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:


Don’t get a condensor mic unless you have a phantom power supply, a totally sound proofed sound conditioned sudio, 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 dedaceds. 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 ($30)
  • Sony MDR-7502 ($55)
  • Sony MDR-7506 Only $80. 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.



  1. Read this post (important) for inexpensive excellent spoken audio mic suggestions, mic placement instructions and more: Michael W. Dean’s 20-Minute Audio School
  2. 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.

“Bad Audio is a Hate Crime” high quality large sticker (top of post), 4.25 inches by 2.75 inches.

Cost is 1 dollar each (includes shipping), in the USA. Add two dollars on top of that per order for out of USA.
Send money by PayPal here or by Bitcoin below, and then send me your address here.





Everything below these lines is optional:


For doing a live streaming show, use this: over this:

And we use Voscast for our non-live streaming archive (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.

We use the 64k stream. It costs $203 per year. I pay it once a year.


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.

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

  1. By: Mark Posted: February 24, 2013

    The lessons the Feens have learned over time are in one place for the entire world to see. Some might think that odd, but I’d say that’s a great thing to do. Anyone who wants to start a podcast can do so without spending a ton of money, and still sound great. I’ve been following the Freedom Feens for a while now, and I can tell you their gear and techniques work very well. Their sound is very slick and professional.

    If your beliefs are completely different from the Feens, don’t freak out, it won’t accomplish anything. But do yourself a favour, save yourself a lot of headache, and use what they’ve shown you. If you want to get a message out, people will not be receptive if it sounds like you’re yelling into a tin can at the end of a really long string.

    • By: Bill Bro Posted: February 14, 2016

      Your suggestions have proven extremely helpful to our LPFM. Thanks for an easy-to-understand resource. Much appreciated by the small crew at

  2. By: anonymous Posted: March 7, 2013

    have you tried auphonic? it’s supposed to make podcasting easier by automating some of the post processing. I’d be interested in your opinion of the sound quality it produces.

    • By: Michael Posted: March 7, 2013

      One-click solutions are never the best solutions. The audio examples on that site sound nowhere near as good as what we’re producing. Same with the voiceover in the video ad. However, if it’s your site, we’d be happy to sell you ad time on our show, and produce better-sounding ads for you. You need ’em.


  3. By: A different Mark Posted: March 10, 2013

    I wanted to drop a thank you here for setting up this site.

    My wife and I are (slowly) building a coffee shop/media center where we hope to do things like host local Low Power FM club meetings and Blues Jams while we pay the bills by selling coffee and sandwiches. We have a small music stage in the back room and plan a modest studio upstairs for our patrons to develop their podcast and interview skills. Definitely cat-food budget! I look forward to using your site to inspire our projects.

    Peace, love, and anarchy.

    • By: Michael Posted: March 10, 2013

      Excellent! glad we could be of service.

      I see your cafe is in Blackstone, Virginia:

      Very pretty part of the country. I used to live in Charlottesville.


  4. By: New York Stagehand Posted: May 1, 2014

    I am in the unique position of working with high end sound, recording and broadcast equipment AND having known Michael for many years. Michael has a really good ear, a really sharp mind and a quick tongue. He will give you honest supportive critique, without hesitation (or sugar.) The advice Michael posts is effective, pragmatic and experience based. If he finds a better way or makes a mistake, he let’s you know right away.

    In truth, I wish a few “professional” sound engineers would read Creamy Radio Audio and learn the Feen’s Way!

  5. By: GA-Freeman Posted: December 4, 2014

    I enjoy the feens humor and broadcast quality while discussing liberty. I am not sure how I discovered the video series on podcasting and blogging but it was the exact info i was looking for. I had been trying to record a podcast on my phone and just was not happy with it.

    After discovering the The Freedom Feens Guide to Podcasting and Radio video I trusted the info enough to go and buy the entry level gear recommended in the video. I have done some private video recordings for work and captured some webexes that i did for business and the sound quality and recording is amazing. I love it so much i have been using skype and my recording gear to run conference calls. The sound quality is amazing and I can repost the calls on internal websites for review. I am working to develop my liberty voice and Michael’s guide and virtual hand holding has helped me move along rapidly. Thanks!

    • By: Michael Posted: December 4, 2014

      Glad I could help. Tell two friends.


