Starting a podcast may seem simple to many, but it actually takes a lot of effort and a couple of important tools to do it right. There’s the brainstorming, editing, and promoting, on top of all the recording. But with enough commitment and perseverance, you’re bound to create a podcast that people will love listening to and enjoy the process along the way.
One of the ways to make sure that you attract listeners is to produce quality content. And to create quality content, you need to have the right equipment. Good quality recording equipment will help smoothen out the process and make your final product sound better. Below are the five must-have gear that you’ll need to start podcasting like a pro.
5 Must-Have Pieces of Podcast Equipment
Your speaking defines the quality of your recordings, but no matter how well you speak, your audio would suffer if you don’t have a good microphone. The first rule is to not settle with your laptop’s built-in mic. An external microphone can do a better job at picking up vocals and sounds for your podcast.
There are many microphones that you can use for podcasting, and what you choose should fit your needs and your budget. You’ll find some under $100, and many of them can be plugged straight into your laptop. But for more professional quality results, it’s usually more advisable to go for XLR microphones that preserve and record the original quality of your voice, usually into an audio mixer.
|The ProCast SST is a great product because it was designed for podcasters. It is a all in one solution that has a microphone, boom, and usb mixer.||The ProCast Mio is also a great microphone because it is both a USB mic and an analog microphone.|
You’ll also want to get pop filters and windscreens for your microphone to reduce distracting plosives when pronouncing certain consonants such as “p”, “t”, and “b”. Also make sure you have at least two, in case you need to conduct a one-on-one interview.
Headphones enable you to hear yourself and others more clearly. This is important because hearing yourself lets you know how you will sound to your listeners and how you can improve the way you speak. They’re also going to come in handy when you’re interviewing people online since you don’t want your mic to pick up their voice.
A good pair of quality headphones will enable you to determine whether or not you’re in a good recording environment. You’re more likely to hear unwanted noise or soft buzzing that you can eliminate or move away from, so you can address the issue before you even start recording and save yourself from having to make too many edits on your audio.
The recording software is where you record and edit your audio files in. There are many digital audio workstations (DAWs) to choose from and you may even already have a preloaded one in your laptop, such as Garageband on your Mac. You can already download the free version of Audacity, which is a popular, user-friendly choice for many beginners. For more professional editing, there’s Adobe Audition, which offers a monthly subscription plan.
Audio mixers are needed if you’re using XLR microphones to record your audio. You simply plug the XLR cable to your audio mixer and then connect your mixer into your computer via USB to import the recording. It is also the external audio device that you can plug your headphone into for live audio monitoring.
Audio mixers also help make it easier to record from more than one microphone at the same time, as your laptop or DAW usually doesn’t allow you to record from more than one USB microphones at the same time. At the same time, you can make real-time adjustments to your audio levels and add special effects, so you can save time during editing.
A portable recorder is another essential tool for recording using analog microphones. You’ll definitely need one if you’re recording away from your studio, such as during on-site interviews. Like the audio mixer, recorders make it easier for you to adjust and edit your audio files while you record. If you need multiple sourcing for instruments, cameras, or more mics, then you’ll definitely need one.
3 Basic Steps to Podcasting
Podcasting is definitely a fun hobby for people who have a penchant for expressing their ideas, enjoy the process of audio recording, or would like to practice their radio DJ skills for the modern online market. If you’re thinking of getting into podcasting, it’s important that you know the basic steps that you’ll need to take. This way, you can make the best out of the experience.
There are actually more steps to podcasting, but if we can simplify it, it’s these three points to remember. If Keep these two points in mind so you know what to do before and after you acquire your equipment and start your podcast.
This step includes the important processes of figuring out your content or format of your show in order to stand out, the exact gear you’ll need for recording, where you will be having your recording sessions most of the time, the ideal recording schedule for you, and your target audience, among several others.
It helps to reflect and think of a somewhat general topic that you love talking about and determine how you can make it your own. After that, you can move on to buying your gear and actually recording your content.
Each podcast series has episodes, so plan the order and content of your first few episodes before you actually start recording. Get your scripts and gear together, test them out by doing quick sample recordings, and record. Don’t forget to monitor your audio!
Once you’re done recording, edit it by cutting out those dead air clips, add some music (that’s free to use), and fine-tune the result with audio adjustments or sound effects. You may even want to create your own signature music for your intro to establish your brand.
Make all the hard work worth it by getting your podcast out there. Promoting your podcast is an important part of your plan! Find places where you can have your podcast hosted for free, such as iTunes and SoundCloud.
Right before you upload your audio, create your own logo and use it when you enter the metadata and details for your podcast. Use a good descriptive title that includes your main topic and phrase it in a way that will attract browsing listeners. Once it’s up, don’t forget to share it! Create social media pages and a website where your listeners can go to for more information about you and your podcast series.
Finally, do it all over again and keep uploading fresh new content every week or so. Remember, regularly offering something to your growing number of listeners will help establish you as a popular podcaster in the long run. Good luck!