If you’re going to start a podcast, there’s a few tools of the trade you’ll really need! I took quite a while to settle on my favorite equipment and software picks, so in an effort to help you minimize research and decision-making time, I’m putting all that info here into one blog post!
Wanna know what software and equipment I use to record the Online Business Besties podcast? Here ya go!
Microphone: Blue Yeti
I’ve used this Blue Yeti mic for a few years now and it’s been really reliable. It definitely has improved the quality of my audio from my recording-directly-from-my-laptop-days and it’s also super easily transportable. I love that it has the little stand built-in.
It is generally recommended for you to set up a boom arm stand to put your microphone on but I travel so often, I know I’d almost never use it. The best thing about my Yeti is the built in stand. I don’t need to stuff some massive boom arm into a suitcase and spend tons of time getting it attached and set up with every new location I’m recording from.
If you also find yourself hopping around and working from different locations frequently, the Yeti is a solid microphone choice.
Video camera: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
You might find it odd that I’m listing a video camera here, but when I do shows with guests, we’re on a video call together and therefore are kinda talking like IRL. For videos, I could not be happier with my little Logitech! It creates exceptional quality HD videos (a big improvement from my built-in Macbook camera) and was also a superrrr reasonable price.
Light: Newer ring light with stand
Wanna look as good on your videos as you do when one of the Sephora girls just did your makeup? Get a Newer Ring light! (Pretty sure it’s actually the same light they have in Sephora actually.) I have mine always set up behind my desk, so I just turn the switch and suddenly look 5x better in my videos!
Sound muffling: Thick blanket
Andddd my most random piece of equipment? This thing!
I tried SO many strategies to decrease the echo and background noise in my recordings. I created a sound recording box full of soundproof foam which I’d stick my mic in, as well as put a pop filter and windscreen on my mic. I then tried every different room in my apartment to see which was best. And to be honest, none of those things made much of a difference.
I saw in a Facebook group someone mentioniong covering yourself and your mic in a blanket and then recording. Pretty much out of other ideas, I tried it. I put on some summer clothes and got under a blanket on my couch. Turns out, I think it actually works! The audio is more clear than any past tests. It does indeed get a wee bit hot under the blanket (so wear shorts and a tank, haha).
Scheduling show times with guests: Acuity (That’s an affiliate link!)
Ain’t nobody got time for back and forth emails trying to find a time for an appointment, especially when factoring in multiple time zones! So I use Acuity to share a calendar of available dates and times with guests. From there, we both get automatic reminders (meaning significantly less no-shows) and Acuity automatically integrates with the software I use to record shows with guests, Zoom. (More on that in a minute.) Acuity is fabulous because the integration with Zoom and GCal means once an appointment is made in Acuity, it automatically creates a Zoom room for us to meet in and then adds the appointment and the Zoom room link to our calendars.
That takes SO many manual steps out of the entire process which I couldn’t be more pleased about. When it’s time to record, I open up my GCal event, click the Zoom link and am chatting with my guest in no time!
Recording shows with guests: Zoom
I endlessly researched the best recording software and eventually settled upon a software I already use quite frequently, Zoom! I’ve heard nightmare stories about people landing a huge guest on their show, chatting through the entire episode and then realizing they forgot to hit record! I never want that to happen, and thankfully with Zoom it takes just a couple clicks in the settings area to have Zoom automatically record all calls. Meaning there’s 0 chance I’ll accidentally not record an episode.
But the best thing about Zoom? And the reason I specifically chose it to record my podcast episodes with guests? It records you and your guest on 2 separate audio tracks. The day you go to edit your first podcast episode is the day you’ll realize how handy this is. If I’m sneezing or laughing or coughing while my guest is speaking, normally I’d be louder than them and there’s no chance anyone would be able to understand what they said in that moment. But when your audio is recorded in 2 separate tracks, I can cut out my sneeze/laugh/cough without also cutting out their audio in that moment. Superrr handy!
Recording solo shows: Garage Band
The main reason I use Zoom for guest shows is the 2 audio tracks and the automatic room creation when a guest books a time. When I record shows solo however, neither of those things matter much, so I just record it in the same software which I edit in, Garage Band! It’s free and works perfectly for what I need, so I haven’t considered even for a second to get something more complex.
Editing shows: Garage Band
Honestly, a podcast is not the most complicated audio in the world to edit. It generally requires chopping outs bits of audio (coughs, laughs, and content mess ups) and dropping different bits of audio (eg. show intro, outtro, sponsor spots, etc.) together one after the next into one track. Garage Band is more than capable of this. Were I recording some sort of song, maybe I’d need something more robust, but Garage Band easily is able to achieve everything we’ve ever wanted to do editing-wise.
Hosting & analytics: Buzzsprout (Get a $20 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up using my affiliate link!)
I spent a longgg time researching to decide on the best podcast host. I knew I didn’t want to go through the hassle of moving it down the road, so I was determined to find a company I’d be happy with long-term. A lot of podcast hosts I found either looked straight outta 2002 and/or had the ugliest podcast players imaginable. I also found that most of them had very confusing upload limits. What’s 400MB of content? No clue, but I do know that my average podcast episode is 45 mins.
I loved that Buzzsprout had their plans arranged by length of time of the content uploaded and had a podcast player that looked darn good! It appeared to me that the company was really dedicated to the software, keeping it looking up to date and adding updates of new features to it over time.
There we go, that’’s everything I use to produce my podcast! If you’re also interested to start a podcast, check out the links below for a couple other posts on podcasting!