  6. By: Nathan Fraser Posted: December 7, 2014

    Hey Michael.
    I just wanted to get back at you and say thanks again for coming on the show a few weeks back. And thanks for the advise about the mp3 encoding not sounding the greatest on my end. I was using Garage Band to mix out my shows, and it was doing a piss poor job. After you made note of the less than desirable audio, I forced myself to sit down and get my new mixer to work with protools. After about a day of massive frustration and trial and error, I finally got the two to play together nicely. I was able to get the mix minus working in protools and multi track recording as well. And protools encoding sounds waaaaay better. So, again, just a massive thank you for being a guest and the polite kick in the pants that you gave me to step up my game.
    Much love, man.

  7. By: Andrew Posted: January 30, 2015

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

    If any of your guest hosts use macs, I’d be curious to hear what they use for Skype recording (free and/or purchased).


  8. By: Ian Minielly Posted: September 16, 2015

    Is anyone else on here using a headset mic or lapel mic or have a recommendation if you do? While I would like to sound creamy as we learn to broadcast sermons on a cat food budget, I think we have different needs as I am in an open area, walking around speaking and looking to record/broadcast via the interweb the sermons for public consumption, which is where we return together.

    Does anyone have experience doing this and/or recommendations?

    • By: Michael Posted: September 16, 2015

      I’ve never used one for live.

  9. By: Gary Posted: February 1, 2016

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve started producing a weekly radio show for my wife Its not live so I add the music in post. I’ve enjoyed watching your “How To” videos. I had some further questions about software. I’m using Windows 10 and and record directly to Audacity via USB. I used to use SF8.0 to clean up audio years back. I still have the software. I could use SF8.0 What about SF 11? I could keep using Audacity which I enjoy the multi track ability. I’ve also looked at Hindenburg Journalist or Journalist PRO. It seems pretty powerful ( ) I also have free access to Adobe Audition. but have not tried it. I wanted something with good compression and limiters as well as the ability to clean up bad audio if need be. Unfortunately I have two Blue Yeti (Only using one for now) but its on a Rode scissor arm w/shock mount. I’m not looking to blow $$$ but I also don’t mind spending some $$$ to be quick and streamlined and have good quality.

    • By: Mike Posted: February 18, 2017

      Unfortunately, you’ve bought into the myth that audio needs a lot of processing. While some can be useful, it is possible to produce an excellent sounding recording without processing. If there’s noise, eliminate it at the source. Spend your money on acoustic treatment in your studio. If your levels are all over the place, learn how to control them.

      Unless you’re going to do a lot of sound treatment in your studio, get rid of the Yeti. They’re too sensitive for podcasting from an untreated studio. For sound editors, Audacity will do almost anything you need. If not, Audition is the standard. A new one that is coming on strong is Reaper ( Anyone of them has a learning curve, but they’re not too steep. Good luck.

  10. By: Jim Posted: June 17, 2017

    Just got the Audio-Technica AT2005USB, and it sounds great! However, I do not yet have any “mike technique”, and the volume varies greatly just if I am just a few inches closer or further from the mike. Also, I am not good at sitting still. I move and fidget a lot. Is there a more forgiving mike?

    • By: Michael Posted: July 29, 2017

      yeah, but it’s 500 bucks and requires a USB mixer. EV RE-20. or 250 bucks is EV RE-230.
      I’d recommend just learning mic technique. Imagine a tennis ball on the end of the mike, keep your lips inside that ball.

  11. By: Jim Posted: June 19, 2017

    I am a low talker with poor mic technique. Is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB sounds great, but is it still the best mic for me?

    • By: Michael Posted: March 6, 2018

      Maybe writing would be a better choice. People who make good audio are usually bold talkers. My issue with co-hosts is usually that they’re too loud. Being too quiet makes it hard to work with.

      Google ASMR. Maybe that would be a choice for you. Or at least the mics they use.

  12. By: Jim Posted: June 19, 2017

    What if I also want to make video as I’m talking? Having a big mic two inches from my face would look weird given how pretty much no one else does that.

    • By: Michael Posted: March 6, 2018

      Free Talk Live does it on their video feed.

      It basically comes down to this: do you care about the audio, or about how you look? Audio is much more important. Unless you’re a hot chick, there’s no reason to do a video feed. Or at least no reason to worry about it to the point of impacting the audio quality.

  13. By: Riley Posted: August 19, 2017

    I host Anarcho Agenda, a liberty-oriented show with a dram of Scottish culture thrown in for good measure. The info here was really quite helpful in helping me sound better. My show can be found at

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