Recording remote interviews online might’ve been the default way for podcasters to chat through most of 2020. But it won’t be that way forever.
Remote recording is great; the tools available to do it continue to get better and better. But, having face-to-face, in-person conversations will always be the most natural and engaging way to record interviews. We’ve written a full series on the various setups and equipment you can use to capture in-person interviews. In this article, though, I’m going to talk about using the Zoom H1 with 2 lavalier mics.
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The Zoom H1
The Zoom H1 might be a little overshadowed these days by its bigger cousins, the Zoom H5 and H6 (not to mention the new PodTrak range coming down the pipe soon!). But, the H1 is still a great little recorder. It’s very affordable, portable, and still offers you a few different options for how you record.
You can read our full review of the Zoom H1 here, and it has since received a facelift, being upgraded and re-released in 2018 as the Zoom H1n. It’s every bit as good as the older model, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.
Using the Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics
Like most digital recorders, you don’t need additional equipment to record with the Zoom H1. However, plugging in 2 lavalier mics is a great way to create a portable and quality in-person interview setup. In the video below, I’ll show you how it all works. First up, though:
What Is a Lavalier Mic?
Lavaliers, or ‘lavs’ are very small mics that pin on to the speaker’s shirt or jacket. They’re common in the TV and video world, because they’re so unobtrusive and easy to hide. They’re also ideal for creating engaging interviews because your guest can feel more natural and at-ease without you shoving a mic right up in their face.
You can run this setup with pretty much any digital recorder. Another low-cost model it could work well with, is the Tascam DR-05. Aside from your recorder, you just need a simple splitter, and 2 lavalier mics.
Traditionally, we’ve recommended the ATR3350s. However, they’re becoming harder to buy, having been discontinued. The Rode Lavalier Go is a worthy alternative, and you can read our full review by clicking the aforementioned link.
You can read our lavalier mic and digital recorder roundups for more buying options, and to see the infinite range of ways you can create this simple in-person interview setup.
One other setup you might want to explore too, is running the Rode Smartlav+ lavalier mics into your smartphone. Here, your phone negates the need for buying a digital recorder. There are pros and cons here, of course. It can help keep costs down, and reduce the amount of kit you need to carry about. But a phone will never do as good a job at recording audio as a dedicated digital recorder. As always, in podcasting, there’s no “right” or “best” setup: it’s all down to your own unique situation, budget, needs, and content.
Sound Sample of Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics
Here’s a completely unprocessed sound sample of myself and Colin testing the Zoom H1 with 2 lavalier mics.
As I’ve talked about already, this setup is great because of its small size, simplicity of use, and relatively low cost to put together.
It’s worth mentioning that if you’re looking for a setup that enables you to record participants on individual audio tracks, then it’s worth opting for a recorder like the Zoom H5 or H6 instead.
But that’s certainly not a deal breaker for most folks – especially if it’s sheer simplicity you’re after.
Need More Help Choosing Podcasting Equipment?
If you need some more tailored advice for your own setup, or want help with any other aspect of podcasting, then please check out Podcraft Academy.
In there, you’ll get access to all of our courses, resources, and downloadable checklists. On top of that, we do weekly live Q&A sessions too, so you’ll always get the help and advice you need to keep you moving forward.