How to Record a Podcast and What You’ll Need
Posted On June 17, 2018
Although Talk Radio still rules the roost in terms of listenership, Podcasting is slowly but surely increasing its market share among listeners in the U.K. Both listeners and producers love the freedom of Podcasting’s unique distribution model, causing the number of shows to skyrocket in the last 5 years. Competition for listeners can, therefore, be fierce. But if you have an original content idea or niche expertise you feel you just need to share, setting up your first professional sounding podcast is very cheap and simple.
Your first port of call should be recording equipment. That means mics and headphones. Mics and headphones for podcasting don’t need to be all that high end. There are tonnes of excellent options available, but for podcasting you’ll probably be best off going for a USB mic rather than an XLR as you’ll need to buy a mixer for the latter.
There are also loads of great headphones out there that you can pick up for relatively cheap. I go for Seinheiser Headphones every time. I’ve used them for years. The sound and build quality is excellent, they last for ever, and are very well priced for their level of quality.
Pop Filters and Mic Stands/ Boom Arms
After outing in all the hard work and money, you’ll want your sound quality to be a listenable as possible. Often when recording speech, plosives (hard consonant sounds) and fricatives, like ‘S’ sounds can cause unpleasant spikes in the frequency range that need to be sorting out when mixing the audio. If you can get rid of these early it will save you a massive headache later.
Fortunately, there’s a great bit of inexpensive kit to minimise this sonic nuisance, the Pop Filter. You’ll have seen them on most pictures of recording studio microphones. They’re simply a stretched piece of elastic fabric that sits between the speaker and the microphone. You can make them yourself using a coat hanger and some thin tights, but the professionally made versions are so cheap you might as well get the real thing.
Similarly, Mic stands and Boom arms will improve the sound and practicality of your mics. They reduce any room vibration and make the whole process easier. Again, you can pick these for change.
Now you have the gear sorted it’s time to look for the right programmes to get your workflow running smoothly.
For recording, there are loads of great free options available. I use Garage Band that comes free with Macs and is super intuitive to use. Adobe Audition and Audacity are also great options. These all allow you not only to record the audio, but to fine tune it to get the exact sound you want. If you’re not audio savvy they come with great pre-sets to make life easier.
Finally, you’ll need a way to distribute your podcast. You could just go straight to YouTube, but many listeners go straight to hosting services to find new shows. Sound cloud is a great option, but if you’re getting serious, check out one of these services. The price will vary depending on how much content you want to upload, and how often.
Production quality is very important to podcasts. No-one wants to have to listen to you through scratchy static, but there are hugely popular podcast out there that don’t that are just recorded in garages and sheds. Remember, the main selling point is your content!