Recording Equipment for Podcasting

Episode Description

There is a lot of advice out there about what recording equipment is needed to create a podcast. Most advice seems to go in either of two directions. One being “of course you can record a podcast on your iPhone” and the other makes you believe you need a professional recording studio to even begin.

As you may have guessed, I am not a fan of that sort of advice. We value sound quality highly and it doesn’t need hundreds of dollars to achieve it, but it should be taken seriously, since it has a direct effect on the success of your podcast.

So in this episode we are talking about what recording equipment you really need to create a podcast with sound quality that people will enjoy listening to.

 

You're listening to podcasting for experts with honest conversations about using podcasting as a tool to grow your reach, increase your audience, make a positive impact on the world, and most importantly, to get paid for your efforts. I'm your host, Jess, and we are pristine podcasts. Let's talk podcasting. Hey, and welcome back. This is episode 10. And today, I want to talk a little bit about recording equipment. And what you really need. This is a bit of a controversial topic, as anyone that's already kind of plugged into the podcasting space a little bit has probably figured out. When I first heard about podcasting years ago, I felt as though it was some exclusive club that you could only join, if you had access to all of these expensive recording gadgets, I don't know a perfect studio space to record a whole team for editing. And that really, if you can't produce a perfect end product, you shouldn't even start. And for some stupid reason, I believe this for years. And there are plenty of people out there that share this belief far and wide today. But to be honest, I couldn't agree more. The people who usually share this message, people who are very passionate about audio quality, there are people that have studied something in this direction, there are people who used to work in the radio. And yeah, I agree. If your show is content wise, a very average show, then you better make this a freaking amazing experience, from start to finish. Yeah, if you have a huge budget to invest into your show, you can make this an amazing experience. Totally agree. But there is an in between as well, where you don't want to invest huge amounts of money just yet. But you have a message that is so powerful to share that you should get started anyways. So this show is called podcasting for experts for a reason. The reason why I pick this name is because I believe so strongly that podcasting has a unique potential for connecting you quite intimately to your listeners, it's just you and your voice right in your listeners ears, no distracting video, no staring at a screen to read the content that you're being, you know, delivered here. Your listeners take your podcast everywhere you've been in their bed, you've been in their bathroom, you've gone to work with them. So over a period of time, you will become a part of their life. I still remember when I first started my online business, I was listening to Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield on the way to work every single day. And they actually became a part of that period of my life. I remember, you know, opening the car in the mornings, it was winter, I was very cold. And then I would get in and I would turn on the car. And while I wait for it to heat up, I would pick you know, the latest episodes that I want to listen to. And I remember driving to work sitting in the car outside, you know until the episode was finished. So this is something that is inevitably tied to what happened around me at that point in my life now. And while I don't listen to those podcasts anymore today, because my focus has kind of shifted a little bit, I still have very high regard for both shows, because anyone that's getting started with an online business is going to get that transformation, that perspective shift that they need from listening to those podcasts. So podcasting for experts became a thing because I believe that podcasting is one of the best ways to share your knowledge, position yourself as an expert, grow your reach, and then get paid to do so. And I think that your message and your knowledge is powerful and it needs to be shared. And if your message is strong enough, and if your content is well organised and well presented, if you are giving the listener a sort of transformation, the listener couldn't care less if you record it with a mic that costs 50 bucks or a mic that costs 500 bucks. And I know that that's an unpopular opinion. So if you don't have any money to spend on your show right now then don't let that stop you from getting started with something. Yes, you will annoy some people and they will tune out but the people who really need to hear what you have to say right now. They will hear you out even if the quality of it isn't where he would like it to be just yet. So do not let not having the money to invest, hold you back from sharing your message. If you can make a small investment into your podcast and into your future, then you will find that it is going to help you a lot if you have a decent mic Good space to record and some good recording and editing software. And those are the things that I want to talk about a little bit today. So first, let's talk about the mic. My promise for this show was to keep podcasting accessible for people and not have you drown in any kind of irrelevant technobabble at any point. So I'm going to keep the mic explanation very short. And I'm going to explain things in a way that is very simple to understand. There are two different types of mics that you can buy. The first one is called a condenser mic, and the example is the Blue Yeti that I am recording with. And then there are dynamic mics, and