Podcast Equipment 101

In the first article of our How to Start a B2B Podcast series, we focused on how to create a plan for your B2B podcast and come up with ideas for episodes.

Now it’s time to start thinking about your podcast equipment. 

Podcast equipment basics include the following:

  • Computer
  • Microphone
  • Windscreen
  • Headphones
  • Software

Computer

There are many considerations when choosing the right computer to help you record and process your podcast episodes. 

Rather than going into a lot of technical details, here are two minimum requirements your computer should have for basic podcast recording:

  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 2.5 GHz Processor

We’re commonly asked if a Mac or PC is better for your podcast equipment setup. The answer is simple: go with what you know. If you’re a Mac devotee, cool. If you prefer a PC, no problem. As long as the machine meets the basic requirements, you’re good to go.

Microphone

The right microphone is the most important piece of podcast equipment for your recording setup. The better your mic is at capturing sound going in, the better it’s going to sound to your listeners coming out of their speakers. And the better the audio sounds, the better experience your listeners will have. Content is king, but the quality of the content matters a whole lot.

If most of your podcast interviews will be with remote guests, look into a USB microphone. This type of mic plugs directly into your computer, with no need for extra podcast equipment like a mixer or audio interface. Some popular choices are the Samsung Q2U and the Blue Yeti

If you also plan on also (or only) recording in-studio, you’ll need XLR mics, which differ from USB mics in requiring a mixer or audio interface to plug the mics into. While you can use USB mics for in-studio recording, it’s tricky to plug more than one USB mic at a time into a computer and get both to work properly. Hence the need for XLR mics and a mixer or audio interface with multiple XLR inputs. 

For XLR mics, we recommend the Rode PodMic and Shure MV7X. Studios also require an audio interface that takes all the speech and translates it into digital signals for the recording computer. For audio interfaces, you can’t go wrong with Focusrite products, such as the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen


Windscreen

An often overlooked component of podcast equipment is a windscreen. This simple piece of foam prevents the “popping” caused by gusts of air (usually by breathing, wind, or fast-moving air) interacting with the diaphragm of the microphone.

Headphones

Headphones are the least important component on the podcast equipment list.

Why? They don’t directly impact the quality of the recording.

But it’s still worth wearing headphones while recording and editing, for two reasons:

  1. When recording remotely, headphones prevent your guest’s audio from coming out of the computer speakers and being picked up by your mic, which can cause an unwanted echo effect. Most recording platforms have an echo cancellation, which you can use if you don’t have headphones. But enabling echo cancellation often degrades audio quality overall, which is why it’s good practice to wear headphones.
  2. Wearing headphones while recording also allows you to focus on the sound quality and minimize outside distractions. By focusing more intently on the sound quality during recording, you’ll be able to experience what your listeners will experience when they hear the episode.

Be sure to wear headphones when editing the podcast so you can be more sensitive to the quality of the audio, identify quality issues, and stay focused.

Editing & Recording Software

There are many audio recording and editing apps to choose from. Free software, like Audacity and GarageBand, can be a great starting point for beginners. Their main selling point is that they don’t cost anything, but some (like Audacity) can be complicated for a novice with absolutely no audio editing background. Tutorials are provided, which help. GarageBand is designed to be simple, but it’s for Mac users only. 

Other software, like Adobe Audition and Logic Pro (another Mac only program) are more powerful, but for a price. Audition runs on a subscription of $20.99 per month, whereas Logic Pro has a one-time price of $199.99. They are daunting for beginners, but the abundance of features and track layouts make them worth looking into. 

For remote recording, you can use Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But it’s better to use a platform designed specifically for remote podcast recording, such as Riverside.fm or SquadCast, which provide better audio quality and more stable connections by recording each participant locally, on their device, instead of in the cloud. Both platforms (and other, similar platforms) also have video recording options. Keep in mind that these podcast apps may require a paid subscription.


Connect with our team if you have specific questions about the equipment you need for your B2B podcast. The next article in the How to Start a B2B Podcast will focus on finding the right person (or people) to host your show.

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