Audiophilia

In my post about my podcasting equipment, I discussed my setup. I also recommended the Rode Podcaster Booming Kit as a great starter setup. At around $350, it is absolutely a lot of money.

Some readers took issue with this. I can’t fault anyone who did.

As with anything audio-related, it is possible to spend a lot of money on your setup. Furthermore, audiophiles (particularly ones that disassociate themselves with the term) love to come out of the woodwork to criticize your setup. More often than not, this is not helpful. I worry that my post came across exactly that way.

Jason Snell weighed in on his site, and I completely agree with him. In particular:

I once spoke on a podcasting panel at a Doctor Who convention. When I made what I thought was a reasonable suggestion—the $50 Blue Snowball as a starter microphone—large swaths of the audience cringed. These were people with no money for such things. They were interested in podcasting, but the idea of spending $50 on a microphone was just too much.

There are two ways to react to that moment. One is to suggest to that group of interested, creative people that if they aren’t committed enough to podcasting to pay $50 for a microphone, they shouldn’t bother. The other is to encourage them to use the tools at hand to find their voice. Improving the quality of the sound can come later—and the more they come to love podcasting, the more they’ll want to spend (in terms of time and money) to make their podcast sound better.

Don’t let the quality snobs — including me! — get you down. Use whatever you can, even your earbuds, if you have to. The point is what you’re saying, not how it sounds.