When it comes to podcasting, everyone seems to be concerned about the technology.
This is our second session about how to podcast, and we'll be talking about this topic. Technology covers both the hardware (like the microphones, mixers, and recorders) and the software. This will not be a deep dive into all of this - there's too much to cover in one episode - but we'll give you enough to get you going in the right direction. If you have specific question, feel free to reach out to either me or to our guest, Ray Ortega.
Ray Ortega comes on the show today to share his insight and excitement about podcasting technology. He's always playing with different equipment and experimenting with audio techniques. This is because podcasting is his full-time job and his night-time hobby. He is the host of The Podcaster's Studio and the Podcasters Roundtable.
Podcasting hardware Here's some of the major podcasting hardware that you may use:
Microphone - A microphone is one of the basic pieces of equipment that a podcaster needs. There is a wide range of microphone options, from the built-in microphone in your computer/laptop to high-dollar, professional microphones. For podcasting (or any other "professional" audio recording), I recommend not using the built-in microphone - the quality is really low. In the episode, Ray explains a little bit about condenser and dynamic microphones. A strong recommendation for a good podcasting microphone is the ATR2100 or ATR2005 - they both have a USB connection (straight to the computer) and an XLR connection (to a mixer).
Audio mixer - An audio mixer is another great piece of equipment to help with podcasting. It's certainly not necessary. I only got a mixer recently and I've podcasted for two years without one. Again, there's a big range, and Ray talks about this a little bit in the episode.
Digital audio recorder - You can record using software on your computer or mobile device, but a digital audio recorder can be a great help. Software can occasionally crash or add noise to the recording, so a recorder can help with that. Ray discusses some of his recommendations in the episode.
Pop filter - A pop filter is a round screen that goes between your mouth and the microphone. It's job is to reduce the harshness of the plosives (p's, t's, etc.) and mouth noises (lip smacks, etc.).
Windscreen - A windscreen is the foam ball that goes over the microphone. It helps to reduce background noise a little, and it can also reduce some of the plosives. Podcasting software Audacity - Audacity is a free recording software that is fairly powerful. Some of the effects are easier with paid software, but Audacity can do a great job for many podcasters.
Adobe Audition - Adobe Audition is a paid piece of software that makes it easier than Audacity to work with the audio. I personally haven't used it, but Ray talks about this in the episode.
Bossjock Studio - Some people record into Bossjock on their mobile device. I haven't really used it for recording, but I have used it for mixing music and sounds. You can save different audio clips into the app that you can turn on and off with a simple button push. I have sound clips on my phone and then put that into my mixer so I can record some of the sounds as I record my voice.
Garageband - This is another popular app that people use to record podcasts. It can also be used for some editing and uploading the episodes. I haven't use it, but I've heard others talk about it.