Almost everyone I talk to about podcasting wants to know: What do I need for tech? What audio equipment do I need to buy, and how can I start recording my show?
So I’m bringing you the goods here and sharing about the tech and tools I use for my own shows and that I recommend to my clients and students. After I share the specific equipment you need to get started, I’m going to tell you what’s even more important than the actual equipment you use.
First, I’m starting with this: I am not an audio engineer or expert. However I do have high standards for audio quality, and I feel that it’s an important aspect of podcasting. So on this episode, you’re not going to get a list of 20 things you need to buy to sound good; but I’m also not going to say that you don’t have to worry about this at all.
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The 3 Pieces of Tech Equipment You Need for Podcasting
When I first started, I used the Blue Yeti mic. Many of the podcast hosts and consultants I know do not recommend this mic. One of the reasons is that it’s a condenser mic – and while i’m not an audio engineer, I do know this: it is very sensitive to all kinds of sounds. It picks up every little bump and movement.
What I now recommend is the ATR 2100. This mic is a dynamic mic so you have to be closer to it, but it’s less sensitive to outside sounds. I am able to use this mic now in my office, and I can get decent sound in here even though it’s not the perfect set up.
Another strongly recommended microphone is the Samson Q2U, which is similar to the ATR but a little bit cheaper.
Bare bones option: If you can’t afford to invest in a microphone right now, you can choose to record simply with a pair of earbuds. You never want to record just using the computer audio. But if you can plug in a pair of earbuds into your phone and use the recording feature on your phone OR you can plug in your earbuds into your computer and record there, that can work.
Buy earbuds here: LUDOS Clamor Wired Earbuds in Ear Headphones with Microphone
Watch out for Apple earbuds. The mic is sensitive to rubbing against any kind of fabric or hair. It will make a scratchy sound that is annoying for a listener to hear.
Recording DON’T: record using bluetooth connected audio.
2. Computer with recording software
Since I have a Mac, I use GarageBand to record my solo episodes, as well as to edit them. Audacity is another great option which I have not used personally, but comes highly recommended.
These tools all have a learning curve, of course, but a few YouTube videos and practice will get you going.
Hindenburg is considered an excellent tool for podcasting, but it does have a cost and of course you need to learn to use it.
GarageBand and Audacity are FREE!
Buy it here: Macbook Pro
What about recording with a guest?
If you are recording long distance, there are a couple tools I would recommend!
Zoom is what I use and many other podcasters do as well. It’s free for certain plans, and then has a monthly cost if you need additional features.
The other is Squadcast – I haven’t used this myself (yet), but my editor recommends this and I’ve heard lots of good things about it. I’ve also been a guest using Squadcast and found it quite easy.
You need earbuds or some kind of headphones that you can use while recording. This allows you to hear the audio much better than simply listening to the computer audio. In particular, this is helpful for recording with guests. I am able to pick up on small noises that could be distracting to my listeners when I am wearing my earbuds.
Note: I do not have anything expensive or fancy. In fact my earbuds are some cheap pair that I bought from Target a few years ago. At some point I may upgrade to something higher quality, but for now, they are fine.
- LUDOS Clamor Wired Earbuds in Ear Headphones with Microphone
- OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones on Amazon
Remember: Make sure when you are recording that you check your audio input. Ensure that your input is your microphone not your earbuds!
A microphone, a computer with recording software, and earbuds or headphones–that is all you actually NEED to get started. Yes, there are lots of other amazing gadgets and tools you can use to get fancy, etc. But I think it’s better to start simple and invest in higher quality equipment as you grow your show.
What’s more important than your podcasting equipment
More important than the equipment you are using is the space you are recording in. Yes, I’m talking about location, location, location!
Choose a space with sound absorption, such as a room with rugs, drapes, bookcases, or clothing. A walk-in closet can work well, or a small bedroom. Another option is to record inside your car.
Again, you do not need a fancy decked out studio to record. The 2 places I’ve recorded have been in my walk-in closet and in my office. I know that I could improve my recording space but overall, I have found this to work for me.
Be sure to test out your recording spots to see what will work best in your home.
Remember, you could record using an iPhone and earbuds in your closet and get better audio than using a fancy microphone in the wrong kind of room.
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