The Tools

A table-top, open-air kit (center) and standing audio booth kit (left and right). Collage by Moy Zhong with photography by Becca Newton.

Note: The following links share equipment we used during our project. They are not sponsored or affiliate links. Use whatever resources you have to record and tell your stories! You by no means need everything we used.

Audio booth kit

Your audio booth isolates the participant with soundproofing materials around their head.

When using a standing audio booth, the interviewee stands in the booth while the interviewer asks questions sitting outside of it. The closed-off, insulated booth helps record clear audio from the participant. Photography by Becca Newton.

Note: Standing booths are tall and cannot be shortened to a height that works for children, people who use wheelchairs or those who can’t stand for long periods of time.

  1. Standing audio booth
  2. Floor mic stand
  3. Marantz recorder
  4. (2) SM7B microphones
  5. (3) XLR cords, various sizes (10 ft, 16 ft, etc.)
  6. (2-3) over-the-ear headphones, any brand
  7. Headphone splitter with a ¼ plug (allows producer and participant to both hear themselves)
  8. SD card
  9. Chairs

Tabletop, open-air kit

Note: Tabletop, open-air kit can accommodate people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or use hearing aids (allows the participant to see the producer, read lips, and/or have an ASL interpreter.

A table-top open-air kit may be more akin to what participants expect an audio interview to look like. Photography by Becca Newton.
  1. Marantz recorder
  2. (2) SM7B microphones
  3. (2) telescopic table mic stands
  4. (3) XLR cords, various sizes (10 ft, 16 ft, etc.)
  5. (2) pairs of over-the-ear headphones, any brand
  6. Headphone splitter with a ¼ plug (allows producer and participant to both hear themselves)
  7. SD card*
  8. Folding table
  9. (2) chairs

Miscellaneous Needs

  • Mic sanitizer
  • Clorox wipes or equivalent
  • Camera for still photos
  • Small whiteboard with dry-erase markers (for photo labeling***)
  • Batteries – LOTS of AA batteries for recorders
  • Release Form
  • Pens
  • Extra headphones
  • Extra microphones
  • Small light sources for inside the standing sound booth
  • Extra masks

For a more in-depth look at preparing and hosting an audio conversations pop-up, read our blog on “How to conduct conversations-based audio journalism projects.”