Complete Podcasting Setup (October 27th, 2006)
Product Manufacturer: Pinnacle Systems, A Division of Avid
Price: $179.99 US, £99.99
- Excellent microphone quality. Complete package.
- Recording interface unit feels cheap. Software included of little value.
I was dubious about reviewing the Pinnacle Podcast Factory, as it performed a task I had not previously attempted. I took on the challenge with the foresight that one day I may post podcasts (or Netcasts) myself one day. Podcast Factory consists of the M-Audio recording interface, microphone with stand, and software for both Mac and Windows platforms. Pinnacle and mAudio are owned by Avid, so products are mixed and matched to provide the best solutions for the task at hand.
The hardwareMy first perusal of the recording interface prompted me to wonder how this plastic box was going to deliver anything better than my capable iMac. The little box feels very cheap, but it does offer a vast array of features. The front has rotary controls for input level (gain on the mic), mix control and output volume, as well as a couple of peak and signal LEDs. There is also a mono-stereo switch and a standard headphone output jack. On the back is the USB port, line outputs, input level switch, guitar or instrument input, and the microphone input, which accommodates a balanced XLR type connection. This little unit offers a professional 24-bit, 48kHz audio interface with preamp, so it is capable of adding quality to your set-up.
The microphone is a nice weighty metal and plastic construction, supplied with an XLR cable, and a useful desktop stand. The microphone quality feels great, in contrast to the recording interface. It has a unidirectional design with an internal filter that minimizes pops and interference.