Podcasts have become extremely popular in recent years due to the increased income from sources such as advertising revenue. From only 19 million weekly American listeners in 2013 to 62 million in 2019, this immense rise in listeners has also caused the number of active podcasts to reach 800,000, giving consumers more choices.
With a low entry-level cost and a diverse market, whether you want to start a historical show like 1619 or a light conversational podcast like a tripod, you can be part of the podcasting community too. But you’ll need a few pieces of equipment to help make sure you can deliver quality content. Otherwise, you will get lost in the competition.
Equipment you need to Start a Podcast
1.A reliable laptop
You’ll need something that can handle audio recording, processing, and editing. A high performing laptop can do all this without lagging or crashing. Your best bet is a laptop with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage will do well, and if you use the laptop for onsite recording, then two compatible USB ports are needed as well. The Apple MacBook Pro has an expandable RAM of up to 64GB and SSD up to 8TB. With a fast processor and impressive battery life, it will let you record and edit your podcast with no problem. Making a podcast can be taxing on a laptop, so it’s best to get something that will be able to smoothly assist you in your tasks.
2.A high-quality microphone
If there’s one piece of equipment you don’t want to skimp on, it’s your microphone. As a listener, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a podcast but getting distracted by bad quality audio. To avoid this, invest in high-quality audio equipment, such as the Shure SM7B microphone. It has a pop filter to reduce explosive breath sounds, while a detachable windscreen can give a warmer feel to talks. Some of the best microphones aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones, but you must make sure they fit with your equipment in order to produce the best sound.
You’ll be spending a lot of time recording and editing your podcasts, so it’s best to have headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Aside from that, sound isolation blocks out distractions to help you concentrate on your podcast. A budget-friendly option is the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, which is of great studio quality and comfortable for wearing for a long time. Aside from comfort and sound isolation, it’s important to also consider frequency response so your audio playback is accurate without having to filter additional sounds, like bass response.
A podcast isn’t really something you can record anywhere. James Harris, the host of the podcast Failing Upwards, relays that the first few episodes of his podcast were recorded in the lobby of an office, and you can clearly hear employees in the background. With that, a quiet space where you can fit you and your equipment, like a basement, is enough. Likewise, you can treat the walls with foam panels to give you a good recording environment. The Pro Studios Acoustics Wedge Foam comes in a pack of 12 panels that provide strong soundproofing. As long as you have a quiet room or anything that can absorb sound, you’re good to go.
5.Software for recording and editing
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with how to use the software in order to produce a great podcast. Audacity is a free and great option, used even by long-time professionals, podcasters, and song cover artists. If you want something with more features, Adobe Audition provides templates and sound effects. Regardless of what you choose, the best software doesn’t need to be the most complex. You just need to be comfortable with what you’re using to be able to use it with ease.
Podcasts are still one of the most important white spaces in which to build your business or brand. Starting one is practically free (provided you have a smartphone and access to WiFi), and you can easily get started with just the bare necessities. Gary asked me to write this article to show you how it’s not only possible, but also practical to start your own podcast. I hope you enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.