Here are the basic tools you will need to produce a podcast -- for more information on any of these, scroll down:
Conventional microphones use an XLR cable and connect to a mixer or audio interface that transmits to a computer. This type is recommended for any podcast with 2 or more people speaking. Here are some options:
Samson Q2U $60
Shure Sm 58 $100
Rode Nt1-A $225
Shure Sm7b $400
Electro-Voice RE20 $500
Watch this video and click on the link below it to learn more about microphones and other audio equipment:
USB microphones connect via USB port directly to a computer, bypassing the need for a mixer or interface. These are most practical for shows where only one person is speaking in the room. Remote guests or hosts will have their own setup and audio on their end that can be paired in during the editing phase. Here are some good options for USB microphones:
For some more information on the pros and cons of different USB microphones, click on these articles:
These devices convert the analog signal of an XLR (conventional) mic into a digital signal the computer can interpret and record. The interface, the microphone, and the quality of the room all determine the sound quality that is captured when recording.
It is important to select an interface that has enough inputs to accommodate the number of people who will be recording at one time (one input per person).
To get a more in-depth look at different interfaces, read this article:
In addition to the items mentioned above, you'll want to look into the following items, depending on your specific needs:
Microphone XLR Cables:
Excluding USB microphones, each microphone will need a cable to connect to the interface. Cables come in various lengths. A typical 8’ cable will cost $10-25.
Many microphones will include a tabletop stand. If not, one can be purchased for about $15. Even better, invest $20-100 in a boom arm stand; these allow the mic to be placed closer to the user for better sound and comfort.
The filter or windscreen prevents air from the user’s speech from hitting the sensitive diaphragm of the microphone. A simple foam windscreen can be purchased for $5, while washable metal filters will cost around $30 each.
Headphones / Headphone Amp or Splitter
Wearing headphones while recording helps to identify audio issues that may be occurring. An amp or splitter allows multiple pairs of headphones to be plugged into one source.
Look at the links below for some ideas on additional items to purchase.