Podcasts are increasing in popularity and for good reason. Podcasts and the many ways approached that a producer or host of a podcast can take regarding content creation, help ensure that they remain a great, consumer-friendly, and multidimensional content option. So much so, that individuals, brands, and organizations, as well as the audience, can enjoy the perks.
For businesses and brands, podcasts provide an effective platform to help them share their voice, ideas, interests and more. The same is true for individuals hoping to build their careers as influencers and experts in their respective industries. Audiences interested in the topics, ideas, and/or thoughts shared can then engage with created podcasts for the purposes of content consumption whether they are using the information therein as a source of entertainment or for knowledge they can build on.
Everything You Need To Create Winning Podcasts
Still, as great as podcasts are, it requires some amount of discipline and a fair amount of structure to create a great podcast. Of course, it is only natural that you start your podcast journey by giving your podcast a template that you will follow to produce each episode. By outlining a format, you will ensure the production process is easier to execute each time, as well as ensure that your listenership will have consistency.
There are a host of tools that are used to create a podcast. For the purposes of dissecting it all, we will group the tools into major categories. These two categories including hardware and software. You will need a few pieces of hardware to ensure that the audio of your podcast is as clean as possible at the point of recording. Then you will need software to record or capture the audio and process it where it needs to be processed.
Microphone (with pop filters)
Your microphone is an important part of your podcast tools. Without a podcast microphone, there is simply no way to capture the information you wish to share in your podcasts. However, not all microphones are created equal. Be sure to look for industry standard options that are more likely to ensure you get the highest quality possible for your audio recordings. For example, there are lots of USB microphones that are created just for the purposes of creating podcasts.
A quiet room
The better your microphone, the more likely it is to capture the subtle noises in your environment. As such, it helps to ensure that the room noises are kept to a minimum. It also helps to record a track of room noise to create a noise profile that you can later use to clean up the vocals in your podcast audio.
Studio quality headphones may be the perfect stand-in for monitors, as they are more affordable while providing you with the quality you need to really hear all the features of your audio and process it accordingly. There are lots of recommendations as to which options are the best. Be sure to read independent user reviews as well as pay attention to the existing industry standards.
An audio preamp
An audio preamp is important to the recording and processing of your podcast audio. The preamp will function in the place of your computer or laptop sound card as most existing computer or laptop sound cards are not powerful enough on their own to help process and produce the highest possible audio output. Additionally, audio input devices (like microphones) and audio output devices (like monitors or headphones) are all connected using the preamp. The preamp is then connected directly to the computer or laptop and is controlled by a Digital Audio Workspace (DAW studio) that will help you monitor the capturing and processing of your vocals.
Laptop or Computer
Of course, you will need a laptop to help you connect your hardware and your software so that they can work together to help you record and produce your podcast. Your laptop will work directly with a DAW and your audio preamp to ensure that you can fully record and produce your podcast. Pay particular attention to the memory, storage space, and the processor specifications of any computer or laptop you are considering to use in your production process.
Even with all the equipment and hardware, you have invested in to create your podcast, you will need a software to process the audio. There are free and paid audio software options available. Additionally, some preamps (like Presonus Audiobox, for example) come complete with a DAW that can help you capture and process your recordings.
Importantly, most professional DAWs will work with just about any preamp. For this reason, I recommend the free software Audacity. Audacity is particularly great for cleaning vocals to ensure that you get the best output possible. It is also easy to use and the interface is as uncomplicated as is can get where DAWs are concerned. This is particularly important if you are new to audio production scene.
Bonus Protips For Getting The Best Tools For Creating Podcasts
1. Compare tool options using specifications
The specifications of any piece of hardware or of any software is a clear indicator of how that given device or program is likely to perform and meet your needs. This is why it is always a good idea to know what the recommended specifications are for the instruments you are trying to use and for the goals you are working to achieve. Simply shopping based on a ‘brand name’ is not recommended.
2. Save money by forgoing ‘big brands’
While name brands have earned their reputation for a reason, they also come with a hefty price tag. Add to that the fact that name brand devices and software companies also make ‘low-end’ options in addition to their top of the line sells. Consequently, sometimes you will be able to get a high-end ‘lesser brand’ with great specifications and features for the low-end option of a big name brand. This makes it all the more important to pay attention to protip number one.
Also Read: Basic Guide to Audio Interfaces