Many beginner podcasters feel uncertain about the kind of recording equipment they need to pick up for their podcast studio. What are some essential pieces of audio gear? How to decide which mic to use? Do I need mixers and/or headphones? These are some of the most common questions that come up when one is creating his own podcast setup for the very first time.
So, in this article, we will cover the topic of essential recording equipment one needs for his podcast studio. Also, we will concentrate here on equipment required for audio podcasting. For video podcasting studios, not only you’ll need some additional equipment, but you’ll actually need a different set of equipment (that would make some of the pieces mentioned here redundant). For this reason, we’ll limit today’s discussion solely on the essential pieces of gear you need for an audio podcast setup.
Essential Podcast Equipment for Your Podcast Recording Studio
Now, let’s state it at the outset that below is a list of equipment you’ll need to create a basic podcast studio. However, exactly how much you spend on each piece of equipment (for example, on your mixer, if you plan to use one that is!) will depend on primarily on your budget, but also on your goals and ambitions. You can get a more than a decent mixer for a couple hundred bucks or you can spend $1000 or more on one.
The choice is up to you. However, realistically speaking, most beginner podcasters have only that much money to start out with and there is no need to get into debt in order to create your first podcast studio. You can actually get your hands on the equipment listed below for a few hundred dollars and can produce decent enough podcasting episodes (in terms of media/audio quality) with the help of them. Of course, you can always upgrade your equipment in the future if and when you feel the need to do so.
So, here’s a brief roundup of the pieces of audio gear you’ll require for your audio podcast studio.
USB or XLR Mic
Of course, your microphone is THE most crucial piece of gear with regard to the quality of your audio. Depending on your requirements, you can either choose a USB or an XLR mic. Both come with their own unique advantages as well as certain downsides. However, no matter what you choose, make sure to invest in a good condenser mic. Apart from providing good audio quality, a condenser mic will also help you save a lot of time during editing/post-production.
For USB mics, a mixer is not a necessity (it is for XLR mics). However, we strongly suggest that you get one all the same as a mixer comes with a number of benefits. To begin with, it helps record amazing audio. More importantly, it offers multi-channel recording. This last feature will be a great help when you are recording shows with co-hosts or guests. Finally, multi-channel recording will also take a great deal of pain out of the editing process.
A microphone stand (also known as boom mount) helps you position the mic at a desired height and plane. In other words, you can set the mic closer to your mouth with the help of a boom mount. And this vertical alignment is important since it has a distinct impact on the sound coming out of your voice.
Headphones serve as an important piece of gear since they allow you to regulate your tone and volume at the time of the recording. This is since headphones allow you to hear exactly what the microphone hears (similar to when we look at the view-finder of a camera when recording video). The end result is better quality records which—let’s not forget—always equates to ‘less editing.’
Apart from the above, some other pieces of equipment that you may consider for your podcast studio include:
• Windscreen or pop filter (helps soften the plosives in our speech and thus makes for a more pleasing audio)
• Acoustic Treatment Pieces (help cancel the unpleasant echoes, reverbs, etc. However, these are less of a recording gear and will normally be clubbed as part of the soundproofing gear for your studio)