You don't need a big studio to create a professional-sounding podcast. Learn about what equipment you absolutely can't do without and why there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to podcasting gear.
- [Instructor] A few years ago, I was at a conference and noticed this social media superstar just sitting there all alone and I thought, "He would make a great guest for my podcast." So I got up my courage, introduced myself, asked if he'd do an interview, and he said yes. But I didn't have my gear. I can't believe this now, but I actually had the nerve to say, "Wait here, give me five minutes to get my recorder." Figured he might not be there when I got back, but he was and I got my interview. Afterward, I realized, I could've made it so much simpler because I had my recorder with me all the time, my smartphone.
When Audrey first started thinking about doing a podcast, she had visions of building a full recording studio. - [Audrey] I've done a fair number of radio interviews and, at first, the idea of having to buy all that expensive equipment and build a soundproof booth scared me off. - [Instructor] But you don't have to have a lot of expensive gear to start a podcast. Your smartphone and a mic could be an effective and portable way to record if you're capturing interviews on the fly. That's one of the best things about podcasts, flexibility. I told Audrey that, when I began my podcast, we used a digital audio recorder, professionally quality mic, windscreen, and I soon found that I didn't need my mic since I could speak directly into the recorder.
Back then, we'd set up a call on Skype and my two co-hosts and I would record and upload our separate tracks for editing. Today, we still do that, but we use USB mics that we plug directly into our computers. - [Audrey] So what would you recommend as the equipment essentials to record my podcast? - [Instructor] Well, for starters, a good microphone. I use a Shure AMV5-DS mic, which was recommended by my son who's a music and audio producer. You could also try a Blue Yeti. Both are well priced and come with their own stand.
You'll need something to capture your recording. This could be a digital audio recorder like the Zoom H4n or an Olympus VN-7200, or record on an app like GarageBand if you own a Mac on Skype, or on a free cloud-based site like Audacity. On Inside PR, we use Zencastr, which has both free and paid options and lets us capture separate tracks for editing. I told Audrey she'll also need a noise reducing headset for editing, but I find my earbuds work just fine when I'm doing the recording.
And she'll need a mixer for the tracks, but again, you can use Audacity. Of course, you can always book time in a professional studio or build a full recording booth in your home. My advice? Start simple. Learn how to use the equipment by testing it in various situations and listen to your recordings to make sure they have quality sound. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a small investment in equipment and a big investment in creativity.
- Explain how to assess your resources and budget before starting a podcast.
- Summarize the importance of keeping a content calendar.
- Describe how to measure the success of your podcast.