How to record your first podcast: Choosing technology and software

How to record your first podcast choosing technology and software

Podcasts are one of the simplest types of content. Unlike vlogging, you don’t need expensive hardware. Let’s talk about where to start.

Many people today call podcasts the new radio. There is some truth in this: podcasts are attracting an ever wider audience, they are listened to at home, in the car, on the subway on the way to work. The most important difference between a podcast and a radio is that anyone can create their own, and for this you don’t even need special expensive equipment. Here’s how to choose the right podcast recording technique and software, and how much it can cost.

Computer or laptop: don’t chase performance

Of course, you can record a podcast from your smartphone, but this will give you an entry-level product at the end. For better recording, you can’t do without a computer. Unlike, for example, streaming, a podcast does not need powerful and productive equipment – it is enough to limit yourself to a simple and reliable laptop . The requirements for the characteristics are not high: for example, you can ignore the video card and be content with the integrated chip; it will not affect the recording of a podcast in any way. The processor does not have to break performance records either; a chip of the level of Intel Celeron / Intel Pentium Silver (or a similar model from AMD) is enough to record a podcast. Choosing the amount of RAM, it is better to give preference to a laptop with 8 GB of memory (in extreme cases, at least 6 GB) – so the computer can cope with multitasking without any problems.

 

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If you plan to record podcasts outside of your home, laptop portability will also be of great importance, so opt for a lightweight model so that you can comfortably move around the city with it. There are many models around 1kg – there will definitely be plenty to choose from. For example, the Acer Swift 1 weighs just 1.3 kg and is 1.5 cm thick – fits in almost any bag or backpack. Plus, the laptop has an excellent cooling system: it is quiet even under loads, so no heart-rending howling of fans will get into the record.

Microphone: a simple buttonhole is enough

Almost everything depends on the sound quality in a podcast – you will not be able to keep the audience with even the most interesting topic and the coolest guest if your conversation is accompanied by bangs, noises and echoes. The sound quality is directly affected by the microphone – let’s talk about them in more detail.
To begin with, there should be as many microphones as the person involved in the conversation. If you are new to the world of podcasts, you should not buy a port studio or mixing console right away: if the new hobby does not captivate you, you will be excruciatingly sorry for the money spent.

Start with a simpler solution & ...
Start with a simpler solution – a USB microphone or a regular lavalier. In principle, apart from the form factor and the method of connection, they are no different from each other.

Pay attention to the interface: if you are going to write podcasts through a laptop, options with a regular 3.5 mm jack are suitable, if on a smartphone, it is better to look with a suitable USB or Lightning option.

However, microphones differ not only in the way of connection, but also in design: dynamic and condenser microphones can be distinguished here. For a beginner, it is definitely better to stop at the first option: such microphones have low sensitivity, therefore they “eat up” extraneous sounds, noises and echoes. Condenser microphones are extremely demanding on sound quality and room acoustics.
There is no universal advice on the microphone brand – you can take a closer look at the products of Audio-Technica, Behringer, Sennheiser, AKG.

Software: you don’t have to pay for it

Now let’s talk briefly about software. To publish a podcast, you need to record it first. And the conditional Windows Voice Recorder will not work here – you need a special program. There are a lot of them: Ableton, GarageBand, and Reaper.

But all these applications are paid, so ...
But all of these applications are paid, so for your first podcast, you can limit yourself to the light, free and understandable Audacity (it is available on both Windows and Mac). Download the archive on their website, install it, choose your microphone – then you can proceed to testing.

Start recording, talk both loudly and quietly, stand at different distances from the microphone to understand how it works and how it captures sound in different conditions. After the end of recording, it is better to export the file in .wav format.

This basic set is enough for you to record any decent podcast. It is important to understand that this is the most basic level.

 

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If you are carried away by this activity, external sound cards will be added to your computer and monitor, allowing you to record sound from multiple microphones simultaneously, microphone holders, filters, windscreens, and so on. The main recommendation here is to first decide how interesting you are to record podcasts, and only then buy expensive equipment.

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