This post was written by Terrass Misher originally posted on the Pod On The Go, LLC, website in April 2019. It can be found here:
I was asked recently by a friend on what equipment and software he’ll need to start a podcast. So I figured why not just write a blog post about it.
I usually warn people that growing a podcast audience from scratch can take 2-3 years. This friend, however, is in a very unique situation to have a successful podcast from the beginning because of his audience and the growth of his organization. So this equipment is recommended specifically for people who want to sound great from the very beginning whether they’re on location, in a studio, or virtually.
What I use: Audiotechnica ATR 2100. Such a great, reliable, well-built microphone for the price. It’s what I recommend everyone start with because it’s such a small investment that makes your voice sound amazing. It’s also durable and long-lasting. I’ve purchased my first one in 2013 and it still sounds just as good today as it did then. There are literally 100’s of 5-star reviews for this on Amazon so I won’t go into why you need this mic.
However, there are a couple of minor downsides to this mic that I’ve noticed over the years.
The biggest one is that any minor tap on the mic, mic stand, xlr cable, or table it’s attached to will be picked up by the mic. This is hard to remove in post, so if you have a guest who is very animated and speaks with their hands, you’re going to have a lot of noise in the background.
A couple of minor things are the bright LED light on the mic. It doesn’t cause a problem with audio-only podcasts, but if you’re recording video as well, it gets distracting to look at. And finally, although the construction of the mic is solid (even after a drop or two) the silver paint scratches really easily. Again this doesn’t matter if you are in a studio or going to set them up once and not move them. But for my business, where I’m “on the go” and recording different podcasts and interviews any different locations, it gets annoying.
What Joe Rogan Uses: Shure SM7B. Microphones can get really expensive, really quick. I’m talking $1000’s (looking at you Heil PR 40). I don’t have any experience using this mic personally, but it’s the one Joe Rogan uses and he has one of, if not THE most popular podcast in the world right now.
My next upgrade: I have been falling in love with the quality of Rode products lately and my next microphone upgrade will either be a Rode NT1 or the new Rode PodMic. It depends on the evolution of my business over the next year. If I begin doing more voiceover/studio work (audiobooks, film, online courses, etc.) then I’ll get the NT1. However, if my live-streaming and on location podcasting sales increase, then I’ll get multiple PodMic’s.
What I Use: Skullcandy Hesh 2 – Great headphones. They’re lightweight, portable, well made, and sound great. I purchased 4 of them when I first launched my company and they continue to do their job well. The big CON is that they are not noise-canceling and when I purchased them I didn’t know how much I would really need them to be. So it’s 100% my fault, but you don’t know what you don’t know.
One Of The Best: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – These are highly acclaimed headphones and in my research for the best podcasting headphones, I saw Audio-Technica mentioned time after time by some of the most popular YouTube reviewers.
My next upgrade: Audio-Technica ATH-M30x – The little brother of the one above, these over the ear headphones block out a lot of noise according to reviews. For the work I do with live-streaming performances, this is critical. Sometimes it’s a loud outdoor concert and it’s difficult to monitor the live stream because the actual event is so loud. Or if I’m monitoring a speaker at a live presentation, I don’t want my headphones to ruin the experience for people sitting near my workstation. So I’ll be purchasing these very soon and I’ll update my review once I get them.
What I use: Tascam DR60D – This is one of my favorite purchases ever. It makes the recording process so much easier from my original set up (Audiobox USB into my laptop). Sorry guys, I don’t know all of the tech specs (I could look them up, but I wouldn’t understand it anyway lol), I just know it works great and makes my recordings sound great.
A few CONS:
1 – It’s bulky and with batteries in it, it’s kinda heavy. Those together make it hard to fit in a bag and one way or another, it’s always in the way when I’m recording.
2 – Battery life is very short with AA rechargeable batteries. Mine only lasts around 3 hours with one mic recording. This can be fixed however by adding an external USB battery pack to it with some velcro.
3 – I’ve had it for less than a year and it’s somewhat broken already. It wasn’t dropped, but my USB power source doesn’t work anymore, I have to power it with batteries in order for it to turn on. It sucks.
One Of The Best: RodeCaster – For podcasters, this new all in one podcast recorder/mixer is like the holy grail of podcasting. You can add music, control mic, and headphone volumes, add sound fx’s, and even connect your cell phone for a call in interview guest. I haven’t had the opportunity to play around with one yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll write a review about it.
My Next Upgrade: Zoom H4n Pro – I’m looking forward to getting this because I’ve worked with other Zoom products and they were easy and fun to work with. And honestly, after my experience with Tascam, I’m looking forward to trying something different. Also, due to the nature of my work, where I’m always “on the go” (I’m actually rushing to finish this post before a radio interview in 1hr), I’m excited to use this Zoom recorder because it will allow me to easily carry it in my hand and record an interview or go out and get location sound for vlogs and promo videos.
Bonus: Zoom F6 – Coming Soon
What I Use: Audition – Adobe Audition is hard to beat. It’s not a free service, but because I work from home, it’s relatively little small overhead compared to having office space. Also, it integrates with Premiere Pro and After Effects and I can’t even tell you how much time that saves me with importing and exporting voice-overs.
What I started with: Audacity – The free, open source editing software that everyone starts with. It’s a great way to learn the basics of audio editing and many of the big skills crossover from one platform to the other. So it’s worth giving Audacity a shot before you learn all of the bells and whistles associated with Audition.