examples would be the ATR 2100, the cue to you the road Procaster, and all of those ones. So there are a lot of different dynamic mics out there that you can choose from condenser mics are super sensitive. So I got this Yeti as a president years ago, before I knew shit about any of this. And honestly, you can hear everything on this recording. If a motorbike goes by outside, kids screaming to floors up in the hallway, the fridge turns on and starts humming, you can hear it. If you want to make your life way easier, get a dynamic mic, those mics are way better at isolating the input source, which in this case is obviously your voice that is way closer to the mic, and then sort of zone out a little bit on the other background noise that is coming into the mic as well. So the recording will be way more focused on your voice. And people won't be able to hear the baby that doesn't want to go home to floors up. When you do order the mic, you're going to want to get some accessories with it. Something that I didn't realise when I first got started with recording things is that you are supposed to keep the mic quite close to your mouth. And if you speak directly into a mic, you will inevitably blow air into the mic. And that will make like a popping sound. And that makes fragile people like me jump a little bit when I listen to your recording. And the thing that you're gonna want to invest into is a pop filter for your mic. Depending on which mic you order, some of them already come with a pop filter. Some of them have pop filters that you just you know, put on top of the mic as I'm just sliding it onto the front of the mic, basically, so it stays permanently attached to it. Or you have pop filters that you attach to the table or to whatever else is next to you. And you kind of pull it in front of the microphone. The second thing that is kind of annoying on your recording, is if you bang the table like this. So if you have a mic like the Yeti, which stands on the table, it is really really, really bad. If you are kind of person that moves around a lot. So that's me, I'm always waving my arms. And I'm very likely to bang into the table, the pop filter, whatever. So if you're getting a mic, the thing that you're going to want to do is to get a boom arm that has a shock mount on it that the mic goes into. And then you can attach the boom arm to the side of the table so it's not actually in front of you. And then you can hang the mic from the top. And it's way easier because the mic is in front of your face. But it is not completely blocking your vision and you can still move your arms freely. So if you're someone that talks with your hands like I do, then I think this is definitely 100% a worthwhile investment to make and they're not very expensive. I do have a page on the website that you can find all of our recommended products. And that page I will link up in the show notes. The next thing that is not really realistic is for everyone that to have access to a professional space to record and honestly it is not necessary. But there are sure better spaces and worse spaces that you can use for recording. Your biggest enemy when it comes to producing good quality recordings is noise from the outside or within your room so furniture, aircon, that kind of stuff, as well as echo. So I live in a super noisy place and I honestly have to record on Sundays because there is way less traffic out there. The dance studio next door isn't blasting music and the stars just generally align way better on Sundays. I'd prefer not to have to do that. But at this point, I just can't help it. I can't control those outside factors. The echo is something else that happens. A decent amount in this room. So there are better spaces to record in than others. Ideally, the room that you use is not too large. It's even better if there is carpet curtains, soft furnishings, like, I don't know, bookshelves on the walls, sofas, if you in a bedroom that works really, really, really well, because you've got lots of soft furnishings around you. A good space that you can record depending on where you're at, and how houses are built. It always varies what you have access to. But I know in lots of countries, people have built in closets in their house, that is a perfect space to record, you know, you could put a little table in there, you're surrounded by clothes, it's a very small space, and you will sound amazing. I know a lot of podcasters get started, you know, with like a blanket over their heads and stuff. But to be honest, I think it's more important to be comfortable and not to suffocate yourself than it is to reduce the echo even more. The other thing that you'll be spending hours upon hours doing is the recording and editing. So for recording, you can just use Audacity, it is free, it's easy to use, you can just instal it. And it doesn't cause me any issues when I record. Now, editing is kind of a different ballgame. So for our clients, we spend, sometimes three, sometimes four. And sometimes if it's a very complex interview, like eight times the length of the episode editing. So if we have a guest on one of our clients shows, and it's an hour long interview, we could be spending eight hours editing. Because there are always issues with the recording that need to be ironed out. And it just takes time. So I know that the last thing that you want to do is to learn how to edit podcasts. But I think it really is a worthwhile investment, because you're going to spend quite a lot of time doing it. And the more you know about the tool that you're using, the more you can do with it when something goes wrong. So there are always things that I don't know, like we have clients that record with the same setup every single week. And it could be that every third episode, there is an issue with the recording, you know, lots of our clients give their guests guides on how they should set up their