Thinking about starting a podcast, but have no idea what equipment to buy?
Well, we’ve got you’ve covered. Here are 3 tips on how to start on the right foot no matter what type of budget you have.
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1. Recording with the Right Microphone
There are lots of mics out there, and there is a huge difference between a condenser and a dynamic mic. The difference is a dynamic microphone is better for capturing loud, strong sounds (drums or loud vocals), particularly in a live setting, whereas a condenser microphone is used to capture more delicate sounds and higher frequencies (studio vocals for example).
Also, dynamic microphones are really just suited for a one-person podcast. If you plan to have multiple hosts or will regularly interview people in person, getting a condenser microphone is essential.
Having the correct mic for your podcast style can really make a difference. How? Well, in the way that your show sounds.
If you are just starting out, it can be as easy as hooking up your headphones to your cellphone. Then we recommend downloading our Spreaker Studio app. With our app, podcasters can professionally record their podcasts with the click of a button. It allows you to record and save progress on your episodes. It also allows you to improve the sound with built-in features like auto-ducking and mic controls.
Another option can be a condenser USB mic. You basically plug them in and start recording. This can be an efficient solution in terms of both sound quality and ease of use with computers.
There are a number of USB microphones on the market. Let’s name a couple of popular choices depending on your budget.
In terms of budget microphone, if you are looking for an affordable mic, with an easy setup and use that also sounds ok for recording your podcast episodes, then the Blue Snowball or the Blue Snowball iCE could be a great option for you. If you are ready to invest in a mid-range USB microphone we would recommend the Blue Yeti or the Rode NT-USB.
The Blue Yeti and the Blue Yeti Nano are known as the most popular podcast starter microphones out there on the market. Blue Microphones’ proprietary tri-capsule technology gives podcasters four distinct pattern modes to choose from. What does this mean? Well, cardioid mode is perfect for podcasting because it records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone. However, the Yeti also has an omnidirectional and bidirectional mode, and this means that it can be an interesting option if you are recording a multi-person podcast. The Yeti X USB microphone also includes advanced Blue VO!CE audio software, a suite of broadcast vocal effects that makes it easier than ever to achieve professional on-stream sound quality.
The Rode NT-USB is a high-quality studio microphone with the convenience of USB connectivity. Its body features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring (3.5mm) jack, which allows you to monitor the microphone input in real-time. It has dials to adjust the monitoring level and mix between the computer/iPad audio and the microphone input. It also includes a premium pop-filter, high-quality stand mount with industry-standard 3/8” thread, desktop tripod, and a pouch for storage of the microphone when not in use.
2. Put on your headphones
Headphones are important because they allow podcast hosts to monitor their audio during a recording. They are also obviously very important if you are going to be interviewing a guest via a remote recording platform like Skype, Zencastr, or Squadcast. Why? Because without headphones you won’t be able to hear each other. You even need headphones if you are chatting with someone face-to-face or you have a co-host – everyone will need their own pair.
Headphones also improve your mic technique. And according to Rachel Corbet, if you can hear you’re off-mic, too loud, or that you’re popping every time you say a word starting with a hard consonant (‘p’, ‘b’, ‘k’), wearing headphones will help you adjust the way you’re using the microphone in the moment.
So what kind of headphones do you need when recording your podcast?
If you are just starting a podcast, it depends entirely on your budget. If you are trying to keep costs at a minimum that you can use your old iPhone earphones for the time being.
Our recommendation? Buy a pair of headphones that you can use for personal use and for all of your podcasting needs. For example, the Studio3 Beats by Dre earphones are over-ear wireless noise-canceling headphones. They can be used for personal use. The headphones also include a 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable that you can use to plug into your microphone and also use as podcasting headphones.
However, if you are looking for budget podcast headphones then we can also recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x.
3. Grab a pop filter
This small and economical piece of gear can really make a difference in your sound. A pop filter is a screen that blocks or filters the popping sounds made when you say letters like ‘p’ and ‘b’ into a mic. Nady MPF-6 is pretty popular, and it seems to deliver on its promise.
However, remember that some microphones, like the Rode NT-USB, come with their own pop filter. Others, like the Yeti, have pop filters that work better than others. This article, for example, lists out the ten best pop filters for the Blue Yeti.
And that’s it!
If you are thinking about starting a podcast, now is the time. And if you need any more help with launching your podcast, we recommend taking a look at all our articles on how to launch your podcast.