You have a great idea for a podcast, but you are letting the technical aspects of podcasting stop you from realizing your idea. There’s no need to fear the technical. In fact, assembling a podcast starter kit is easier than you think it may be. And, we’re here to show you just that.
Podcasting is a fun and creative way to share opinions, facts, or creative writing with the world. And creatives sometimes find the technical aspect of podcasting to be a headache. Where do you even start? What equipment do you need?
Well, fear no more. We are going to break down exactly what equipment you need to create your own podcast starter kit. With this easy guide, you will be on your way to podcasting in no time.
The Best Podcast Starter Kit
Now you may think that setting up your own recording studio in your house is a very complex task. But it really isn’t. In fact, you don’t even need that much equipment to start recording professionally sounding podcasts. And some equipment, you may already have.
And there are two ways to go about getting your podcast equipment. You can create your podcast setup on your own or you can purchase a podcast equipment package, which is a bundle with all the equipment you need already assembled for you.
There is no right or wrong way to approach your podcast setup. You just need to think what would work best for you? Are you the type of person who likes to have a say in everything they buy? Someone who likes to customize according to their likes? If so, then you probably want to assemble your own podcast starter kit.
But if the technical aspect still freaks you out a bit (even with the guide below), then a bundle takes out all the guesswork for you. And with a bundle, you know you have podcast equipment that will work well together.
And don’t think that assembling your own podcast kit is more expensive than a bundle. There are budget-friendly options that offer professional sounding output (some of which even the professionals use). And that is where your focus should be, getting a professional sound and feel to your podcast.
Best Podcast Setup
Here’s a quick run-down at what equipment you need for the best podcast setup you can have as a newbie. And as you see, it really isn’t much:
- Editing software
At first you may not think that a laptop is necessary for podcasting, but it is a critical component of your podcast equipment kit. Your laptop is where you will edit your podcast recordings and upload files to your podcast hosting site.
If you already have a laptop. Great. If not, one of the best laptops for podcasting is the New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB). It’s ideal as it is compact and light making it easy to use either at home or for recording on the road. It’s also a rare laptop featuring two universal ports, so you can connect multiple accessories at one time. And with a battery life of 13 hours, you don’t have to worry about running out of battery when working on editing your recordings.
Unfortunately, just having a laptop isn’t enough. You need the right editing software downloaded so you can easily edit your recordings into one seamless podcast. And, best of all, you don’t have to go crazy and purchase top rated editing software. There are two free programs available that are perfect for any podcast starter kit.
Audacity works on both Windows and MAC platforms. It is super easy to use and allows you to edit using undo and redo functions. If you are using a MAC, then you also have the option of Garageband. This free software allows you to precisely time your edits. As an added bonus, it also comes with a set of musical loop options that you can use for intro and background music to your podcast. And that is a handy free bonus to have.
You can’t have a podcast without something to record with, right? And that is why a microphone is critical podcast equipment. In fact, you should have more than one microphone in your podcast starter kit.
Why? Unless your podcast is only you speaking the entire time, you need a microphone for each person speaking. This can be for multiple podcast hosts or guests. But even if it is just you, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup just in case as you never know when something can go wrong.
Now, there are two types of microphones out there: dynamic and condenser. For your podcasting starter kit, a dynamic microphone will do the job just fine. Not only are condenser microphones more expensive and fragile, they tend to pick up sound very easily. So, if you do not have a soundproof location, you may need to do more editing on your recordings to remove unwanted background noise.
Blue Yeti Microphones are great microphone to have for your podcast. With a USB connection, they easily work with all laptops. And with superior sound quality, you’ll sound like a professional from your very first recording.
Another option is the Audio-Technica microphone. A more budget friendlier microphone, the Audio-Technica is perfect for at home recordings. It also features a USB connection, but it also has a headphone jack which is very handy for listening to your recordings as they happen.
But if you want to go big right away, the best condenser microphone for podcasting is the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone. Its design helps to reduce unwanted background noise from the sides and rear of the microphone. It’s also built to last.
Digital Podcast Recorder
Having a recorder in your podcast starter kit allows you freedom and flexibility for recording a podcast. These mini machines allow you to capture your recordings with high-quality audio. A decent recorder will go a long way in giving you a professional sound and feel to your podcast audience. And that is something you definitely want from your very first episode.
One of the most trusted digital recorders in the market today is the Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Recorder. The Tascam recorder features four channels with adjustable condenser microphones allowing you to capture the sound that you want. It’s extremely versatile and easy to use.
A more budget friendly option is the Sony ICD-PX470 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder. Featuring an adjustable microphone that also reduces background noise, the Sony ICD has a long battery life so you never have to fear it dying mid interview. It also has a micro memory card slot so you can increase its memory space as well.
But if you’re looking to record your podcast where ever you may be, then you definitely want a podcast recorder that is easy to travel with. And, the best portable podcast recorder is the Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder. The Zoom is an extremely lightweight and versatile recorder that works for whatever your podcast specializes in, whether it’s interviews, music, etc. It can record up to 6 channels at the same time and features four mic/line inputs.
