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.
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Sound quality is paramount to a successful podcast which makes a microphone the most important piece of equipment. At the new JRE Austin studio, Joe Rogan is still using 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.
Other popular podcasts that use Shure SM7B microphones include The Fighter and The Kid with Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub, This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von, WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, and Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard.
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 new JRE studio in Austin is using the Gator Frameworks Deluxe Desktop Mic Boom Stand (3000 series). This is a switch from the Yellowtec m!ka Standard Mic Arm used in the old JRE studio. Gator Frameworks Deluxe mic arms have full 360-degree rotation and are constructed of black powder-coated steel with an integrated 10ft XLR microphone cable hidden internally. Mounting options include a fixed base attachment used to mount to the surface of a table like Rogan’s setup or a table/desk clamp.
UPDATE: Joe Rogan has switched microphone arms once again. As of JRE #1699 with Meghan Murphy, the JRE studio is using O.C. White Co.’s ProBoom Ultima Gen2 Ultra Low Profile Adjustable Mic Booms.
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.
On the desk in front of each guest is a flush-mounted “podcast unit” that pops up when pressed. The Altinex Podcast Tilt ‘N Plug Jr. has a headphone jack, volume control knob, cough button to mute the microphone, USB connector for charging devices and an HDMI input to connect a laptop to the TV screen. There’s even a custom JRE logo in the corner.
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 computer 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.
Multi-Camera Production System
With the move to the new Austin studio, Joe Rogan took the opportunity to upgrade his multi-camera production system. The JRE podcast previously used a NewTek TriCaster 460 & Control Surface that was somewhat problematic. Young Jamie is now using a Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro HD Live Production Switcher for the video production of the podcast. He can switch between multiple cameras depending on who is speaking, show an overview of the podcast studio or display websites/articles/photos/YouTube videos (fullscreen or picture-in-picture) during the broadcast. Up to 8 inputs (4 x HDMI, 4 x SDI) can be connected to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Production Switcher. Combined with the integrated control panel, ATEM software and a dedicated monitor, Jamie has complete control of the video production with illuminated color buttons, knobs and fader bar at his fingertips. There is also a built-in 10-channel audio mixer but it’s currently unclear if Jamie is using this or an external mixer.
— brian redban (@redban) October 23, 2020
Four tripod-mounted Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD Camcorders are connected to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Production Switcher 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.
Another upgrade that Joe Rogan made for the new studio is the desktop computer used to record the audio and video for the podcast and perform any post-production. The old studio used an Apple iMac but now Young Jamie is using an expensive Apple Mac Pro complete with $700 wheels. There were some issues with the Mac Pro during the initial setup but now everything appears to be running smoothly. Young Jamie also uses an Apple MacBook Pro laptop during the podcast to research, fact check and pull things up on the TV in the studio by mirroring his screen.
Young Jamie’s new two-screen setup has one monitor dedicated to viewing the Blackmagic Design ATEM software and a 32″ Apple Pro Display XDR monitor dedicated to Apple’s Logic Pro digital audio workstation software.
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.
Joe Rogan’s big studio desk was custom built by Wrightsmith Studios out of Austin, Texas. It is made from white oak and reportedly weighs 500lbs. It is 96 inches long by 54 inches wide, which is the same width as the desk in the old studio and provides plenty of legroom. The microphone arms are mounted to the desk with fixed based attachments and each person has a their own pop-up podcast unit. Wrightsmith provided a behind-the-scenes gallery of the build process.
Young Jamie’s oversees the podcast production while sitting behind a Jarvis Adjustable Desk.
At least two different portable microphones have been used for recording JRE podcasts outside of the studio. In Episode #854 with Louie Simmons and #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.