every world is what these devices are. So they’ve normally got a bunch of channels. So the one I use here has eight input channels ’cause that’s what the LiveTrak L-8, so you can plug in up to six microphones at a time, or you can plug in stereo things. You can put your iPhone audio in there, you can put your guitars and your computer audio can be run back through.
So if you’re doing a lot of live streaming where you’re saying doing a live call-in show, or you’re talking to a lot of people or you’re playing music at the same time as you’re streaming your voice. So you’ve got four different people and you’re doing a show all in one place, something like that can be really good. So yeah, if you’re looking to go next level, I mean, I use and recommend the Zoom LiveTrak L-8. It’s about a $400 US. So I think I paid about $800 here for it. So it was not a cheap way to go. It’s not in the budget range and the RODE caster is about the same. So you’re going to pay several hundreds of dollars to get set up. And the way I sort of look at it is if you’re starting out, the journey I see most people take is they use their phone, they use their headset to start with, they then graduate to a USB microphone because it’s just a simple, but better quality, they will then go into an audio interface and/or mixer. And then eventually you go to the big, the big one, which is like your mixer interface, sort of streaming casting combo, which is something like your Zoom or your, or your RODE caster. So yeah, again, probably a little bit out of the scope of starting out in budget and beginning. But if you want to sort of say, what does the future look like? Where would you go? That’s what I see most people doing as far as their journey with audio and recording for their videos goes.
Sara: Fantastic. Thanks, Pete. That’s all the questions that I have for today. Thanks, everyone for joining us. Mediana, thanks for being here. Dave, as always. Thanks for being here. Mark Leons, he’s left. Thanks for being here. I’m just thanking everyone on the live stream. Jade Star, Tom, everyone, 100 Watts, Classical Crossroads. Thanks, everyone. Had a fantastic, fantastic, so much information. Ms. Brenda Lee said, “wow, really needed this information”. Thanks so much. Thanks so much, Pete. Super valuable information so much. So jam-packed. So much information really, really grateful for your time. Now, once again, where can people go to find you? We’ll put a link in the description, but where, where do you live on YouTube, Pete? Where can people go to get more information on audio, mobile recording, everything you do?
Pete: Yeah, so I’m, I’m, I’m a bit all over the place. You can search my name, Pete Johns, and pretty much any audio topic, you’ll generally find that. So handle is just called Pete Johns. I call it Studio Live Today as well because I put out a video every day and I do a lot of live stuff. So it seemed to make sense. But yeah, you can go to studiolivetoday.com or you can just search Pete Johns microphone or Pete Johns audio interface. You’ll find a heap of videos on YouTube that’ll help you out and help you choose and navigate the minefield. That is all of this audio gear ’cause it’s all a lot of fun, but yeah. Tell you what, when you’re starting out I still remember, it can be, it can be challenging. So good luck to everyone in your audio recording journeys.
Sara: Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m going to wrap up the live stream today. So thanks everyone for joining us. We’ll see you on the next. I’ll see you on the next video and bye for now.