This week, we got a questions in from a listener who asked:
“I want to make a podcast with at least two-three (2-3) people and I would like to know what type of equipment I could start off with and how to go about this form of podcast unlike in the post http://bibpodcast.com/blog/how-to-start-a-successful-podcast-on-a-50-budget/ which focuses more of a single person making the podcast. I would really appreciate any help I can get with regards to this enquiry of mine.”
I know a lot of people have this question when first getting started, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share my answer with everyone.
There a couple of ways you can do this. There’s the “not so expensive” way and the “more expensive” way. If you’re recording a podcast with 2-3 people in person at certain location every week, then you can take the “not so expensive” route.
I know one podcaster who does this. All of his podcasts are done with his buddies at a bar using a recorder and mics. Their show is called Beards and B.S (except they don’t really call it B.S.)
The In-Person Podcast Option (Less Expensive)
For this option, all of your co-hosts will need to be at the same location.
1) You’ll need a Zoom H4n digital recorder. I recommend this recorder because it has XLR inputs for plugging in Dynamic mics. You want to use dynamic mics because they offer better sound with less background noise. Here’s my review of the Zoom H4N:
I realize not everyone can shell out $300 for this microphone though. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get the Behringer XM8500 mic. It doesn’t quite have the deep, rich FM radio sound the PR40 has, but it’s still a great sounding mic for around $20 on Amazon. Regardless of the mic you end up buying, you’ll definitely want a mic stand. I use and recommend the On Stage DS7200B.
3) You need 3-4 XLR Cables (depending the on then number of mics you use) for hooking your mics to the recorder.
4) Lastly, you need a HOSA XLR M adapter cable if you plan on having 3-4 people on your podcast. The Zoom H4N recorder only has 2 XLR inputs for plugging in 2 microphones, so this little adapter gives you two additional plugins for the other 2 mics.
5) For editing podcasts once you’ve recorded, you can use a free program like Audacity. I use Adobe Audition because it has some extra enhancement features that I like, but you don’t need it to edit and create a great sounding podcast.
The total cost on this setup is around $350 if you go with the Behringer mics.
The Skype Mix Minus Podcast Option
For this option, you and all of your co-hosts will be on Skype.
1) You’ll still need the Zoom H4N for recording all of your shows.
2) You’ll still need either the Heil PR40 or the Behringer XM8500 depending on your budget. For this option however, you really need only one of these dynamic mics. If you’re using Skype to create your shows, your co-host can use a headset mic and that will work just fine. Don’t forget the XLR Cables for hooking the mics to the mixer.
On our podcast show, people often think that Russell is using the same equipment as I am. But in reality since we’re recording over Skype, I’m the only one using the Heil PR40 mic. Russell is using an inexpensive $30 Planatronics headset mic on his end. That’s all he needs because his audio is being enhanced by my sound mixer.
3) At one time I would have recommended getting a JK Audio broadcast host for taking guest interviews over the phone. But nowadays you don’t really need it. Most everyone we interview uses Skype and eve if they didn’t, Skype now has excellent call to phone ability and the sound quality is better than the using the broadcast host.
4) You need a sound mixer for mixing all of your audio. I use the Mackie 1402 Sound Mixer. This is a fantastic sound mixer, but it’s $400 on Amazon. You can get by just fine with a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer. I started out with this mixer. It’s priced at around $70 on Amazon.
5) If your recording your podcasts through Skype, you’ll definitely need a good set of headphones. These Sony MDR7506 headphones are some of the best around.
5) Again, for editing you’ll be fine with using Audacity. There are plenty of Audacity tutorials on YouTube. My favorite sound editor is still Audition.
6) Some people will recommend getting a boom arm for the mic. I have one of these for my office setup, but again if you’re on a budget go with a mic stand like the On Stage DS7200B. You also may want to add pop filters onto your mics for eliminating the popping sound on your “P”s.
For this setup, you’ll probably spend $1,100 on equipment, but you’ll have a complete podcast studio setup for recording shows straight from your office.
For anyone that chooses the Skype mix minus above, you can learn how to set everything up using our tutorial DVD Podcasting in One Hour. If you do kindly purchase the equipment through our affiliate links above, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link to the video tutorial at no charge.