Your Podcast Essential Equipment List

A podcast producer studio with a microphone and recording software.

We’re getting deep into 2022 now, and we know that you need an updated podcast essential equipment list. When it comes to podcasting, the equipment you use is crucial. You’ll need different tools to help you go from pre- to post-production podcasting. 

With their recording services, podcasting studios can make everything easier for you. However, this post aims to discuss how to set up a remote studio.

You might be wondering how much money you’ll need to enter the industry. Contrary to widespread assumption, quality podcast creation does not necessitate a lot of expensive equipment. Your equipment is the initial investment you commit, however. To extend the life of your gear and software, we recommend that you select high-quality options. This will mean a larger investment, if you can afford to spend more. It will help you avoid more big expenses later on, though.

The following are the pieces of podcast essential equipment you’ll need to get started:

1. Laptop

Podcasting requires a computer, but we listed a laptop specifically. A laptop is a necessary component of production because of its portability. A laptop also provides users with versatility and convenience compared to a desktop. With this tool, you can run the software you need to integrate background music, take out unneeded parts of your recording, make transitions, and create an engaging opening and closing segment.

You must consider several factors when purchasing a laptop for podcasting.

An apple macbook pro next to a smartphone.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

The RAM or Random Access Memory of a laptop is the first thing to think about. This refers to the laptop’s ability to store individual data pieces. Podcasters require more RAM because audio tracks, editing software, and other data demand the device’s processing power. With more RAM, there are fewer delays and processing lags. Choose a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The CPU determines how successfully your gadget can perform various tasks. People think of the CPU as a computer’s brain. Although high-speed CPUs are available, it is preferable to have a multi-core processor on your laptop. This means that you want a laptop that has many processing units, allowing faster and more efficient productivity. Intel Core, Apple M1, and AMD are examples of multi-core CPUs.

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

The podcast production DAW you will use to cut out unwanted audio segments and improve the quality of your episodes’ sound is called a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Before you go out and buy a laptop, think about what DAW you want to put on it. Keep in mind that some DAWs are only available for specific operating systems. GarageBand, for example, is exclusively designed for Apple devices. You can only get a legitimate version, therefore, for devices that run macOS and iOS.

A Digital Audio Workstation with sound mixing capabilities.

Other considerations when buying a laptop for podcasting production:

  • Plug-ins
  • Battery Life
  • Weight
  • Internal Storage
  • Latency
  • Price and Warranty
  • Screen Size

Best Laptops for Podcasting:

2. Microphone

The audio produced by excellent microphones is a far cry from what you get with mediocre microphones. Do not rely on the mercy of your laptop or phone’s built-in microphone to produce a podcast. If you do, the result will be scattered and low-quality audio.

Now you might be wondering, “What is the best microphone?” We have two types of microphones on our podcast essential equipment list. The first is one that uses a USB connection. A USB microphone plugs straight into your laptop. The second and more professional type of microphone uses an XLR connection. This routes your microphone through a professional audio interface, recorder, or mixer. That piece of equipment then connects to your laptop.

USB Microphone

A black USB microphone.

Beginners will usually start up their studios without the assistance of a tech specialist. If this is you, then you should use a USB microphone. It is simple to install and use. In addition, USB microphones are ideal for podcasters who use a storytelling or narrative format. They render decent audio quality, but not as excellent as professional studio microphones.

XLR Microphone

To use an XLR microphone, you will need some extra gear. The XLR connector is more sophisticated than the USB connector. It will, however, create higher-quality sound than USB devices. It’s also ideal when you need to use many microphones at the same time. For podcasting, this refers to recording in the same room with co-hosts or guests.

Make sure that the microphone you select is compatible with your laptop. You can connect it to your device in two ways.

Microphone Arm

You and your hosts don’t want to have to hold your microphones the whole time you’re recording. An arm is one of the simpler pieces of podcast essential equipment. It simply props up your microphone. You still want to get a quality arm, though, so you can trust it to keep your mic steady. Using an arm also eliminates additional sounds and varying loudness levels that are caused when the microphone is moving around.

Pop Filter

A microphone with a pop filter attached.

