Sam Soffes

Mic Setup

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I recently made a video mentioning my new mic setup and got a few questions about it. Instead of making a video that just mentions tons of links, I thought I'd write it up.

I use a Heil PR40 mic. I've used it for a few years now. It's a pretty great mic for making podcasts and screencasts. The boom arm for my desk is a Heil PL-2T. This is a great arm. I've seen it used with several other mics too. My mic is attached to the arm with a Heil PRSM-B Shockmount. I also have a Heil Windscreen on it to cut down on breath noise.

The arm mounts into my desk with a Heil DT-1 Flush Mount. I have a Mogami Gold Studio 6' XLR cable cable in the arm connected to the mic. I found 6' is just about the perfect length. There's a little extra to work with but not too much. I know the Mogami cables are pretty pricey. From what I've read, it's the only cables you can audibly hear a difference in quality. They're fine cables. Probably doesn't matter that much though.

The cable mounts into a Neutrik XLR jack. I always try to buy Neutrik connectors since they are supposed to be the best and finding cables with their connectors usually aren't that much more. This is a really neat jack since it has an XLR connector on both ends. No soldering required!

I used some digial calipers to measure the diameter of the jack and flush mount. (I really just wanted an excuse to get some. They were pretty cheap.) The flush mount is exactly 1 1/2" which is nice. The jack is annoyingly some really weird dimension that's slightly less than 1". The base of the faceplate is 1 1/64" so it has to be less than an inch. I ended up using a 15/16" drill bit. I got a small set at Home Depot that had what I needed. Here's a set on Amazon that has a few more. (This is my drill.)

To mount the jack to the desk, I used some #4 philips wood screws that were less than the depth of my desk that I got at Home Depot. Something like this will work.

The mic goes into my Universal Audio Apollo Twin SOLO audio interface with another 6' XLR mounted under my desk with some cable clips. The interface connects to my MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt 2 cable and a Thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter.

When I'm traveling, I use a Apogee ONE as my interface, take the same mic, and use a GorillaPod (with ball head) as my mic stand/camera tripod. The Apogee ONE is a great interface. If you want to get this setup, I'd probably recommend getting that over the Apollo since it's a lot cheaper and is more than enough for recording spoken word.

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, the Rode Podcaster is a really good option. I used to use it and it was okay. It picks up a lot more room noise than the PR40, but for most podcasts, it's just fine.

If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter. I'm @soffes.