Podcasting is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. However, it can be daunting for beginners to get started. There are a lot of different podcast equipment essentials that you need in order to start recording podcasts and sharing them with the world! In this blog post, we will go over 10 essential pieces of podcast equipment that any beginner should have before they even think about starting their own show!
1. A quality microphone
Quality microphones will pick up unwanted sounds such as wind noise or pops that can be edited out later, preventing them from coming through the speakers or on the recording. Perhaps most importantly, quality microphones have a frequency response curve that is more responsive for spoken voice than cheaper options and this is particularly important because when you speak your voice travels through different parts of your head (mouth/throat/nose) which gives it character. Using cheap mics results in these areas cancelling each other out which makes vocals sound flat and unnatural.
Podcasts are a great source of information and entertainment, but it’s important to find the right headphones for your first podcast experience. Good initial headphones should have some noise reduction abilities, be comfortable on the ears when you wear them for long periods of time, as well as durable in the sense that they won’t just fall apart after a few months.
3. An audio interface for recording and editing your podcast
With the rise in podcast popularity, it’s no wonder that audio interfaces for recording and editing these podcasts have become available. Audio interfaces are devices that allow musicians to plug their electric instruments directly into a computer running hardware-based music-production software and make music with digital audio workstation (DAW) applications such as Logic Pro or GarageBand. Some interface devices even include built-in virtual instruments.
4. A pop filter to reduce plosives (P, B, D) from hitting the mic
A pop filter is a little screen that you put over the mic and it’s intended to keep those plosives from hitting the sensitive mic and causing distortion. It’s around $10 (give or take) on Amazon for a nice, basic one with foam inside. These can diminish noise, specifically high frequency sounds like “P”s, “T”s & “S”s by acting as a sound barrier.
5. Recording software that allows you to record in a professional environment with multiple tracks and effects
The industry standard for audio recording is Pro Tools. A number of software programs offer increasing levels of sophistication, enabling the person recording to do more with his or her own music and instruments, including intricate MIDI control. Below are some examples of professional recording software:
Pro-Tools – an advanced digital multi-track studio that allows you to record and edit with multiple tracks and effects
N-Track Studio – a professional multi media sequencer for Windows
Sonic Studio Producer Suite – a set of easy tools for editing and playing back audio files
Studio One Professional Edition – wide range capabilities in all areas from live sound production to music composition, recording, editing & mixing as well as mastering Dolby
6. Editing software for post-production of your podcasts
The most common and popular software out there is Audacity. It’s free, open-source software that combines a “digital audio editor” with a “sound recorder”. You can load the files you designate as your podcast, trim them into the appropriate lengths (if necessary), balance their different channels, merge tracks together for stereo or mono sound and even export the finished product as an MP3 file. Other popular options include Adobe Audition CC, Sound Forge Pro 10 from Sony Creative Software and Logic Pro X from Apple Inc.
7. A computer to record the audio files onto
One of most essential pieces of podcasting equipment you need is a computer. You can record with any device, but your voice will be more clear and concise if it’s recorded on a good microphone or audio software like Garageband to make sure the sound quality sounds as perfect as possible for listeners, and for those you will need access to a laptop or desktop PC.
8. Cables to connect all of these devices together
What you’re going to need are cables that will connect your computer, mixer, microphone, and headphones. You’ll also need an audio or USB adaptor to ensure a wired connection between the mic and the mixer, as well as between the laptop’s audio input jack and the mixer.
9. Microphone stand – to hold up your wireless microphone, lavalier mic, or other types of microphones
One of the most versatile types of mic stands is the trusty “Spider” stand. It doesn’t use a center post, so it can be placed at any angle – say for doing an interview in front of a window. The top grips are serrated (ready to grip on items), it looks like a spider web, and this thing has been holding up microphones since way back when! Microphone stands use standard threads to attach various fixtures. This means that they’re also interchangeable with each other.
10. Shock mount (if using a wired microphone) – this will help eliminate vibrations from the floor and surrounding objects that could cause noise when speaking into your microphone
A “shock mount” is a type of device that attaches to the microphone, usually isolated from any other parts of the rig. The base absorbs shock and vibrations transmitted by objects in contact with the floor or surroundings during recording sessions. This will help eliminate vibrations from the floor and surrounding objects that could interfere with the recording quality.