Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege to produce several podcasts for clients. I’ve worked with software companies, financial advisors, and even young teenagers. You may think that a podcast with kids is a recipe for chaos, but you’d be surprised how serious they take the recording sessions and how professional of a product they can turn out.
In fact, of all the podcasts that I’ve produced. The podcast with kids has received the most downloads per episode. It just takes a little
What Equipment Do You Need?
First, I should note that any recording could feasibly be uploaded as a podcast. So, you could make a simple recording on your iPhone and call that a podcast. However, if you want people to listen, you need to be sure you have high-quality audio.
There are a lot of choices and it can be overwhelming. Below is a list of the equipment that I like to use, but it doesn’t mean there is not something better out there.
There are dynamic microphones and there are condenser microphones. If I’m recording a podcast, I like to use dynamic mics. They help cut out the ambient noise. Most amateurs podcasters do not have soundproof studios. We have refrigerators and computer fans running in the background. A dynamic mic helps you reduce some of that ambient noise.
The Heil PR40 is my favorite podcasting microphone, but it’s also my most expensive. When you talk into this mic, your voice just sounds expensive.
I should point out that this mic and the others I’m listing are dynamic mics. This means that they’re great at cutting out ambient noise, but you have to talk directly into them. This means you should be two or three fingers away. This is one of the biggest challenges when podcasting with kids. I find that I often have to stop the recording and remind them when we are first starting out.
When I was working with a tight budget I picked a couple of the Rode Procasters. They run about $100 cheaper than the Heil PR40 and you have to listen really closely to catch much of a difference.
If you want a professional sound, but don’t want to break the bank. This is the way to go.
Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500
Do you want to try podcasting but you aren’t sure you’re going to stick with it? You may want to try the Behringer Ultravoice? You won’t sound as great as the two choices above, but it is still a decent dynamic mic for only about $20.
This is the most important piece of equipment in your arsenal, so you don’t really want to cut corners here. A digital recorder is where all your recordings end up. I record a lot, so I use a 64GB SD Card with mine. But if you’re just starting out. A 16GB card is enough.
I absolutely love the Zoom H6. It’s a little big for a digital recorder, but it is versatile. You can pop different mics on the top if you need to record someone or something on the go. Or, you can run four different XLR or quarter inch cables into it.
Having four different inputs is a big deal. In fact, because of this, you could
I’ve never actually used the TASCAM, but I know a lot of people love them. It’s a less expensive alternative than the Zoom H6, but it only has two XLR ports. However, if you’re using a mixing board, this really should not be an issue.
A mixing board is crucial for a few reasons.
- You plan on using several microphones during recording
- You like mixing your music and sound effects in on the fly, rather than during post-production.
- You need one if you plan to do remote interviews. A mixing board can allow you to set up a mix-minus and avoid annoying feedback for your guest. See video below.
You don’t have to get crazy with a mixing board. I use two different boards and I’ve never pushed either to
Behringer 12 Xenyx
At around $100 the Behringer 12 gets the job done for me. It accomplishes everything I need for podcasting and it’s portable enough for me to take on road shows.
If there’s a downside, it’s that it has knobs instead of sliders, but I don’t make enough adjustments on the fly for this to be an issue.
If you want something fancier, or you plan on having a lot of guests on at once, you may want to consider a Mackie?
You want comfortable over the ear headphones that don’t allow for a lot of sounds to bleed out. When sound bleeds out, it can get picked back up by the microphone and that can be problematic.
You get a lot of bang for you buck with the LyxPro HAS-10. They sound incredible, and I can wear them for hours without any pain on my ears. I’ve purchased them five times for around $40 each.
If you’re looking to save money, you can use iPhone headphones or something you have laying around the house, Just be careful not to have them turned up too loud.
Mic Stands or Arms
If you’re going to be setting up a studio, I’d recommend an arm. You can position the microphone in a comfortable position for your subject and your less likely to bump into it while talking.
If you plan on moving around a lot, you may want to consider a portable stand?
Either way, you can keep the cost pretty low with these.
The equipment you select above will determine which cables you need. You’ll most likely need several XLR Cables or 1/4″ to XLR cables.
When it comes to plugging in several sets of headphones a multi 3.5 splitter is a great tool.
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