Want to know how to set up a podcast studio?
Great, then you’re in the right place.
Podcasts are the tech and platform of the 21st Century.
With over 90 million Americans pinning back their ears to listen to a podcast every month, the chances of you catching plenty of bees with your honey are now better than ever.
It could be anything on the dial – your business, hobby, lifestyle – ANYTHING.
If you’re interested in knowing more, we did the grunt work for you!
This article will guide you through how to create a Podcast Studio in ways that are easy on the pockets.
We’ll be moving along the process of:
- Finding the right Recording Equipment,
- Editing Software;
- And a special bonus section to help you get started!
Take advantage of the audible revolution and Podcast like a pro!
And if you get overwhelmed in the process, just take a deep breath and check out our podcast episode on How to Break Large Projects (like podcasts) down into smaller tasks.
But what’re you waiting for?
Fasten your seatbelts – we’re off!
Finding The Perfect Podcast Equipment
The equipment works for you – you don’t work for the equipment.
You better keep this mantra in mind when you decide what to buy.
And picking the perfect podcast equipment doesn’t have to break the bank – if you’re smart about it.
If you have only a basic technical background, it can be hellish; trust me.
Plus – any mistakes will hit you in the pocket.
At times like this, you don’t want to mess up.
So, here’s my list of suggested Podcast Equipment for two types of people: those on a budget and the deep-pocketed.
[on a sidenote: if you are one that prefers videos, I have an entire series on YouTube on How to Create a Podcast. It’s a nice supplement for “How to Create a Podcast Studio”. Watch below.]
1. The Podcast Microphone for your Studio
The Microphone is the most quintessential part of any recording studio.
Choosing the best USB microphone for you depends hugely on the type of environment you’re recording in.
Go for a Condenser mic if you have a controlled, quiet environment – like a studio.
Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, are a smarter choice for those in a loud environment. This type of mic is a good fit for newbie podcasters too.
a) Budget-Friendly: AT2005USB
- AT2005USB is the best mic for under $100.
- A Cardioid Microphone (a Handheld Dynamic which picks up sound directly from the mic’s head, thus eliminating everything in the background.)
- Has multiple outputs, along with classic XLR and USB.
- Installed with a Headphone Jack.
- Works well with a Boom Arm accessory.
b) For The High-Rollers: Electro-Voice RE20
- A Cardioid Dynamic Microphone.
- Makes any type of voice sound expertly polished.
- Costs around $500.
- Goes better with standard accessories, too, like a boom arm.
- Great for newcomers with no mic control to get clear recordings and vocals.
If you’d like a few more inexpensive options for mics when you create your podcast studio, see this cheap microphone for under $50.
2. Podcast Studio Headphones
Another piece of primary must-have equipment is Headphones.
You need to sound AND HEAR well.
Since you’ll be using these for long periods, what you need to keep an eye out for is its ability to filter outside noise.
It’s known as the noise bleed.
This is something you must always keep in mind…
Otherwise, the mixing will be a headache and will probably take too much time and effort.
Here are some we recommend that are not only comfortable to use but do a pretty good job, too!
a) Budget-Friendly: Behringer HPX2000
- Circa $29.
- Initially for mixing music, but works well for budget-friendly podcasts.
- Excellent for music, not so good on vocals – a bit heavy on the bass.
b) For The High-Rollers: Sony MDR-7506
- Just at $100
- Perfect for Podcasting and Radio.
- No noise-bleed.
- Accurate mid-range frequencies.
- Great for Vocal Playbacks.
3. Mixer & Audio Interface
You’ll need a mixer for getting any type of audio onto your computer.
A mixer’s audio board either sends or receives multiple audio inputs – and you get to have control over them.
They give you the ability to manipulate panning, EQ, and volume.
The more advanced a mixer is, the more features are available, and different special effects are possible to do.
Also, keep tabs on the equipment’s mix-minus feature. It’s where you use separate channels to split your audio signals.
One channel you, one for your guest.
You need a mixer in almost all cases… any of these will do depending on your budget.
a) Budget-Friendly: Behringer XENYX502 with UCA222 Audio Interface
- A good pair for a solo podcaster to get started.
- XLR mic input – plus four mono inputs.
- Has volume control on each channel and 2-band EQ for vocals.
- No USB Output Mixer – needs an audio interface to connect to a computer like the UCA222 Audio Interface.
b) For The High-Rollers: PreSonus mixer and Komplete Audio 6 (Audio Interface)
- God-tier Mixer.
