You have a huge variety of choices when it comes to recording your podcast and despite what others say, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
However, you need to answer 3 other questions before you know what you need to record:
- What is your budget?
- Where will you be recording?
- How many people will be on your podcast?
What Is Your Budget?
You might not have a budget. You might have a few hundred dollars to spend. Personally, my current studio setup is worth about $1,500+ (not counting my computers) but I produce podcasts for a living.
Whatever your budget is, don’t let it stop it from starting.
Where Will You Be Recording?
You basically have three options:
- In the studio
- In the field
The style and format of your show will determine where you record. If you are producing a solo or your average interview-based show, you’ll like record in a studio. If you are producing a narrative or story-driven show where you’re collecting interviews and audio b-roll, you’ll probably be in the field or both.
Each scenario has equipment that fits it best.
How many people will be on your podcast?
Will your podcast be just you? Will you have a co-host, interviewees, or a group of people talking about a given topic? Will the people involved be in the same location or different ones?
The number of people and where they are located determine the equipment and software needs you have.
I can’t give you the “right” solution without knowing your exact situation but I can give you some general guidelines.
Many free options exist. For example, you can use your phone an app like Anchor to record your podcast. However, there are many downsides to using free tools:
- Audio quality might be poor
- They may take control of your advertising
A lot of people record themselves and their interview guests/co-hosts digitally using software like Audacity, Garageband, Pamela for Skype, Ecamm, or Zencastr. These softwares and services range from free to monthly subscription and can work great.
However, I don’t use recommend computer software-based recording. It’s more prone to bad audio and less dependable than hardware solutions.
For example, I’ve recorded close to 300 podcast episodes with my digital recorders and have never lost an episode. I recently tested out an online recorder and lost a podcast interview due to “technical issues” within the first three times of using it.
Hardware (and Software) Options
I use and recommend hardware options. They are more dependable, portable, and higher quality. It’s too much to get into here but I’m talking about a physical microphone and digital recorder.
I still use software like Skype, Zoom, and Hangouts to connect with my guest, I just don’t record with it.
In the next season of Podcast Bytes, I’m going to dedicate each episode to answer questions on each piece of equipment may want to use.
For now, you can check out the following resources to learn more about choosing the best equipment for your setup:
Kit.com – This site features my entry and expert-level equipment recommendations as well as my own setup.
EquipmentForPodcasting.com – Here you can sign up for my email series that gives a brief overview of each piece of equipment.
The Absolute Beginners Guide to Podcast Equipment – This is an article I wrote discussing equipment options in more detail.
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