Podcast Producer – Essential Tools of a Decent (Crappy) Podcaster

Looking to become a podcast producer and create your own terrible podcast? Well, please do not. But if you must become a podcaster, here are some essential items needed for your setup.

There are tons of terrible podcasts out there, probably more than anybody can imagine. Yet still, for some reason, people continue to feel the need to create them. Now granted, there are some amazing ones. But regardless, the internet is over-saturated with podcasts based on just about any topic you can imagine. However, what if you stumble onto an amazing niche that has yet to be tapped, and you come to the conclusion that you should indeed become a podcast producer? Well, there are a few things you are going to need if you want to become a good podcaster, or even a decent one. Do not think for a second that you are going to get acceptable results by downloading Audacity, pressing record, and speaking into your internal laptop microphone. This will definitely not achieve good results, and your podcast will most likely be deemed crap (which it may be) without even getting a fair shot. So do yourself a favor, spend a bit of money, and make sure that your podcast at least sounds good. And if you really want to get a step ahead of the pack, maybe attempt to make a good podcast and become a legitimate podcast producer. Take the time to assemble a quality podcaster’s setup. Here is a list of items you will need to make your podcast recordings sound acceptable.

Image of Desktop Condenser Microphone on Podcast Producer Page - Podcaster

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Items Needed to Become a Podcaster
1.Obviously a microphone is crucial. And I do not mean any ‘ole microphone. The $10 Radio Shack dynamic microphone special is probably not going to get the results you desire. And furthermore, you are probably not going to like the results of a dynamic microphone anyway, even the quality ones. You will most likely want a decent condenser microphone. MXL makes plenty of very useable condenser microphones with price tags that do not induce vomiting.

2. USB Pre-amp/Audio Interface – Even after you purchase that awesome condenser microphone, you cannot just plug it into the computer. I mean, you can if you have an XLR to 1/8” adapter. But you will have no sound, because you will have no phantom power. Phantom power is necessary for a condenser microphone to operate. Purchase yourself a USB microphone preamp/audio interface. Make sure it has phantom power. Some do not. Plenty of brands have interface models that record two simultaneous tracks of 24-bit/92 khz-quality audio. This is perfectly acceptable. Two simultaneous tracks should be plenty, unless you are planning on recording a choir or a drum setup for your podcast. And if you are… why? Another option is to use an analog mixer in conjuction with an audio interface. Sometimes the external pre-amp is a better choice than the one included on the audio interface. Whatever!

3. A decent laptop or desktop computer – I do not think I have to explain this further. If I do, then you should not become a podcaster.

4. For number four, I was going to say “talent.” But judging from some of the podcasts in existence, this is obviously not necessary. But my ears appreciate quality. Attempt to become at least a decent podcast producer. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, right? Well maybe not. But for the sake of this article, it is. Aim high and aspire to be a great podcaster. You may miss the mark, but does it really matter? It is just a podcast, after all. Podcast producer is not really that prestigious of a title, anyway.

5. A decent DAW – There are some free programs available for download that should suffice. As a podcast producer, you will most likely be dealing with just a few tracks at most, so fancy software is not necessary. It would probably make things more confusing anyway. Try Audacity. It might be enough. But as you develop as a podcaster, you may desire more capabilities. If so, give Zynewave Podium Free a shot. It is fairly simple for an aspiring podcaster… and it is free!

Other Things a Podcast Producer Might Need
1. A moderately quiet recording space
2. Audio samples for dramatic effect
3. A sidekick to make fun of… constantly