Podcasting is fun; after all, it's basically you talking to a microphone about things you're excited about, whether it's movies, sports, music or anything else. Of the few pieces of equipment you actually need, the Focusrite Vocaster should be on top of your list, as it provides a compact and easy-to-use interface to control the sound output of your XLR microphones. And this Black Friday, you can get them for cheap!
What is the Focusrite Vocaster? It's a small unit that allows you to produce broadcast-quality sound using your laptop or computer. It has a bunch of beginner-friendly features, such as Auto Gain, which automatically sets audio pickup levels; push the button, start talking, and let Auto Gain do the rest. It also has three podcaster-approved presets you can shuffle through with a press of a button.
Focusrite Vocaster Two:
Was £290, now £198 at Amazon
The Vocaster Two is your go-to interface for two-people shows. It offers the same user-friendly features as the Vocatser One but has two mic inputs and two headphone outputs, so you and your guest can both enjoy live audio feedback while recording.
Is it necessary to use Vocaster for podcasting? Not necessarily. USB mics offer an even more convenient way to record audio, especially if you're using the mics for streaming or other activities where the sound gets compressed. If that's the sort of thing you're after, check out Blue Yeti Black Friday Sales; there are some very decent deals going on at the moment.
That said, XLR microphones are superior in sound quality, not least because of the connection – the sound has more depth and less interference. Sadly, most laptops and computers don't have XLR inputs, so you need an interface to connect the mic; that's where podcaster units such as the Vocaster come into play.
For solo beginner podcasters, the Focusrite Vocaster One Studio bundle is the best option, as it has the mic, headphones and cable included in the pack. All you need is an inexpensive mic stand or boom arm, and you're ready to start podcasting in the highest possible quality!