How to Get Great Spoken Audio, Live or Recorded (or Both) for Almost No Money


(Copy this link:
to send people with bad audio to help get their audio better. It’s the only page they need.)

if you can’t get what you need from here, I do consulting for 75 bucks an hour, one hour minimum. email me at



for 54 bucks. I’ve used this and it is good:

or if you have 80 bucks, this mic is slightly better. I use this mic currently:

DO NOT GET A YETI MIC THEY SUCK. If you HAVE to use one, make sure it’s set on front mic only, and have it on a stand (hard to do) near your mouth. On the table is too far from your mouth, and will pick up songs of you touching the table.


Don’t get a condenser mic unless you have a phantom power supply, a totally sound proofed sound conditioned studio, and want to work a lot harder. I use them for music, but for voice I ALWAYS use dynamic mics, dynamic USB mics specifically, and specifically the two I link above. I’ve tried hundreds of mics over decades. If you’re on a budget and want to do a podcast, get one of those two mics. (The Audio-Technica 2005USB, or the Samson Q2U.)

Mic stand (you need to get the mic near your mouth, 2 to 4 inches. Throw away the little table stand):

microphone wind screens.

You’ll need a good pair of closed-ear headphones . Get the most expensive of this list that you can afford. More expensive is better in this case.
Remember, you can also use them for listening to music:

Here’s a far-from-compete list of some great closed-ear headphones for FeenPhone (and general media production and consumption), listed from least expensive to most expensive, which in this case is from OK to stellar):

  • Sony MDRZX110 ($15) (Get the “no mic” version)
  • Sony MDRZX300 ($54)
  • Sony MDR-7502 ($58)
  • Sony MDR-7506 Only $90. Less than 1/3 the price of Beats by Dre, but the MDR-7506 is the standard in every radio station and recording studio in the world. Look at some pictures of audio pros doing live radio or in the recording studio making music. 4 out of 5 are wearing these headphone. These sound better, and more accurately reproduce the subtle nuances of complex audio, than $250 Beats By Dre. In fact, here’s a picture of Dr. Dre in the studio, wearing Sony MDR-7506 headphones.


My two sound conditioning articles, with pix:
Quick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning
Permanent Sound Conditioning in Three Hours for $250

For doing a live streaming show, use this: over HiredHosting, the EXCELLENT ShoutCast / IceCast service I use:

And we use using Auto DJ on “random loop of ‘songs’.” It treats each episode as a “song.”)

When you do a live show via BUTT, you need to stop Auto DJ and connect. Then re-start Auto DJ after you stop being live. You also have to stop and then start Auto DJ when you add new episodes or any other action. You disconnect your listeners when you reconnect, so try to do it when few people are on.

We use the 128 k stream. Don’t use a lower quality stream if you have any music in your talk show. You can also use 128k for a music show that will play anywhere on any device and still sound good.

For doing a live streaming show, use this: over HiredHosting, the EXCELLENT ShoutCast / IceCast service I use:

Extra credit: watch this one video below, you’ll be making great talk show audio like the Freedom Feens in no time.

Gear and software list for that video^

That’s it.

NOTE: months after this video went up, PodPress was discontinued in the WordPress plug-in options. Use PowerPress instead. It’s great. I”m using it now. And many of the setup tabs are very similar. And we do NOT recommend adding WP Super Cache any more. It can cause problems. And we’re now using FeenPhone, not Skype.


Everything below these lines is optional:


To check your levels on streaming, here’s how I do it on LRN:

Freedom Feens now are re-played non-live on LRN. But we used to be live. The way I check the levels is have all three or 4 hosts talk a little each, at normal levels, back and forth. Then I mute my mic and listen to LRN on headphones. It’s delayed about 30 seconds or so due to buffering so it’s easy to check this way.


There are free ways to make streaming shows and non-live podcasts, but nothing beats the control of paying a little each year to do it right. The free solutions all sound like crap, don’t work well with RSS feeds, they put in ads, you are on THEIR server and URL, not YOUR server and URL (so you’re stuck with them unless you want to do a LOT of work to move, and don’t mind losing a lot of your regular listeners), and / or many of them have bandwidth limits, storage limits, and don’t archive you forever.