Y’all. Recording for our new podcast, Between The Coffee and Us (BTCAU) is officially underway and we’re so pumped!

We began recording Season 1 last week and are in the process of setting up some really cool stuff so you can keep up with us as we record and be one of the first to know when the inaugural season drops. Keep your eyes open.

Since we’ve officially started recording, we thought it’d be cool to talk to you about the semi-pro podcast gear we’re using in case you’re thinking about starting up your own podcast too.

Disclaimer: We’re not sponsored by any of these products or Amazon. We budgeted accordingly and decided to go with a semi-pro setup because we’re super serious about this podcast and want to provide the quality listening we believe y’all deserve.

If you’re looking for a podcast starter guide this ain’t it. This post is all about the gear we personally use for recording and why we think it’s the best podcast gear if you’re looking for semi-pro setup.

Here’s a list of the podcasting gear we’re using to record the first season of Between The Coffee And Us:

Our Software — Garage Band via iMac

There’s no need to get ridiculously complicated here. We’ve got a Mac, we’ve got Garage Band, and we’ve got a hot idea. Mix that together with the gear below and you’ve got a dope podcast.

If you’re just getting started with your own podcast we recommend Garage Band because it’s easy to use, it’s free and it gives you more than enough recording and editing capability to produce a great podcast.

Our Mixer — Behringer Xenyx 1202FX

We read a lot of reviews and did a lot of research (we’re talking months) before choosing the Behringer Xenyx 1202FX as the mixer for our podcast.

This baby is full of features that every good podcaster needs at an affordable price. It has clean, strong, quality preamps (which come in handy for producing quality sound) and it’s less than $100.

In addition to the +60db preamps, the Behringer Xenyx 1202FX also boasts:

  • Four state-of-the-art Xenyx Mic Preamps
  • One AUX send
  • Phantom power
  • Power switch
  • 100 awesome presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter and various multi-effects

There just aren’t a lot of other mixer options out there that give you those features in a price range less than $100. Because of this, we thought there would be some compromise to be made somewhere but couldn’t find much in our research.

After purchasing the 1202FX mixer for ourselves and using it we can say that it really does live up to the hype. The only “con” we found to all the pros listed above is that monitoring from this mixer is only one way.

That means if we were to ever do a Google Hangouts interview or something, we wouldn’t be able to monitor our own audio via the headphone jack. But again, at this price and for all the features the 1202FX gives us, we can live without that for now.

Our Microphones — Audio-Technica AT-2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Mic

The Audio-Technica AT-2020 is the ideal podcast microphone for us because is delivers rich, premium sound for an affordable price–$99. After unboxing and setting up, we couldn’t believe our ears the first time we tested the mics.

The cardioid polar pattern from the AT-2020 ensures that sounds from behind and around the microphone are diminished, improving the isolation and sound quality of our voices while podcasting.

We were looking for a microphone that would help us produce quality sound along with the mixer and the Audio-Technica AT-2020 does exactly what we need it do. Points for that!

If you’re thinking about ordering this mic for yourself though there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • The Audio-Technica AT-2020 is an XLR microphone which means it requires additional cables not provided with the purchase of this microphone
  • The AT-2020 does not come with a boom arm, shock mount, or pop filter

The XLR cables are for hooking the mics up to the mixer.

The boom arm and shock mount hold the mic and make it simple to adjust as needed for the setup we’re using that day and the pop filter helps cut down on those harsh “p” and “s” sounds you get when talking directly into a microphone.

Our Converter — BEHRINGER U-Control Uca202 Ultra Low-Latency 2 In/2 Out Usb/Audio Interface With Digital Output

That’s a mouthful for such a tiny piece of equipment, isn’t it?

This converter’s a freakin’ steal. For $30 you get a professional interface between your mixer and your laptop. It works straight out of the box and doesn’t require any software downloads or drivers to get going.

We chose the Behringer U-Control Uca202 converter to input sound into the computer for easy editing in Garageband. Like we said before, we use a Mac but this converter works with both Mac’s and PC Computers.

You don’t have to spend a stupid amount of money to put together a decent podcast setup. If you’ve got the basics that we’ve outlined here (and purchased for ourselves) you can record a quality podcast.

We’re only saying semi-professional because there is another level of gear we’d be interested in purchasing in the future, but for now, as first-time podcasters, this equipment gets the job done without making us sound like teenagers in a basement who got bored one day.

But none of it would be possible without the Behringer U-Control Uca202.

Our Love For Coffee

We should probably go ahead and tell you that although the name of our new podcast project is Between The Coffee And Us, this isn’t a podcast about coffee. Don’t get us wrong, we love coffee, but the name comes from how Z Coast Media first began and what led us to this point in our journey where we’re able to produce something like this.

The name Between The Coffee And Us pays homage to our roots when we would sit for hours at coffee shops around Atlanta brainstorming about Z Coast Media and everything we wanted/want it to be.

As for the podcast itself, you’ll just have to give it a listen when Season 1 drops in the Fall of 2018. More info on how to be notified when that happens is coming soon so watch this space/keep up with us on social media so you don’t miss it!

