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Starting a podcast is exciting, as you get to contribute your thoughts and ideas to the world without ever leaving your house. However, you do need a proper podcast set-up to ensure your episodes sound as professional as possible. These pieces of equipment will help you create a studio no matter where you’re broadcasting from.
Even though you can record a podcast from anywhere, it’s better for you to have a dedicated space from which to broadcast so that it’s quiet and you have all your equipment readily at hand. Certainly, you can broadcast from other spaces when your podcast gets up and going, but to start with, having a space where you work is helpful. It’s also recommended you dedicate some funds to soundproofing material for your walls to ensure a silent background.
Many podcasters prefer laptops because they can record their episodes from anywhere, but a computer is just as good. As long as your computer or laptop has a decent processor to record your podcast reliably, such as the eight-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor or the AMD Ryzen 3 dual-core processor, your podcast will sound professionally made. Be sure there are plenty of ports for your peripheral equipment and a strong battery that will stay charged for hours.
If you intend to broadcast your podcast live, you’ll need a strong Internet connection that won’t cut out while you’re recording. If you don’t go live, you don’t need an Internet connection while recording, but you’ll need to have one to upload your content to your website or podcast host. Having a reliable Internet connection in your studio is almost mandatory so you can get your show online. If you’re hosting a live show, there’s no way around this requirement.
A reliable microphone is mandatory when setting up your podcasting studio. You can get an adjustable desk mic that allows you to control how close it is to your mouth, or you can choose a handheld mic with a mic stand so you can be more mobile, especially if you’re interviewing other people for your podcast. Background sound-eliminating mics that are easy to install and provide a warm, rich tone are preferable for most podcasters just starting out.
Some microphones come with a shockmount, which is a microphone stand that eliminates unwanted sounds like typing, tapping, mic movements, and other intrusions from getting picked up on your recording. If your microphone doesn’t come with a shockmount, you’ll need to invest in one that is compatible with your microphone so that your audio is as pure as possible.
These are devices that you can put in front of or on your microphone that minimize the hard sounds that come when you speak, including words that start with p, b, and t. The windscreen or pop filter helps keep your audio levels under control so these bursts of air aren’t heard on your recordings. While these aren’t strictly necessary for a podcaster, they are a way to make your audio sound more professional.
For podcasters just starting out, you may need an audio interface if you want to record two mics. This device allows you to have two podcast hosts or a host and an interview subject who can talk and be recorded on two separate channels. You can control the audio for each mic separately to ensure the sound levels are appropriate for each speaker. This is a simple device that allows you to expand your podcast options with a second mic.
While you don’t absolutely have to have a mixer to record a podcast, it certainly helps put your podcast together more professionally. For example, you may want to add background music, balance sound levels, or have two or more hosts. Additionally, a mixer allows you to plug in various devices like your iPhone if you want to record a call or bring in music from another audio source. You can also control the sound of live recordings better as well.
You don’t have to invest a ton of money in recording software, since you can use many excellent products for free, like GarageBand and Audacity. Some very successful podcasters only use this free software, while others have invested in more expensive products like Adobe Audition and Pro Tools. Be sure the software you get allows you to record live audio, alter the speed and pitch of your audio, cut and splice, and save your files in digital formats.
Podcasters need to hear what their recordings sound like as they’re recording them. A pair of noise-canceling headphones allow you to tune into your own recording and make sound changes on the fly. The noise-canceling feature of headphones prevents any noise that might come in through your headphones to be recorded, and it also eliminates background noise so you can focus on what your audio sounds like. More advanced pairs will come with different noise-canceling settings and control options.
You never know when you might come across something when you’re away from your studio that would make a fantastic subject for a podcast episode. For these times, you’ll want to keep a field recorder handy. This piece of equipment is small and lightweight, which means you can easily bring it with you anywhere to record high-quality audio. Most models come with inputs for at least two mics, but you can also use the built-in mic if necessary.
If you don’t have access to a field recorder when you’re out and about, you can always use your iPhone or iPad to record audio. They may not offer the best sound quality available, but in a pinch, you’ll at least be able to get what you need recorded. If you have an external mic that plugs into your phone or tablet, the sound will be better, and you can always improve it somewhat through your software later.
This is another piece of equipment that isn’t absolutely necessary, but if you’re going to be recording away from your studio a lot, this software can make your recordings sound as if you’re always in your studio. This software allows you to remove distracting sounds from the background so that your audio is the only thing your audience focuses on. At one point, you couldn’t get professional recordings outside a studio, but now, you have magic at your fingertips.
While this is more of a service than a piece of equipment, it is something that will seriously help your podcast gain an audience by allowing people to find your show on iTunes and other podcasting apps. You can get your podcast on those apps yourself, but a podcast host makes the process much easier and faster, especially concerning the RSS feed, which is necessary for your format to be accessible by anyone who wants to listen on any platform.
While you can start your podcast with just a computer and a microphone, there are plenty of other pieces of equipment that can upgrade your professionalism and make sure you can capture audio no matter where you are. Keep up with us at Helium Radio Network to learn about successfully creating and distributing a podcast.
Written by: #HeliumRadio