Podcast #16 - Overview of Upcoming Conferences
Problem with Windows Media Play Synchronization Experience for Podcasts

What Gear Do You Need For A Podcast?

I am doing my podcasts very simply.  That may be good for me (pretty cheap) but bad for my listeners if my audio output isn't that good (I actually think it is AOK, but I know squat about audio really). 

My primary setup is basically a Plantronics DSP-100 Digital USB microphone for getting my audio voice in, and Audacity for Windows for capture, editing, and output (I am beta testing MixCastLive).  This all done on a custom designed Windows XP SP2 system at home.

Others are doing some significantly cooler audio engineering work:

Also check out the excellent sites: howtopodcast.org & Behind The Scenes for good "how to do podcasts ... from recording to posting."

UPDATE: Jake Ludington on recording and publishing are good new references. And Eric Mack has pictures and details on his "mobile setup."

Comments

Amber Armstrong

I want to hook up a phone to my Behringer podcasting equipment. What equipment do I need? I am lost, and don't know where to start.

Please email me back. I would really appreciate your advice.

Steve Holden

Hello! This is a little bit more complicated than a short blog answer allows but here is a try ... there are two technologies you can look at: #1.) Digital Hybrid Phone Interface (like the Telos-1 ... which is expensive but works great ... I have one in my studio); or #2.) Add an extra computer to your setup and run the audio out from a Skype (or other VoIP system that allows for phone calls in/out) into your podcast gear.

I'd recommend you consider either book: Podcasting for Dummies or Podcast Solutions. Both describe ways of doing #1 and #2; and probably other ways.

If you need more information let me know (sholden@aztecmedia.net) ... my podcast consulting service.

Good luck - Steve

Audio Production Software

Great post, thanks for sharing your idea in terms of podcasting. As a suggestion you have to come up many ways in improving your podcast set up. Here are some of my idea: First thing to do, Don't use the built in microphone of your laptop computer, the reason for this is that although it might be of good quality it will pick up computer fan and hard drive noise. Second, record in the room with enough space and use a microphone with stand to avoid any noise. Third, record in the quiet room and away from any noise. Fourth,if you're recording yourself use headphones to monitor your recording and turn down any speakers connected to your computer. Use a directional microphone and have it backed off from the computer to avoid cooling fan and hard-drive noises. You can only monitor with speakers if you're recording someone else who's located in another acoustically isolated room. Fifth, set your recording level so that it goes into the red area only occasionally and avoid it being too quiet too. And lastly, If you are using a compressor/limiter in your pre-amplifier, use low compression ratios on the compressor and set the limiter at a high threshold just to prevent the loudest parts of your recording from distorting. Aside from this podcasting topic, I just wanna let you know other ideas on music software as well as to Audio Production Software here at http://musical-instruments-keyboard.com/audio-production-software.html.

Ellen Brazer

Hi:
Okay, I need some direction. I have a 400 page novel that I am putting on-line in an E-book. I want to know if I can put the entire manuscript into a podcast? Can it be done? Do author's do that? If so, how?

Steve Holden

Ellen ... This is a great idea to podcast your book. Many authors do it. One source is for distribution would be http://podiobooks.com/. I like the idea of doing a chapter by chapter podcast over a period of time. This lets you work at manageable pace and you can also get community support as your story is broadcasted.

Let me know if you are interested in setting up a recording setup and then I could help with getting the audio cleaned up for posting.

Another good resource is: Podcasting For Dummies (http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesTitle/Podcasting-For-Dummies-2nd-Edition.productCd-047027557X.html). All the guys who worked on the book are friends of mine.

Steve

Dominic Streeter

Hello

I am so confused and wondered if anyone could help. I am about to start recording a weekly podcast and am wondering what equipment i need to buy. Requirements are as follows...

-it will be a 'multi-person' podcast with a presenter and at least two studio guests each week
-we will need to do some interviews with people on the street
-we will do regular interviews on the phone

Which mic would be best? Do i need just one or a different one for every guest? Do i need headphones? If so, again would it be one for each person? Is there any other euipment i need? Not massive budget or anything but at the same time it's important to achieve good sound quality so doesn't have to be the very cheapest solution.
p.s. it will be recorded on a laptop (not a mac one) and for the editing software we will be using Audacity.

Thanks so much!

Steve Holden

Dominic,

I have outlined my setup in some of my Audacity presentations at www.aztecmedia.net/audacity - this includes some how to demos on Audacity for audio editing which IMHO is ideal as a key podcasting tool. Since Audacity is cross-platform it will work with your PC or a Mac or Linux. With cost always being an issue, given your studio requirements I would get three individual mics (something like: GLS Audio ES-58 Dynamic Microphone - $30 each?) and then a mid-range mixer (something like: Peavey PV-8 - under $100?). This will get you a pretty good sound that you can edit in Audacity if you need to. For doing interviews in the field, cost seems to go up but one option is the: Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder ($150). I would also give headphones to everyone who is speaking. They might also need room in front of them for a laptop if the show includes reference data or live searches to answer a question.

I hope this helps.

Steve

P.S. For more info on the GLS Audio ES-58 Dynamic Microphone check out:

http://www.steveriekeberg.com/2010/02/02/budget-conscious-podcasting-microphone/

You can also get some great info at Podcast Academy's PodcastRigs:

http://podcastacademy.com/pcr-index/

My friend fellow FriendsInTech.com member's Chuck & Kreg worked on the 2nd edition of:

http://www.dummies.com/store/product/Podcasting-For-Dummies-2nd-Edition.productCd-047027557X.html

Andy R (blog@audiofilesolutions.com)

Podcast equipment is a personal thing, but we are gathering the best new equipment every few months. Your readers may like to read the latest via the URL for this comment. -- Andy R (AudioFile Solutions)

audio visual hire melbourne (craigcyril66@gmail.com)

To do a video podcast, the easiest place to start is frequently with a digital camera that takes video, because many of these cameras come with cords to transfer video to your computer via USB, or if your computer has a media card reader you can remove the camera’s media card and transfer the video with the reader.

records management (james_wallrun@gmail.com)

You've listed just about everything, except for one. You need a proper backup plan in case something goes wrong. When i say backup plan i mean backup equipment.

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