Seems like we have a podcaster in the making. Good for you! Similar to social media and blogs, podcasts have opened a whole new world or people to share their opinions and ideas with the world. The audio series continue to gain momentum with each passing episode as the listeners tune in for both educational dialogue and entertainment value. Planning to start a podcast but don’t know how to set up your studio? Let’s get you heard! Here is a list of equipment needed for podcast.
The steady growth in podcasts’ general popularity can be attributed to the wide range of content offered, but it can also be traced back to how easy starting one is. You don’t need thousand-dollar equipment to make a successful podcast. But with millions of podcasts available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and other sites, it’s relatively easy to begin a podcast, but much harder to maintain one; let alone nurturing one to success.
Essential Equipment Needed for Podcast
Your equipment will either give you head start in the game, or slower your progress. We’ve listed the absolute essentials you have to keep on your list.
Probably the most obvious one of all. A computer is where all the magic happens, starting from capturing audio to editing, exporting, and publication. Recording a podcast is easier than producing professional music, so you wouldn’t have to start off with something super high-tech. However, once your podcast takes off, we would recommend upgrading to a better model to widen your horizons.
Your computer or laptop’s microphone is simply not enough in producing quality audio that your listeners would like hearing. These devices are going to pick up background noise and ambient sound, or make you sound harsh or too sharp. The importance of getting a reliable microphone can’t be put into words.
One of the requisites to getting top-notch audio is getting a dedicated USB or analog microphone. Beginners love USB mics since it lets them plug the mic straight into their laptops or computers and begin recording. If you’re having multiple people join the show or want more flexibility, you have to opt for an XLR option. With that said, the count of microphones you’ll require also depends on the podcast format you choose.
Shure, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Rode, Neumann, AKG are some of the few names in the industry known for manufacturing high-quality microphones. Budget options are available from those and smaller brands. If your budget is limited, you can still find something that works great.
3. Pop Filter
A windscreen or pop filter prevents or minimizes “plosives,” which are the T’s and P’s. These absorb the powerful blasts of vocals before they reach your microphone and give you smoother audio.
4. Mic Stands
In order to set up your pop filter and microphone together, a sturdy stand is necessary. Plus, microphone stands keep the mic positioned in place. You won’t have to lean downwards and forward every 20 seconds to speak. There are obviously the longer versions but there are also the tabletop mic stands.
5. Shock Mount
Whenever you re-position your mic or move, type on the keyboard, or slam your hand against the hand, the movements cause vibrations. These then portray in your recordings are brief, booming noises. As microphones are naturally extremely sensitive to surface shocks, a shock mount is needed to absorb the vibrations before they reach the mic.
It’s wise to buy a shock mount that’s from the same brand as the mic. These are more compatible matches. It’s crucial to check if your shock mount’s suspension elasticity is equal to the mic’s mass, so dedicated shock mounts are the best.
Headphones act as audio monitors, making them indispensable on our list of equipment needed for podcast. Hearing your voice at first might be slightly weird, but it’s the best way to check for inconsistencies in audio quality and mic sound levels.
Some podcasters like using earbuds, but a seasoned podcaster would go for closed-back headphones. These isolate you from the environment through active noise-cancellation and help you stay concentrated on the matters at hand. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of amazing microphones available at almost every price point.
7. Headphone Amplifier
Solo shows don’t need headphone amplifiers, but they’re a must for shows with two or more speakers. Since each speaker will need a headphone monitor, purchasing a multi-channel headphone amplifier is the best way to accommodate multiple headphone jacks and drive the sound quality to its potential.
8. Audio Interface
An audio interface is simply the bridge that transforms a mic’s audio signals into digital variants so they can be transmitted to your computer for mixing, playback, and upload.
You can rely on just your computer’s sound card, of course, but professional podcasters like using an audio interface to maintain audio integrity. Oftentimes, audio interfaces will allow more than one channel of input and output, allowing you to record from multiple mics and also instruments. Majority also feature preamps to eliminate interference, delays and time distortions.
A mixer gives you improved control over the inputs, outputs, sound levels, and more. In most cases, DAWs, or Digital Audio Workstations will let you mix and master numerous audio channels on your laptop or computers. However, when you don’t have that privilege, a mixer is required, especially if you’re planning on having call-in guests.
10. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
Last but not the least, the recording software you will be using on your device. Your computer’s operating system will partially determine the system, but you can find a ton of free, occasionally cross-platform software, such as Adobe Audition which is compatible with both PC and Mac.
We would suggest you look into a few options of all the equipment needed for podcast and weight their features to figure out which one suits your needs better. There are additional items you can get, but these are the most important ones.
You can also read: How to Record A Song?