- Uses Firewire to connect to PC.
- Latency is close to Zero.
- It’s made to tolerate 16 inputs simultaneously.
- Four AUX Sends.
- Two internal FX Buses.
In layman’s terms, this piece of equipment right here will happily record a live band or a talk show with multiple emcees.
It’s every podcaster’s dream!
4. Recording Software
a) Budget-Friendly: GarageBand, Audacity, ProTools First.
For Mac Users: GarageBand
- Already installed by Macintosh. (And for free software, it delivers splendidly.)
- Relatively easy to use – and free – did I mention that?
- Able to handle a handful of channels at the same time.
For PC Users: Audacity
- Open-sourced free DAW.
- The interface is a tier inferior to GarageBand but does the job nonetheless.
- No built-in mp3 mix-down option, but you can download a third-party app to compensate.
For MAC and PC users: ProTools
- Newly developed software.
- The free version is a subordinate version of their paid DAW but works perfectly great.
- High-quality plug-ins are readily available at the ProTools Store.
b) For The High-Rollers: ProTools, Cubase, or Logic Pro
This group of software was made for businesslike recording studios.
It’s overkill for podcasts. You can produce a fantastic podcast with the free software I gave you above, but if you have tons of money to spare, why not?
You can also check these out:
- Buzzsprout with a subscription of $12/month (+$6 for magic remastering)
- Podbean is another that starts at $9/month
- Adobe Audition for $20/month
- Descript (Free or premium for $15/month)
Accessories for Setting up your Podcast Studio
To amp up your gear, you’d want to use any of these accessories too!
If you’re looking for affordable accessories, it’s a good idea to get these Bonus tools as a minimum:
- A lot of thick Blankets and Pillows (for sound conditioning)
If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, you’ll want to get a more high-end version of the products mentioned above, such as:
- Live Wire Solutions ha204
- iJingle Pro
For podcasts interviews or if you’re planning on having a separate segment with a guest and co-host miles away, it’s essential to have Long-Distance Recording apps to go along with your editing software.
Here’s our Top 3.
- Records quality audio.
- Supplies users with separate tracks for each speaker.
- It can accommodate video conferencing.
- Top-performing App to-date.
- Removing background noise during post-production is smooth and undemanding.
- A Free online platform that’s a go-to for podcasting.
- First-rate audio quality.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Doesn’t produce noiseless audio (unlike SquadCast)
Skype (If all else fails, Skype’s the last resort.)
- Low voice and sound quality. Slightly better than a phone recorder.
- An inconsistent connection can easily pose issues.
- The interface is not visually ideal for a podcast.
5. Cables and Cords
Quick Review: There are two types of Cords/Cables: The Balanced and Unbalanced Cords.
As the name suggests, an Unbalanced Cable only sends a single signal. With these, two unbalanced cables are used to send the left and right signals.
Unbalanced Cables are typically used for electric guitars and other single devices.
But get this, if you use these cables any longer than 10ft in length, you’ll risk getting a distorted signal.
Balanced cables can send two signals in one cable.
They’re better for eliminating noise and could be used up to 50ft with no issues at all!
Isn’t that great?
Most of the equipment you’ll need will require a balanced cable.
You need to look for:
- XLR connection with three prongs for the Microphone.
- RCA/AUX cables for the mixers and audio interface.
Where to buy them?
a) Budget-Friendly: Balanced Cables you can buy at Wal-Mart.
b) For The High-Rollers: Balanced Cables you can buy at Best Buy, Musicians Friend, or Guitar Center.
Or on Amazon, of course.
These are a bit more expensive.
However, these cords last longer and sound better – an excellent investment at the end of the day.
Conclusion: How To Create A Podcast Studio
And that’s all from us folks; you did a great job coming this far!
Time to make a great sounding podcast with just some basic (or not – if you’re a High Roller) gear and your raw talent!
Bet on your chance to be in the spotlight.
Now we’ve dished out all the essentials on creating an affordable Podcast Studio in the comfort of your own home (or closet!) – you know everything there is to know – so it’s time to take some action now.
I hope you enjoyed this How-To – ‘Setting up a podcast studio.’
Why not check out our other exciting articles we have in store for you here?
