Being the new international medium that it is, the Internet is irrefutably the fastest medium to disseminate information. Its phenomenal evolution has since seen it grown from being a provider of text information to one that now encompasses audio and video on an unimaginable scale. While text blogging is still trendy, many authors have begun to incorporate podcasting in an effort to make their opinions heard, literally. Indeed, podcasting has set a new paradigm of how information could be distributed over the Internet. In the eyes of many Internet-savvy people, podcast recordings are a form of programming in the same interest vein as radio and television, and while their appeal is unquestionable, quality productions are not quite as easy to record as you might imagine. If you are a blogger and have thoughts of exploring podcasting as an avenue to express yourself, Behringer has a total package with all the tools you need to produce a professional podcast.
All in one simple package
By getting a Behringer Podcaststudio package, you'll have everything primed and ready to start your first podcast recording. The entire kit includes an analog mixer, a Firewire audio interface, a studio condenser microphone and a pair of high-quality headphones along with supporting accessories like wires and power adapter. The expensive analog mixer is the component that separates the Behringer Podcaststudio from your run-of-the-mill microphone recording where audio quality is concerned. With eight input and three sets of stereo outputs mated to four different sets of equalizers, the whole setup is as good as having a mini recording studio. The mixer may be small but it is packed with standard processing functions such as gain/level adjustment, amplification, balancing, fading and effects. There is also a phantom power switch to energize incoming signals that are not audibly strong.
Our only gripe with the mixer is that it doesn’t have a built-in interface to connect directly to computers. To connect to either a Mac or a PC would require you to first connect the mixer’s main audio output to an interfacing module via Firewire cable.
No drivers are required for Mac users but PC users on the other hand are required to install drivers before the mixer would interface correctly.
The CD also contains recording/editing applications like the Ableton Live Lite 4 (Behringer edition), KRISTAL Audio Engine and Audacity.
Getting it up and running
Setup was really simple, requiring no more than 10 minutes of our time. All the cables are provided, thus all there is for you to do is to connect the cables to the right jack, really. On the mixer, input 1 and 2 lets you connect either a XLR (normally used in microphones) or ¼-inch RCA cable. Input 3/4 and 5/6 are used for connecting mono input connections (balance or unbalance). Once all the inputs are properly ended, you can then connect two mono cables from the Main Out to the audio interface. There are still two more audio output connections on the mixer where you can either connect it to an external pair of monitors (speakers) or to a pair of headphones.
Our tests were done with a Windows-based PC with the bundled Audacity application used intensively for recording purposes. To commence simple voice recording, all that's needed of you is a click on the record button (red). Thereafter, you need only observe changes in the waveform and make adjustments on the mixer to prevent excessive hissing and peakings. The condenser studio microphone works well to yield clear and clean sound capturing. However, because it's highly sensitive, it's recommended that recordings are conducted in a quiet location to avoid picking up undesired ambient noise. The only minor inconvenience we faced the Firewire connector – Firewire is common on Mac machines but a rarity on all but the most equipped systems and notebook computers.
The Behringer’s Podcaststudio is a great piece of kit packed with all the right gear to empower you to record a mini-live studio performance – and podcast of course. If you are starting to be sold, then you'll be most delighted to learn that the whole fuss free system can be yours at a highly affordable price of US$269.99.