Why Every Podcaster Should Be Using a DBX 286s Mic Processor
- Filed Under:
- Audio Broadcasting
“Less is more.” That’s a motto I have always followed with my audio setup. When asked what hardware a new podcaster should buy, I used to always suggest keeping it simple. However, the DBX 286s changed my beliefs.
About a year ago, I was growing tired of having constant CPU fan noise on my recordings. It sounded like I was recording my podcast from the cockpit of a 747. I tried moving my computers away from my microphone and although that helped, it did not eliminate the problem. In fact, it highlighted all of the other acoustic problems my recordings were having.
This forced me to start considering my options acoustically treating the room, changing microphones, and even changing rooms.
Around the same time I met Mike Phillips, the man I lovingly refer to as my “audio mentor”. He told me about the DBX 286s Mic Preamp Processor/Gate Limiter. After trying one to see how well it would work in my setup, I immediately ordered three more for my studio. This simple device changed everything. I now had amazing audio-without having to build an underground soundproof booth. If you are serious about podcasting you should consider this device.
The DBX 286s has all the features a broadcaster needs:
- Input gain control
- Switchable +48V phantom power
- Compressor to transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks or vocals
- 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble or wind
- Expander/Gate allow you to reduce room noise with separate threshold and ratio controls
The most important important feature on the DBX 286s is the the expander/gate. The DBX 286s has one of the best gates at ANY price point. In the past, I have used a few other compressor/limiters at the same price point, but they don't come anywhere near the quality of the DBX 286s. Another major feature is the compressor. I am not a big fan of aggressive audio processing. However, if you like “Boom and Sizzle”, the compressor is simple and easy to understand. With this device, any novice podcaster will be able to fine tune their audio.
The best part about the DBX is the price. At just under $200, the DBX 286s is a reality for any podcaster who is looking to get a little more out of their audio setup. Once you get your 286S, take the time to determine the best settings for your application. Learn each function one at a time. Just don’t crank the knobs too high. Audio processing is like salt: A little adds flavor; too much ruins the recipe.
Here is an audio clip I recorded with the DBX 286s. Please remember to listen with headphones. The first part is with the settings turned on. The second part is using the bypass button on the DBX 286s. Let us know what you think.
Want to know what other Podcasters think of the DBX 286s ? Join the discussion on the IAIB Forum