I will go toe-to-toe with anyone in defense of what I am about to say: if your goal is to travel as light a possible while still capturing excellent sound regardless of the environment*, there is no better mobile setup than the one I’m about to share with you. None.
First, an example
A few months ago I drove up to Sullivan Maine to interview a fellow creative, her name was/is Kyle Lamont. Kyle lives in an absolutely gorgeous setting but it is very remote, like obnoxiously remote to people who don’t live in places like that all the time. Her back porch is right against the rocky beaches of the Maine coast though, like right against it, and she has a full view of Cadillac Mountain. I mean, it is stunning.
But, it’s not a very full house. Don’t get me wrong, it feels full and warm and inviting and all the things you want a remote vacation home to be, but acoustically speaking, it’s empty — lots of reverb. It’s not quite bathroom reverb, but it’s easily empty office space reverb. You know the sort, I’m sure.
Using the setup I’m about to share with you I got the following audio. Don’t listen to my voice, listen to her’s. My narration was recorded after the fact in-studio. Her audio it taken from the home.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
Okay, enough build up, here’s what I use on days I take my podcast on the road.
Meet the ZOOM F1-LP Lav Mic Setup
These cost between $150 and $200 a piece, depending on where you get them, and they are all you need to capture good audio on the road. You have two choices on how to mount them.
- If you’re not on camera, just clip the lav to the shirt of the guest and set the recorder on the table.
- If you are on camera, do a traditional broadcasters loop when you clip it onto the shirt and run the cable down the inside of the shirt and to the recorder which you will clip on their hop.
But what about mic rustle!?
Yes, mic rustle will happen if you have a clumsy guest or if you don’t mount the mic properly, this is the only downfall to this setup but, if you don’t have the cash for RX7 Advanced and its famed de-rustler, you can still solve for this problem. Here’s how:
Remember the episode I demoed above, the one featuring Kyle? Of course you do, it was 30-seconds ago. That mic wasn’t mounted to her shirt, it was mounted to a throw pillow she was holding on her lap as she sat in a rocking chair.
You can laugh at that, because it’s funny — funnier when I tell you the throw pillow had a lobster on it — but it worked, and it worked well. Your podcast doesn’t have to be pretty. I’ve mounted the F1-LP lav mics on paper towel rolls, bookshelves, backpacks, and, yes, shirts.
Best mobile podcast setup ever.
Below is a video going over the technical bits, and here’s a link to purchase the ZOOM F1-LP Lav Mic (not an affiliate link): https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/F1LP–zoom-f1-lp-field-recorder-and-lavalier-microphone.
Hope this is helpful, take care.
If you’d like help working through the creation of your first podcast, consider taking our online course or calling us at 207.295.6039 to schedule a 1-hour consultation. Thanks for reading and take care.
*you know, within reason. I’m not talking about recording an interview in the middle of a monsoon. Though, if I was, the F1 would make it sound as good as possible with the least amount of weight 😉