What podcasting gear is used on the JRE Podcast?
Ever wonder what microphones or headphones are used by Joe Rogan and his guests on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast? If you’re curious about what podcasting equipment is used to produce one of the biggest podcasts in the world, we’ve compiled a full list of the audio/video gear.
Not all of this gear is necessary to record your own podcast. The Joe Rogan Experience is just one example out of thousands of podcasts, the vast majority of which are audio only. Every podcaster will have a custom setup to suit their podcast’s format. Cheaper alternatives for each piece of equipment are definitely available.
Sound quality is paramount to a successful podcast which makes a microphone the most important piece of equipment. Joe Rogan uses the Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone which is popular with top podcasters and professional broadcasters. It was designed for speech but works equally well for music vocals. The sound is natural and warm with flat, wide-range frequency response. Sound quality is comparable to more expensive microphones. It is meant to be used within a few inches of your face which is why you’ll hear Rogan constantly remind guests to keep it close to their mouth. A decent mixer or mic preamp is required due to the low output level. The Shure SM7B comes with two foam windscreens to reduce P-pops. It rejects electromagnetic hum by shielding against the interference generated by electrical devices. An internal shockmount reduces vibrations from the microphone arm and from touching the mic.
A microphone arm, also known as a mic boom, makes a podcast setup instantly look more professional. With a mic arm the user can grab the microphone and quickly adjust it to the perfect position, close to their mouth. A mic arm also frees up desk space. The Yellowtec m!ka Standard Mic Arm is an industry standard for radio stations and professional studios which also makes it pretty pricey (around $400). It features lightweight aluminum tube construction with hidden microphone cables. The ends of the cables are unfinished so you will need to solder on the XLR connectors. There are various mounting options to choose from including a table clamp, pole mount or flush to the surface of the table like Rogan’s setup.
An alternative is the RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm.
At least two different portable microphones have been used for recording JRE podcasts outside of the studio. In Episode #965 with Robert Sapolsky, Joe Rogan can be seen using the the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. USB microphones include a built-in preamp and an analog-to-digital converter which means you don’t need any additional podcasting equipment besides a computer to connect it to. The Blue Yeti is very popular with podcasters especially those just getting started. While easily portable, many podcasters use it as their primary microphone in an office or studio. The Blue Yeti has a natural, rich and well-rounded sound and is considered the best USB microphone for podcasting. It features a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring as well as a headphone volume control knob, mute button, mic gain control knob and pattern control knob. There are four polar pattern modes to choose from: stereo (left and right), cardioid (directly in front), omnidirectional (equal in all directions), and bidirectional (front and rear).
Joe Rogan discussed the Blue Raspberry Premium Mobile USB Microphone in Episode #981 with Josh Barnett which he used to record the Podcast In Paradise Episode with Ben O’Brien, John Dudley, Sam Soholt and Shane Dorian. The Blue Raspberry is smaller and more portable than the Yeti but also about $70 more expensive. The sound quality is pretty good but not quite as good as the Yeti. You can connect the Raspberry to a computer via USB or to an iPhone or iPad with the included Lightning cable. It is a fixed cardioid microphone which means it is most sensitive to sound directly in front of the mic while rejecting sound from the rear. The Blue Raspberry features a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring, headphone volume control knob and mic gain control knob with mute option.
Headphones are worn during the recording of a podcast to allow each person to monitor the audio feed in real-time. They can listen for any issues with the audio and adjust their voice, microphone position or audio levels accordingly. Joe Rogan uses the Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones. They are popular budget headphones for podcasting or listening to music. The closed-back, over-the-ear design does a good job at containing audio leak and although they are not noise-canceling, external noise is passively reduced. Sound reproduction is flat and accurate. If you need to wear headphones for an extended period of time, like while recording a three hour podcast, the HD280PRO headphones are lightweight and the padded ear cups and headband are comfortable. The pads and cable are easily replaceable which will extend the life of the headphones.
A headphone amplifier allows multiple headphones to be used and gives each person the ability to independently adjust the volume of their headphones. The main input cable is connected to the headphone output from the mixer. The Behringer POWERPLAY HA8000 features two separate main inputs and eight independent headphone amplifier sections with volume control, eight digit LED output meter, main input switch and mono/stereo switch. There are two headphone outputs per channel, one front panel and one rear panel. Behringer also offers smaller four-channel and six-channel headphone amplifiers.
