You don’t need expensive equipment to get started with recording a podcast. You could even get started with a set of microphone-built earphones. However, we’ll go to town on the most cost-effective yet highly-rated equipment and software for recording a podcast.
Podcasting equipment can be as simple or as complex as you so choose too.
As mentioned above, platforms like Anchor allow you to record on the device you’re using as long as it has a microphone. So if you are running on a very tight budget but want to get started this is a great option as most headphones come with an integrated microphone. Although this option allows you to get started in mere minutes you must consider that the quality of the audio is not going to be the best, so there are other choices on still a relatively small budget that you can purchase and use.
My recommendation would be to purchase an audio interface, this will be the most expensive piece of equipment I would recommend, but it can be very useful. An audio interface is essentially a junction box between your PC and your microphones. Giving you the ability to monitor your audio live and make live tweaks to your volume levels which can be very useful.
I chose to go with the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2, it allows for up to two microphones at once. In addition, it was very easy to learn how to use and set up.
Alongside this, you will need at least one microphone. There are two types of microphones (Condenser and Dynamic). Both are viable options. It merely varies on cost, environment and so on. For which you can pay £20 a microphone or £200. Put simply, a Dynamic microphone is less sensitive to harsh sounds. It only picks up what is directly in front of the microphone, which means that it is less likely to pick up outside sound. However, you do have to speak quite close to the microphone.
Condenser microphones are more sensitive, so your environment needs to be taken into real consideration. With condenser microphones however you’re able to get a very nice sound from a proper setup. By this I mean a room which has soft furnishings to reduce the echo in a room. You can do this with normal furniture (Thick curtains work well) or you can consider buying acoustic panels). Furthermore, you will need to purchase some suitable microphone stands, you don’t want a microphone crash mid recording!
My choice again with the fact I would not be in a controlled environment in mind was the Audio-Technica ATR-2100 (left) and Samson SAQ2U (right-below). Both around the £50 price mark.
Software is fairly simple if you want to record offline, for Windows users, Audacity is free and easy to learn. For Apple Mac users, Garageband is an easy alternative and very intuitive. Another alternative that I have started using as I am unable to go in person to record is Skype. Within the software, you can record your calls which is a great tool for long-distance podcasting with guests. Similarly, Anchor allows you to invite people to record a podcast with you on the app directly.
The key thing I want you to take away is to consider how you are going to record. For me having this set up worked, as I was going to be recording in person and in environments that I could not always control. However, if you’re going to be recording online it may be that you do not need to purchase new microphones. With suitably quiet surroundings, headphone microphones may do for the time being.
Go back to basics, with our quick start guide about ‘How to Start & Publish a Podcast‘. It discusses the best ideas for podcasting, coupled with how to come up with the content and how to publish your content.
This completes our 2 part guide on recording a podcast. So with that, I wish you the best on your podcasting journey!
If you want to check out my podcast or contact me check out The Prodigy Podcast Instagram page