Though headphones may not seem like necessary equipment for your podcast starter kit, they are indispensable. They allow you to hear everything when you are recording. And these are things you won’t be able to pick up on your own without headphones. Having podcast headphones allows you adjust volumes and background noises in real time during the interview.
Imagine just completing an awesome interview for your podcast. But during playback, you realize it is no good. There’s background noise interfering with the sound quality, and the volume is all over the place. It’s completely unusable.
One of the best headphones for podcasting comes from Audio-Technica, which are perfect for both the newbie and professional podcaster. The ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones do an amazing job of cancelling out background noise so you are able to hear with pristine clarity your recording as it is happening. This means you can fix whatever sound glitches are occurring during the interview so you never have to toss out a podcast recording. They even collapse making them easy to take on the road with you.
For those starting out with podcasting, a more budget friendly option of podcast headphones is the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Headphones. These are designed to help cancel background noise so you can hear with perfect clarity through the headphones. They also feature a durable design plus the capability to collapse to save safe when traveling.
Now audio mixers are not necessary pieces of equipment to have for your podcast starter kit. It all depends on the type of podcast you are looking to do that determines if an audio mixer should be included.
So, when would you need an audio mixer? They are extremely helpful if you are intending to do lots of large guest panels. When multiple people are speaking, it can be quite messy to distinguish who is speaking, and to properly record what is being said.
A mixer makes this situation so much easier to control giving you clear reception and audio for each speaker. Mixers allow you to adjust the sound levels for each recording channel, and you can have each guest have their own channel. It is a life saver for your listeners.
One of the most trusted names in the recording industry is Behringer. They offer affordable mixers suitable for different varieties of channels. One of the best mixers for podcasting is Behringer’s 5-input mixer, which is not only state-of-the-art but is compact, too.
Another big name is mixer design is Mackie. And for a podcaster starter kit, they offer the Mix-8 channel compact mixer (also available with 5 and 12 channels, too). This podcast mixer offers 2 microphone input lines in a durable metal casing. Mackie specializes in low-noise design so you are guaranteed a great quality every time.
But there is one thing you need to keep in mind when buying a mixer. You need to purchase a mixer that will accommodate each of your guests. So, if you are planning on doing large, 8-person panels much of the time, you will need to get a 12-input mixer (not to mention a microphone for each person, too).
Podcast Equipment Packages
If you still aren’t certain about putting together a podcast kit on your own, don’t worry. There are several podcast equipment packages available that you can choose from that will give you a professional sounding podcast setup without having to figure out which specific equipment will work for you. These ready to go podcast starter kits is everything you need in one click.
PreSonus AudioBox 96 Bundle
The PreSonus Audio Box 96 bundle is an all-in-one recording ensemble that includes:
- 2 Microphones – 550/551
- Mic stand adapter mount
- 20’ XLR-XLR connecting cable
- Polsen HPC-A30 Monitor headphones
- PresSonus audio mixer box
It’s the perfect podcast starter kit for any podcast newbie. Everything you need is in the box. It even come with microphone stands and Studio One 3 Artist Software that works with both Windows and MAC operating systems.
SoundCraft 2 Person Podcasting Kit
Perfect for 2 people, this SoundCraft podcasting kit will have you interviewing guests in no time. The podcast kit includes:
- Soundcraft Notepad-8FX 8-Channel Podcast Mixer Podcasting Interface, USB and Effects
- 2 – Rockville RMC-XLR High-End Metal DJ Handheld Wired Microphone Mic w (2) Cables+ XLR Cable and Mic Clip
- 2 – Rockville PRO-M50 Studio Headphones w/ Detachable Coil Cable, Case, and Extra Ear Pad
- 2 – Rockville RTMS21 Desktop Tripod Microphone Stand with Pop Filter + Shock Mount
This SoundCraft kit is easy to set up and gives you a professional quality to your podcast. It really helps you to take the guess work out of setting up a podcaster starter kit on your own.
Regardless of which option you go with for your podcast kit, make sure that you give yourself time to play with your equipment. You need to know how each piece of equipment works and how the whole set works with each other.
Trying to figure things out during your first interview is not the time to problem solve. Your guests have schedules to keep, and you want to look professional at all times. So, rope in some friends and family to do some mock interviews. Not only will this help you get comfortable using your new equipment, but you can then also work on your presentation and speaking for a podcast.
As you see, assembling your own podcast starter kit isn’t an involved process. Nor is it costly. You do not need state-of-the-art recording equipment or podcast studio setup to produce quality sounding podcasts. All you need are a few well chosen pieces of equipment. That’s it.
To see our most recommended items for podcasting, check out our podcasting shop and make starting your podcast a lot easier.
So, now there is no reason for the technical part of podcasting to stop you from pursuing your own podcast dreams. Happy podcasting!