Using a mixer for podcasting is not necessary but will improve the sound quality and provide a lot more control over the audio. A mixer accepts different types of inputs from multiple microphones and other sources to mix into a single recording. Each channel can be controlled independently. Built-in mic preamplifiers increase the mic-levels to line-level. A good mixer will allow you to podcast like a live radio show while playing intros, outros, audio clips, music and YouTube videos on the fly during the recording. This virtually eliminates any post-production. The Behringer XENYX X2442USB was previously used on the JRE Podcast (shown here) but the current mixer being used is the Behringer XENYX X1222USB. The X1222USB has four stereo inputs, six mic inputs, four mic preamps and four compressors. Each channel has independent gain control, 3-band equalizer, aux sends, pan control, mute button, and fader. The USB audio interface connects the mixer directly to a computer to record the audio with software of your choice.
Instead of using the mixer’s built-in USB audio interface, Young Jamie uses a separate audio interface to connect to the computer. The Universal Audio Apollo FireWire Audio Interface receives XLR inputs from the mixer’s main out and connects to the Apple iMac via FireWire to record the podcast audio. This allows Jamie to do real-time processing with near-zero latency using the Apollo Console software and compressor plug-ins. The Apollo FireWire has onboard quad-core processors which reduce the computer’s CPU load.
Digital Audio Recorder
A digital audio recorder or DAR is a simple and reliable way to record a podcast in studio-quality audio. It can be used as the primary recording device or to record a backup copy in case of a computer crash or corrupt file if recording to a computer. The TASCAM DR-100 Portable Digital Recorder accepts XLR mic inputs and 3.5mm line inputs from the mixer’s main out. It can be powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AA batteries or an optional AC adapter. The DR-100 records to an SD or SDHC card. There are several other features that aren’t needed for studio podcasting including a built-in speaker and four microphones. The original TASCAM DR-100 model can be seen here or in the photo with the TriCaster Control Surface below.
Multi-Camera Production System
The NewTek TriCaster 460 is a four camera video production system. It is used to to switch between multiple cameras depending on who is talking or to show an overview of the podcast studio. Additional external video sources can be connected to the TriCaster. Connecting a computer or laptop allows for screen mirroring to display websites, articles, photos or YouTube videos on the broadcast. Custom graphics, effects and titles can also be displayed on screen. Combined with the TriCaster 460 Control Surface and a dedicated monitor, you have complete control of the live video production using the TriCaster software and the illuminated color buttons. The TriCaster is also the device used to livestream the podcast on YouTube.
Update: The TriCaster has been problematic, continually crashing during the livestream. Joe is currently looking for a new video streaming system.
Four tripod-mounted Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD Camcorders are connected to the TriCaster and used to capture high definition video of the JRE Podcast from multiple camera angles. The flip out OLED viewscreen can be rotated to face the person being filmed to ensure they’re in frame. The G40 can record in 1080p, has 20x optical zoom and good low light performance.
Any Windows computer or Mac should be able to record, edit and upload a podcast. Young Jamie appears to be using a 27-inch Apple iMac desktop computer to record the podcasts and for post-production like adding the pre and post-roll ads. A MacBook Pro laptop is used to pull things up on the internet during the podcast and its screen can be mirrored on the TV in the studio.
The three-monitor setup has one screen dedicated to viewing the TriCaster/livestream software, one screen dedicated to the audio recording software, and one screen for the Apollo Console software.
The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast is hosted by Libsyn using LibsynPRO Services. They have monthly plans ranging from $5 to $75 per month depending on your monthly storage of new content uploaded (50mb to 1500mb per month). All plans come with unlimited downloads, RSS feed, multiple destination publishing, statistics, and the ability to use their advertising platform to monetize your podcast.
What chair does Joe Rogan use during the JRE Podcast? The HAG Capisco Chair, an award-winning ergonomic office chair. Recording a long podcast while sitting in an uncomfortable chair can cause discomfort and lower-back pain. With the versatile Capisco, you can comfortably sit forwards, backwards or sideways. The seat is a contoured saddle design that opens up your hips to promote better posture. You don’t need an expensive chair to record a podcast but don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable seat. Your back will thank you. Rogan discusses the Capisco chair here.