Podcasting Equipment To Consider Podcast Season 1 podcasting equipment Music Radio Creative

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:

  • Computer
  • Microphone
  • 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.

Studio Computer

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.

Recording Microphone

Audio Technica AT4033a
Audio Technica AT4033a

I use the Audio Technica AT4033A/SM ***now upgraded to Neumann TLM 103***. 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.

Studio Monitors

Yamaha HS50M
Yamaha HS50M

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 HS Series HS5 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

Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition

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.


DT 770 PRO Headphones
DT 770 PRO Headphones

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.

Microphone Extras

Focusrite Saffire PRO 14
Focusrite Saffire PRO 14

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.

Your Comments

Leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas on studio equipment for podcasters. What’s the best audio gear you’ve experienced?


8 Responses

  1. Awesome advice Mike, i’ve dropped a vote your way to. My audio chain isn’t a million miles away from your equipment. i7 Pc ( still not convinced with apple), shure sm7b ( just obtained an ev re20 second hand but prefer the shure), krk rp8 monitors, 770 pro headphones, audition cs6, dbx 286. I have a focusrite isa one pre amp as well but the dbx sounds cleaner in my humble opinion. I think on my next spending spree I will upgrade the mic, next step for me will be the Neumann tlm 102, and some more voice coaching!

    Keep up the good work, enjoy the tutorials and podcasts you do.


    Spike Hammond

    1. Great to hear your setup. It sounds excellent and I would never consider a PC after such great experiences with my iMac but it is very subjective. I wonder if Windows 8 will change the landscape?

      I appreciate your kind words and, of course, the vote in the 2012 Stitcher Awards. Thank you! 😉

  2. What are your thoughts on the Heil PR40. I really like the Audio Technica line of mics, but my studio is not soundproof and I am a little concerned about using a condenser mic in that environment.

    1. The Heil PR40 is indeed the gold standard for podcasters and is used by the pros such as Cliff Ravenscraft and Leo Laporte. So yes I would highly recommend this mic especially if your room is not treated for sound as it’ll sound much better than a condenser.

  3. Thanks a lot for the info.
    This is Mohamed from Egypt @ Cairo.
    please regarding the audio interface is it better to get the USB or FireWire?
    I’ve goggled a lot and found too many audio interfaces but confused for which one will result the top quality? I’ve found the following:-
    1 – M-Audio (M-Track Plus)
    2 – Mackie (Onyx Blackjack)
    3 – Focusrite (Saffire PRO 14 & Scarlett 2i2).
    Please may you help me to pick up a one or if you know there is a better one?
    I will use it for making (audio books – podcasting – e Learning screen casting video tutorials).
    I will use Heil PR-40 or EV RE-20 microphone so if you also may recommend a one of them that would be awesome.
    I will get the dbx 286 as well and a headphone for monitoring.
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Thanks for listening Mohamed. I personally like the Saffire PRO 14 (out of that selection). It is, in fact, the audio interface I currently use to record this podcast.

      Looks like you have a great setup worked out. I look forward to hearing more from you.

      Also, check out my Saffire PRO 14 review video:


  4. Thanks Mike. Always cool, sound advice. My podcast set up is way below par and I shudder to even talk about it. I’ve recently added an AKG 5S dynamic microphone and the Focusrite 6i6 interface. Perhaps I should get the dbx 286 thingummybob as well. I use Audition CS6 but am toying with the idea of crossing over to Pro Tools. I suppose I’ll become your bete-noir from then on!
    Thanks for the motivation.

    1. Thanks Edrich! I agree, there is so much equipment we can use and research. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the podcast 🙂

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