Podcasting has become an increasingly popular way to get your message out there. It’s a great way to connect with people who might not otherwise hear your message. And if you’re looking to start a podcast, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools to record your episodes.
But before you even think about recording your first episode, you’ll need to set up your studio. In this article, I will walk you through the steps to build a simple setup room.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide on how to do it yourself. But hopefully, these instructions will help you figure things out and give you some ideas for what kind of equipment you may want to buy or rent.
So let’s begin!
Decide Where You Want Your Studio Located
Before we can put together our studio, we need to decide where we will place everything. This could mean deciding whether you want to use a dedicated space in your home or office or maybe just using a spare bedroom or garage. Whatever works best for you.
If you don’t already know where you would like to locate your studio, then take note of any rooms that seem suitable. Then go ahead and mark them off on paper. That way, when you come back later, you won’t forget which ones were used.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Now that you’ve decided where you’d like to locate your studio, it’s time to look at what equipment you’ll need. There are many options available, but here are some essential items:
The microphone should be placed near the center of the room, ideally close enough to capture sound without picking up too much ambient noise and ensuring the audio quality. Ideally, you’ll want something around 1-2 meters away from the source of the audio being caught.
If you aren’t planning on producing podcasts, then you probably only need a single usb microphone. However, if you are, then you’ll likely want two microphones. One for capturing voices, and another for capturing sounds such as music or ambient noise.
2. Audio Interface
An audio interface allows us to connect multiple devices into one unit. In this case, we’re connecting an external recording device with a computer via USB. We’ll discuss why we might want to record directly onto a hard drive versus the software below.
3. Computer / Laptop
We’ll assume that you have access to a laptop or desktop PC. These days, most laptops include built-in webcams, making video calls easy. Some even include microphones!
We recommend getting a pair of headphones because they provide isolation between ourselves and the outside world. They also help keep unwanted noise and distractions down while working. Plus, they make sure that everyone involved knows exactly how loud their voice is.
5. Power Supply
A power supply provides electricity to various pieces of equipment. It may not always be necessary, but it does add cost, so it’s good practice to get one anyway.
6. External Hard Drive
This is optional but highly recommended. An external hard drive lets you store all of your podcast episodes safely offline. When you upload these files to iTunes, they become part of your library. But once uploaded, there’s no guarantee that Apple will continue supporting older versions of iOS. And since newer operating systems require larger file sizes, you run the risk of running out of storage space. Having an external hard drive means that you never lose anything.
There are several different types of software programs that allow you to create podcasts. The main three are Audacity, GarageBand, and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.
Other Equipment You Need to Setup Your Podcast Studio Room
Once you’ve gathered everything above, it’s time to start setting things up in your new podcast recording studio. Here is some additional furniture that you want to add to setting up your podcast room.
While some people see the chair as optional, remember that you may be recording and mixing for hours; having a comfortable place to sit may not be a bad idea. The chair should allow for some movement; some people like to stand while recording even as they sit while editing the podcast, and moving the chair facilitates that. A simple office chair is required, but if you wish for something more sophisticated, then it can be allowed for as well, especially if you are worried about support. Just make sure that the chair is comfortable, and it should do well.
The table should not be seen as merely optional. If you are there for any amount of time, you will need something to sit your drinks or food on, and it is unlikely that you want to set a drink anywhere near your computer. A table can also be used to keep things organized, which is excellent for those who use notes and can spread notes out as much as you want to.
3. Mic Stand
The microphone is a vital part of the whole. While many computers come with an onboard microphone, they are usually relatively low quality or the sound quality is not as good as you want them to. Also, a microphone allows you to keep focused on recording and maintain quality, or at least consistency; since it forces you to keep a certain distance away from the computer, it will sound the same throughout the recording. This also applies with a headset with an actual microphone, although it can be fun to hold the microphone or even slam it down every so often.
An important thing to keep in mind about the microphone: Regardless of whether you choose to go with a microphone or headset, the microphone will define the recording more than anything else. It is the one thing you will think of when you record, so its specifications matter. It is easy enough to find a microphone that can be muted, has excellent background noise reduction, or has many other advantages, but you need to find one that speaks to you.
Those are the basics, but there are other considerations. It may not be a bad idea to add soundproof foam panels to your podcasting studio if you want to get serious and assure the sound quality of your podcast. The cheapest way is to use a nail gun and egg cartons; cover the walls in the egg cartons, and you will notice a significant difference in the lack of external noise. If you do put this up, it would be advised that you do so in a closed room, one with no windows, for the best possible results. This is also the best possible way to set the mood; once you enter the room, you have no choice but to focus on the podcast, thus enabling it to get done.
The most important thing here is to keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to use every single piece of equipment listed above. If you only plan on using two pieces of equipment, then maybe just getting them would suffice. On the other hand, if you plan on having more than five pieces of equipment, buying each item could be pretty expensive. Depending on how much money you have available, you should consider whether you need to purchase each component individually.
Does It Need To Be Temporary?
If you are looking for a setup that is easy to take down and move, then try to limit it to a laptop or tablet and a microphone; you will need to hope that you will find a chair or table, but they may not be necessary for your style of recording. If you want an easy setup, you can use an actual digital recorder, a handheld device with or without the need for a microphone; it can be plugged into a computer to download the audio file for easy editing and sound treatment. However, you should find what works for you and your style; do that, and it will be fun to record.
Setting up a podcasting room can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want, and it can be as permanent or as temporary as you need. You need to find a computer, a microphone, a chair, and a table you like, and the rest will take care of itself. You need to create an environment that you are comfortable with, and that alone will make a recording so much more enjoyable.