One of iTunes’ top-rated podcasts is Music for Midnight (www.music4midnight.com), produced weekly by Ohio-based music aficionado Austin Beeman. The show regularly ranks in the top 10 music podcasts and top 50 overall.
Music for Midnight is a half-hour showcase of independent and non-mainstream down-tempo electronica, soft rock and jazz, distributed through the San Francisco-based Personal Life Media network.
Beeman relies heavily on his AT2020 USB cardioid condenser microphone from Audio-Technica, noting, “I use the 2020 USB to record my own voice, which gives the lead-in at the top of every show. I have no formal training in broadcasting, so I really needed something that would make my voice sound great, and the 2020 USB did that for me.
“I had experimented with a couple of other microphones from other companies, but it always had that ‘basement’ feel. I needed something that would provide professional quality sound and make it sound like a studio, even though I’m recording it in front of my computer.”
Beeman plugs the AT2020 USB directly into his laptop’s USB port, and using an online program called Propaganda, he creates MP3s, which are uploaded to his personalized media page and distributed on the web as a podcast.
“I don’t use any effects or anything to enhance voice,” states Beeman. “The signal chain is simple as can be. The 2020 USB is able to take my voice and give it a wonderful broadcast quality, without me having any knowledge of how to operate complicated gear or software. It’s just plug and play.”