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So I hardly make use of the Press & Testimonials category of my site here. I've preferred to put my testimonials on the recommendations page for now.

However, if you've ever wondered was an equipment consult would be like with me. I can give you a glimpse by sharing an email response that I just had with a client who is ready to purchase some gear from me. I'm taking out there name, as I've not asked to share their information. However, the content itself is very general in nature and I believe it's a good example of how I conduct my equipment consults.

Note, below is my response. The client's original email is quoted throughout and is indicated in BOLD TEXT.

xxxxx,

I'm going to go ahead and respond to you via email here. However, if you would like, I could schedule a free 20 minute equipment consult with you on Monday to answer any additional questions you might have. I don't mind email, if that works better for you. Either way works for me!

At first I found your comments on the Heil PR 40 to be over the top. I kept listening to your blogs, reviewing your comments, looking and listening to the information at the Heil website, and even emailing Bob Heil with a couple of questions. I will admit that in hind sight rather than strident in your praise of the Heil PR 40 I think your comments were restrained if anything.

Oh indeed! Please know this about me. I NEVER praise a product unless I am certain it can stand up to scrutiny. I have approximately 47,000 subscribers to my various shows. When I say something that people don't agree with, they will blog about, post Twitter Messages about it, or call me out on Facebook about it. So when I say things, I very much take a great deal of care to say things that I mean and to mean what I say.

I operate a business build solely on New Media and in New Media, TRUST is my greatest asset. I'm glad that you've taken the time to research this and that, over time, you've come to understand that I'm not just trying to sell a lot of Heil Mics.

Well, I am trying to sell a lot of Heil Mics. But it's not just because I want to sell them, it's because I know they will be the best value for dollar to make an improvement on “almost” anyone's production.

There are less expensive mics that I sell where my profit margin is a great deal higher. From a price standpoint, if I “pushed” these less expensive mics, I know for a fact that I'd “sell” a lot more of them and I'd “make more money” in the process. But I would dilute the number of referrals generated from each of those clients.

An awesome statistic that I've found. For each podcaster who purchases a Heil PR-40 from me, I typically get at least 1, and sometimes MANY MORE people who listen to their podcast that hear the difference, ask what they did to improve their sound to such a degree and then contact me to make a purchase of a Heil PR40 for themselves.

So now what do I do? Clearly I will add the Heil PR 40, and dump the studio condenser mic sold to me by a previous recording guru.

Now I do want to warn you ahead of time. When considering the move from a “condenser” microphone to a “dynamic” microphone, there is a completely different technique required for recording your voice.

The biggest change is the need to speak DIRECTLY into the microphone. In fact, when I'm recording a podcast, my lips are never more than 2 inches away from the microphone and often times as close as 1 inch.

This is not a limitation, this is certainly a feature. It reduced background noise, such as the echo of your voice in a room that is not soundproofed. But also, being up close on the mic will reproduce a much richer fullness of your voice.

But, what else do I keep and what do I off load? Here is my list…

Edirol R 09 HR – Keep

Absolutely! I love my Edirol R-09HR every single bit as much as my Heil PR-40. Two best pieces of equipment ever made for nearly every podcaster out there!

Sony Sound Forge Software – Keep or replace?

Depends… Is it working for you? If so, no need to replace. Honestly, I've never used it. But then again, I don't do a “lot” of post production either. While there are a few who have other solutions, here is the breakdown of what most of my clients are using.

I'd say that 60% of folks are using Audacity. Which is a free audio editing software solution that works on both Windows and Mac based computers. It's decent and will get the job done for a large number of people.

About 20% are using GarageBand which comes free on every Mac computer. It does a decent job and just improved greatly with a major change they made to give the option to remove the auto-normalization process when exporting audio. If you're on a mac, I suppose I'd suggest GarageBand these days.

The other 20% are using what I use, which is Adobe Audition (Currently version 3.0 – I still have 2.0). This program is not free like the other solutions, and instead costs $349. It's more than I would suggest the average podcaster pay. I paid this because of the time I save with a few of the processes that I can do only in this program. It took my editing of a 1 hour show from 45 minutes down to 4 minutes. And well.. I produce as many as 20 plus podcast episodes per week. Just add up the time saved per episode and you'll see what that's a big deal for me.

Heil Handi Mic Pro Plus – Buy for remote Edirol R 09 interviews?

Since you are asking for my opinion on this. Here's my thoughts. The Heil Handi Pro Plus mic is not designed to be an interview mic. I know their site says “The Handi Mic is perfect for an interview microphone where its small size makes it a very low profile microphone with great sound.”

