Over the last few years, podcasts have transformed from relativity niche to mainstream.
Spotify just bought the rights to one of the most popular, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” for a rumored $100 million. Across the industry, estimates show podcast revenue is expected to hit $1 billion by 2021. There’s big money to be had in podcasting.
It’s like a second golden age of radio, but unlike in the good old days, there are all kinds of specialty and genre podcasts to choose from. Tap or click here to listen to Kim’s podcasts, Daily Tech Update and Kim Komando Explains.
If you’ve got a bright idea and the drive to jump into podcasting, you need to gather the right equipment. We’ll show you some essential, and beginner-friendly, options. Ready to go live?
The right computer for the right price
You can’t start recording a podcast without a computer to engineer the whole thing. Computers can run the software used to mix your audio, as well as control the various pieces of equipment you use to capture your voice. An old laptop probably just won’t cut it.
You don’t need a super high-powered machine for audio recording, but sufficient memory will help all your software and equipment run faster. The Acer Aspire 5 comes standard with 4GB of RAM and a solid-state hard drive, which has faster read speeds than ordinary spinning discs.
Let yourself be heard with the right microphone
Arguably the most important item in a podcaster’s arsenal, a good microphone comes with features that prevent it from picking up excess noise and static from the air.
This AT2020 microphone from Audio Technica is among the most popular mics for podcasting and features a unique honeycombed shell that prevents excess feedback.
Yeti is another popular mic producer. It’s Snowball USB microphones are a solid option, and the higher-end models are a great upgrade.
Keep it all connected with this audio interface
Have you ever watched a movie where the music and sound effects drowned out the dialogue? It can make a film downright unwatchable, and the same goes for audio-only mediums.
High-quality podcasts have consistent audio, with different voices and sound at similar levels. It’s jarring for the listener if, during an interview-style podcast, one voice is very loud and the other too quiet to hear.
If you’re talking with someone else, it’s smart to mute your microphone while they speak. The focus should be on the speaker, not your breathing.
This dual-channel audio interface from Scarlett allows for two microphones to be plugged in and features a range of enhancement features to make your voice sound silky smooth.
Mix it up with this professional audio mixing and editing software
Once you’ve captured the audio you need, computer software will help you mix and edit it. You can use it to cut out bad takes, tighten up certain segments and remove awkward pauses or lapses in dialogue.
Ashampoo Music Studio 7 is an affordable and popular choice that includes all of the editing and mixing features you need for under $20. It’s a steal!
Adobe Audition CC is another popular option. It will run you $20.99 a month or you can save a few bucks on an annual subscription. It’s great for audio recording, mixing, and restoration on Windows and Mac OS.
Avid Pro Tools is another subscription-based editor. The standard version is $29.99 a month, with the pro version coming in at $79.99 a month. There’s a free streamlined version you can try, too.
Speaking of free, Audacity is free, open-source audio software. It’s a great option if you’re just getting started and don’t have extra cash to spend on software.
Drown out the excess sound with this windscreen
You might laugh at how this fluffy microphone windscreen from Movo looks, but the design serves an essential purpose. The fuzzy covering helps to muffle audio feedback, as well as prevent popping, static and airborne sounds from interfering with your recordings.
Which headphones and amplifier are right for me?
It might sound counterintuitive, but over-the-ear headphones are necessary equipment for any podcast producer. They’re used to block out other noises you don’t want to hear and will help you focus on the sound of your own voice (or your co-host or guests). Comfortable headphones like these ones from OneOdio will do the job perfectly and are compatible with all 35mm ports.
If you’re looking for something a little higher-end, these headphones from Sony are a favorite of audio pros. They have a 9.8-foot coiled cord, so you won’t have to worry about moving around your studio and feature a 40-millimeter driver unit for clean, clear sound reproduction.
In addition to headphones, you’ll also need an amplifier. This allows you to change the volume that you’re hearing coming out of your device without affecting the volume of your other equipment. This four-channel headphone amplifier from Neewer makes it easy to have up to four headphones plugged in, with independent settings for each.
Bonus: These mic stands get a standing ovation
It should come as no surprise, but you can’t record a decent podcast without a place to set your microphone down.
These microphone stands come in two different shapes: A tripod, which lets you stand the mic on the ground and adjust it to your level, and a clamp, which lets you clip the microphone to your desk or workstation.
Whichever mic stand you choose, try to buy something that fits your existing setup. It won’t be any good if you have a crowded desk and nowhere to clip your microphone. Happy recording!
Listen to Kim’s podcasts
If you want a little podcasting inspiration, check out Kim’s podcasts. Listen using the links below or subscribe where you get your podcasts.
Kim Komando Explains: Ever wonder how technology has transformed your life? In this entertaining and informative podcast, Kim Komando provides insight on the ever-changing tech issues and topics that are relevant to you. This free podcast features interviews that Kim conducts with experts in their fields.
Daily Tech Update: Kim Komando is your tech expert. Listen to her take on real topics you care about every weekday. You’ll hear facts, opinions and the latest tech information underneath the surface. Don’t miss your daily tech update in just one minute.