June 12, 2017 — Making ace audio is difficult. It can also, unfortunately, be expensive. We’re excited to announce that AIR is partnering with Broadcast Supply Worldwide (BSW) to bring AIRsters an exclusive 10% discount towards a large selection of BSW’s audio tools and equipment! BSW, the leading audio equipment supplier to radio stations, podcasters, voice over artists, and audio journalists, has taken the lead in providing resources, content, advice, and not to mention deals for podcasters and folks in the audio space, so we’re proud to call them our official broadcast equipment partner.
Tim Schwieger, President of BSW, writes of the partnership:
“At BSW, we believe everyone deserves to be heard. It’s with this belief that we support the gallant efforts of AIR and the gifted storytellers and journalists who bring us closer to the story. Whether your goal is to educate, inspire, persuade, or entertain, BSW’s goal is to ensure what you have to say is heard loud and clear.”
To celebrate this partnership, we’ve outlined five tricky equipment conversations we’ve seen blossom on the AIRdaily and our blog. No matter your experience or preferences with audio equipment, read on, then use the AIRsters-only code when checking out on BSWusa.com!
I’m new to podcasting. What are the major categories to shop for?
Should I use analog or USB equipment?
While it may seem easier to record and mix with a USB into a computer, and this is an option for lots of at-home podcasters, the tricky part comes when you want to record from multiple sources. When you have, say, an interviewee and a host, capturing the two voices is much easier when you can plug their analog mics into an interface, rather than having to worry about the limitations of USB mixers. BSW has a great blog post on what to look for when going the USB route.
Zoom, Tascam, Sony, Roland, oh my—which handheld recorder do I choose?
Instead of discussing which brands AIRsters are loyal to (spoiler alert: it varies!), your decision should depend on your budget and your purpose. Newbie producers may be fine with a cheaper option like the Tascam DR-05, while a more experienced professional may swear by the Zoom H6. Check out AIRsters’ preferences on the AIRdaily if you can’t decide.
It’s time for some field recording. How should I decide between omnidirectional, shotgun, and other mics?
Explore AIR’s “Ask the Engineer” blog series from NPR Training guru Rob Byers. He outlines the situations in which omnis, shotguns, and cardioid mics shine. If you want to invest in one of these, BSW breaks it down here with regards to acoustics, including links to various dynamic and condenser options.
What if I’m still worried about background noise in production or post?
Short of acknowledging it in their piece, audio producers have to think about the best way to minimize or filter intrusive ambient noise. Rob Byers recommends not fearing the high-pass filter, whether with mic, recorder, or de-noising studio techniques. Another option is to go the lavalier route, which often makes your audio sound cinematic, if you don’t mind installing the mics on lapels. Check out an AIRdaily discussion about the challenge of recording a dinner party for ideas.
While you’re at it: check out the other AIR benefits, like discounts, mentorships, and AIRsters-only content. The value of an AIR membership extends beyond entry into a network of gifted makers. It multiplies itself in the mentorships received, money saved, and time spent toward making more inclusive media. We’ll be announcing several additional partnerships in the coming weeks in pursuit of bringing value to AIR so you can do your best work.