When you use a microphone instead of headphones, we recommend getting a pop filter. This is a sound filter that attaches to the microphone. Pop filters, according to podcasters, increase audio quality. They aid in the elimination of plosive pops.

There are a lot of types of pop filters to choose from:

  • Clip-on mesh or nylon pop filters with arms that you can use to put it where you want it on the mic stand.
  • Metal pop-filters that clip onto mic stands .
  • Filters that come pre-attached on a microphone.

Tips on How to Use Pop Filter the Right Way

  1. Most pop filters have a pole that tightens around the mic stand.
  2. Remove the bolt and loosen it until it fits around the microphone stand.
  3. Keep it loose while you get it in the correct position.
  4. Don’t over-tighten the bolt once you’ve got it in the right spot.
  5. Your pop filter should be three finger-widths away from your microphone.
  6. Keep your mouth at least three finger-widths from the filter when speaking. This is done to allow sound to disperse before reaching the microphone.

3. Headphones

A set of quality headphones.

To avoid triggering feedback , you might prefer to use headphones instead of a microphone. This way, you also become more conscious in terms of quality control. This piece of podcast essential equipment allows you to hear your own voice more clearly, for one thing. It also eliminates audio bleed and echoes. As a result, you will have more command over the loudness and modulation of your voice during the recording process.

One of the most critical aspects of creating a high-quality podcast recording is using headphones. Headphones also assist you to enhance your microphone technique and avoid plosive sounds such as “p” and “k.” Plosives are difficult to edit out and can be irritating. 

When purchasing headphones, keep the following specifications in mind:

  • Frequency Response
  • Sound Isolation
  • Impedance
  • Sensitivity
  • Comfort
  • Portability
  • Price

4. Mixer

A man operating a studio audio mixer.

A mixer is not really considered podcast essential equipment for a simple setup. However, you may want to use one if your show features numerous hosts or guests. Mixers are also helpful in recording multiple kinds of sounds. 

When choosing a mixer, examine the number of channels it can accept. Make sure that it also has preamps, and check how well it works with other gear.

5. Portable Recorder

A field recorder is another excellent alternative for recording several individuals or recording in outdoor locations. You can set them to record only what’s in front of (or behind) the mic if you like. The Zoom H4N Pro ($250), for example, allows you to change the mic’s gain quickly. This refers to how loud it records. You can also change its sensitivity to sounds that aren’t right in front of it. If you’re looking for something a little more portable, the Tula Mic ($230) is a good choice. It also comes in various fun colors and has a handy flip-style stand.

6. Camera

Including a visual component in your podcast keeps listeners interested and allows you to provide a variety of fascinating content. When it comes to podcast cameras, there are thousands of alternatives. Remember that as with any piece of podcast essential equipment, the more you spend, the higher the quality.

Lighting

A professional studio lighting setup for video podcasting and photography

To ensure that your listeners can see you clearly, you’ll need proper lighting. This also helps you look great. A lighting kit isn’t usually an essential item because you can actually use natural light or even a simple ring light for podcasting. If you’re shooting in a gloomy setting, though, a good lighting equipment will make a tremendous impact.

7. Podcast Host

A host is not technically equipment, but is essential. A podcast host serves as a connection point between you and your audience. A podcast host has two primary responsibilities. The first is to provide a place on the web where you can upload your podcast. This is necessary because you want your listeners to have a convenient place to find your content. The second responsibility of a good host is to provide you with an RSS feed generator. This allows you to upload your podcast to numerous directories easily through an RSS feed.

Typically, you can subscribe to this type of service on a monthly or annual basis. On the other hand, other podcast-specific hosts use quotations for each client. There is no such thing as a single uniform billing rate. What you can expect to pay will vary according to the requirements of your particular podcast.

Not all hosts can help you publish or distribute your podcast across several audio platforms. The podcasters themselves usually do this. PodKick, for example, is a full-service podcast provider that can help you from start to finish, including handling your podcast distribution.

There are numerous drawbacks to hosting your own podcast. As a rookie, you won’t have access to specialists or learning materials to help you. Second, bandwidth can be the most challenging problem to solve. Playing audio files on-site can take up a lot of bandwidth. There are bandwidth fair-use policies in place that you need to comply with. If you don’t think about it, your website server may flag you or compel you to upgrade to restore service. In the meantime, your content will be unavailable.

