The most important thing you need to do to ensure a clean, quiet, high quality recording is acoustically treat your room. Below you'll find a link to a great video by Cinecom that outlines a cheap and easy way to treat a room to control echo and noise. If you don't have a dedicated room for recording your podcast you can find ways to control these problems by using heavy blankets, soft cushions or pillows. What you want to avoid is recording in a room with a lot of hard, reflective surfaces, like a bathroom, kitchen or garage. This is the best way to get a great recording. You can buy the best, most expensive recording equipment available. But if your room isn't acoustically treated, your podcast still won't sound it's best.
Removing things that make noise from the room you're recording in will help the quality of your podcasts also:
• Use long cabling and move your computer out of the room • Unplug the fridge during the time you're recording • Turn off the air conditioner and furnace during the time you're recording • Record during quite times outside of your house or apartment • Invest in AC line conditioner to ensure the electricity running your audio equipment is clean and quiet. (lights and appliances contaminate electricity from the wall with audible noise) • Make sure all you audio cables are running parallel to themselves to avid RF build up • Remove jewellery • Make sure everyone's phones are on silent (even your guest calling remotely)
Before looking at equipment, it is best practice to decide where you'll be recording and then taking the appropriate measures to make sure your equipment will perform at it's best.
An audio interface is a piece of hardware that expands and improves the sonic capabilities of a computer. Some audio interfaces give you the ability to connect professional microphones, instruments and other kinds of signals to a computer, and output a variety of signals as well. The audio interface will connect to your computer via a USB cable. You'll then have to open your audio editing software and set it up to work with the interface. (more on audio editing software later). You need 1 channel and 1 mic per person.
If you need the ability to record an episode while you're on the road and travelling, look at the Zoom H series handheld recorders. They can also double as your interface as they have mic channel inputs and connect to your computer. If you have one these, you won't need the U-Phoria interface suggested above.
*Both suggested interfaces are also available in 2 channel models. You may want to choose a different model depending on how many people will be recording at once.
Shure SM58: Of the many types of microphones available, dynamic microphones will be you best bang for your buck. The Shure SM58 is a classic, high quality, rugged mic. You'll need to make sure you have 1 mic per person recording and each mic will be plugged into it's own input on the audio interface.
Pop Filter: You will also need a pop filter for your microphone to avoid loud bass frequencies caused by wind from when you say words with "P" and "B".
Audio Editing Software
Audio editing software allows you to set up your mics to get them ready to record the audio. The software also allows you to control the audio after it's been recorded. Prices for software can be in the thousands, however there are low cost options that are perfect for recording you raw audio.
Garageband: If you have an Apple computer, you will also have Garageband. This is a free option that allows you record multiple channels of audio at the same time.
Reaper: is a low cost highly functional audio editing software. You can purchase this software for under US$100.00.
Adobe Audition: A full functioning professional level audio editor. You can purchase Adobe Audition for a monthly subscription.
What to do when you have a guest somewhere else in the world
Sometimes you'll need to record a guest that is somewhere else in the world. There are easy to use internet based options that will connect you to your guest.
Squadcast: Reliably record studio-quality audio with your guests from anywhere in the world
Cleanfeed: Cleanfeed is multitrack, multi-party live audio and recording using only a browser
Zoom: The original software-based conference room solution used around the world.
Other Useful Equipment
Headphones - Audio-Technica m20x: Headphones are one of the most useful peices of gear you can have. Always make sure to listen to your levels to make sure they are right before recording. If you don't, you risk recording poor quality audio. Modern design and high-quality materials combine to deliver a comfortable listening experience, with enhanced audio and effective isolation.
Microphone Stand: A compact table top mic stand is all you need. Make sure the base doesn't take up too much space and get in the way but is heavy enough to stay in spot and prevent tipping over.
Podcast equipment doesn't have to be complicated. With a little research you'll be able to choose the right space to record in, sound proof it and select the right gear to capture high quality audio. That way your expert guests can heard loud and clear when they're talking.
Once you've decided what equipment and software you need to create your podcast be sure to check out Micme's launch services to save you the time it takes to set it up. We also offer editing services to save you even more time.