Who knows how many podcasts are truly out there? While the exact number is hard to pin down, there are at least 250,000 on Apple’s iTunes alone. Fueled by great ideas and armed with some basic gear, content creators have turned basements, bedrooms and garages into recording spaces and taken to the ether. With just about everyone owning a smartphone, tablet or laptop these days, technology has unleashed the boom in DIY broadcasting. But as convenient as the built-in mics in those devices are, they were never intended for professional recording.
So Shure developed the user-friendly MOTIV line of digital microphones to meet the growing demand for pro quality plug-and-play equipment. And two of these mics in particular – the MV5 and the MV51 – are ideally suited to podcasters.
Here are a few things you should look for in your next podcasting mic:
1. Uncompromised Sound Quality
Most podcasters don’t have the luxury of recording in a professional studio with a sound engineer. But the quality of your podcast’s sound is just as important as the quality of your concept. Think of the podcasts you like. Ever notice any sound problems? Probably not. The microphone you use is your connection to your listeners. Having the right mic can free you from technical worries and help you focus your attention on the script, the interview and the story.
The MV5 and MV51 feature a cardioid polar pattern that reduces background noise and sound reflections. This can be very helpful, especially if you’re recording your podcast at home. Your listeners don’t want to hear room echoes or the noise of your Mac’s internal fan. Condenser cartridges like those in the MV5 and MV51 are often preferred for recording applications, since they’re more sensitive than dynamic mics and generally produce a more detailed sound. But condenser mics typically require phantom power – that is, a separate power source. MOTIV mics get this power directly from your mobile device or computer, meaning you can record pretty much anywhere you like.
2. Connectivity and Compatibility
Having the greatest mic in the world is no good if you can’t plug it in and use it whenever and wherever you want. Of course, you need to consider your current recording setup is before making a purchase. But also keep in mind whether your equipment works with your preferred audio and video programs.
MOTIV mics can be paired with a Mac, PC, or iOS device, and you have everything you need to start making studio-quality podcasts. Using either a USB or Lightning connector, a separate audio interface is not required for the MV5 and MV51. These microphones are also compatible with the recording software you’re already using. Plus, if you’re connecting to an iOS device, the free ShurePlus MOTIV recording app also allows you to edit, add graphics and share files via email, text, iTunes, Airdrop, Dropbox, Google Drive and more.
3. Technical Flexibility
Every podcast is different. Yours might feature interviews, live music performances or just you talking. So you need a mic flexible enough to adapt to your podcasting needs – and remember those can change over time.
The MV5 and MV51 offer digital signal processing (DSP) presets to let you customize your recordings. The MV5 has three presets – speech, instruments and flat – that automatically optimize for EQ, compression and more. The MV51 has five DSP modes – speech, singing, flat, acoustic and (our favorite) loud. These variable settings allow you the flexibility of recording an intimate monologue at home or a metal band at a club by simply pressing a button – or, in the case of the MV51, tapping the touchscreen.
Naturally, you’ll also want to monitor the sound during the recording process. Some digital microphones suffer from high latency, the amount of time it takes for a signal to arrive at the output – your headphones, for instance – after entering the input of a digital device. If you’re monitoring while recording, that delay (perceptible to the human ear at 10-15 milliseconds) can be disorienting. But the MV5 and MV51 microphone both offer zero latency.
4. Made to Travel, Built to Last
Podcasting isn’t just home recording anymore. More and more, content creators are recording on the road and in the field. So it’s good to have a mic that doesn’t require a separate audio interface and power supply. That way, you can fit your entire recording rig easily into a backpack. Voilà – the world is your studio.
As mentioned already, MOTIV MV5 and MV51 microphones give you great portability. They also naturally adhere to Shure’s longstanding reputation for rugged reliability. Like all our microphones, they are subjected to rigorous quality control standards. These are professional tools for the next generation of content creators.
Of course, it never hurts to have cool looking gear. Both the MV5 and MV51 feature vintage-inspired designs based on iconic Shure microphones of the past. The MV5 can trace its looks back to the legendary “Green Bullet” harmonica mic (still in production today as the 520DX) and the MV51 is based on the distinctive 1947 Model 51 Sonodyne microphone.
Ranging in price from $69 to $199, these mics are an affordable choice for podcasters just starting out. But they’re also ideal for established pros wanting quality sound and grab-and-go portability. Hear for yourself! Check out the audio samples on our YouTube channel and get more info at the MOTIV page for podcasters on shure.com.