List of some hosting providers:

8. Audio Software

A snapshot of an audio editing software tool running.

There are a plethora of audio editing programs on the market nowadays. Some solutions are both free and paid. Choose a Digital Audio Workstation that offers the tools and functionality necessary for your podcasting format.

What factors should you think about before selecting a DAW?

  • Compatibility with audio plug-ins
  • Goals for music production
  • Your return on investment

If you’re new to the podcasting space, avoid the more pricey variations. When you’ve gained confidence and audience, you can consider upgrading your DAW. To practice with, go for audio editing software that is either free or relatively inexpensive. You don’t have to spend all your money on software or a high-end digital audio workstation. 

Here are some of the popular free editing programs that do a good job:

Audacity

A screenshot of the Audacity website home page.

Audacity is one of the many free podcast editing programs available. It is also a free and open-source cross-platform digital audio workstation. As a result, Audacity is compatible with macOS, Linux, and Windows. This is especially beneficial when two people are working on the same editing task but are using different devices and operating systems.

The goal of Audacity is to capture the first episodes of some of today’s most prominent podcasters. This editing tool is simple, so you won’t have to learn how to use it. For new editors, Audacity is the best solution.

Pros

  • There is a large selection of audio effects to choose from.
  • Batch processing tools are available.
  • Anyone wishing to record a discussion would love this option.

Cons

  • At its most basic level, multi-track audio options are available.
  • An external keyboard can’t be used because it’s not supported.

GarageBand

A screenshot of the GarageBand website home page.

GarageBand is another free podcast editing program. This audio editing tool was published by Apple in 2004. It contains a built-in collection of lessons on “How to edit podcasts in GarageBand”. It’s Apple’s all-encompassing music and audio studio.

All Apple devices come with GarageBand pre-installed. Even though this audio editing program is free, it includes many features. One of them is its new user-friendly UI. You can also learn about the functionality of different sections by hovering your cursor over them and using the Quick Help button.

Aside from utilizing the noise editor, you can alter and transform audio. It can adjust several aspects of the mp3, such as pitch and speed.

Pros

  • Podcast recording is simple on iOS and macOS devices.
  • It is possible to make high-resolution audio recordings.
  • Has a large selection of audio editing software tools.
  • Users can share their audio recordings via social media.

Cons

  • Audio files cannot be uploaded directly from GarageBand to podcast hosting platforms.
  • MIDI output is not supported.

Music Maker Podcast Editor

A screenshot of the Music Maker Podcast Editor website home page.

This program focuses on the creation of music. Some podcasts necessitate a lot of sound effects and background music. Thriller and horror shows are excellent examples. To lead the listeners’ emotions, these podcast formats require potent sounds.

The Music Maker Podcast Editor may be able to assist you with the complete editing process if you believe your podcast falls into a heavy category.

There are also good song templates and instrumentation included. You can use pre-made templates to incorporate the objects you’ve generated after you’ve finished recording in your studio. Then, to create the music you want, use the editing application’s instruments and song elements.

According to its users, this software demonstrates ease of use when it comes to modifying music quickly. They highlight how simple it is to use, particularly for vlogging and adding sound effects. According to them, the only constraint of this program is your creativity.

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Extensive collection of audio tracks
  • Seamless integration with Apple’s Movie Maker
  • Fast soundtrack creation
  • Best for modern music production

Cons

  • Needs paid version upgrade to render best sound quality
  • Sudden crashes
  • Complicated MIDI process
  • Limited sound quality

Power Sound Editor

A screenshot of the Power Sound Editor website home page.

Get a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with Power Sound Editor for free plus podcast editing tools. You can use this software to record sounds from a sound card, a microphone, or another source. It’s excellent for podcasters who plan to record their episodes entirely in their remote studio.

It can record audio from a video file, rip a CD, and record anything via the internet or a line-in. It also has CD-burning capabilities. It is continually updated to provide new features, and it can also work with a variety of formats.

An outstanding layout, good performance, helpful support, and ease of use are just a few of the features of this product. Power Sound Editor has the advantage of being compatible with iOS, Windows, and Android devices.

