The amount of money that you’ll spend on your podcast setup should depend on a few things. First, your level of seriousness. If you’re getting into the podcasting game as a hobby and your audience will consist of yourself, your dog, and the fly on the wall, then the mic dangling next to your chin attached to your headphones might suffice. But, if you’re planning on podcasting seriously (which you should), investing in high quality equipment makes sense.
Below are essential pieces of podcasting equipment, for both the daily show enthusiast and the weekly recorder. I haven’t listed all the podcast hosting platforms, feed aggregators, etc as I’m focusing on what you need to start recording your podcast, not publishing it.
Let’s dive in.
Your microphone choice depends on your personal podcasting set up. Are you a solo podcaster? Do you have a co-host? In studio guests? Skype or over the phone guests? Of course, each one of these setups would require different microphone specifications. I’m not going to go in-depth on any of the areas I could focus on and instead give you options to fit your budget.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB ($79) – Great quality sound for its inexpensive price. Just a quick plug and play, and you’re on your way! If you like simplicity and are operating on a tight budget, this is the mic for you!
Blue Yeti ($125) – Four different pattern settings offer options to record vocals, instrumental music, podcasts, audio for video, or interviews. It really has an incredible sound with its THX-certified sound quality. Its fairly large size makes it not as portable so if you’re a travelling podcaster, this might not be the mic for you.
Heil pr40 ($327) – A favorite for studio recording due to its pristine quality but large and heavy size. The Heil pr40 carries the widest frequency range available in a dynamic microphone and Heils’ true 25 year tradition of superbly natural voice articulation. (Please do note that if you go down this round, you will need to get a mixer to support the microphone range. It isn’t USB power or plug and play capable.)
For more than just playback, having a good set of headphones will help in picking up audio issues during and after recording. On top of that, a good set of headphones can help in blocking outside noises so you can really focus on your content and your guest.
Sony MDR7506 ($66) – Though they’ve been around since 1991, the Sony MDR7506’s still hold an exceptional sound and fit; all for under $100. The four and a half star Amazon review from more than 3,000 customers really speaks for itself.
Audio-Technica ATH-M35 ($69) – With its great bass, natural sound, and fold up design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M35 are an absolute steal.
Shure SRH1540 Premium ($499) – Stylish and superb quality! They are very durable but slightly bulky, so make sure you have room if you’re on the road.
When it comes to editing software, there’s a lot of options available that range in pricing, but my two favorite ones to recommend are listed below.
Audacity (Free) – For a free software, Audacity sure packs a punch. It is very easy to use and very minimalistic, making it ideal for someone starting out in podcasting. It does, however, lack the bells and whistles that other software have.
Adobe Audition ($19 per month) – Definitely one of the most popular editing software’s on the market today. Adobe Audition has a lot of grunt under the hood and can handle anything from mono recordings to full-scale studio mastering sessions. If you’re serious about your show, invest in Audition.
Interview Recording Software
If you are going to be doing interviews with guests located on the other side of the world or just down the road from the comforts of their own homes, you’ll need software to record your interviews. I’ve listed an alternative for PC and Mac below.
Pamela for Skype ($35) – This Skype recorder allows you to capture quality audio and video recordings from your Skype calls on PC (Windows) machines.
Ecamm Call Recorder ($29) – Thousands of Podcasters rely on this call recorder for their interviews on Skype. It makes the process seamless and gives you the ability to walk away with quality recorded content on Mac.
As you can see I only mentioned the essentials. If all you wanted to do today was go out, grab some equipment and start recording, the equipment I’ve listed will help you achieve that. It comes down to your computer, microphone, headphones, and recording software to capture your content.
Enjoy your first episode and remember, we are here to help if you need anything.