Podcasts are taking the world by storm. With the pandemic, an increasing number of people are turning to their talents and hobbies and starting up a podcast. The only hope to make something out of them while killing the pandemic-driven boredom. And the number of podcasts coming up validates this. From Michelle Obama to the guy right next-door – everyone suddenly seems to have their podcasts. Looking at all the hype, you must have even gone ahead researching ‘Best Audio Setup for Podcasts’ to start recording right away!
Not that podcasts weren’t popular earlier, but this phase has seen a sudden surge of podcasts. And why not? Podcasts win brownie points over blogs and vlogs. After all, who has got the time to look inside the phone to read posts or watch videos? Especially when you can listen to a podcast on the go.
What Should You Keep in Mind Before Starting Your Podcast?
If you are planning to start with a podcast of your own, now is a perfect time. Let go of all your apprehensions and give wings to your idea right away! While you are at it, make sure you are all set to get started with your podcast.
For starters, you have to take the utmost care of one aspect – the audio of your podcast. Audio is the crux, the very backbone of your podcast. You have to put your best foot out there because the content comes later. The audio will be the first impression of your podcast.
More importantly, the audio quality also shows how sincere your effort to create the podcast was. A smooth and distraction-free audio is what your followers would love. Crystal clear audio is what will catch and hold the attention of the ones listening to the podcast. And you have to strive to incorporate these very aspects into your podcast.
Perfect audio quality and bang-on content are the tricks to the podcast trade. Nailing these two aspects would help you ensure your existing followers stay. All this, while simultaneously garnering the attention of a bigger audience.
We’ve been emphasising on the audio quality of your podcast quite a lot. Now let’s run you through what exactly you need to do to achieve that top-notch audio quality for your podcast.
What Equipment Do You Require to Start With Your Podcast?
While audio quality is essential, the core emphasis of a podcast should be on the content. A one-time investment in the proper audio equipment will keep these apprehensions at bay. This would allow you to focus primarily on your content.
You sure cannot begin recording on your smartphone. It will give you a distorted audio quality that will be a huge turnoff. As a podcaster, you need to invest in podcast-specific equipment.
Before anything else, you need to give a quick thought to this – is this podcast your passion or profession? Are you doing it casually because everyone else out there is doing it? Or are you seriously looking forward to making a niche for yourself in this field?
Depending on the seriousness of your endeavour, you can decide whether to go for basic or advanced equipment. Now that you’ve got this sorted let’s head to the necessary equipment and setup you would require.
The two most basic things enough to get you started is a computer and a microphone. As add-ons, you can (and definitely should) consider headphones, editing software, microphone arm and an audio interface. You can further invest in audio mixers and a portable digital recorder.
Best Equipment for Podcast Recording
Looking for specific products that top podcasters out there use? While there are many different types of podcast setups, we have found this list of equipment to be the best in the industry.
Known to be the best podcast mic under $150, the Rode PodMic is the perfect mic for you – especially for beginners. It is a package of amazing features, each of which contributes to helping you record in the best possible audio quality. PodMic gives a rich, broadcast-style texture to the recorded sound, simultaneously maintaining its crystal-clear clarity.
- Frequency Range: 50 Hz to 13 kHz
- Sound Field: Mono
- Sensitivity: Cardioid -57 dB at 1 kHz
- Output Connectors:1 x 3-Pin XLRWeight: 937g
- Length: 177mm
Features: Sturdy Built, Crystal-Clear Broadcast Quality Audio, Flexible Swing and Affordable.
This dynamic microphone has been particularly crafted for speech and broadcast use. No matter what your recording environment is, this mic works just as well in both. So whether it is a noisy room at home or a professional studio, you’re good to go. The PodMic is equipped with a dynamic capsule that is in-built with a tight cardioid pattern. This particular feature absorbs all the unwanted sounds that could mar your recording sessions.
Not only does Rode PodMic look classy, but it would also give you all the feels of a professional recording setup. It’s all-metal, matte-black ceramic finish gives the PodMic a tough exterior. This ensures consistent performance over the years.
The integrated heavy-duty shock mount seamlessly isolates the PodMic from all the noises and vibrations that could hamper your recording. PodMic has a dual-layer mesh along with an internal pop filter, which effectively reduces plosives and sibilance. The in-built pop filter would also mean that you wouldn’t require that large external filter at all.
What’s Included with This Podcast Mic
Rode PodMic also comes with an integrated swing mount, that insulates the mic from low-frequency distracting sounds. This in-built swing mount has two wing nuts on either side. This gives you the flexibility to swing the mic as you wish to and quickly lock it.
All in all, the mic would be a perfect companion for all your recording sessions. Once you listen to the outcome, you would instantly understand why Rode’s PodMic was the best choice you made!
Ultimate Podcast Setup: RODE NT1 + AI 1 Complete Studio Kit
We’ll begin with listing what this kit brings – a Rode NT1 1” diaphragm condenser microphone, AI-1 audio interface, pop shield, shock mount, USB-C/cable, XLR cable and a copy of Ableton Live Lite (a digital audio workstation).
- Acoustic Principal: Pressure gradient
- Directional Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Output Connection: 3-pin XLR (with balanced output between the pins)
- Computer Connectivity: USB Type-C cable
- Weight: 560g
This all-inclusive home studio recording kit coming from Rode is simply perfect just because it has everything you would require for recording. Let’s begin with the essential features of the AI-1 Audio Interface.
