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Thread: Set up for 4 Mic podcast.

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    Set up for 4 Mic podcast.

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    Hi everyone, here is my problem.

    Myself and some friends want to do a podcast with 4 microphones maybe 5. We each have the Rode Procaster, but no mixing board just yet. We were thinking either the Alesis Multimix 8 USB, the Behringer 1202USB (I think that's what it's called) or the Alesis Multimix 16 FireWire. But we have no idea what we are doing. Any advice? Also how do you stop or minimise bleeding from other Mic's. Any help would be hugely appreciated, thank you.

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    Either the Multimix 8 or the 1202 would work fine, as long as you're just wanting to sum all 4 voices into a single stereo signal to record onto the computer. I think that the Multimix 16 would be overkill, but since it is Firewire it would allow you to send more than the 2-channel stereo sum to the computer.

    If you're at all interested in having seperate track for all 4 voices, I'd recommend an audio interface instead of a USB/Firewire mixer. Shop around and you'll find something that suits your needs. Maybe start looking at something like the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8, the Presonus Audiobox 44VSL, or the Steinberg UR44. Those all have 4 mic preamps and can send all of them to individual tracks in a DAW.

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    If you really will need 5 mics sometimes then you'll need a mixer with 5 mic inputs. This may change your options for mixers--quite a few manufacturers make a jump from 4 up to 8 mics without much in the middle. Frankly, an 8 mic input mixer might be a good idea. If there's one thing I've used about mixers over the years it's that you always need one more input than the maximum you thing you want!. If you do decide you need an extra mic, another mixer you could try would be the newish Soundcraft SIGNATURE 10. It's a bit more expensive than your previous short list but it's a lovely mixer. Do note the restriction that this will only give you a single stereo out, not multiple channels.

    As for bleeding between mics, three things to consider. First, make sure your mics are cardioid or hyper cardioid in their pattern. This means that this pick up most from straight in front, with the pick of diminishing rapidly as you move around the side, down to almost nothing from behind. Second, your best arrangement from a sound point of view will be a largish round or multi-sided table to make the best use of the mic pick up pattern. Here's a picture of a BBC radio studio that sort of illustrates what I mean--the beeb is probably the best there is at doing on air discussion type shows.

    3f2f0f2742bc62303eb8f22975cc803482e7e78e-jpg

    Finally, for radio, you want your studio to be as dead as possible acoustically. This is a bit different from a typical music studio where you want the room to sound nice...for radio you don't want any room reflections at all. Pro acoustic treatment is expensive but basically surround yourself with as much soft stuff as possible. Also, on mics, if you buy dynamic ones instead of condenser, they are less sensitive and pick up less background noise (but you need to speak a bit louder).
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    I spent quite a bit of time investigating and researching options around this. I want to do podcasting with potentially multiple mics, have flexibility around recording remote conversations via Skype, and I'm also an amateur musician, so I wanted a mixer for live mixing and recording to the computer as well. I ended up settling on the Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK, which is a 12 channel mixer, that also provides a 12 channel USB interface into the computer. This gives me all the flexibility I need to do different things. Price point is around $550 USD, which is pretty great for all it provides, IMO, since it replaces both a mixer and an interface. Worth investigating to see if it might fit your needs.

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