I'm not going to argue that the mic has great sound. However, there's a great deal more to consider when thinking about was makes for the “perfect interview microphone.” For example, when I'm looking for the “Perfect” Interview mic, I'm usually looking for a mic that was MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING AN INTERVIEW MIC. The Handi mic is MADE TO BE a tom drum mic. That's what it's “PERFECT” for. 😉

Now I'm not just saying this because the cost is more. The Handi mic usually goes for about $99. However, if you want THE PERFECT INTERIVE MIC to go with your edirol for field interviews, I would suggest the Electrovoice RE-50b microphone. Their website is not making a false claim when they say that it is the INDUSTRY STANDARD. IT IS! Very low handling noise. AWESOME BUILT IN WIND SCREEN! It is the perfect interview mic!

I have these in stock and they run $199

Heil PR 40 – Buy from you.

Yes, indeed! I have it for $xxx. (Note, I had to remove this from this post as I have to abide by the Minimum Advertised Price rule when posting public information about the price of products – Contact me for me promotional pricing) The minimum advertised price is $325.00 However, I sell so many of these that I'm able to sell it at a lower cost to my clients because of the volume discounts that I get from selling so many.

Desk Top Mic Stand – Keep or replace?

I'd keep it as a guest mic stand for when you bring someone into the studio occasionally. But knowing that you'll need to be speaking right into your mic, it's important that your mic come to you!

I strongly suggest the Heil PL2T mic arm. It is AWESOME! I sell it for $125 and it comes with a c-clamp mount.

Scissor Boom for PR 40 ?

See above response…

Pop Filter or Wind Screen for Heil?

Here's where I can prove that I'm not just out to sell stuff……

Personally, I love the “look” of having my Shock Mount and Professional Grade pop filter. The only thing is that these two items are ridiculously overpriced. And it's not that my profit margin is too high. I mean that my cost on these is too much! The Shock Mount is $95 and the PopFilter is $65.

With that said, again, I love the look of mine and the shock mount does allow me to move the mic during recording without much noise, if any, making it into the recording. Also, if someone bumps the surface that the mic arm is mounted to, this helps mute those sounds as well.

The Pop Filter cuts out all popping of my P's. and looks nice mounted on the shock mount. And well, I do a lot of LIVE SHOWS and I'm on camera a lot. So I like the professional look of it. So it was worth it for me.

Now Stephanie's Heil does not have the Shock Mount or Pop Filter. Partly because back when I got Stephanie's Mic, we were still doing this as a hobby and I simply didn't have the money on hand at the time. So instead, I purchase a VERY LARGE WINDSCREEN to go over top of her mic. You can see it in the photo of our studio which I'll link to below. The cost of the windscreen is $35 and works very well. The sound is “slightly” different from that mic because of the extra padding there. But its only noticeable to someone like me, who is the perfectionist when it comes to sound.

Here's how the two look…. CLICK HERE TO SEE MY STUDIO PHOTO

Edirol M-10DX mixer – Keep or replace?

I just looked it up online. It's not a mixer I would have purchased, but I can't see any reason I would want to replace it if it has enough ports and aux outputs for all you want to accomplish. My philosophy is that as long as the mixer is bringing in all the audio inputs that you want to bring in and mixing the audio into a single stereo channel the way you want, then go with it.

Audio Technica ATH-Pro700 Headphones – Keep or replace?

Do they feel comfortable to you? Then keep them!

Telephone hybrid: – JK Audio Broadcast Host, JK Audio Innkeeper, or Telos One?

The original InnKeeper is discontinued… They came out with the Innkeeper LTD.

I brought one in for review and from what I read, I almost thought for sure that I'd be keeping it and selling my Broadcast Host as used equipment in my forum to my existing Plus Members.

However, when I got it. I was impressed with it. But really, it didn't sound any different than my Broadcast Host at all. There were two things I noticed about it. 1) You don't have to adjust a bunch of knobs to get the levels to where you want it. And 2) when you first connect a call, it lowers the crosstalk noise from 1 second down to a fraction of a second. It just wasn't enough to make the extra cost worth it for me to recommend to my clients. I still suggest the Broadcast Host.

As for Broadcast Host and Telos One? Well, let's see.. They both do EXACTLY THE SAME THING and the Telos One is a great deal more $$$. This is the reason I use and I recommend the Broadcast Host. But don't get me wrong, I think the Telos One is a great piece of equipment. Just like the cost for the same functionality in the Broadcast Host.

What else do I need?

That would certainly depend on what you plan to do with podcasting. Again, I'd love to have a twenty minute conversation with you and that way I could make sure you're getting all the right cables and adapters, etc. Also, I could also make sure you're not buying any equipment you don't need for the goals you're trying to accomplish.

If you wanted to schedule a time with me this coming week, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

I Thank-you for the information on your website. I am looking forward to getting your perspective on my next moves towards blogging participation.

Sincerely, xxxxxxxxx

xxxxx, thanks for contacting me. I can tell that you certainly did your research before reaching out to me which is why I do not hesitate in spending the amount of time thoroughly answering all your questions.

Look forward to the possibility of working with you either by phone or further email here.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Cliff

That's what it looks like when working with me regarding euqipment purchases. If you are interested in a free equipment consultation, email me at [email protected] or call me at 859-757-1399

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