RODE AI-1 Audio Interface
With an all-metal body, the AI-1 is compact with a sturdy built. It comes with a NeutrikTM Combo Jack along with a quarter-inch jack. The combo jack takes in a 3-pole XLR — the other jack commonly found in other musical instruments.
AI-1 is known to produce and deliver clear, professional-quality audio to your computer software. It has a simple yet functional and easy-to-use interface. It also comes with LED lights that indicate the quality of the input level. The green light means that you are good to go, whereas red warns you if the input level is too high.
The USB cable that comes in this kit is apt for those still using computers with standard computer units. The AI-1 is a plug-and-play system, making it easy to use. You wouldn’t have to install any drivers to use it. Your devices would immediately recognise the AI-1. This device is also equipped with a built-in headphone amplifier, which allows you to monitor your output.
RODE NT1 Microphone
The NT1 microphone is the other essential element of the kit. NT1 is a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone. The in-built HF6 1” capsule is suspended internally with a shock mount – this helps it absorb the vibrations and handling noises. The shock mount has an adjustment knob which allows you the flexibility to adjust the microphone as required. Apart from the shock mount, we also have a pop shield in the microphone.
The metal body with a ceramic finish is scratch-resistant, providing required durability and protection. The long XLR cable is a surprise that comes with the NT1, unlike usual cables that are just 30 cm long.
On an overall basis, all the elements of the Rode NT1 + AI 1 Complete Studio Kit are perfectly curated. This kit is the right fit for those looking forward to a seamless start to a great recording experience!
RODE PSA1 Arm
One of the first questions that would pop into your mind – do I require a boom arm? Well, yes. If you’re looking for consistency in your voice throughout the podcast, you should invest in a boom arm right away. It will give your microphone the stability it requires. This ensures that the distance between the microphone and your mouth stays the same throughout the recording session.
- Horizontal reach: 32” / 820mm
- Vertical reach: 34” / 840mm
- Accessories: Desk-Clamp included
Features: Quiet Microphone, Super-flexible, Comfortable Recording Experience, Perfect for all recording environments.
Boom arms allow you to be a lot more relaxed while recording. In case you need to move your microphone while recording, you can do so really quietly. Getting one for yourself would be a great decision. And we’re here to help you decide which is the best model – the one and only Rode PSA1 arm.
What To Expect
With a metal build, the PSA1 arm may seem heavy at first. When you use it, you will realise that this very build allows the PSA1 to support any microphone – irrespective of the size securely!
In-built with the amazing spring technology, the Rode PSA1 arm is super flexible with zero tolerance for noise. You can swiftly move your microphone with the support of the PSA1 arm, and the listener wouldn’t get even the slightest hint of it! Despite the flexibility, once you’ve moved the position as required, the arm will stay put right there, until you move it again.
PSA1 includes a thread adapter, making it compatible with all standard microphones out there. Investing in the Rode PSA1 arm will simply make your recording experience a lot easier and stress-free!
RODECaster Pro by Rode is a fully integrated podcast production studio. It is a mixer, sound effects player, recorder and a lot more – all rolled into a single, user-friendly device. RODECaster Pro simplifies the process of podcast production, allowing you to breathe easy when it comes to the technicalities of the process.
- Input/ Output Channels: 4 Inputs/ Two Outputs
- Connectivity: USB Type-C and Bluetooth
- Frequency Response: Mic Input 20 Hz to 20 kHz (± 3 dB)
- Monitor Output 20 Hz to 20 kHz (± 0.5 dB)
Features: Simplifies Technicalities, All-in-One Unit, Easy-to-Use Touchscreen, Captures perfect Audio Quality, Exceptional Output Quality.
RODECaster Pro features four high-quality XLR mic inputs, allowing you to connect up to four people at one go. The XLR mic inputs are compatible with condenser microphones as well as the conventional microphones.
It comes with eight sound pads with FX, allowing you to add in sound effects to your podcast. Someone well-versed with the post-production process of podcasts will know how much time and effort this saves! You can also record your sound effects into these sound pads for later use in the post-production stage.
How the RODECaster Pro Compares
RODECaster Pro beats some of the best competitors when it comes to the quality of sound. It delivers audio that is pristine, crystal clear and free of any minor distractive sounds. Echoing is one huge issue when it comes to recording – but not with the RODECaster Pro. Moreover, it also has the APHEX Exciter, using which you can easily enhance the sound quality.
You will also have a whole lot of voice settings that you can use to edit the tone of the voice. These presets are deep, medium, high, soft and strong and can be applied to the voices as required.
The device also gives exclusive access to the host, allowing you to be the only one in control of your podcast when there are multiple participants. Apart from this, the RODECaster Pro also has superb connectivity to the computer and other devices via the USB.
If you are looking for a comprehensive product, this one from Rode is just right for you to get started.
Podcast Final Thoughts
Creating and recording content, running it through the entire process of production and ultimately launching it to the world out there is a lot of effort. All the equipment we talked about are simply aids to make your process a lot easier.
With reliance on such top-notch products, you are completely free to focus on you creating the best of the content. You need not worry about the technical aspects at all – all these products are simply amazing! For more advice on beginner to pro podcasting setups, check out our video below.
With this, we wish you the best of luck for your podcast! May your voice be heard loud and clear by the rest of the world!