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Broadcasting Equipment 101

Greetings readers, Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s been a while since I last wrote to you, the readers. Hope everyone is doing well, and hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
So what have I been doing? Broadcasting. Lots and lots of broadcasting. I reached my 300th broadcast a couple of games ago, and I feel like I’m improving on each and every broadcast. With my new job at the Ohio Sports Radio Network, I couldn’t of done it without the great people and my equipment.
Now I know what you broadcasters are thinking. “I already have my own gear, why should I continue reading?” I’d just like to share my setup that I use. There’s millions of ways to get professional microphones and headsets through a live online broadcast, but here’s what I like to use.
The first thing you will need is a mixer. If you want two people on a broadcast, the mixer is a way to control everyone’s levels. Wherever you have a scroll or knob volume control, these things are essential to cover everyone. From the loudest mouth to the quietest voice, you can make everyone sound about the same level.
What type of mixer should you get? It just depends on what you need. How many people will be on at one time? Do you want effects with your show (some models have FX on them, such as mine.)? What will you be using it for? Also, USB-mixers are nice if you just need to plug into the computer, but non-USB mixers work just as well (and in my biased opinion, a bit better.) It’s nice to have outputs and inputs into my mixer board, in case I do an interview. This is the model I use for broadcasting, which is good for me because I need a couple more XLR ports for broadcasting purposes.

Now you need a cord to hook up your board. If you have an USB-connected board, that’s the way to do and you won’t need a separate cord. For non-USB boards, the best thing to get is a RCA to Stereo cord. The red and white ends go to the output part of the mixer board, while the single end goes to your microphone port of your computer.

Next up are your microphones. After all, a broadcast would be pointless if you didn’t have a way to send audio out, right? In broadcasting, the XLR is usually the standard. You’ll need your cords, and microphones if you so choose. You can also use a headset if you like, which lets you listen in and broadcast at the same time.

That’s the basics of what you need for broadcasting with your laptop. It sounds better than just plugging a two-prong headset into your computer, and it looks cooler too. You can always pick up small accessories, like wind socks over microphones.
Sorry for the absence, but life’s been kicked into the eleventh gear and turned up to…eleven. I’ll try to work on a couple more posts before 2012 ends.
Until next time,
-Lee
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