The Equipment You Need to Produce a Podcast
This article is by no means a comprehensive run-down of all the recording equipment available. But it cuts to the chase to deliver some well-tested recommendations. We’re talking solid, reliable, reasonably priced (but not the cheapest) and relatively easy-to-operate equipment.
A portable digital recorder
Zoom digital recorders are great pieces of kit that are entirely portable and versatile. They come with inbuilt microphones which are useful for a solo presenter and interviewee-style podcast or for use in a mobile recording situation such as a trade show. For a roundtable discussion with several guests you’ll need to plug in additional microphones.
There’s a whole article to be written about the desirability of a condenser microphone versus a dynamic one. Let’s just say here that condensers give your recording a higher quality while dynamics are more robust, work well in noisy environments but deliver a less rich sound.
The Rode NT1A is a terrific condenser mic. It comes with a shock mount (to attach to your microphone stand/suspension boom) and a pop filter (not pictured) to reduce extraneous noises to the minimum. There’s also a cable to link it to the Zoom recorder.
The dynamic AT2005USB from Audio Technica is rugged and can be used with the Zoom or it can be plugged straight in to your computer which is useful if you plan to do any remote recording.
A stand or suspension boom to hold your microphones in place
The Neweer NW35 is nifty piece of gear and comes with a table mounting clamp. You may not need this if you chose the AT2005USB microphone which comes with its own tripod table stand.
You need headphones to hear what you are recording – believe me, you’ll be amazed at the noises you’ll detect while wearing them which really interfere with the quality of your audio. You should also provide a pair to every guest. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 are an incredibly comfortable pair to wear for any length of time.
For a splitter so that multiple headphones can be used at once, we recommend the Belkin Mixit Colour Range Rockstar Splitter
It’s worth checking to see if you have Adobe Audition – and it is our personal favourite. If not you can experiment with free audio editing packages such as Garage Band for Mac or Audacity for use with your PC. However, whichever software you choose, if you haven’t done any audio editing before you will need training or outside help.
Assuming you are equipping your corporate podcast for a presenter plus interviewee, this little lot comes to between roughly £650 - £750 and should last you reliably for many podcast series to come. A subscription to Adobe Audition alone would cost a further £15.50 a month.
You could, of course, also hire in a professional podcast production company to provide the equipment and help produce your podcast. Once you see how to master the basics you can then take it to the next level, equip your in-house studio and be your own podcast producer.