“What gear do I recommend?”
A listener of the Svelte Yeti Podcast recently wrote asking what equipment I use, and what I recommend for someone getting ready to publish their first episode. I have actually received several similar requests, so I felt it was time to write an article followed by a quick video showing you the specifics.
First, let me say that you do not need to spend a ton of money to start your own podcast. The bare bones equipment you need is a digital recording device, and a place to host your podcast feed. Once you have uploaded your first episode, it can then be submitted to iTunes and TuneIn and Stitcher, the three most popular podcast feed readers.
However, if you are obsessive about quality and want to treat every word with the love and kindness of professional recording and editing, I have a list of “must haves” to get you started.
Everyone has their own workflow for publishing podcast episodes. Following are the basics:
Outline ⇒ Session Recording ⇒ Edit ⇒ Show Notes ⇒ Upload ⇒ Promote
Your episode starts with simple organization. Once you have an outline of what you are going to say, or a set of agreed upon interview questions for your guest, you are ready to move to the second step, the session/interview recording itself. You then should do some basic editing of the session. I find that interviews are near perfect out of the gate and require very little post production work. A session of you simply speaking to your audience often requires you to do lots of cuts and re-edits. Why? The interview style is the most natural form of conveying information and has an organic feel that is immensely more popular to podcast listeners.
You will then need to write some show notes if you are managing your podcast on a website of your creation. Once you are happy with your session and show notes, you can upload your episode. Most folks are using a separate hosting service for their podcasts, not physically housed on your own website server. This is wise as you do not want your website bogged down while people listen to your episode. I use Blubrry.
The only thing left to do is promotion. Do not assume that people will find your podcast organically, especially if brand new. In order for your amazing podcast to get discovered, you have to lead people to it. I promote on Facebook, Twitter, and on my website. It works! You cannot skip this step.
You do not need to go crazy with equipment. If you do a search on YouTube for podcast equipment studios, you will find an insane degree of over indulgence. It has become a major hobby and people love to show off their gear. Well, me too, but just be sure to focus on the quality of your episodes. Amazing podcast gear and horrible interviews, equals dropped listeners.
Following is a list of the equipment I use in my home studio. I also have a portable set-up, but to learn about that, be sure to watch the video at the end of this article. All of the equipment listed can be found on Amazon. I also picked up a couple of items from a local music store simply because I didn’t want to wait for shipping.
- 2x Audio Technica ATR2100 USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
- Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
- Nad MPF-6 6inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter with Flexible Gooseneck and Stabilizing Arm
- Blue Microphones RADIUS II Microphone -Shock Mount for Yeti Pro — improved hinge design.
- Zoom H6 External Recorder
- Behringer Xenyx Q1202USB Premium Use XLR
- Blue Yeti Pro USB/XLR Condenser Microphone with Multi pattern Input
If you want rich sounding audio, you will need to do some degree of editing to your audio track in post-production. I use Adobe Audition. This gives you the option to add an intro and outro to your audio track. It is possible to do an intro and outro during your track recording. However, I find that a bit acquired, especially if I have a guest on my show.
Finally, the magic of using Adobe Audition is the ability to make the track sound amazingly rich. I recommend that you follow the instructions by Mike Russell of Music Radio Creative to create an amazing preset for your audio tracks. I use his method and love the crisp and rich quality of the final export. You can find his instructions at, “How To Make your Voice Sound Better (Secrets Revealed).”
I hope that I have answer most of your questions about basic podcast workflow and equipment. My suggestions will help you produce a quality recording without having to break the bank. You can also find all the above content in the following video I made to make the process more clear: