Steve Bremner

Author, Podcaster & Writing Coach

Do You Need a Professional Mic to Get Your Podcast Started?This post is a 4 min read

First let me ask you: would you ask a broke homeless person how much they would spend on a “fancy meal”?
 
I’m in several podcasters groups, as well as a few for other things like marketing, writing and self-publishing. I see a mindset and a thought pattern emerge all the time, not just in podcasting or audio recording, but I’ll focus on that in today’s post for a real life example. This mindset is usually found in those who want to put in as little effort or investment as possible, but yet somehow think sales, a big profit or some other reward will come out of it all the same.
 
They plan on reaping a harvest where they haven’t sown.
 
I’m not saying you can’t accomplish big things unless you spend big money, but let me describe an example of a MINDSET I’m referring to. There’s a difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset; mediocre versus excellent. Doing the minimum versus striving for excellence without falling into the other extreme of letting perfectionism paralyze you and keep you from going forward until everything’s perfect.
 
I saw someone ask the other day in one of the podcast groups I’m in why should someone “bother” spending a lot of money on good equipment like a microphone and other accessories for recording if most listeners are just going to listen to it on their phones and with headphones.
 
Wait, what?
 
What was curious to me was in his profile pic he had a fancy camera around his neck so as to maybe indicate he’s a professional photographer or more than a hobbyist. Either way, the profile pic says he’s passionate about photography possibly like how I’m passionate about podcasting and writing.
 
So I asked him since most people are just going to see his lovely professional photos on social media using a small screen, like a smartphone, why bother using an “expensive” Nikon when they could use their iPhone?
 
Crickets.
He never answered.
 
Half of those who commented were complaining bout how expensive a good mic is, and that a cheap one will suffice. There’s SOME truth to it; a cheap (anything) will suffice for **getting started**.
 
You don’t need to wait until you have everything perfect and can afford an expensive microphone before starting your podcast, obviously. When I started the Fire On Your Head Podcast ten years ago, my friend Dan and I would record using the built-in mic on my MacBook while he used a Skype headset that cost him €10.
 
People will listen to you for your content more than your quality.
 
But after a year I bought a Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone for $79.
 
Then after another couple of years, I bought yet another one. This time a Blue Snowball mic which happened to be more expensive than the first one, probably because I bought it in Peru and marked up to cover import charges. I’ve noticed they’ve gone down in price a lot over the years, and you can get a decent one on Amazon for upwards of $49.
Then just shy of two years ago I spent $300 on a mic (an Electro-Voice RE320 to be exact), and another $200 on a mixer and interface, and hundreds of dollars in acoustic foam panels I lined my stand-in closet with.
 
The degree with which I’ve pursued excellence with my podcast and its sound quality has been proportionate to my investing in myself to make them as excellent as possible. I’ve still got a list of items I plan on buying, but you know, priorities. And taking things one step at a time.
 
I’ve still got a ways to go to further improve (like podcasting consistently and regularly, for one, I know. Guilty!).
 
You can strive for excellence, or coast on “good enough”. It’s always up to us, but mediocrity never rises to the top of the dog pile.
 
So my question about asking a homeless person what they think you should pay for a fancy meal. If you ask a person who’s pinching pennies, and someone for whom money is no object what kind of equipment they should invest in for their business or even a hobby, you WILL get two totally different responses.
 
Buy the best you can, whatever that will cost you.
 
Don’t podcast or write books? Apply this to your own area.
 
I originally posted this as an update on my Facebook profile here:

About Steve Bremner

Steve the coffee drinker is a Canadian missionary to Peru, who is called to raise up disciples who flow in the power of the Holy Spirit within a missional community named Oikos. If you like Steve's blog, you'll also like his Kindle books. Note: this post may have contained affiliate links of which the author receives a small commission if you purchase something recommended in the post.