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The Gear You Need to Create a Podcast

Lesson 1 of 10

Class Introduction

 

The Gear You Need to Create a Podcast

Lesson 1 of 10

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

This is the gear you need to create a podcast so welcome. A quick word about the word need. There's a lot of gear up here so I won't want to get intimidated thinking we need all or even most of this. For a completely literal in some cases, it'll be as much as one microphone, a computer and free software and you're off and going with no compromise, it's still gonna sound good. But every podcaster has different needs and so we're going to sort of filter through this and figure out what is going to be best for your podcast. And however, it still does say the gear you need, it's in the title so we need some gear but most of us don't come from a background where we've dealt with gear. I say us 'cause that includes me, it's just sort of 12 plus years removed. I was in your spot, in your seat, looking for how do you start a podcast, what gear do you need, and I played around with the gear but it wasn't a lot of that information online. So hopefully I'm here to save you the 12 plus years of bu...

ying stuff that you don't need, stuff you're not happy with and just getting results that you're not proud of. And so this really is for the new podcaster but it can be for anyone who's already started and wants to improve the quality they already have. And so by the end of our time together, hopefully, or my goal is that you'll be able to match a set of gear to your budget and to the format of your podcast so you might be a solo show, it's just you. You might have a cohost that's in person or maybe you're recording with someone online. So again, back to the idea of everyone has sort of different needs. And then I want you to have the confidence to go out and get the pieces of gear that will help you produce a high quality audio podcast because when you go back and you listen to your episode one when you're on episode 50 or 150, congrats by the way, it's gonna happen. When you go back, you might think, you'll listen and you might think I'm kind of cringing at your presentation 'cause you'll be much better although I will say, with these classes, you guys are already getting a huge head start to where most people start. But you won't listen to the audio and think that sounds terrible. I know people who they go back, their first 10 episodes, they just delete them 'cause they're just bad because they weren't getting the results they wanted. But you won't be there and if you're a hobbyist podcaster, that's certainly important from a pride standpoint. It's nice to have something you're proud of and people will listen to but especially if you're a brand or a business, you want to have that consistent quality all the way through and again, it doesn't take much, doesn't have to be expensive, so we'll figure that out. And importantly, your subscribers. They'll find you on episode 50 and they'll tell, they're like, "hey," and it's kind of, it feels weird because they'll say, "I'm binging your podcast today and I'm going back "all the way through to episode one," so when people subscribe, they go back and so it's nice to have, again, that consistent quality. So I am a professional podcast producer. I've been doing that for the last ten years so that's recording, editing, developing podcasts for a D.C. based nonprofit and in my spare time, I was gonna mention, I have my own podcast about podcasting so I've helped thousands of people I would imagine, start a podcast. And I also had an incredible opportunity over the last year to tour with a number one podcast. If you go to Apple podcasts, they're always in the top. And I was the recording engineer so I handled all the gear and the recording so we went to the sold out Chicago Theater, we were at the Dolby a week before the Oscars so I was just glad that I didn't mess it up. Very nerveracking, so the point is I've spent a lot of time with this gear but always with specific attention towards podcasting. We have specific needs as podcasters. We're not radio. So what we need in terms of gear is a little different. So definitely always thinking of those considerations. All right so I have a question for you guys. We can just raise hands, it's very informal. I'm curious. What do you think has more impact on the quality of your audio? Is it the room you record in, the mic you record with or the computer you record on? And I can make it 50/50 and tell you it's not the computer 'cause most people don't, I mean a lot of people don't record on a computer. I don't always. Sometimes. So show of hands, how many people think it's the room you record in? So maybe like 20, 15%. How about the mic your record with? Okay cool. They're both very important but I say it's the environment you record in, the room, wherever you choose to record. And I say this because if you take any of the microphones that we'll see, I mean this is one of the USB microphones that I talked about, if you take this microphone, it delivers quality but if you put it in a bad room, so filled with echo and loud noises, you'll never get what you want out of this microphone. It will never be the quality you're looking for. Whereas if I took my iPhone with a definitely a lesser microphone in it and I went into a really good space, this is a pretty good room, I could get a really nice audio recording out of it. I'm not saying that's how you should record for a lot of reasons, just the point that the environment is going to determine a lot of how good our ultimate, the end product is of our audio. So where to start? That recording environment. I mention it here just to demonstrate why I've chosen some of the microphones that you'll see today. They're gonna help us podcasters who tend to record in less than ideal recording environments. So the microphones are very specific for the type of places that most people are gonna record in. If you have a million dollar studio like NPR, then you don't have to worry too much about any of those things. Still gotta learn how to talk into a microphone which we'll deal with in next class. Your podcast studio so wherever you decide to, whatever room in your house or at your office or at school, wherever it is. You walk into that room, naturally your brain filters out certain noises, so like vocal reflections which is just, I'm walking in and I'm talking and my voice is bouncing off hard surface, the walls. And it comes back to the microphone a little later, creates a reverb which is an echo like sound. Your brain filters that out but once you start thinking or listening like an audio producer, you'll really start to hear these things. And the mic won't filter it out. When you listen back, it'll sound like you're in your bathroom which in your bathroom it's great, tons of reverb, you sound great singing in the shower but you don't want that in your dialogue recording so we'll work on that. And then there's external noises. So everything that happens outside of your space where you record. That is again part of the ambience of your life. You don't notice it until you turn on the microphone and I guarantee you'll hear the lawn and the weedwhacker down the street, you'll hear everything, right? So for that, just go to the space you're planning to record, close your eyes, take some time and just listen to it and then we will talk more in the next class which is how to make your podcast sound great, how to mitigate some of those issues. All right and then internal noise, again, there's gonna be a bunch of stuff in your space that we'll want to try to deal with so it doesn't get in our recordings. I have a quote here. This is from Matt McGlynn. He was on my show, the Podcaster Studio, episdoe 71, we talk for an hour and a half just about microphones, almost just about one specific microphone, we could have went on forever but he runs a site called recordinghacks.com and it's basically the largest database of microphones on the internet so if you need to know any spec about a microphone, it's there. And he said, "there is no other piece of gear "that will make a bigger difference to the sound "of your podcast than the microphone. "If you change the mic, you will hear it." And I put that here to demonstrate, we talked about the room but the mic really is almost of equal importance. The two combined to give you a great sounding audio. And your mic also will determine for the sound of your podcast, it sets the tone which I guess is sort of a play on words I didn't mean to do but it really can.

Class Description

You can’t create a podcast if you don’t have the proper gear. But knowing what you need and figuring out the best equipment to buy isn’t always easy. Fortunately, Ray Ortega is here to show you the way.

Ray is not only a professional producer, he hosts his own shows, “The Podcasters’ Studio” and “Podcasters’ Roundtable,” which are dedicated to helping people start, improve, and profit from their own podcasts. Ray will guide you through the process of deciding what gear you need and how to set up your studio so you can create a high-quality podcast that people will want to listen to.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up your podcasting studio.
  • Purchase the right microphones, recorders, mixers, headphones, and more.
  • Use audio interfaces.
  • Record on a computer and record guests remotely.
  • Figure out what accessories and outboard gear you need.

Reviews

Colin Keil
 

Thanks Ray, Great gig, simple and very informative a very good place to start, for someone like me who is considering adding Podcasting and looking for a place to start..

Ara Fitzgerald
 

Thank you. A helpful introduction!