Planet Performance podcast rig rundown

A few people asked about what I use for recording the Planet Performance podcast so here’s a quick rundown. This is just my preference, there are of course many other ways to do it.

So what’s in the box?

  • Two microphones. These are vintage Electro-Voice RE 635A. I got them from ebay for about $150 for the pair. Used to be newscasters favorites in the 70s or thereabouts. They are dynamic mics with omnidirectional pattern, which is unusual for a dynamic mic. They are also pretty slim. An alternative new mic for the purpose could be the classic SM58 which would be under $200 for the pair.
  • Two foldable desktop mic stands – $20/pair on Amazon
  • A 2-chanel USB interface Behringer UMC204HD. It’s a good mix of price and functionality/quality. About $100. Audio nerds may dislike Behringer due to its humble beginnings of ripping off old gear and making it cheaply and poorly. But that’s in the past. The mic preamps (that take microphone signal and amplify it) that come with it are highly regarded Midas, which is a company bought by Behringer. An affordable alternative could be Scarlet 2i2. I picked Behringer also due to the “Insert” feature that let’s me plug in a hardware compressor during recording. Which I no longer travel with to save space, so there’s that.
  • The mics plug into the interface with the mic cables. I carry a third mic cable as a spare.
  • USB cable that goes out into the computer (comes with the interface).
The setup in action. Interviewing Tammy Everts, photo by Christian Schaefer.


I use Reaper to record and edit and mix. It’s a professional DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that costs $60, though it comes with unlimited trial version. A free alternative would be Audacity , which works on any operating system. Or GarageBand if you’re on Mac

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