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  • Writer's pictureAndy Kinsey

How Do I Start a Podcast? Finding the Right Recording Equipment

Picking the right podcast equipment can be a daunting task for a beginner, especially with the numerous options available in the market. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision and select the right equipment for your podcast setup.

Microphone: A microphone is an essential piece of equipment for a podcast. A good microphone will make your audio quality clear, crisp, and professional-sounding. There are two main types of microphones - USB microphones and XLR microphones.

  • USB microphones are the simplest to use, plug and play and do not require additional equipment. They are also portable and can be used with a laptop or desktop computer. Examples of popular USB microphones include the Blue Yeti and the Rode NT-USB.

  • XLR microphones are professional-grade microphones that require additional equipment like an audio interface and a mixer. They offer more versatility and better sound quality than USB microphones, but they can be more complex to set up. Examples of popular XLR microphones include the Shure SM7B and the Audio-Technica AT2035.

Audio Interface (XLR only): An audio interface is a device that connects your microphone to your computer and helps to improve the audio quality. If you are using an XLR microphone, you will need an audio interface to connect it to your computer. Audio interfaces typically have preamps, which help to boost the microphone signal, as well as additional inputs for other audio sources. Examples of popular audio interfaces include the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the PreSonus Studio 26c.

Mixer: A mixer is an optional piece of equipment that can be used to improve the audio quality of your podcast. A mixer can be used to adjust the levels of multiple audio sources, such as a microphone and music, and to add effects such as reverb or echo. Mixers also typically have preamps and can be used in place of an audio interface. Examples of popular mixers include the Mackie PROFX8v3 and the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB.

Headphones: Good headphones are essential for monitoring your audio during recording and editing. You want headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods, have a flat frequency response to help you accurately assess your audio quality, and have enough isolation to prevent bleed into your microphone. Examples of popular headphones include the Sennheiser HD280 Pro and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.

Pop Filter: A pop filter is a device that helps to reduce plosives, the explosive sounds caused by speaking too close to the microphone. Pop filters attach to the microphone stand and can be made of foam or a metal mesh.

Microphone Stand: A microphone stand is necessary to hold your microphone in place during recording. There are various types of stands available, including tripod stands, boom arms, and desktop stands. The type of stand you choose will depend on your recording setup and personal preference.

Software: Finally, you will need software to record, edit, and publish your podcast. There are many free and paid options available, including Audacity (free), GarageBand (Mac only), and Adobe Audition (paid)...

In conclusion, these are the essential pieces of equipment for a beginner podcast setup. Remember, the key to great podcast audio is to invest in quality equipment. While you may be tempted to save money in the short term by buying low-cost equipment, in the long run, it will be worth it to invest in quality equipment that will produce better audio and make your podcast stand out.

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