The Complete Guide to Podcast Equipment
August 11, 2020
So, you’re ready to launch a podcast! You nailed down the main theme and concept of your show, and it’s time to figure out how you’re actually going to record it. We know this can be a bit daunting, but we’ve been through it many times with many different podcasts and we’re here to help!
We put together a full list of every piece of equipment you need to record a podcast, as well as some optional items. Whether you’re recording from home, at a studio, with multiple hosts or simply call-in guests, we’ve got you covered!
1. Podcast Microphones
There’s no better place to start talking about podcast equipment than the most important part of your set: the microphone. There are many choices in styles, brands and price ranges when it comes to buying a mic. The microphone you choose can make or break your podcast, so you want to make sure you get this right.
At Q’d Up, our choice is the Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone. This is the industry standard for artists and audio engineers all over the world. Your favorite music producer probably has one of these bad boys. The quality is second to none, and although it comes with a hefty price tag (~$400), it’s well worth it.
2. Tabletop Stand/Mic Arm
Next, you need to mount your microphone. If you’re planning to sit at a desk to record your show, a tabletop stand may be all you need. If you want more flexibility, you’ll need to look into purchasing a mic arm.
For arms, we love the PL2T from Heil Sound. If you’re on a budget, Amazon has a host of cheaper options, but be careful. Even though your arm isn’t a piece of recording equipment, it does have a very important job: keeping that precious microphone easily accessible and safe. You want a strong, sturdy arm, and cheap materials are not going to cut it.
3. Interface and Cables
This is where podcast equipment gets a bit more technical. There are two ways you can record your show: 1) you can get a microphone that plugs straight into your computer, or 2) you can feed your mic into an interface first, then feed it to your computer from there. The second option is a bit more complicated and expensive, but it will deliver better audio quality which will be worth it in the end.
Our two interfaces of choice are Focusrite’s Scarlett 212, which can record up to 2 microphones at the same time, or the Zoom H6, a bit heavier duty with the ability to record up to 6 microphones. Both of these options, paired with an Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone or Shure SM7B, will deliver the clean, professional-grade sound you hear on top podcasts. These options may be a bit pricier, but you need the best audio quality for your show to truly shine.
The ultimate budget move here is to go with one of the USB mics mentioned above (the Blue Yeti, Rode Procaster or ATR 2100), and avoid a need for an interface entirely. Your audio quality will definitely leave something to be desired, but these options can be a decent place to start.
4. Editing Software
This technically isn’t a piece of equipment, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention you’re going to need editing software in order to produce a good podcast. All those ‘umm’s, ‘likes’ and stutters need to be cleaned up, not to mention every time you make a grammatical or speech error that you would like to omit.
GarageBand and Audacity are free options and can handle your basic needs. We prefer Audacity’s simple, straight forward interface. Audition, Pro Tools and Izotope RX are paid software that are best in class. At Q’d Up, we use a mix of Izotope RX and Pro Tools to edit and produce our podcasts.
The editing process is where producing your show gets trickier. It can take months to truly get the hang of the software and even longer to master. It is worth hiring an audio engineer and/or producer to take this completely off your hands. Otherwise, you are looking at upwards of 15 hours of work per episode for planning, recording, producing and publishing. Unless you truly have that much time and want to get into the nitty gritty details of every element of your show, this isn’t a feasible goal to produce high quality content.
Let’s Get Started
Contact us if you’re ready to take the next step in producing your show. Whether you have podcast production questions or need help with your project, we are happy to help. Let Q’d Up handle every technical aspect of your show while you focus on creating stellar content!