Below we’ve got a bonus section for your for tips on creating your new podcast [once you’ve done that for your brand, we also recommend that you look at Starting a YouTube Channel as well as a TikTok Account in order to make money. I know, it’s a lot, you can bookmark and read those later].
Setting up a Podcast
Everyone can create a Podcast; that in itself is just a two-step process.
First, you record your podcast.
Then, you edit and upload.
It can be a challenging industry, for sure.
You’re going to need a podcast host. We highly recommend BuzzSprout. It’s who we use (we actually switched from a company over to them. Plus, if you use the link, you’ll get a $20 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up!) But you can also use other great podcast hosts such as Podbean. (or check out this article by BloggingMile to discover other top podcast hosting sites to choose from).
So here’s a tip: You’ll increase your chances of success if you begin the process with a little practice to try your hand. Try to get warmed up with your iPhone and a pair of headphones – See how it goes.
Rule of Thumb: Content is King.
People can put up with less-than-perfect audibility as long as the content is top-notch!
Don’t forget, you can watch my videos on creating a podcast as well.
Step 1: Develop the Perfect Concept.
It’s simple: Start with Why and What.
“Why do I want to start my Podcast?”
“What kind of content do I want to share with the world?”
The more concrete the vision – the easier it’ll be to establish goals.
Do you want to generate leads for a new business?
Or maybe you just want to have a bit of fun and see where it leads?
When you have your ducks in a row, it’ll be a whole lot easier to achieve your goals.
That’s the ticket.
Pick Theme or Topic
“What am I all about?”
To actualize your ideas, you need to grab people’s attention with a topic that piques their interest.
It could be anything – just make sure you’re 100% passionate and keen as mustard.
Remember: Your future podcast revolves around this defining point. The topic should be something you’re intent on discussing relentlessly.
Once you’ve done that, do some research on the market and your competition.
You’ll want to listen to current shows in Apple Podcasts and study them diligently – try to find ways to smash the competition and avoid the habits that aren’t worth the candle.
Now here’s the exciting part.
Name Your Podcast
Naming your podcast can be both stimulating and stressful!
You need to pick a catchy and fun name – something that’s easy on the ear – and memorable.
According to Apple’s Podcast Best Practices, items you fill out, such as the Title, Author, and Description are the fields they customize for Search.
They explained that your podcast’s metadata and your podcast artwork are your product packaging and can affect whether your podcast shows up in relevant searches and how likely users are to subscribe.
A title that’s too out of focus or wordy is less likely to attract subscribers – no matter how engaging the content.
Did you get that?
In other words, make your title specific.
Use keywords wisely; don’t overdo it!
You want to make your podcast easy to find – a one or two-word podcast name should be fine.
You can add a short description in the title tag to compensate.
This aids search results even more.
At this point, you might get tempted to add in your aesthetics.
But here’s a piece of advice: hold off making the podcast artwork just yet.
Your baby’s still learning how to walk.
The concept may vary as you create your first few episodes – that’s fine and completely normal.
It might be easy to change the podcast title, but it’s gonna be a pain to alter your artwork – especially if you’ve already invested a fair amount of dough.
Step 2: Pick a Podcast Format.
In this section, It’s equally important to choose a format that fits what you’ve created so far.
When it comes to formats, the limit’s your imagination!
Thanks to Buzzsprout, here’s a shortlist with convenient example podcasts you could look into:
- Interview podcasts: These feature a single host who interviews people in a particular field or industry—examples include: The Joe Rogan Experience, Fresh Air, and Trained by Nike.
- Scripted non-fiction podcasts: These are serial podcasts that typically have one theme for a whole season—examples include: Serial, Slow Burn, and Hardcore History.
- News recap: A format that summarizes the news within a specific industry—examples include: The Daily, Kickass News, or Planet Money.
- Educational podcasts: Scripted non-fiction shows that focus on teaching their audience—examples include: Stuff You Should Know, Hidden Brain, and TED Radio Hour.
- Scripted fiction: These podcasts are similar to radio dramas and are often scripted and highly produced—examples include: The Magnus Archives, Limetown, and CARAVAN.
Optimal Episode Length
Don’t be misguided: When it comes to how long a podcast should be, there’s no right answer. You can easily trim here and there – with some cute editing.
“Your podcast should be as long as it needs to be, without being any longer.”
Obvious, but remember it.
Again, everything depends on how you want to be remembered.
Trust that as long as your content is of good quality, people will keep on tuning in!
