Gear Up Your Audio for China

In this blog post, we share general tips on how to setup your audio toolkits for recording podcasts or live streaming to your China audience, for fun and profits.

Overview

In order to add audio and video content to Tikoly.com, Chatek media team has been working on our own tooling for recording quality audio and video. We're sharing here our key learning on audio toolkit setup.

My Startup Grind friend Tiko from Georgia asked me questions below, when we shared ideas on China media and content marketing,

  • Q: Why do we need a condensor mic?
  • A: Audio quality is being ignored by many podcasters in China, or at least that's my impression. Keeping your own recorded audio consistently good across different shows, and across different devices, laptops or smartphones, is KEY to your audio content success. I've been taught that sound engineering has been a profession by itself. And the gears to support this profession have NOT been cheap. Not until we got cheap enough smartphones and condensor mic, average individuals nowadays can enjoy the right technologies at the right price, thanks to China's hard-working electronics manufacturers.
  • Q: How many times did you stay disappointed in choosing mic?
  • A: Quite a few, at least over 3 times before. I tried to setup my own routine as an audio content publisher a few years back, but I didn't figured out the right condensor mic and setup for me. Now I am happy that I got it right, thanks to my Startup Grind Guangzhou friend, Javen Cheng, again, and it's also why I like to share our learning as well as a giving-back.
  • Q: Where do you buy it from?
  • A: In China, you can go to the many choices of online shops, such as jd.com or Global JD, if accessible in your country. Next day delivery is the normal in China but it'll take a few more days even if your city is under the Covid19 lockdown.

Minimal Toolkit

Below is my BY-MM1 audio toolkit setup, with a decent enough tripod serving as both a mic stand while recording audio into my laptop, or as also a phone holder while recording into my Android phone.

BY-MM1 audio kit

Smartphone(S)

Any decent smartphones, Android series or iPhone, can support your voice jobs well as a podcaster. I am using an Android phone, so my setup tips below will be based on it.

I came across China's condensor mic brand Boya via my friend Javen Cheng's referral. Javen's been working with me for years on volunteer jobs with Startup Grind Guangzhou on the events' videophotography jobs. I trusted his referral. And I picked one, the Boya's smartphone mic series, BY-MM1. On JD.COM BY-MM1 + a nice tripod package at less than 300RMB, it turns out really well for my audio and voice-over jobs. The product page contain detail instruction on how to hook it up to your phone or laptop, but I'll re-iterate my own setup next in this post.

Consdensor mic setup Tips

You've never really mastered your gears until you input enough time.

Here are a few setup tipes a layman like myself would wish someone have told me before, to save more time while you're setting up your own.

Differentiate TWO types of 3.5mm wires

While I was testing my voice with and without condensor mic, I found that hooking up the mic to different devices require different wires, or you'll be in fact recording into your lapto or phone's built-in mics.

As the manual below shows, the TRS wire is for laptop or DC cameras, while the TRRS wire is for your (Android/iPhone) phone. I really appreciate Boya's product manual for its clarity on this technical detail.

TRS vs TRRS 3.5mm audio wire
If you're using iPhone with a Lightening port (for both audio and charging), you need another model, the BY-DM200, for the job.

Extending your ONLY 3.5mm audio port

If your laptop or desktop PC has only ONE 3.5mm audio port,  and you are recording remote call sun as a Skype interview, as part of your show. This ONLY audio port is NOT enough. Because you may also need to plug in your wired earbud into your PC for your own listening while doing the show.

This is where you need a USB audio adaptor, such as this UGREE model,

USB audio adaptor for extending your audio port

Test your voice (and the mic)

Once you belive all of your gears are setup and configured properly, it's time to give them a try!

Test recording with condensor mic,

Test recording with Macbook's built-in microphone (without condensor mic),

hmmm...I need to figure out a proper sound hosting service FROM China.

That is the end of this tutorial, and we hope you've enjoyed it and share it to your friends!

Book your coaching hours!

Congradulations if you've read through to this point. I bet you're very committed to make things happen sooner than later, for your own fun and profits!

Chateks' content team is offering paid consulting services to help you out with hands-on tutorials and highly personalized coaching, via Skype sessions. Our  team coach's Skype ID: chancejiang.

Please book our time slots at this page on  You Can Book Me, or simple add team lead's Skype for more enquiry.

Our coaching hours charge rate is at 699RMB/hour or 99.00USD/hour.
We're offering 40% discount for our 1st 10 paid clients off the charge rate listed above. To get the same discount, you can also refer your friends or contact to us, valided referral on paid trainees from you will also quality you for above discount, easy and simple!

How to pay and track your hours

We are using https://payoneer.com to receive payment. Plan your hours well ahead, then pay via Payoneer. Once we've confirmed the payment receive, we'll deliver at your booked hours.

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