Is a Boom Mic Good Enough for Podcasting?


As a host, the most critical piece of material you collect is the audio from an interview. Given its importance, it’s prudent to invest in recording equipment and choose the appropriate microphone.

A boom mic is good enough for podcasting and other recording projects. The primary advantage of a boom mic is that it reduces noise. With optimal placement, these microphones capture the speech and ambient sound in a balanced manner. 

This post will outline the advantages of using a boom microphone and how many you’ll need to produce an awesome podcast. I’ll also quickly outline some additional professional applications for which this mic would be ideal.

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Why Should You Use a Boom Mic?

Boom microphones are incredible for interviews since they are suitable for close-up shots. These tools allow natural sound pickup while staying hidden from the camera’s perspective.

However, boom mics are not a kind of microphone but rather a directional microphone with a boom arm. 

Booms have the benefit of relieving interviewees of the burden of carrying microphones. They are free to roam about without interrupting the sound.

Furthermore, you can construct a basic boom out of almost anything that can support the microphone. This includes at-home tools like wood or poles.

It’s worth noting that boom microphones don’t make you sound any closer; therefore, your sound will not be overwhelming.

Check out whether omnidirectional microphones are good for podcasting.

Boom Microphones Are Ideal for Outside Podcasts

Suppose you prefer to record outdoors or produce a nature podcast. In such an instance, have someone place a boom microphone over you and the speaker to reduce noise.

The produced sound will have a high signal-to-noise ratio and a wide frequency range.

The directional boom mic gathers up audio from whoever is speaking while canceling out automobile horns, birds, and other surrounding noise.

You Can Also Use a Boom Microphone in Studios

The most typical use for a boom mic is in cinema and video. However, you may also use these mics in applications like studio production.

As indicated in the previous portion, they are very directed, which is vital for movies.

However, they offer the additional virtue of being relatively lightweight, making it easier for the boom operator to keep them in place.

What’s the Difference Between a Shotgun Mic and a Boom Mic?

Firstly, a shotgun microphone is an actual hypercardioid mic. The term “boom” relates only to the kind of stand. Any mic, even shotgun mics, may be mounted on the boom arm and quickly changed into a boom mic.

Apart from its directional nature, shotgun microphones are often used for boom microphones for the following reasons:

  • Versatility
  • When compared to lavalier mics, they are better for dialogue.
  • They have an extensive range, which enables recording from a distance.

What To Consider Before Purchasing a Boom Mic

A shotgun microphone may be somewhat expensive for podcasters. Additionally, the typical boom arm starts at around $20.

Given the high cost of your equipment, there are many critical variables to consider when selecting your mic and arm.

I shall discuss them in further detail below.

Low Self Noise and High Directionality

Before purchasing any microphone, ensure that it features low self-noise.

Your microphone will generate little noise and will concentrate on capturing very low-pitched noises. This feature creates the hissing that realistic audio is renowned for.

Also, for the clearest sound possible, you should select microphones with high directionality.

High Sensitivity

To capture low-pitched sounds, you must use a microphone with high sensitivity.

However, if your job does not require this, a mic with a modest sensitivity level would suffice.

The appropriate sensitivity level is determined by your and your visitors’ overall speaking volume.

New podcasters often invite friends and relatives to appear on their program. Use this as a loudness reference to discover which mics will work best for you.

If you have additional sensitivity needs, you may easily broaden your mic collection later in your career.

Maneuverability

It would help if you chose a microphone boom arm that is readily movable and capable of positioning a microphone precisely where it is required. Maneuverability is affected by the length and number of joints on the stand.

Many boom arms are 360° rotatable, while others only rotate 270° or 180°.

Depending on your arrangement, you may need complete rotation. On the other hand, if you’re in a small place, too much maneuverability may be more of a bother than a help.

However, 360° rotation is what some podcasters consider optimal.

Make Sure Your Microphone Fits

There is a possibility that your microphone won’t fit the arm of your choice.

To ensure that it fits your arm boom socket, I would advise double inspecting your microphone’s specifications and cross-referencing them with the boom stand.

To make you feel comfortable, many boom arms contain an adaptor that usually suits modern microphones.

Furthermore, validate the weight the boom arm supports. Some podcasters add a pop filter or other accessories, so the arm must be sufficiently sturdy to keep these.

If the manufacturer hasn’t noted this specification, consider checking forums on Reddit or Facebook and seeing what customers have to say.

What You Need To Operate a Boom Mic for Podcasts

A boom operator is a key to owning a boom mic. Although you may control the boom arm alone, a second-hand helps track guests while they move,

Besides this, the following tools go along with your boom arm:

  • Mic blimp
  • Shock mount. This device helps to absorb vibrations.
  • Boom pole. The boom operator uses this to control the microphone.

After the recording equipment is selected, other tools help you have the most outstanding audio on your podcast.

You Need Audio Editing Software

After you’re done recording sounds from interviews and events, you’ll need to organize them using sound-editing software such as Audacity or another similar program.

If you want more flexibility in recording locations, you can use a web application rather than software installed on a single computer. Alitu is an excellent answer in this case.

Anchor is another free program that runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Additionally, this program contains publishing tools and monetization abilities.

In addition to this, there are digital audio workstations that support multitrack recording. Programs like these are advantageous if you’re recording a group discussion and want to maintain different audio files for each speaker.

If your podcast consists of one or two voices without any music, a DAW may be unnecessary. There are simple recording softwares that record audio from any legitimate audio source, such as Skype.

Additionally, many simple recorders, such as Zencastr, have editing tools, making them capable of recording a whole podcast.

Audio Editing Tips

Once you’ve set up your boom microphone and installed the necessary software, you should keep in mind that mixing takes time. Allow ample time for audio mixing before attempting to publish your podcast.

Prioritize the audio necessary to make your podcast sound the best it can, including the following:

  • Helpful insight
  • Topic questions
  • Contest announcements
  • The interviewee’s main points

Final Thoughts

If a project’s sound is poor, it has negative effects for both spectators and producers. Additionally, it adds cost for resolving issues caused by a substandard recording system.

However, people new to podcasting may avoid these novice blunders by investing in a boom mic.

It would be best to remember that you’re not restricted to boom mics, although they’re excellent at picking up on and rejecting undesired noises.

To learn more about the specifications of boom microphones and others, Tom Jurjacks has created a video summarizing the three most often used mics for podcast production:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd6hRxoV-kc

Sources

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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