The date was 1st August, 2006. I walked into The Rockshop in Wellington and said to one of the staff “I want a microphone to record my voice to a computer, for a podcast.”
That staff member didn’t skip a beat; I had thought the word “podcast” might be a sticking point, but no. I let him know my approximate budget and he started explaining various products to me, covering different options and price points. Every step of the way, he made suggestions, answered my questions, and let me make the decisions.
I walked out with an AKG D88S dynamic microphone, with included XLR cable, a Behringer UB502 mixer, and a suitable cable to connect the mixer to my PC. The mixer’s only role was to act as an XLR interface to my PC. I still have a copy of the receipt. Adjusting for inflation, the microphone was about NZD$145 and the mixer about NZD$172, or around USD$200 in total.
The entire setup survived until 2016 when I needed to replace the cable from mixer to computer, as my new 2015 iMac had no line in port. This was achieved with the diminutive Behringer UCA222 U-Control USB interface.
Finally, in February 2022, I retired the mixer when I bought an Elgato Wave XLR USB interface, to which I now directly connect my trusty AKG D88S microphone.
It is also worth noting that I have had three different mounts for the microphone over the years; originally a simple stand, followed by two different boom arms, the latter of which has its own, integrated XLR cable. This means the microphone itself is the final surviving component from 2006.
At 16 years and counting, I am fairly sure this is my longest lived piece of tech; certainly in continuous use. How good is it? You be the judge, because you’re listening to it right now. (Well, you would be if you listen to this item on the NosillaCast.)