What do you need to start a podcast?
You may have heard that starting your own podcast just requires a microphone. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing you’ll need. Beyond the mic, there is some basic equipment to consider. I’ll go more in-depth on each of these topics later, but for now, here is a list of the most important items you will need to get started:
Microphone: A good quality microphone is essential for clear audio. You can choose between USB or XLR microphones, both of which can provide good quality audio. (if you go the USB mic route, make sure it was manufactured after, say, 2020.)
Headphones: Yes, even if your computer has speakers. Good headphones are necessary for monitoring your audio while recording. They will help you hear any background noise, clipping or other issues with the audio.
Audio Interface: An audio interface is a device that connects your microphone to your computer and helps you to control the audio levels. Most USB microphones do not technically need an interface, but, if you get one, you can control a lot of the sound levels, or more!)
Recording Software: There are many free and paid recording software options available. Some popular choices include Audacity (free), GarageBand (Mac) and Adobe Audition (paid).
Stand or Boom Arm: A stand or boom arm helps keep your microphone in the correct position for recording and reduces unwanted movement or noise. You might consider adding a shock mount to the arm, which prevents the mic from picking up on knees bumping into table legs, hands hitting the desk too hard, etc.)
Pop Filter: A pop filter helps reduce unwanted “pop” sounds caused by hard plosives (P’s, T’s, etc.) when speaking into the microphone. While some microphones come with a pop filter of some kind (the SM58 comes with one in the ball of the mic), an external pop filter usually does a better job. Some windscreens/deadcats can also act as a pop filter.
Soundproofing: If you’re recording in a noisy environment, soundproofing such as acoustic foam panels, moving blankets or a recording booth can greatly improve the audio quality of your podcast.
In addition to this equipment, you’ll also need a computer with a good internet connection and a hosting service to publish your podcast episodes. With these tools in hand, you can start recording and publishing your own podcast in no time!
The elephant in the room: So you’ve got the podcasting equipment…now what? You’ll need topics to discuss on your podcast! Start thinking of ideas, topics, guests, and all the things you can do to get an audience to listen to your podcast!