Starting a podcast can be a daunting task. You wonder what microphone you should get, whether you need a mixer, how to use editing software, and a list of other questions. So, I’ll simplify it for you.
First, I’ll share with you the equipment that I use for my podcasts, and then I’ll recommend some other options at a variety of other price points. Along the way, for each aspect of this, I’ll let you know what your options are, but more importantly, what options I’d recommend to balance making your life easier, while giving you high quality results, and considering the costs associated.
Your best bet is to record on a computer. I use an iMac, but I used to use a Macbook Pro. I’d recommend a full computer or laptop rather than a tablet or cloud based laptop like Chromebook.
If you plan to record entirely offline, either because you’re doing solo episodes or you are meeting guests face to face, then I’d recommend getting the Zoom H4n Pro. You can use it with
I LOVE my setup. I have an amazing microphone that runs into a mixer that connects to my computer via USB. I’ve EQ’d my voice to just how I want it through the mixer and
- Electro-Voice (EV) RE320 Large Diaphragm Dynamic Vocal Microphone
- Yamaha MG10XU Mixer
- Sony MDRV55 Red Extra Bass & DJ Headphones MDR-V55 MDR-V55/RC(U)
- RODE PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
- Electro-Voice 309A Suspension Shock Mount for RE20, RE27N/D and RE320 Microphones
Besides replicating my setup, I’m going to give you two options to choose from. Within each option, I’m going to provide a higher and lower cost option.
OPTION #1: Simplicity
If I could do it all over again, I’d save a ton of money and time, and just go with an all-in-one, headphone + microphone combo. While the setup I have now “looks” more professional, the sports commentator style setup or the all in one, has a variety of benefits. Mainly, it keeps the microphone a consistent distance from your mouth, no matter how you move your head. Beyond that, it’s less expensive and less hassle to setup. No other equipment needed, just plug these into your computer via USB. Here are my recommendations:
OPTION #2: “The Professional”
Oh, so you want to look the part and have a sexy studio setup?
Aside from replicating my awesome setup, try these on for size.
- Mic: Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
- Mic Stand: RODE PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
- Mixer: Yamaha MG10XU Mixer
- Mic: Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic for Recording and Streaming – Shadow Grey
- Mixer: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools
CONSIDERATION: If you’re travelling…
When travelling and meeting someone face to face, you may not want to lug around your laptop. One option is to use a portable recorder that has a built in microphone, like the Zoom H4n Pro. Alternatively, you can use two lavalier microphones that each record to their own separate SD card, like Tascam DR-10L Digital Audio Recorder and Lavalier Mic Bundled with Two 32GB SD Cards and USB 2.0 Card Reader
All hosting sites distribute to iTunes and other podcast directories. Even if they didn’t, and for 2nd tier podcast directories, you can always submit your podcast using your show’s RSS feed. Here are my favorites:
- My recommendation. Relative new-comer, but has a slick interface
- Priced by time. Good if you have a consistent schedule with consistent episode lengths.
- Has a nice interface and show page
- Totally over the top with features and possibly the best pricing in the industry.
- The industry standard, trusted by more podcasters than anyone else
- Priced by file storage. Good if you have podcasts that can be optimized for small file sizes.
- Can be setup to distribute to Youtube
- Honorable mention
- Word of caution: Anchor submits to iTunes via Anchor’s own account, not your own account
SCHEDULING, RECORDING, AND OTHER USEFUL DIGITAL TOOLS
My preferred way to interview guests. Sound can get glitchy if the internet connection isn’t totally reliable. I like that it records separate audio tracks for each guest AND gives a combined audiofile, as well. Having separate tracks allows you to EQ each voice. Zoom is easy to use even for people who arent tech savvy and guests can even call in by phone.
Alternative: Skype + Call Recorder
This was my original method of conducting interviews virtually. It works well enough but I still prefer Zoom.
Let guests schedule themselves within designated windows of time that you set. Customize your intake form, calendar invites, and follow-ups. Integrates with Zoom and UberConference, and plenty of other options.
Getting Guests (or becoming a Guest)
Interview Valet is a service that books podcast guests. As a podcaster, they can bring you plenty of amazing guests that fit your niche. As a guest, they can help you find podcasts to be on. Only guests pay for the service, as a podcaster, you get guests for free.