Shure MV7 – Not a review

OK, Santa was good to me this year. I received a new boom arm and a new microphone. The boom arm is the Røde PSA+ and it is pretty sweet. The microphone though is what is really special. I;m not going to review it here because 1) I’m not a sound engineer and 2) there are literally tens of reviews out there for this product. I know tens doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me – it is a bunch and it’ll give you a good idea if you want it for yourself. I’m here just to talk about the decision behind this mic.

What was I working with before?

Well let’s go waaaaaay back to the first episodes. Omar and I were huddled around a MacBook and were recording with its internal mic. It sounded like garbage.

Then I upgraded to a Blue Yeti. This is a USB microphone and it sounds pretty good.

One of the most beloved USB mics out there

Yeah this thing was great! It was especially great for voice overs and it was OK for podcasting. My wife got it for me as a gift and it cost just over $100 USD. The problems with the Yeti is that it picks up everything (air conditioner, people talking nearby, etc.) Lots of background noise made it into our shows. It also has a desk stand which is super convenient, but again, when someone bumps the desk or table, you hear that pretty clearly. Another issue is that it is a USB mic, what this means is I could only plug it into a computer and you can really

Then I “upgraded” to the Behringer xm1800s. Sounds fancy? Not really. This microphone is only sold in a 3 pack and costs a whopping $39 USD for all three, the carrying case, and the mic holders. It’s something you may find in a shady karaoke bar.

Cheap but sound pretty good for the price.

So why did I buy them? Well I had this bad boy and needed an XLR mic to plug it into.

You want a tank? This is a tank.

The Zoom H6 is a beast – I’ve raved about this thing here and there. This made podcasting remotely pretty easy – no need for a laptop and it was battery powered making it even more portable than ever before. Then I carry around those Behringers and picked up some cheap desktop mic stands and Bob’s your Uncle. I was set to go.

I used this set up for a good 6 years and it sounded way better than the Yeti. Here everyone had their own mic and everyone therefore sounded much better than crowding around a USB mic.

I finally replaced the Zoom H6 for the Zoom P4. It was cheaper, had soundpads and built in mix/minus which lets people on Zoom calls hear you and through your mic and your computer sounds as well. Overall it is better suited for what I wanted.

Ohhhh – what a nice piece of kit for podcasters

Shure MV7

So what does this bring to my set up that I didn’t have before? Well, this mic is both an XLR microphone and a USB microphone. That may not seem too special but it actually is pretty cool. When I podcast at home I use the Podtrak and plug it in via USB, but if I need to do a voiceover, I can toss this thing in my bag and use any computer I want. My iMac at school a spare laptop, it doesn’t matter.

I like the ability to be able to switch easily between XLR and USB. This allows me to work pretty much anywhere. Even when at home, if I need to do a voice over for a tutorial, all I have to do is plug the Shure into my computer and I’m off and recording. No need for a mixer, audio interface (which the Podtrak can totally do by the way) or any other go between like I needed with my Behringers. I just plug and go – its great!

Ami I set?

Yeah, probably. I still have the Behringers in case of in person group recordings or if students at my school need them, the Podtrak is great and I love the new mic and boom arm. I really can’t think of what to upgrade now. The mic stand, microphone and Podtrak are all built supremely well so they should last for a while. I think I am good to go for the next 7-10 years.

Newish Zoom Recorders

Just to be clear. I am not talking about Zoom, the video conference tool. I am talking about Zoom, the audio/visual recording hardware company. For long time readers of IT Babble, you may know that I have a sweet spot for Zoom.

I own a Zoom H6 for about 8 years and absolutely love it. The Zoom has never, never failed me in all that time. The build quality is rock solid. If I happened to drop it I certainly wouldn’t worry too much and it can run on a variety of power sources:

  • AA Batteries
  • USB power bank
  • Computer power
  • A plug in brick adapter with a USB input

There is more, in fact I could easily write a whole post just about my H6 and how it is a great podcasting machine, but folks, I am here to bring news of Zoom’s most recent endeavors and how awesome they are. Continue reading “Newish Zoom Recorders”

Episode 100 – Omar returns!

episode 100

Omar returns for the 100th episode of IT Babble as we discuss people using podcasts instead of exams, students who fail and some holiday no-no’s.

We will be off till January so everyone enjoy your holidays! Check out our talking points below.

As always subscribe to us on iTunes, follow us at Podomatic or subscribe to us using your favorite mobile podcasting app.

  1. Wow – 100 episodes!
    1. Thoughts?
  2. Inspired By Serial, Teens Create Podcasts As A Final Exam by Linda Flanagan of KQED
    1. Link:
    2. Student example 1:
    3. Student example 2:
    4. Is this enough to justify a final exam?
    5. How would other English teachers feel?
  3. The Best Students Are Often the Ones Who Make the Most Mistakes by Melanie Pinola of LifeHacker
    1. Link:
    2. We know this to be true
    3. How can teachers create this environment in their classroom?
    4. Consequences of this type of environment (positives and negatives)?
  4. Holiday movies you shouldn’t show
    1. Recommendations of what not to show your class?

Download the episode HERE!″

Podcastapalooza Part 3 – Using Google Forms and Webs


The guide continues. Part 1 was a “quick” overview of the whole unit. Part 2 was all about the resources I created and how I shared them. You no doubt saw that I had a booking system in place for students to check out the different microphones. If not you can check it out here in all of its simplicity. Yep, you guessed it, that’s what we will be delving into today. The reason I am adding this section separate to the others is that this little trick is pretty handy and can work with just about anything. Click on past the break to see how I leveraged Google Forms and free website from Webs to make a very effective booking system.

Continue reading “Podcastapalooza Part 3 – Using Google Forms and Webs”

Podcast Episode 17 – January 19, 2012

This week we rock out another fantastic podcast. Check out our topics below and as always don’t forget to subscribe to us through iTunes. Oh yeah and we hate SOPA just in case you weren’t aware 🙂

1) SOPA we don’t like you.

2) iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iUniversity – Link to coverage on Gizmodo

3) “Students with smartphones study more” PC World – Tony Bradley

4) Mobile Phone app of the week EasyBib – iOS App & Android App

5) Tony’s post “Specifications

6) Patrick’s post about GradeQuick on Mac OSX Lion

7) New Edmodo Guide 3.1 

8) “Internet Access is Not a Human Right” Op-Ed Vinton Cerf