In our last article Starting an Author Podcast, we shared how podcasting is something authors should consider as a way to grow their audience and create shareable content. In this second article we wanted to discuss the equipment needed to launch an author podcast.
A common obstacle to starting a new podcast is figuring out what equipment is essential to give you the best results without overspending. With sound quality in mind, podcasters should focus on equipment that is easy to use, produces a clear and professional sound, and includes all of the components to support this goal. It is imperative to come out of the gates with a professional sounding podcast free from volume imbalances, background noise, or anything technical that takes away from the message.
The good news is that there are options available that offer the right equipment without spending too much money. There is also a ton of information and articles reviewing the type of podcast equipment for authors is available, and at what price. It’s a good idea to start with just the minimum equipment needed to put together a great show and expand with experience.
Microphones are one of the most critical components in achieving a professional sounding podcast. To help you make the right choice here is some technical information about microphones. The environment that you will be recording in will also help you make the best purchase.
Condenser microphones introduce a higher level of quality to your recordings because of their sensitivity but tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
Dynamic microphones record a narrower range of frequencies and have a more vibrant sound with a casual feel. Dynamic mics are better for authors that are just getting started as they pick up less background noise, and are more forgiving in your average study or office.
USB microphones plug directly into your computer and avoid the need for additional equipment. If you are a one-person podcast, this is the fastest way to get started.
XLR microphone can’t plug directly into a computer and need a preamp, mixer, or digital recorder for the mic to work. They offer more production flexibility, and premium sound quality, and are typically used when you are podcasting with two or more people.
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shock mount
You can purchase each component separately, or look for a bundled package like the ones listed below.
Blue Yeti Teal USB Microphone kit with Studio Headphones and Knox Pop Filter
Mic stand- positions the mic where you will have the best quality sound.
Pop filter- removes the popping or smacking sounds generated by normal vocal conversations.
Shock mount- prevents vibrations from the stand going into the mic and being recorded.
Headphones allow you to listen to and monitor your show, hearing what’s being captured. Any sound quality issues can be resolved quickly. If your podcast involves interviewing quests, a headphone will allow you to listen to them clearly and feel like you are immersed in the show. They are also great for editing and listening to your recordings. Here are a couple of choices to get you moving in the right direction.
Audacity (free) and Adobe Audition (monthly bundle) are two software programs that can be used to record, edit, and mix audio. Although digital audio workstations take time to learn, you can pick up on the necessary skills quickly. There are online tutorials that will help get you moving in the right direction. You can always ask us for help in getting your podcast off the ground. We are currently assisting several clients with editing and populating podcast episodes. Ask us how we can help you.
If you are conducting long-distance interviews. Zoom (Free and paid plans) is a great platform to do the interview. Their advanced programs allow you to record more extended interviews and capture them in audio and video formats.
Hosting platforms allow you to store your audio files and distribute them using an RSS feed. This feed is sent to listening platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Skitcher, and others. Most hosting platforms offer advanced marketing and distribution tools allowing authors to display the episodes on their website and social platforms. Some provide advertising opportunities to advance your podcast strategy further. Each one has unique features and offers something to suit any podcaster, no matter their skill level, motivation, or budget. Here are a few Hosting platforms to consider.
Now that you have a better idea of the available podcast equipment for authors, you should know if podcasting is for you. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is a proven way to increase exposure, create a loyal following, and provide content to push your message (and book) out to the world. It gives you more content to promote through your social channels and shows the industry that you are passionate about your message. Like all strategies, podcasting requires a monetary investment and an investment in time. Authors should evaluate if podcasting is right for them. If you’re still not sure of the benefits, try being a guest on a podcast show or ask current podcasters about their experience. We would be glad to evaluate whether podcasting is right for you. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary evaluation.
* Disclosure: Some of these product links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we might receive a small commission if you purchase them.
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.