This guide will cover the basics of starting a podcast, including recording, editing, and publishing your first episode.
For the most basic podcast setup, you will need a microphone, headphones for monitoring audio, recording software, and a computer. Depending on how many locations you are recording from, and how many other cohorts or guests you have, you may need more than one of each of these.
There are simple USB podcast mics you can plug straight into a computer and other mics that require an XLR input, which requires an external recorder, or an XLR-to-USB interface. All of those options could work well for your first podcast, but remember, the perfect microphone to start with is the one you have access to and is in your budget.
Based on your style of show and your available equipment and budget, you need to find a way to record your podcast using your available mics. Using a USB plug in mic or a USB audio interface into a computer is one way. For this, you will need software to record the audio into the computer.
Another option is an external recorder, which saves the audio internally to the recorder, which you can then bring into an audio-editing software later. This also works great if your podcast location is remote and away from a computer.
Mic placement is important. If your mic is directional, like a shotgun mic, make sure to point it between your mouth and upper chest. If you are using an omnidirectional mic, make sure to have it close to your mouth. Also, make sure to use headphones to monitor your audio. This also helps stop echoing from your speakers into your mic if your are doing a Zoom-style podcast.
After you have recorded the first episode of your podcast, you must edit. For this, you are going to need audio-editing software. There are many paid and free options available on the market. The most commonly used software is Audition. It comes with the Adobe Creative Cloud monthly subscription.
To make your audio sound crisp and clear, you can use built-in effects in your audio-editing software, like compression and equalisation, also known as EQ. Compression is a way of making the loudest parts of your audio closer to the quietest parts of your audio. This helps make everything said easily heard.
EQ, or equalisation, is an effect that manipulates the frequencies of the audio to sound better to the ear. Your software should have a preset like vocal enhancer, which is a great starting out point to boost the low- and high-end frequencies, making your audio sound more full.
Post your podcast using an online publishing platform. Anchor.fm is a free option that will put your podcast onto Spotify, Apple Podcast, and other listening platforms simultaneously.