Users suggest this DAW because it allows them to edit sounds without prior experience. Podcasters can use the online tutorials to walk them through their production processes.

Pros

  • There are no hidden costs; everything is provided for free.
  • Users can choose from 25 distinct audio effects.
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • There is no Mac version available.
  • This software will demand a significant amount of RAM.

PreSonus’ StudioOne

A screenshot of the Studio One website home page.

StudioOne by PreSonus is a recording, producing, composing, mixing, mastering, and performing application. It has everything a podcaster needs to get started with podcasting.

It has integrated tools to guide you through the entire creative process, from concept to mastering, from full-length albums to stage setlists. Studio One is the all-in-one DAW for end-to-end production. It’s on its fifth iteration now.

Using Studio One’s unique browser, you can drag audio loops, virtual instruments, plug-in effects, and even presets into your session. Users will find it easy to use this editing tool because of its drag-and-drop approach. PreSonus claims to be the first to implement this element into their workflow.

Pros

  • Music composition and audio recording can be completed in a short amount of time.
  • It has excellent new chords and pattern-based composition capabilities.
  • One of its mastering features is DDP import/export.
  • There is a free version with a lot of functionality.

Cons

  • It comes with a cluttered interface and a mixing console.
  • There is no notation editor.
  • Lacks straightforward ways to preserve track templates.

Filmora

A screenshot of the Wondershare Filmora website home page.

Wondershare Filmora Pro is a video editor with advanced audio editing capabilities. It can provide podcasters with the high-quality sound they want for each episode. It’s a free DAW that works on both Windows and Mac computers.

Filmora is ideal for podcasters who want to convert their mp3 files to mp4 or other YouTube-compatible formats. Even though this software is free, there is no time limit or cap on audio editing. It also offers extensive audio editing features without any additional or hidden fees.

Its user interface gives them a variety of alternatives to choose from. It contains a media library where you may import video, photo, and music files. The toolbar is next, where you may find editing tools such as cut, speed, edit, and delete.

The chronology then serves as a storyboard. It can be used to combine multiple aspects of your project into a single, cohesive video. You can add up to 100 tracks to the timeline with the current version. The preview section follows, which allows you to examine all of your changes when editing a video.

Audio compression, auto audio-video synchronization, noise reduction, and audio transitions are some of its notable features. Its users commend the software because it has many free presets and add-on filters. They also feature a royalty-free music library.

Pros

  • Can export and import files conveniently
  • It has a lot of fantastic video tutorials on its various features 

Cons

  • Some videos are incompatible during import
  • Lack of additional creative options for headings and titles
  • It can get laggy sometimes when editing several video tracks

How to Set Up Your Recording Space

A music audio studio complete with a digital audio workstation, mixer, speakers, computer, and keyboard.

The recording atmosphere is another thing to consider for creating a great podcast. All of the pieces of podcast essential equipment listed above should have a designated space where they can be set up. 

The area you choose mustn’t be too bare. Sound bounces back in empty spaces. Reverberation or sound rebound can be reduced by adding fabric, soft furniture, and other soft interior fittings to the space. 

Make sure there isn’t any background noise, either. A sensitive microphone can pick up even the faintest sound. As a result, use caution and ensure that you’re filming in a tranquil setting.

Important Points to Remember

Studying how the industry operates is critical before investing in either your first set of podcast essential equipment or upgrades to boost your podcast. You must know the following, at the very least:

  • Make sure that the equipment you buy is of excellent quality.
  • Learn more about recommended equipment brands and models from trusted sources.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for help from the experts. It is better to spend some money on podcasting professionals than to go the trial and error route with your recording setup. 
  • Identify the best hosting sites that perform well in providing the podcaster services you need.

When it comes to partnering with podcasting service providers, make informed decisions. Perform some research and become familiar with the durability, and features of the podcast essential equipment you are looking to buy. Determine whether it can genuinely provide you with high-quality performance and give you the results you need to launch or scale your show. If you need assistance with podcasting, contact Podkick now!

Author at PodKick | + posts

Mary Achurra is a freelance content marketer. She helps business owners and entrepreneurs attract and retain customers by creating quality, engaging content.