Podcasting Equipment Part 1

I’ve done several presentations on podcasting this year, both in person and via the recent collegewebeditor.com webinar. No matter what angle I’m coming from, I always get the same questions, which makes sense since I’m presenting to folks interested getting into podcasting.

There are three questions that come up consistently:

-What equipment do you use?

-How much does the equipment cost?

-How much time does it take to produce a show?

I’m sure others have the same questions. I have a studio at home and one in my office. They’ve evolved a little differently, so in today’s post, I’ll talk about my home studio equipment.

A couple years ago my wife bought me a custom made Sweetwater Music tower. I love it because it’s devoted solely to recording, mixing, editing and posting. Because it’s not cluttered with a lot of other programs, it remains lightning fast.

(I’ll be right up front. I do most all my business with Sweetwater because their prices are in line with most everyone else, my sales rep’s knowledge is excellent and the service is consistently outstanding.)

Actually any computer will do. Just make sure you have a lot of space because wave files eat up a lot of memory.

For a monitor I have a 17-inch Sony flat screen, also a couple years old. I like the larger screens because you often have to zoom way in to delete an unwanted sniff or cough or throat clearing. Clean edits are a must.

I use a pair of Mackie monitors.

They’re a bit pricey but I went for the quality of sound because I want to hear everything—highs and lows—when editing. And I want to hear the recording as clearly as possible.

At the same time, they’re probably more than you need. I’ll talk about less expensive ones in my office studio.

For recording I use AKG Solid tube microphone, which, I’ve found is no longer available. Again it’s a little pricey but I wanted to get that old time tube sound which is warmer than digital. In the next post about my office equipment, I’ll talk about some different mics.

I can’t stress enough the importance of getting as high quality mics and sound card as you can afford. You want the best possible recording because it’s your raw material.

At home I have an MAudio Delta 66 sound card. At $189, it’s fine for voice work.

My wife “borrowed” my Mackie mixer so I bought a Peavey four channel mixer for less than $100 and it works just fine. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PV6

I use Adobe Audition mixing software which costs $300.

However, you don’t have to invest any money in mixing software. Use Audacity software. It’s free and has more than enough features for any podcaster. .

For the music beds, I hire a freelance musician to create original loops. You can create your own loops with Adobe Audition or by buying loop packages. There are also numerous sites like fruity loops that have hundreds of royalty free loops at low rates.

There are also some free sites. Just poke around on the Web.

All my links are to Sweetwater but that’s just to give you visuals. While I did plug Sweetwater, there are many other good sites that my wife and son use such as Musicians Buy, zZounds, Musician’s Friend and many others.

I have about $3,500 invested in my home studio, but you don’t have to spend that much.

More later.


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