This unboxing and initial review is actually being written AFTER I posted my first production attempt at a PODCAST. I just dived right in and decided to give it a shot.
I unpacked it and set it up so I could see what it would take to create, edit and publish a PODCAST. If you head over to Observed Tech Beta Program 1 you can hear that beta program episode. The next episode will be Number 1 and we will go into official production on the show.
I am very pleased with the way the PM-21 worked. If your good with audio-visual gear and the process of hooking up home stereo equipment then you can set this gear up without breaking out the instruction book (which is on the CD in PDF format).
The mixer board has inputs for 2 microphones, 2 headphones, an MP3 input and a RCA channel input. Each channel ha sits own volume, bass and treble controls. This kit just comes with a single microphone and headphones. The PM-22 version comes with 2 of each. The headphones are not very comfortable so I can see myself using my own instead. The mixer board runs off of AC or a 9V battery.
The connection to your computer is via USB and Windows 7 recognized the USB Audio device immediately and did not require any other drivers for it to work.
The package comes with the latest, stable version of Audacity to create and edit your audio tracks. It also has the LAME MP3 converter on the CD so you can install it. That allows Audacity to export your tracks in MP3 format. Audacity is open source and costs nothing to use.
If you listen to the podcast you can hear how clear the microphone pickup is. I created the intro myself using a piece of royalty free music, a couple of free sound effect files for the applause and launch sound and my own voice for the voice over. I did adjust the pitch to lower it though. In case your wondering my real voice is the talking part of the podcast – no pitch adjustments on that.
Once I had it all together I edited out all the “umms”, breath sounds and long pauses which was very easy and intuitive with Audacity. You will be amazed at how many times you say “umm” and how obvious the breath sounds are.
For someone who is fairly tech savvy but not a “sound editor” I was able to figure things out quickly and get the podcast up within a few hours.
Amazon sells the Technical Pro PM-21 Podcast System (Silver) for $89 which I think is a very good deal for entry level podcasting equipment that sounds good.
Here are some pictures of the unboxing: