Below is a list of the equipment I use to record and master my Podcast including my affiliate link* to Buzzsprout the hosting service I use. Sign up through the link to get $20 credit on a paid plan!
You really do not need a super expensive setup to start and create a Podcast, honest- a good idea for the Podcast is better, and when I get mine I'll let you know! However, good quality audio is really important for the best listener experience, so a few small investments may be essential if you are bothered initially about this, or are getting serious about your creation.
I have slowly upgraded my equipment, but luckily for me I already had some audio equipment that I have collected over a number of years for music production and general faffing...
View my set up...
So, in this section, I will (in my humble opinion) list what I think will be the minimum set up.
The images to the right is a list of the stuff that I have used, or now currently use to create my Podcast, Stephen Speak. There are links when you open the images to take you to find out more. The images are used from the company sites apart form the cables which is an amazon link as I couldn't find their site(?) these are used for illustrative purposes only (I don't own the pictures copyright to the respective companies). Also note that I am not being paid for these links or any subsequent purchases.*
OK, so lets get to it.
You really don't need anything fancy to create a Podcast.
In reality with a service like Buzzsprout you only need a phone/tablet/laptop. A microphone (all the above have that built in) and a profile picture. After that, it is just talking, recording it and uploading with a blurb. Buzzsprout will guide you through all the process for getting onto the Podcast sites, and after the initial setup it is automatically uploaded 'everywhere'.
So apart from a bit of admin (and a small amount of subscription money- unless you opt for the free option) you're on your way to being a Podcaster!
I had no knowledge of Podcasting prior to starting one- apart from listening to them and I thought it would be a lot more complex than it was to start one. Now don't get me wrong I could do a lot more and eventually I will- there are episode tags, SEOs, transcription, chapter markers, and a good detailed description. All of these make your podcast more 'findable' (search results in google and podcast apps) and accessible, with transcription people can read along with your words. This is something I am interested in as I could list the episodes in my blog on this site! But this is all additional work, and I found that as a noob I wanted to get used to the process. I will no doubt (during a season break) return and update all my episodes to increase their overall impact.
But I digress, the basics are easy, you trust me on this.
So what was my initial set up?
As I say, I was lucky as I started with some good equipment. My initial setup was:
- Macbook Pro Laptop (2021)
- Behringer UMC22 Audio interface
- Nordell Audio cable
- Logic Pro X
- Samsun Q2U mic- I had a microphone but on the advice from YouTuber reviews and Buzzsprout budget set up guide decided to buy one.
I had initially planned to use my Tascam DR-40X as my mic (and I have done so, when I was away on a course) just plugging straight into the laptop which worked really well! But decided that a base setup would be better long term.
I am planning some 'on the go' Podcasts in which the DR-40X will be put to good use. If you want to be mobile and have high quality audio with the ability to plug in external mics- you could do worse than this setup!
I used my initial set up for a few of months, and realising that this wasn't a fad for me and had plans to invite guests and potentially other things in the future decided to upgrade and also get some equipment for guests to use ready for season 2.
So after lots of comparisons I went with the Tascam Mixcast 4. Shure MV7. I also invested in the Tascam TH-02 headphones for guest use (three sets), and also purchased another two Samsun Q2U mics.
So, now my set up had become;
- Tascam Mixcast 4
- Tascam Podcast software (which is free from the Tascam site)
- Shure MV7 (as my mic)
- Bose Quietcomfort 2 for my headphones
- Samsun Q2U mics (x3) for guest use
- Tascam TH-02 (x3) Headphones for guest use
- Nordell cables of varying lengths for the mics (in Green to match the Podcast theme)
I swapped to the Tascam Mixcast 4 for Season 2. The advantages with this setup is that it is standalone for recording so you don't technically need that laptop with you. You can also have 3 in person guests, a bluetooth connection, TRRS connection and it also has a sound pad for pre-recording sound FX, jingles, soundbites etc.
For on location Podcast recording I can use the Mixcast solo minus the laptop if required and upload on returning home or use my Tascam DR-40X for more portability and still attain high quality sound from either the built in mic, or plugging in external mics. Although the latter option may need a bit more post production.
The free software that comes with the Mixcast is super easy to use, sometime a bit clunky and it takes a while to transfer files but it is still an early iteration, but highly useful.
*The link in Buzzsprout is an affiliate link, not a sponsorship- if you sign up you get $20 credit on a subscription and I receive $20 also. So thats a win, win!