It’s easy enough to decide on podcasting as a way to reach out to your potential customers to improve your business. But it can also be a simple process. It’s not really all that complicated, especially when compared to making videos.
So what kinds of equipment do you really need to start your podcasts? Actually, you don’t really need all that much at all.
Recording Options For Podcasting: A Simple Podcast Setup
Here you have two basic options. You can record on a digital recorder, and your resulting audio file gets filed directly onto an SD card. Or you can use a PC, which is a more convenient option since everybody nowadays has a PC or laptop. Digital recorders, while simpler, are usually extra purchases.
Now, here’s where it gets a bit complicated. You need a microphone to record your voice and instruments, and you start by choosing either a condenser or a dynamic mic. A condenser mic is more expensive, more fragile, and it can pick up more unwanted sounds that can mar your podcast. On the other hand, it generally offers the best quality of sound for a podcast.
Then you also have to consider your budget. You have entry-level mics that can provide you with a passable audio quality, though you may not have as many features as you want. Then you have the midrange models with more features. Finally, the high-end mics that offer professional-grade results.
So, your choice needs to consider your budget as well as your recording conditions. Just how professional do you want to sound on your podcasts? A simple gaming podcast is much different from a serious round table discussion on crucial matters.
Do you have lots of ambient noise to deal with? Is it just you talking, or are you having a group discussion or an interview? Are you doing live podcasts out in the field? All these factors must be addressed in your microphone selection.
However, if simplicity in the setup is your top priority then you just need an entry-level mic with a USB connection. Usually, you just plug it in, select the mic as your input option, and you’re good to go. You don’t need any other software to install it.
You do need various filters that can help improve the quality of your recording, though. Either get a mic with an internal pop filter or buy an external pop filter to keep the plosive sounds to a minimum.
Mixers and Audio Interfaces
Now if you pick an XLR and not a USB mic, you’re going to need a mixer. The mixer lets you adjust the various settings — you can use this with your PC. Using multiple mics also requires a mixer as well.
Mixers can be a bit fussy, so stick to USB mics and you won’t have to bother with mixers for your simple podcast setup.
You’ll be amazed at how your voice sounds when you record it. With headphones, you’ll get a clearer idea of how you come across in your podcasts. Headphones are crucial when you’re recording and editing podcasts, and you can’t just use the cheap ones from local department stores.
You should get a pair that’s designed for monitoring instead.
This is simple, too. You don’t really need to invest in an expensive piece of software to record or even to edit your podcasts. In fact, if you already have Photoshop then you likely have Adobe Audition, too. If you’re using a Mac, then you may have GarageBand already installed.
Both these programs will suffice for your simple podcast setup.
If you don’t have any of these programs, you can go online and download Audacity. This is a free, open source program that you can use to record live audio, convert files into digital recordings, and to edit audio files. You can mix sounds together, change the speed or pitch of a recording, and remove noise from your podcasts.
Audacity can be used for both Windows and Macs, so there’s no problem with compatibility.
This doesn’t need to be an actual studio, but for a podcast, you want a place that’s quiet so you don’t end up recording lots of messy noise. Find a place that doesn’t have traffic sounds from outside, and the air conditioner isn’t close by. Keep the keyboard tapping to a minimum, and see to it that your PC doesn’t run too noisy. If possible, pick a place with a carpet.
See? Doing a podcast is this simple. It’s the kind of easy setup that has made podcasting so popular in the first place!