The Ultimate Guide to Podcast Resources. This is a page which lists the best guide to podcast equipment and resources. It will be updated as the best podcasting equipment becomes available.
The Ultimate Guide to Podcast Resources
Some Books to Read on Podcasting.
- Podcasting Good to Great: How to Grow Your Audience Through Collaboration
- Podcast Launch: How to Create, Grow & Monetize YOUR Podcast: 15 Video Tutorials Included!
- Podcasting For Dummies
A Podcast Studio
- Everything you need for professional podcasting, music production and digital home recording
- Get a full recording studio ‘out of the box’ including USB/audio interface, mixer, microphone, headphones and more
Music Radio Creative can give you the full package. Just talk to them. It is probably a worthwhile investment.
You do need a good microphone … at the very least.
Let’s start with choosing the correct microphone. There are two main choices here: you have dynamic mics and condenser mics.
Condenser mics are more sensitive and pick up a wider range of sounds. While this definitely sounds like an advantage, it can negatively affect the quality of a podcast, if the recording does not take place in a soundproof room. Remember the leaf dropping in your neighbor’s yard?
That is why dynamic mics are more suitable for smaller scale productions, like you. The industry standard would be a microphone similar to the Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone, Cardioid. These microphones have the best quality/price ratio, and they cost around $100. This mic can serve as a benchmark and is one I think you will appreciate.
If you have a tighter budget, you can find other mics from the same company, including Shure SM48S-LC – Microphone with on/off switch, which comes at half the price, or you could go with the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone.
If you are on a really tight budget, you can buy the Behringer Ultravoice Xm1800s Dynamic Microphone 3-Pack, which comes with three mics and is handy if you are interviewing guests, and you can check the latest price here.
If you are looking for a top-shelf mic, you have the Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone, which is one of the best rated in the world, and quite sexy for a mic, and you can read a review about it here.
The ATR2100 is highly rated on Amazon. It is also equipped with both XLR and USB outputs so that it can be connected to either a mixer or a PC.
There is no wrong choice, just a difference in quality.
Headphones are an essential podcast equipment
The next part of the setup are the headphones. Headphones are important because they allow you to hear yourself when you speak into the microphone, and this will let you know whether you are too far away from the mic, too loud, too quiet, whether the dog id barking, etc. etc. You will also be able to hear all of the extra sounds picked up by the mic, sounds such as bumps on the desk, or cars driving by outside, and adjust accordingly.
They need to be:
– have no sound leak
– be portable
Some of the highly recommended headphones and their current cost, are listed below:
Recording and Editing Software.
It is best to go with an external recorder such as:
An external recorder will streamline your workload. It will allow you to record straight to MP3, mix inputs, connect directly with XLR mics, apply gating, limiting, and compression, and it will also allow you to hear what you’re recording through the headphones. Yeh, I know, I told you it would get technical.
For the more advanced, they can also offer some extra functionality, such as four-channel recording, XLR inputs without a mixer, audio level monitoring, and pause and resume options.
Furthermore, since they do not require a computer to be used, they are very portable, which means you can record while you travel, conduct interviews in locations outside your studio, etc.
Microphone Accessories for your podcast studio
You will also need some accessories to go with your microphone, though not all are essential. Certainly you would want the microphone stand to keep your hands free for waving around, or writing note.
These accessories include:
1. A mic stand/boom. A microphone should be 4-6 inches (10-15 centimeters) away from your face in order to get the best recording. For this, you can use a mic stand, which sits on the desk, or a mic boom, which is a mechanical arm that hovers the mic in front of you. A very nice one if you have the budget and are serious about being a podcaster is the Ultimate Broadcast Bundle: Rode Procaster – Large Capsule Broadcast Quality Dynamic Microphone with Rode PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm and Rode PSM 1 Shockmount; For Broadcasting
2. A pop filter/windscreen. These two accessories help you get a cleaner sound from your mic, with pop filters being used indoors, and windscreens being used outdoors. If you want a good pop filter, you can check out the Dragonpad USA Pop filter Studio Microphone Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter (2 Pack)
3. A shock mount. The shock mount is a cage that protects a microphone from picking up vibrations, such as the vibrations caused by typing on the keyboard, desk bumps and adjustments of the mic stand.Microphone Shock Mount with Pop Filter, Mic Anti-Vibration Suspension Shock Mount Holder Clip for Diameter 46mm-53mm Microphone
4. A preamp processor This is an optional accessory since there are some mixers that have a preamp included. A preamp helps amplify the microphone’s signal before it passes it further down the audio chain. Make sure to pick a quality preamp, since cheaper options can produce unwanted white noise. Some recommended models include the DBX 286s, costing around $190, the Cloudlifter CL-1, about $149, or the Fethead.
DBX 286s Microphone Pre-amp Processor
Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter 1-channel Mic Activator
Triton Audio Fethead Microphone Preamp
Mixers for your podcast studio
Mixers are an optional addition, but they can make your life easier by tackling certain aspects of recording a podcast. A mixer will help you combine sources, such as multiple microphones, soundtracks and other inputs. It will also allow you to adjust the volume of your inputs and outputs in real time. Some mixers provide preamp capabilities, which let you adjust the sensitivity of your mics. You will also be able to combine or separate outputs, and control what channels reach your recorder, headphones, VOIP, live-streaming interface and others. Finally, some mixers will allow you to add effects such as compression, equalization and others.
In terms of equipment, Mackie mixers come highly recommended. A middle of the road option such as the Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer, offers a decent amount of channels for $270. You can find other options such as the 4 channel version for a lower price, or the 14 channel version for more versatility.
Other Equipment to set up your podcast studio
You might want to consider investing in an audio processor, depending on the equipment build you’ve chosen. For example, if you bought a high-end mixer, you may already have all of the functionalities of an audio processor built in.
An audio processor helps by improving preamps, which reduce the hiss generated by certain mixers and recorders. It can also help with compression, reducing the dynamic range between quiet and loud sections of the recording. Other functions include limiting, which protects against sudden upswings in volume and distortion, gaining/expanding, which prevents noise from being recorded during periods of silence, and other audio processing effects (such as de-essing and EQ) that can be done in real-time. A good audio processor would be Behringer MDX1600 2-Channel Expander/Gate/Compressor/ Peak Limiter
A headphone amplifier is great if you plan on having a podcast with multiple people. It splits the audio signal into multiple headphone channels, which allows more people to use headphones during the conversation. The choice between different sets of equipment depends on how many people you plan on having on your podcast. A popular option would be the Behringer AMP800 Four Channel Headphone Amp
Finally, you will need cables to bring it all together. There are no bad choices here, but if you have a larger budget, you can go with either Monster cables, or Mogami Gold Studio cables, which are some of the best. For a quick overview, you will probably need the following types of cables: 1/8”-1/4” audio cable, RCA to 3.5mm audio cable, ¼” Y cable, ¼” speaker cable, and several XLR mic cables.
Monster Cable Ultimate High Speed HDMI THX 1000 Cable, 4 feet – (Non-Retail Packaging)
Mogami Gold Studio 15 Microphone Cable Quad Conductor 15 feet