3 Essential Pieces of Equipment to Start a Podcast

13/05/2020 7:28 AM

Between spending plenty of time at home while social distancing and the continued growth of the online community and social media, there’s never been a better time to start a podcast. From sports podcasts to podcasts about books, movies, and politics, there is a growing appetite for podcasts that present fresh takes on familiar topics.

 

Ready to throw your hat into the ring? Once you’ve decided to start a podcast and sorted out a basic script for your first-ever episode, it can be tempting to press record on your computer right away. To make sure you’ve got the right gear to start creating engaging, high-quality content right off the bat, we’ve rounded up a shortlist of three pieces of equipment needed to start a podcast below. Read on to discover the equipment that you need - and how to use it.


1. A good quality microphone

Our top tip for starting a podcast? Invest in a good microphone. Clear, crisp audio is crucial to ensuring your audience understands what you’re saying and is intrigued enough to come back for more. In this case, the built-in mic of your computer isn’t going to cut it.

 

There are a range of microphones on the market that will do the job, but the best mics for podcasting are typically USB microphones, which simply plug and play into the USB port on your computer. The Rode NT-USB Microphone is a great option for home recording, and comes with everything you need to capture great audio, including a mini desk stand and a pop filter for eliminating “popping sounds” that occur when speaking or singing into a mic.

 

As you become more advanced and are willing to invest in a separate mixer to connect to your computer, an XLR microphone can help you take your sound quality up to the next level. 

 

If you’re recording with a guest or in a busy area, you may need to swap to a different podcast mic. If you’re recording in quiet conditions, a condenser microphone is your best bet, while a dynamic microphone will keep your audio clear even if there are multiple speakers or background noise.

 

 

Top Tip: Have co-hosts or a guest? For best results, each of you will need your own microphone.

 

3 essential pieces pf equipment to start a podcast

2. Decent headphones

3 essential pieces pf equipment to start a podcast

 

 

 

Once you’ve hit ‘record’, you’ll need some way to ensure that your audio is recording correctly and without too much background noise. If you’ve never used a microphone before, chances are you’ll be surprised at how much background noise they pick up, and how significantly environmental factors can impact your recordings.

 

While the best headphones for voice recording don’t necessarily have to be top of the line models or break the bank, the earbuds that came with your phone don’t quite make the grade. Instead, go for a pair of closed back headphones with a neutral output that isn’t too heavy on bass or treble. This particular type of headphone will make sure that your microphone won’t pick up their output sound and give you an annoying echo effect.

3. Audio editing software

No matter how much of a smooth talker you may be, chances are your raw recordings will need a little bit of editing. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a professional to do this: Most basic audio editing software will do the job perfectly well. 

 

As with video editing software, the program you use will vary depending on your computer. Using a Mac? All Apple computers come preloaded with Garageband software, which performs all the necessary features. Otherwise, many beginner podcasters on Mac and WIndows computers alike achieve great results with Audacity, a free audio editing software.

 

If you want to learn how to make a podcast sound professional, there are a few audio editing tricks you’ll need to master:

 

  • Trimming files down to remove awkward silences and pauses
  • Adjusting volume levels for consistency
  • Merging recordings together to weave together a finished product from several takes
  • Using transitions to move between different scenes and segments

 

Once you’ve nailed these podcast basics, it could be time to consider graduating to a more advanced, paid software like Adobe Audition or Apple Logic Pro X. 

 

3 essential pieces pf equipment to start a podcast

Bring your great podcast ideas to life with the right tools

Starting up a podcast is an exciting creative project that can bring you plenty of fulfilment and help you learn new skills. With the right equipment and some preparation, you’ll be able to start recording great episodes and building an audience in no time.

 

Looking for more content creation tips to help you share your passion and interests with the world? Discover more creative advice on our blog today!


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