space and what they should do before they hit record. And then their guest doesn't wear headphones for some reason. And then you know, the audio bleeds onto the guests recording. And yeah, it's a big shit pile to clean that up, you know. And there's only so much that you can do if you're using Audacity, for example that you use to record to then go and try and cut and edit the episode, there's only so much that you can do in GarageBand. So I think as much as it is annoying to have to invest, you know, three, four hours into learning a new tool, those three, four hours that you invest now on the front end, can save you days, over the period of time that you are recording your podcast. There are of course online tools out there that you can use to edit one of them is the script. So the script basically shows you a written version of whatever it is that you said, and you can edit the podcast by basically removing and adding things to the text as you go. And they are getting better at doing some of those things automatically. But I regularly see posts from people in the different Facebook groups for podcasters that I'm in. And there's people who are like, Oh, my God, like this didn't work at all, it made, you know, choppy cuts and stuff like that. So I think when you know how to use a tool to some extent, not to a professional level, but to some extent, you have more control over what you can do at the back end to fix things. And I think that that's very important. So we use Adobe Audition. And if you want to sign up for any of the Adobe products, you do need to get it on a subscription. But I'm telling you, it is worth it. It is worth the investment from a financial perspective, and it's worth to invest time into learning how to use it. Then here's a bonus tip, if you are recording with guests, some guests, it really depends on the industry that you're in. They are very good. You can tell them, you know go and instal audacity on your computer. Then we're going to meet on Zoom. Then we're going to count down from three and then we're both going to press record. And then after we're finished, you're going to make sure that you save the episode. This is how you do it. And then you're going to upload it to my Google Drive here. Link, some guests are incapable of following those instructions. So then you might find that they managed to instal audacity, they hit record, but they haven't selected their mic as an input source. And it's now using the computer's mic and you're getting a trashy audio returned, or I don't know, they forgot to export the audacity file afterwards, and send it to you. So they thought they have it saved, and they don't realise. So those are things that can really ruin your entire week, because now if you've lost the entire interview, you have to rebook the guest. And you have to re record the entire thing. And it puts your whole content schedule off track. So if you are recording with guests, there are services that you can use online that basically handle the recording for you. And you, as the person who runs the service, you basically get access to both sides of the recording immediately. And one of those is stream yard. And there's other options out there. So if you have some extra cash to invest into getting yourself set up for interviews, if you do them, then that can be a huge time and headache saver. It's a bit like an insurance policy, right, you sign up for insurance before your house is flooded, and you might not need it for 10 years. But then when you do need it, you are grateful that you have it. There are 1,000,001 other tech gadgets that you can get to make your show even nicer. But honestly, if you're new to podcasting, it is really enough to get started with getting a decent mic and learning how to plug that into your computer. And then learning how to record and learning how to structure your episodes and checking that actually you like podcasting, it is working for you, and it's working for your business. And if you enjoy it, and you know, one year on one and a half years on, you're still doing it, and you love the process of recording and you want to make it even better, then it's a great time for you to look into how can you make the audio quality of your show even better. Up until that point, I think you're good enough to get started with just a few of those things. And like I said earlier, if you can't afford any of these, then get started. Anyways, get better at speaking, try and grow an audience regardless of whatever obstacles you're facing. And if that's working for you, then as soon as you're getting some kind of result from what it is that you're doing, you can then choose to reinvest that back into the podcast, you know. So it could just be that you might have to go for 3040 episodes before you can buy yourself a decent mic. And if you're managing to book people onto discovery calls to, you know, potentially sign up for one of your services, and you're managing to do that through your podcast, then you know that it is working and you can justify investing more money into it. Alrighty, that's it for this episode. If you enjoyed the show our entire team would appreciate if you leave us a review. And if you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, or if you'd like to talk about collaborations then please drop us an email you'll find our email address in the show notes. As always, I hope you have an amazing day and we will see you for the next one. And that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. We appreciate you. If you're ready to finally pull the trigger and get started with your podcast then don't forget to check out the podcast launch toolkit at pristine podcast.com forward slash toolkit. The link is also in the show notes Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting. Recording Equipment for Podcasting.

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