Podcasting is a growing phenomenon and there are already a large number of podcasters making a living even in small niches. And there are even more of them who are doing it to promote themselves and their other projects. It’s a medium that allows you to build a personal connection with your audience and all kinds of performers including DJs, comedians, beauty experts, and so on, can greatly benefit from starting a good podcast.
Oh, and if you happen to be in the music business already, such as if you are a DJ, this definitely puts you at an advantage, since you have both experience and gear that you can use. If you are totally starting from scratch, that’s ok.
Podcasting is for everyone who isn’t afraid to talk and let people hear what you have to say. So, whether you own music gear already or not, you’ll probably need to buy a few things as well just for the podcast. So, let’s see what you need to start podcasting.
The first and main thing that you need to pick up is a microphone. Clearly, you couldn’t do a podcast without a good way to record yourself and having decent sound matters.
Condenser vs. Dynamic
There are two main types of microphones you can get – dynamic and condenser microphones. Generally speaking, condenser microphones tend to be more expensive, fragile and much more sensitive. They are usually used in sound-treated studios to get the highest quality recordings and pick up almost every sound from the room you place them in.
Here is a selection of bestselling condenser mics from Amazon that you can browse if you’re looking to buy.
On the other hand, dynamic microphones tend to be used more commonly by live performers because they pick up loud sound sources at short ranges like a person speaking or singing into them, but don’t tend to register fainter sounds that are further away. Here is a decent selection of dynamic mics in case you’re looking to buy.
Additionally, condenser microphones require their own power supply while dynamic mikes don’t.
It’s important to note that the podcasting world has been flooded with cheaper condenser USB microphones, so looking at entry-level podcasting options condenser mikes would actually be cheaper.
Some of the cheapest models one could get are Blue Microphones Snowball, Audio-Technica ATR2500 and Samson C01U Pro which are all USB condenser microphones.
You usually see condenser microphones in studios and dynamic mikes on stages, but podcasting might have a bit of different requirements. If you can record in a sound-proof studio or booth (be it a home one), you will definitely get better sound quality with a condenser microphone. But if are hoping to simply record in your room, a decent dynamic mike will provide decent enough sound quality while significantly reducing background noise and making your neighbor’s dog a much more unlikely guest on your podcast.
Get Something Useful
If you are either a DJ or a musician who performs regularly, it might be a much better idea to invest in a microphone that you will get some additional use out of. If you talk to audiences, get a nice dynamic microphone like the classic Shure SM58 which will also do a good job as your podcasting weapon of choice.
If you want to produce some original tracks and would like to be able to record vocals, it would make a lot of sense to spring for a higher quality vocal condenser microphone which will also make your podcast sound amazing. But if you are getting a condenser mike you need to take care of two important things. First of all, you need to power that thing. USB microphones are much less versatile, so getting an XLR one is advisable. Additionally, it’s not a good idea to use a condenser microphone in a room that is not sound-proof and suitable for recording.
Besides the actual microphone, you can also decide to spring for a simple mike stand or even an overhead broadcast boom like the Heil Sound PL-2T to make recording more pleasant and comfortable.
The other essential piece of equipment is headphones, but many people already have some good ones kicking around just for listening pleasure. If not, here is a selection of bestselling headphones for you to browse.
On top of that, if you feel like investing a lot into this, you can get preamps for your microphones, a multichannel mixer for when you have many guests and so on.
If you’re a recording artist or otherwise just have some audio know-how, it is very likely that you are already familiar with more powerful editing and recording software than the basic stuff you would need for podcasting already. But, if you aren’t, you can always start with something simple and free as GarageBand, or you can use something like Audacity or Sound Forge.
And for people already used to powerful DAW software, editing a podcast will be a breeze.
The real challenge you’ll face is when you start having guests over Skype or another similar application. The best thing to do is to have everybody record their own voice that you would mix later.
You should also always do sound checks to make sure everybody is being recorded.
Depending on if you already were into music on some level, as either a DJ or a performer, live podcasting isn’t going to be so huge a leap. That said, if you’re totally new to it all, you will have to pick up a few things, and learn how to use them. Luckily, each of the components of a live podcast are fairly self explanatory, so there’s no reason not to try it!