Once you get the hang of the duration that fits you best, maintain consistency.
There’s no particular standard to follow for deciding on things like your Publishing Schedule.
Choose whatever fits your schedule the best.
However, we recommend publishing at least once a week if you have the resources.
It’s crucial to develop a starting connection with your audience. When you publish every day, they start to remember little pieces of your podcast.
If you don’t do daily uploads, a weekly schedule with longer content will do the trick.
With this, you can establish a habit for yourself and – more importantly – for those who want a bigger piece of you!
By developing good habits, you’ll lower the odds that your podcast becomes another pod fade.
If you have all the above covered, it’s time to move on to a more challenging obstacle – choosing the right equipment.
Step 3: Recording Your First Episode
A lot of potential podcasters will give up the struggle at the point of Recording.
It’s a make-or-break moment.
My advice: Don’t get in a fluster. Try to remember that even the best podcasts kick off with a few bad episodes and tons of redrafts.
The only way to improve is to go ahead and record a new one.
A lot of aspiring influencers lose steam the moment things get too technical and challenging.
Don’t be one of them.
Improve as you go.
Find your footing and be a force to be reckoned with.
Pick a Place to Record
Recording a podcast takes a lot of planning.
And that includes your recording space.
Just because you sound good singing in the shower doesn’t mean it’s the best place to record your podcast audio.
Picking the right setting to capture the sound quality is much more important than buying the right equipment.
You need to record in a large, quiet room with plenty of space.
If you can’t change the space – change what’s inside it.
You’re going to need materials with reflective or absorbent surfaces like furniture, carpets, or clothing.
An easy way to get this backdrop without setting up an expensive recording studio is to use your walk-in closet!
An uncluttered recording is an excellent way to get started!
That way, the technicalities of editing will be much more clear-cut.
Set up your Recording Equipment and Software
Now it’s time to assemble.
USB Microphone Setup (Highly Recommended)
- Plug the microphone directly into your computer’s USB Port.
- Go to “Settings” in your audio editing software and double-check to make sure your microphone is highlighted as your audio input.
XLR Microphone Setup (More complex)
First Option: Use a USB interface (e.g., Scarlett Solo) and record directly from your microphone to your computer.
Second Option: Plug your XLR mic into an external audio recording device (e.g., Zoom H4n). That will save your audio to an SD card – only then can you hook it up to your computer.
Useful Microphone Tips for Beginners
- Position your mouth 2-4 inches away from the microphone.
- To increase lower frequencies, speak off-base.
- Try to move your mouth (or body) away from the mic when you’re not speaking.
- At a constant volume, test different angles and distances to know which position sounds best.
Read more here.
At this point, you’re finally ready to start recording!
So far, we’ve managed to polish you up on how to choose your topic, how to pick a place to record, how to set up your equipment, and I’ve shared some special mic tips to get you going.
Grab a drink, relax, and record away!
Don’t worry about stuttering or making mistakes – that’s what EDITING is for.
Be yourself, get comfortable, and let it all flow as naturally as possible.
Step 5: Editing & Uploading
This is where the magic begins.
After you’ve created a suitable intro and chosen your theme music, you’re almost good to go.
… what’s a podcast without sound effects?
Here are my tips to help you speed things up:
- Create separate tracks for each audio file. Making your tracks distinct safeguards the editing process by making sure possible mistakes are easy to spot in the long-run. When they’re easy to spot, it’s even easier to correct them.
- Edit for content before moving on to sound distractions. In other words, work inside out. Focus on editing the content on your first run through – before moving on with sound and noise issues. That way, your efforts won’t be wasted. If you go the other way around, you could find you’ve polished the sound issues on a recording you may well end up deleting.
- Create a punch-list. By creating a list of errors you’ve spotted early on, you reduce the edit time – by not having to listen to a full episode several times.
- Fade between tracks. Fading allows you to remove unwanted noise – easy!
- Don’t become the full-time editor. It’ll take all of your time if you’re not a pro. Focus on your content. Don’t let your lack of experience with editing stop you from actually publishing an episode. You can either ask for help or hire professionals to do it for you.
Finally, I can’t wait to hear your podcast! Hope you learned some ideas on how to create a podcast studio. Be sure to connect with us in our private group and let us know your progress there.
And podcasting is just one of the ideas in our article “How to make an extra $1,000 a month” if you’d like to check that out as well.
Now go set up your podcast studio!