Looking to take your podcast on the road? Building a mobile podcasting rig might seem intimidating, but with the right tools and setup, you can ensure your traveling show is successful.
Many podcast hosts choose to visit their guests and interviewees on-site so they can better control the quality of audio for their show. Remote recording and video capture can be a drag, especially if you’re using call recorders like Zoom, Google Meet or GoToMeeting.
A mobile rig can be a great option for on-location investigative recording or recording on the move, even for one-person shows.
So, let’s get started with setting up your own mobile podcasting rig!
Getting the Most from Your Mobile Podcasting Setup
Get the Right Gear
Don’t skimp on quality here.
You’ll need reliable audio recording equipment if you want to make mobile recording simple and hassle-free.
Audio Interface vs. External Recorder
First, you’ll need a recording device to capture the audio and video you record. One economical way to achieve this is by using what you already have. If you currently own a laptop, you can use that to record audio and video with an external microphone.
For laptop users, you’ll need a way to connect multiple microphones. A simple USB hub might do the trick, but if you are using microphones with XLR inputs, you’ll also need an audio interface. These devices connect to your laptop via USB or Thunderbolt inputs, allowing you to record multiple microphones simultaneously.
Audio interface breakout boxes come with 2 or more inputs. To future-proof your rig, shop for a solution with more inputs than you need. This way, you’ll always be able to capture more audio sources as you add more microphones to your rig.
However, a USB-equipped recorder is your best option if you want something independent of your computer. Popular options include the Zoom H4n Pro, Tascam DR-100mkIII, or Sony PCM-D100 Portable Digital Recorder. All these are well-respected among professionals in the field and can easily fit into any budget.
The microphone is the most important component of any podcasting setup, which is especially true for mobile rigs. A good mic will capture your voice with clarity, minimizing ambient noise and giving you an edge over other podcasts that may not have good-quality audio.
For mobile podcasting, you’ll need to get a microphone that is compact and lightweight. Some popular options include the Shure SM58, Rode NTG-2, or Audio Technica ATR2100. These mics are designed for on-the-go recording and can easily fit into a laptop bag or backpack.
Another option is to use a headset mic, which is designed for recording and speaking on the go. Headsets are lightweight, have built-in mics, and some even come with noise cancelation features that help reduce ambient noise while you record.
Don’t forget the other essentials for your mobile podcasting rig. You’ll need some headphones, a pop filter to reduce sibilance and plosives while speaking, audio cables, and mic stands. Making your guests hold their mics is a great way to get inconsistent levels in your recordings – so you want to take the variables out of the process.
And if you are recording video, you should also get a tripod or small camera stand so that the camera stays still during recording.
You may also want to invest in a mobile power source, such as an external battery pack, to ensure you can record for extended periods.
Tips for Recording Your Mobile Podcast
Now that you have all the necessary gear, it’s time to get recording.
Getting the recording right is absolutely essential for mobile podcasting. It’s much more difficult to recreate an in-person interview than it is from a remote location.
Here are some tips for recording your mobile podcast:
- Make sure the area you’re recording in is well-lit and free from too much noise or echo.
- Record test audio before you start your podcast to ensure all your settings are correct.
- Take your time to get the right levels, especially if you’re recording multiple mics at once.
- Keep your microphone close to your mouth and use a pop filter or foam windscreen to reduce sibilance and plosives.
- Monitor the audio with headphones while you record to ensure the levels are correct.
- Record at least 10-15 minutes of audio to ensure you have enough for editing later.
- Follow a recording plan and have your questions prepared ahead of time.
Or You Could Stick to Recording Remotely with the Right Platform
Although mobile recording solutions have their benefits, it can be tough for creators (and their budgets) to schedule and keep a consistent schedule.
If you want the flexibility and quality of on-location recordings, consider a remote podcasting platform with the right features.
A service like Boomcaster records audio and video on each participant’s device – simultaneously. One of the reasons many hosts travel to their guests is to get a better quality audio and video feed – Boomcaster eliminates the need for travel with its unique approach to capturing data.
Plus, you’ll never risk losing a hard drive or the interview of a lifetime with simultaneous backup to the cloud.
Boomcaster also offers a range of additional features like in-app chat, private messaging, live multi-streaming, and real-time captioning. With the right tools, you can focus on your guests and create the intimate conversation that an in-person session can afford.
Choosing the Right Mobile Option for You
Ultimately, the path you choose will come down to your budget, recording needs, and personal preference.
If you’re just starting out in podcasting and don’t have much of a budget, mobile podcasting with the right microphone and accessories may be a great option.
On the other hand, if you want consistently high-quality audio and video recordings without the hassle of travel, then remote podcasting with the right platform is a great choice.
Whichever way you go, make sure to experiment and find what works best for you. With the right tools and preparation, your mobile or remote recordings don’t have to be daunting tasks – they can be fun and rewarding experiences that help bring your podcast to life.