STOP WASTING TIME RESEARCHING PODCAST RESOURCES
Here’s a list of some of the equipment I use and why. I get a small kickback from amazon. I hope I can save you some time.
When it comes to a podcast microphone, don’t use your on-board or internal mic from your laptop. And don’t use your phone. If you’re serious about your podcast, you want a piece of equipment that will do a solid job without breaking the bank. Spending $500 is just silly since your podcast will likely be compressed so it doesn’t take up a ton of space on your host’s site or your listener’s device. You can always enhance the sound of any mic with a few EQ adjustments in your recording software.
I’d say the MOST POPULAR (entry level) PODCAST MICROPHONE today is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. (Approx $77 US) A tonne of podcasters, including many of my clients use this mic with great results. It’s the best mic at this price point hands down. Super simple set up. Plug it directly into your laptop or computer using a USB connection or if you’re using a mixer, you have the option of using the XLR connection. (That’s the 3-prong/pin connector) If you’re just getting started and want to sound great. Buy this mic. Don’t waste any more time looking. Seriously. You’ll come back to buying it anyway.
My mic is a small step up from that one. I use this Audio-Technica AT2035 (XLR). (Approx $160 US). I won’t bore you with spec details. All you need to know is that it’s a solid mic with great range, good sensitivity and honestly, nice looks. Audio-Technica makes a couple of different microphones in the 2000 series. For me, the 2035 is the perfect fit for podcasting, musicians or any studio setting.
POP SCREEN or WIND SOCK
Yes, you need one of these. They both will do the job. I use both (on different mics). Either one will help prevent you from popping your p’s (see my youtube video tutorial on proper mic placement). The POP SCREEN will attach to almost any stand. The wind sock will help too. Just make sure it fits your mic. There are 2 listed here. The ATR2100 Sock & the AT2035 Sock.
Okay, the key word here is stand. Stand when you do your podcast. What? You don’t? Here’s why you should stand and not sit when you record your podcast. I’ve included 2 stands (or mic booms) that will attach to your desk and 2 that sit on the floor. I know, a stand that sits, HILARIOUS! It depends on the microphone you have. You don’t need anything fancy here. Read the reviews. And pick the one you look. I’ll search the reviews to see if anyone is using it with my specific mic.
Desk Clamp Mic Stand (Boom)
Some people manhandle everything and break everything they touch. Treat your gear right and it will last. Just to get you off your ass when you podcast. (The ATR2100 comes with a very tiny tripod that sits on your desk. If you don’t buy a stand you’ll be either hunched over or have to build up a platform of boxes and books to raise it. Just buy a stand.)
AUDIO INTERFACE MIXER (AMP)
If you’re using an XLR (3-prong/pin) mic you need what some refer to as an amp, mixer or interface. That’s where the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 comes in. With this sexy little box you can have 2 mics or 2 instruments plugged into it. This unit then connects to your computer with a USB cable. If you want more than 2 channels you’re going to need more equipment. Any little mixer like this that connects to your computer using a USB will only give you 2 (left & right) channels. Most podcasters don’t need more than 2 inputs and this little box travels well too. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 also works with skype/google with some clever wiring. Here’s how to do it. Thanks to Ray Otega’s youtube video.
There are plenty of choices for audio editing software. I use Adobe Audition (for Windows). It’s extremely versatile and has all the capabilities and tools you need to record, mix, and export your podcasts. Another program that can do the job is Audacity. It’s free and easy to learn.
No matter the software you use, take some time to learn it. Record a few fake podcasts. Play around. Spend some time with it – there are plenty of online tutorials to help you learn. But, once you find the one you like best, stick with it. You’ll continue to get better and better at it. Before you know it, you’ll be building templates, using shortcuts and mixing with the best of them. Don’t give up – you’ll get there.
STOCK MUSIC SERVICES
Have you spent hours, that turn into days trying to find FREE music for your podcast? Here’s the problem with free. Free is shit. BUCK UP. For less than $20 you can find a great piece of music that will fit your brand that you can use forever. I’ve been using Audio Jungle for years. I do a lot of video production that requires a butt-load of music. Trust me, there is more than a ton of music on audio jungle. Most tracks will cost you around $19 with the regular license fees. It’s totally worth it unless you want to use the exact piece of music that all the cheap podcasters are using for their theme song. Find your music here.
ID3 tags with MP3TAG
ID3 Tags are worth doing but you hate doing them, I know. So do I. This little program makes it easy and almost entirely automated. It’s called MP3TAG ad it’s FREE! Ever download an mp3 and there is NO information attached to it. ID3 tags carries your artwork and a whole lot more. That way if someone just downloads an episode from your website, all that gorgeous info pops up on their player. Here’s MP3TAG the program. And here’s a great tutorial I found from James Kennison on how to use it.
WEBHOSTING & DOMAINS
Talk about confusing. You can read a million reviews on different hosting providers and as many great things you’ll hear about one, you’ll hear the same number of horror stories about that same company. I’ve been with 1and1 for a long time. Every host provider has issues. I’ve got over 2 dozen domains and it feels like I’m building another website ever couple of months. I just keep building more sites within my same account. I’d recommend one of their web hosting UNLIMITED packages. Their back-end is easy to use and their 24/7 support although not perfect (whose is?) can be amazing when you get the right person on the other end of the phone. Plus, their domains are really reasonable. Click Here.