Starting a podcast is a great way to explore a subject you’re passionate about, whether as a hobby or a potential revenue-generating activity. This fun, exhilarating experience has become increasingly popular in recent years, with popular streaming apps like Spotify picking up episodes and optioning original series.
If you’ve been considering this amazing opportunity, you’ll need the right tools to get the job done. Here are seven tools you need to start a podcast:
A Reliable Laptop
One of the most important tools when starting a podcast is a reliable laptop. This fundamental device will help you capture, edit, publish and promote your podcast. In other words, if you don’t have a laptop, you don’t have a podcast.
Fortunately, there are several laptop options for creating a podcast in 2021. The key considerations when choosing the right one for you should include:
- Internal Storage
- External Storage Ports
- Audio Latency
- Operating System
The Apple Macbook Pro is the best option on the IOS interface, while HP, ASUS, and Acer all make great laptops on the Microsoft operating system.
A High-Quality Microphone
The next important consideration is your microphone. While many content creators have started with their Apple headphone’s mic, it’s worth investing in a high-quality USB microphone from the start. The Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti are two popular options that offer high-quality, real-time recording capability.
Regardless of which option you choose, avoid using the built-in microphone on your computer. If you choose a low-budget option to start, consider creating a “recording room” in a closet or other quiet, echo-free area in your home.
An Audio Interface and Mixer
While you can effectively create a podcast with just a laptop and a microphone, there are several tools that will dramatically improve your experience. An audio interface or mixer is one of those tools.
According to Run Gun Shoot, the audio mixer is the connecting point between your audio device and your laptop. Sure, you can plug your mic directly into your laptop, but this device gives you more control over the audio you record. These devices let you tune your voice as you record, whether you’re live streaming or pre-recording. They come as both analog and digital devices, connecting via USB or Bluetooth.
A windscreen, sometimes called a pop filter, is a simple tabletop filter or attachment that reduces your breath in the mic. This device is affordable and tremendously effective in increasing the quality of your recording. You’ll notice the biggest difference in words starting with “P” or “B” sounds which tend to make popping noises with a puff of air — hence the “pop filter” moniker.
Having high-quality, noise-canceling headphones is another beneficial tool when creating a podcast. Using close-backed headphones will help you hear the quality of your recording better, preventing time-consuming mishaps during the editing process. It also helps isolate your voice so that you can hear yourself — an experience that gets easier and less awkward with practice.
A Shock Mount or Mic Stand
Another affordable must-have tool is a shock mount or a mic stand, depending on the type of mic you’re using. If you’re using a desktop mic, the shock stand will act as a buffer for noise transference — if you bump the desk or drop your pen, for example. A mic stand takes the surface out of the equation entirely.
Finally, you’ll need some basic editing software to put your podcast together. Audacity and GarageBand are two common options and allow you to record, trim, and enhance your recording as needed.
In 2021, anyone can start a podcast. Having the right tools in place will help enhance your experience and elevate the finished product, making it ready to share and enjoy with the world.
*Photos by George Milton