I’ve had several people ask how I do my recording. It’s all done in my basement office, about three feet from a hot water heater (which I turn off while I’m recording).
- Sennheiser MD46 dynamic mic, connected with XLR<->XLR cable
- Pop screen and mic stand for the mic. I don’t know the manufacturer or brand.
- Recorder Roland R-05, 16-bit WAV setting. I used to use a Roland R-09 but it was discontinued. The R-05 has the same or better quality, and the battery life is about 10 times longer.
- Alesis USB mixer
The mic is plugged into the mixing panel in input #3 (arbitrary; doesn’t matter which)
- From top to bottom, the knobs in input #3 are set as follows:
- HPF – turned off (button OUT)
- Gain: about a millimeter less than the very last line, roughly 4.5 o’clock
- EQ: all 3 set to 12 o’clock
- AUX: both set to -infinity
- Pan: set to 12 o’clock
- Level 3: set to +9.5 Db (about halfway between the last 2 hashmarks, roughly 4 o’clock)
On the far right of the panel:
- Aux return A level: -infinity
- Effects/Aux ret B: -infinity
- 2 tk to mix: out
- 2 tk to ctl room: out
- mix to ctl room: out
- 9.5 db, roughly 4 o’clock
- HDPH/CTRL RM: about 10 o’clock, 4th hashmark from bottom left (don’t think it matters unless you use headphones to monitor the recording AND have Mix-to-Ctl-room depressed)
The Roland R-05 recorder is connected to the “2 track out” by RCA plugs to Line In on the Roland R-05.
Roland R-05 settings
- AGC: off
- Low cut: OFF
- Mic gain: HIGH
- External mic type: STEREO
- On menu: 5, Input setup | Rec monitor OFF | External power turned OFF
- On the Roland R-09: Input level 14 (depress REC, when flashing, you can adjust the input level via the buttons on the side)
- On the Roland R-05: Input level in the 40s, or I use the “Rehearsal” function to auto-set the input levels.
Phone interview recording equipment
For recording telephone interviews (see https://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy for interview pages), I use a Broadcast Host Digital Hybrid, made by JK Audio.
In recent years, I’ve also used Skype with Skype Recorder for Mac as well as Zoom.us for recording interviews. They’re easier than using the analog phone lines, but require good internet connectivity.
Phone interview device settings
Due to the nature of the equipment, it seems to take very different equipment settings to get quality sound from a phone conversation.
- Send 1 @ noon
- Send 2 hard left
- Caller @ noon
- Headphones @ hard left
- Mixing board mic -> Send 1, line level
- Caller -> Line in 4 on mixing board
- Mic (Sennheiser) into Mic 2
- Gain @ max
- Eq all at noon
- Aux A pre @ noon
- Aux B @ – infinity
- Pan @ hard left
- Gain @ 1st hash mark left of noon
- Aux send A -> Broadcast host Send 1
- Broadcast host caller -> line in 4
Gain @ 4th hash mark
Eq all at noon
Aux all at hard left
Pan @ hard right
Level @ 3 o’clock (3/4 of the way to max)
- Main mix @ 2nd hash from far right
Roland R-09 line in
- Monitor rec ON (use headphones to monitor, volume adjusted appropriately)
- Input level 25
NOTE: SOUND QUALITY TO CALLER ISN’T SO HOT, BUT RECORDING QUALITY IS PRETTY GOOD.
BE CAREFUL WITH LEVELS!
For example: sometimes getting close enough to the microphone so the caller can hear me clearly causes clipping in the actual recorded signal. Be very careful to monitor the sound levels on all devices (the Broadcast host, the mixing board, and the R-09)