Two Essentials for Recording a Podcast
There are two essential items that you need to record a podcast. Of course, it goes without saying that you’re going to need an idea and content for your actual podcast, but below are a couple of basic computer items that you’ll need as you proceed with podcasting.
1. USB Microphone
Whether you have a laptop or desktop computer, PC or a Mac, it’s most likely that your computer already has some type of microphone built into it. If not, at the least, it should have a jack for plugging in an external mic. You should get some type of decent USB microphone and headset combination for podcasting, such as the one you see here on the website. Or, if you’re listening to this, try to picture a basic headset that you would imagine an operator would wear. You can always upgrade to a fancier desktop recording or radio mic, but to start, stick with what’s simple and work your way up, after you get comfortable with the whole podcasting scenario. A simple USB headset mic should cost anywhere between $20 and $60. Go with what’s cheap for starters. There’s no need to break the bank right up front.
2. Recording Software
The list is long when it comes to recording software for making a podcast. I could mention several here. The point though is that you really should get some kind of recording software to help you with your podcasting. Below are four that I’ve used, any of which should work fine for the purposes of recording your own podcast.
- Audacity – This is a free, downloadable software that you can use to record a podcast. It seems to be the free software of choice for many, although I personally don’t prefer it for doing my podcasts. However, if you’re looking for a free software that will give you the minimum options that you need to record and edit, you should definitely check it out. You can read more about it here.
- Audio Acrobat – This is an online service that I currently use, not so much for recording podcasts, but for their other unique audio services. Audio Acrobat offers an easy interface where you can record your podcasts or audios using nothing more than a USB microphone or even a cell phone if you prefer. The biggest disadvantage with using Audio Acrobat for recording a podcast is that you have no editing capabilities. What you record through their service is what you get. I personally love Audio Acrobat and have used them for almost 4 years now. To me, the strength of Audio Acrobat is more in their publishing and audio encoding capacity rather than their audio recording. The best way to use Audio Acrobat is to upload a pre-recorded, edited mp3 or video and use their interface for publishing or broadcasting your media. Again though, if you’re looking for a simple, clean cut way to record your voice for a podcast, you should definitely check out their free 30 day trial.
- Mixcraft, by Acoustica – If you’ve read my “Wizard’s Guide to Podcasting,” you already know that I highly recommend Mixcraft for recording and editing podcasts. In fact, I highly recommend Mixcraft for any kind of recording, whether it be recording vocals, music or instruments. It may seem to some that using Mixcraft for podcasting is overkill, but I beg to differ. The power, versatility and creativity that you have with Mixcraft for the price, is so worth it. Don’t let anyone convince you differently until you try it out for yourself. This is why I go into great detail explaining how to use it in my podcasting guide. You can read all about the software and even try it out free for 15 days by going to the Mixcraft page on my website. For the one-time $65 price, you can’t beat the incredible, creative sound loops, effects and versatility that you get with Mixcraft. I use it to record my podcasts, and even use it to record my music albums (since I’m also a singer, performer and musician).
- Voice Memos for iPhone or iPod Touch – This is a handy, easy application that comes preloaded on the iPhone and the iPod Touch. If you’re looking to do a simple voice recording or narration with your Apple gadget, this is quick, easy and simple to use to record a short podcast. Again, it’s not necessarily my recommendation to do so, but it’s one quick way to get the voice recording aspect of podcasting done. The nice thing about it is that you can do it anywhere, on the go. There are also some other pretty nifty applications for the iPhone and iPod available through iTunes, as well, that can be used for recording your voice.
You’ll hear me say over and over again that these are not the only software options that you’ll find for recording your podcasts. There could be even better ones out there that I’m not aware of. But, these are options that I’ve used and I know that they work well, especially Mixcraft. When you find something that works well, you tend to stick with it. This is the case with podcasting for me. As always though, I’ll continue to test and try other ways to do recording.
Please feel free to comment on this article. I’d also love to know what methods you use (or planning to use) to record your audios and podcasts.