What are the three most important pieces of equipment to consider when designing a ‘radio studio’ setup for your podcast? In this episode I share’s details of the equipment I use to record podcasts.
Building a Studio
Podcasts are often judged on sound quality and when a potential listener is browsing through a podcast directory in search of fresh new content you want to make sure that your audio quality doesn’t let you down. You may have the best content in the world but if it’s recorded on a cheap headset you use when you’re on Skype to your grandma it’ll sound awful!
Audio Tutorials and Masterminds
If you’d like to get a never ending stream of my latest tutorials, reviews and invites to future audio production mastermind sessions simply add the Music Radio Creative Google+ page to your circles.
Most Important Home Studio Items
Earlier this year I asked the question on our Facebook page, “When building a studio what’s the MOST important thing?”. The response was clear. These are the top 3 considerations for any broadcast quality studio:
- Studio Monitors
Just outside the top 3, at number 4, was sound proofing which is certainly worth its own podcast episode. There’s no doubt about it. Having a fast computer is important, especially when producing long podcasts, all that time editing the audio and then waiting for it to mixdown can add up. Not to mention that a fast computer can handle advanced vocal effects, EQ and compression in real time.
At the time of recording this podcast episode I was using an Apple iMac with 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 with 12 GB of internal memory.
Internal memory (RAM) can really help if you’re doing heavy audio editing on your computer. If you’re looking to top your computer up with more memory I recommend checking out Crucial memory.
I use the Audio Technica AT4033A/SM which is a mid range microphone (it’s not cheap) but it way off the price scale of the wonderful Neumann microphones. The reason I have used the Audio-Technica brand for so long is that they are widespread throughout commercial radio in the UK and create a great sound for voice over recording at a good price. This review from Sound On Sound also sings the microphone’s praises.
So, you can edit on the computer and record on the microphone but what do you use to hear the audio back on? Studio monitors of course!
I always like to listen to my podcast on my iPhone and a hifi in addition to listening on my studio monitors to check how it will sound in different listening situations. The YAMAHA HS50M speakers are the perfect way to hear any slight glitches in the audio as they’re precise.
Other Podcasting Equipment You May Consider
Audio Editing Software
I do all my audio editing on Adobe Audition which I’ve been using it since the days of Cool Edit Pro and, again my radio background shows, it can be found in the production room of pretty much every radio station around the world. I also create Adobe Audition tutorials here.
Audacity is free and a great place to learn audio editing if you’ve never done any before but for more advanced features and effects Adobe Audition is the next logical step.
I often wear headphones from the morning to the evening so they are a big consideration for me. Not only do I need my headphones to be comfortable they also need to have a great dynamic range and sound great. The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones have soft ear pads, rest perfectly on my head and are a joy to use all day.
If you need a decent audio interface then look into Focusrite. I use the Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 (with firewire connectivity) and it’s perfect for my needs. An optional extra in the microphone chain can be the dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Processor which will beef your voice up in real time. I prefer an analogue bit of kit somewhere in the loop and the dbx 286s fits the bill. I made a video about how to use it and you can view that by reading the show notes from episode 3 of the podcast.
Leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas on studio equipment for podcasters. What’s the best audio gear you’ve experienced?