Xx Paige & Nick xX

A Letter from Us to You

Hey y’all.

The blog has been a little lackluster as of late, hasn’t it? We know. And we’re sorry about that. We are a web design and marketing agency after all. One of the things we preach on the regular is how important it is to figure out your blog schedule and stick to it.

Then we go and let things get quiet for a little while. However, we feel like we have an okay enough excuse that you’ll forgive us. We’ve been busy. On it’s own, that’s not really a sufficient enough excuse so let us tell you what’s happening behind the scenes and what you can expect from Z Coast Media in 2018.

Brand Refreshing

We’re Refreshing the Brand

We’ve been super occupied behind the scenes really trying to zero in on what we want Z Coast Media to stand for and how we can best portray that on our website, in our social media, and to any past, present, and future clients.

Finally, after several months of hard work and late night conversations, we’ve figured out what it is we really want. You see, the funny thing about starting your own design and marketing agency (or any small business for that matter) is the growing pains that you go through. They can make you feel like you’re just missing the mark sometimes. But you should never let that stop you.

Growing pains are a good thing and it’s okay if it takes a little time for you to figure out what it is that you really want to demand from yourself and your brand.

Now, we’re not saying there’s going to be a dramatic change in what we do at Z Coast Media, we just feel like we can do better at more clearly expressing what it is we love to do and how we can better help you do what it is you love to do.

So we hope you keep an eye on the website. We’ve got a lot of exciting things we’re gearing up to reveal in 2018 and we can’t wait for you to see them. Please, don’t be shy about letting us know what you think when we do launch our refresh. Leave a comment on this post or hit us up on social media when things start rolling out.

Sneak Peek: We might be bringing some new color into the branding palette. What do you think?

We’re Setting Up our Editorial Calendar a Little Differently

Our new brand refresh is going to have an impact on the blog and other types of content we’ll be putting out into the world and we really hope you like it. We’re almost done with our 2018 marketing and editorial calendars so we wanted to give you a heads up about what’s coming.

Longer, more in depth blog posts — We want to be a resource for you. We want to be your helping hand, your cheerleader, and maybe, just maybe, your new project partner. But we both know you’ll never trust someone with your project if you don’t 100% trust that we know what we’re talking about.

That’s why we’re planning to start publishing longer, more in-depth pieces of content on the blog. Almost like mini-guides to all things marketing and design for your small business. It’s one of our goals to be your one-stop shop for resources and tools no matter where you are in your own branding (and business) journey.

With that said, we’re planning to adopt a bi-weekly posting schedule with posts that are 1500+ words or more. That way you’ve got something valuable to reference that you can bookmark and look back on as you need it. If you’ve got any requests about something you’d like to know more about when it comes to marketing or design, we’re all ears. Just hit up the inbox.

Videos! — That’s right boys and girls and people of all ages, Z Coast Media is going to start putting out video content. It’ll be entertaining, we promise.

As of the writing of this post we just started Vlogmas over on our brand new YouTube channel so we hope you go check it out. You can visit our YouTube channel by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the channel when you get there so you don’t miss out on any of the action.

Complete transparency here: neither of us has ever done much with video before. We’re learning just like a lot of you reading this post probably are/want to. That’s why we decided to dive straight in and just go for it. Vlogmas is a fun little YouTube “challenge” that we thought we could make good use of to get our feet wet with talking to the camera, recording, and video editing.

After December, in addition to regular vlogging, so you can see what goes on at Z Coast Media, we’ll also be doing more structured videos that we hope serve as another valuable content resource for anyone who needs it.

If you’ve got any video suggestions or requests, feel free to shoot Paige a message here: paige@zcoastmedia.com

Our Project Load is Ramping Up

And we are so pumped about it!

If there’s one thing we’re super thankful for this year it’s our clients. We like staying busy and helping other people create stunning websites, exciting new eCommerce stores, and beautiful new branding elements.

You can expect some exciting new case studies in 2018 outlining and describing some of our most exciting 2017 projects. We can’t wait to introduce you to the brands we’re wrapping up the year with and if you’re reading this blog, we think you’ll be excited to see a showcase of some of our latest work too.

Keep your eyes peeled in the New Year. Things are going to be more active than they’ve ever been here on the blog, on YouTube, and on our social media.

If we’re not connected yet, let’s do that! We love making new friends so we’ll make it easy for you to find us:

Closing The Year With Christmas Cheer

Closing The Year With Christmas Cheer

So do you forgive us? Even though the blog has been quiet we haven’t stopped working. In fact, we’ve been working harder than ever before. But we do promise to do better in 2018.

Hopefully, you plan to stick around and see for yourself. With that said, this will probably be the last Z Coast Media blog post of 2017. We still have a lot of work to do and then a lot of little finishing touches after that.

The plan is to kill two birds with one stone and make the most of this holiday season while ramping up our new YouTube channel and come back in 2018 with all kinds of exciting goodies for you and anyone else who visits the site.

Everyone at Z Coast Media hopes you have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!  See y’all in 2018.

— Paige & Nick