How do I start a podcast? What do I say? What equipment do I need?
This post is all about that last question; What equipment do you need to record a podcast?
Most simply put, all you need to record an audio podcast is a microphone and a recorder. Your smartphone has both of these features built right in. However, if you are using a smartphone, you’ll have to pair it with good vocal technique, and a low-noise / low-reverb environment.
If you want to be a bit more professional, you’ll want to get a USB microphone. These portable tools plug right into your computer! There are several options out there for USB mics, from Snowball to Blue Yeti to Audio-Technica. Picking the one the fits your budget is a good place to start.
With nothing but this mic and your computer you can easily record solo shows, but to add in remote participants as guests on your show, all you need is some simple one-to-one software. Popular examples are Skype, Zoom, and Ringr. You and your guest both simply connect to one another via the one-to-one connection, and you can record both ends from your own computer!
Okay, let’s take a second to talk about recording. For best results, you should use a downloadable audio software on a computer. Tha is your recorder! Programs like Audacity for example, allow you to record, layer, edit, and export sound files. They are very user-friendly and easy to learn. These types of programs help you package your audio in the correct way to be submitted to hosting serves such as Libsyn, iTunes, etc. Once your audio is recorded and edited, the rest is done with simple functions on your computer; embed codes, RSS feeds, social sharing, etc.
If you wanted to get a little fancier, you could also add a mixer to your equipment. This allows you to better record when you have more than one in-person participant with a mic. A mixer gives you the better ability to mask background noise, to edit individual voice pitches, and to clean up the sound as it hits the mic.
Depending on your recording location, there are extra tools you may want to consider. For instance, if you are recording in a room, or office that swallows your sound, you may want to put foam sound absorbers on the walls. There are also foam microphone covers you can get for sound reduction that attach and detach easily from any microphone. Lastly, you may want to consider headphones. At any stage of the game, wearing headphones while you record allows you to hear how you actually sound. This can be very helpful when it comes to achieving your desired sound outcome. You can use any type from simple Apple earplugs to full on Beats headphones. Of course, the fancier you get the better quality you will hear with.
So in conclusion, all you really NEED to record a podcast is some sort of microphone and some sort of recorder. From a smartphone to a full studio set up, there are tons of options at any stage of the podcast game to make a quality product. There are plenty of ways to up your game at any point by adding in more advanced equipment. The important thing is just to start!