If there is one thing that the past 18 months has taught us, it’s that music – like all communication – can and should be shared digitally. Promenade Music have been stocking some great broadcast, podcast and streaming solutions for some time now so, if you’re interested in getting into streaming, or wanting to upgrade your gear, hopefully this list will help!

Microphones

Arguably the most important piece of any streaming set up, here is a choice selection of the best mics specifically designed for broadcast and speech:

M-Audio Uber Mic

The Uber Mic is a one stop shop USB Microphone. It can be tuned to 4 different mic modes: Cardioid (for singular sound sources), Omnidirectional (for capturing sound from all directions) Figure 8 (equal capture from in front and behind the mic, perfect for two sound sources, interviews etc) and Stereo (picks up from left and right side of mic) It has an inbuilt metal stand, onboard screen for choosing setups, headphone input and mute button.

Pros: Plug and play simplicity with impressive features to suit a wide variety of situations

Cons: iOS functionality requires Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit sold separately.

PreSonus Revelator

The PreSonus Revelator is an advanced USB-C Compatible mic with fantastic build quality and professional voice effects processing. With 16 easy-to-use presets, the Revelator allows for quick and simple selection of optimum characteristics to match any voice to any situation. The Revelator can also be used in Cardiod, Omnidirectional and Figure 8 polar patterns. With a sturdy built in stand or option to be attached to any microphone stand , the Revelator is a powerful, professional and flexible mic for many applications.

Pros: Fantastic processing effects, loopback feature, multiple polar patterns and great included software

Cons: Included USB cable is quite short

PreSonus PD70

The Presonus PD70 is a beautiful mic with great frequency response and sensitivity, capturing the chest tones and that broadcast sound with low noise and terrific clarity. It’s an XLR mic so you’ll need something to plug it into. Typically this could be a digital recorder or a USB audio interface. The PD-70 includes the essential accessories, the microphone, windscreen and mount. With excellent built-in pop filtering and low self noise, the PD-70 meets the demands of any podcaster looking for a mic to add to a recorder or DAW/interface setup

Pros: Fantastic ‘out-of-the-box’ vocal tone, Pop shield minimises plosives, Sturdy build, excellent frequency response.

Cons: No built-in filter options, not plug-and-play requires an interface with phantom power

Shure SM7B

The SM7B is a pro-grade dynamic microphone, designed almost entirely with recording speech and vocal performances in mind. This could be podcasts, voice-overs, broadcasts or even streaming. Even the quickest glance at YouTube will show it’s the go-to mic for plenty of top content publishers. Its popularity is a corollary of its simplicity; with just an XLR connection, you’re up and running. An in-built pop shield and shock mount mean you don’t need any extra peripherals either, other than a stand or boom arm on which to mount it.

Pros: Industry standard, Solid construction, reliable and very consistent mic

Cons: Requires a good preamp or interface

Control Surfaces

These surfaces and interfaces give you hands-on control over dozens of features that can upgrade the quality of your streams:

Zoom Podtrak P4

The P4 offers four XLR microphone inputs with phantom power, individual gain controls and mutes. Zoom says that the preamps provide up to 70 dB of gain. For a discussion group of four people, you also need four headphone outputs, which are located at the front of the device and offer individual volume controls. If your guests cannot be with you for your podcasting session, you can add them in remotely over the phone.

Pros: Super portable, Customizable sound pads, 4 inputs and 4 headphone outs

Cons: Can’t be used with USB mics

PreSonus ioStation 24c

The ioStation is a feature-packed interface and control surface bundled into one box, allowing you to get audio in and out of your software while also taking control via a long channel fader, transport controls and more. If you need to record vocals or plug-in an instrument, the ioStation 24c can do it all. The ioStation 24c uses the same mic preamp’s that’s in the PreSonus Studio 1824c Audio Interface, in a much smaller form factor.

Pros: High Quality sound, great value for motorised controller and can be used as recording interface too

Cons: Needs to be powered with AC power so not portable

Roland Go:LiveCast

Roland Go:LiveCast is a simple, affordable way to bring superior production values to your webcasting with a fully featured hardware/app combo that lets you mix sound, display titles, play media, trigger sound effects, and more without a computer or costly A/V gear. Perfect for mobile productions as it is designed to be used with smartphones and tablets, allowing you to control two video feeds and mix in audio and pre-made text and graphics.

Pros: Complete production suite, interact with your audience and provide multimedia options

Cons: Quite short cable to connect to devices – Apple devices only

Accessories

PreSonus Broadcast Accessory Pack

Podcasters, live streamers, gamers, and YouTubers: get everything you need to upgrade your online presence in a single purchase! The Broadcast Accessory Pack includes a sturdy microphone boom arm, a pop filter, headphones, and a professional XLR cable. The adjustable-tension PBA-1 microphone boom arm is compatible with Revelator, PX-1, PD-70, and most other standard microphones via the included 5/8″ male to 3/8″ female thread adapter. With a boom arm, you’ll clear up valuable desk space while adding new mic positioning options.

Pros: Unbelievably good value for money, perfect for beginners and people looking to upgrade their setup

Cons: Not much really!

Headphones

We have a huge range of headphones that suit various different applications and pricepoints. One set we want to pay close attention to is the Korg NC-Q1 Noise cancelling headphones.

The Korg NC-Q1 headphones sound superb. Featuring a big sound with strong lower frequencies and crisp highs, they excel when playing modern electronic music. The headphones certainly emphasise the lower frequencies with the tendency to sound boomy at times. On top of superb external isolation, the Korg NC-Q1 headphones feature inbuilt active noise cancelling,  the NC-Q1 has microphones designed and built for high volume pressure. It’s an ingenious system that works surprisingly well!

 Conclusion

If streaming or starting a podcast is something you are interested in, check out our article on why streaming may be the new busking here. If you have any questions about implementing any gear into your setup, please email chris@promenademusic.co.uk – it will be great to hear from you!