Set Up Recording Equipment

Best Practice Series

Setting Up The Right Podcast Recording Equipment.

Set Up Recording Equipment

Now, in with the hardware! Experimenting with recording your podcast can be done with your existing computer, some free software and online tools. Experimental is the key word here, as you do get what you pay for.

Bear in mind that this set-up won't give you or your audience a good indication of your vocal quality and may reflect poorly on your business. Yikes! For this reason, I'd strongly recommend investing a modest amount (less than $500) in some basic recording equipment, specifically a microphone and a book about audio recording.

Computer Based Recording
Record using your computer

One of the biggest trends in recent audio production involves merging digital recording with computer technology. The recording of audio onto a computer’s hard drive allows you to edit and manipulate your sound files. This data can be stored as a sound file such as .wav or .aiff.

There are multiple advantages to recording and editing your voice-overs using your personal computer, including:

  • The ability to record long and uninterrupted narration.
  • Digital editing. Quickly and easily remove unwanted background noise or embellish the audio track with music and sound effects.
  • Digital Processing. Add effects to your voice, such as reverb, or echo, and master your entire demo for sonic clarity.

PC Computers
Minimum voice-over requirements for PC

According to Gartner Research, Windows-based PC’s account for 90% of all computers worldwide. If you have purchased your personal computer in the last three years and you’re running a recent version of Windows - 7, 8 or 8.1 - then your system should be more than adequate to record an audio file with a microphone, and then save the recording as an MP3 file.
  • Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent Processor • Windows 2000/Windows XP or newer
  • iTunes for PC
  • 1 GB of available disk space
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • Audio Line In and Audio Line Out

Mac Computers
Minimum voice-over requirements for Mac

Apple’s continued investment in iTunes shows its commitment to the digital revolution. Since most iPod, iPhone and iPad owners are also Mac owners, there is also a lot of great software available for the Mac platform.

The misconception that the Mac is simply too expensive or that they are only for students and artists is quickly being proven wrong. Apple has also offers the Mac Mini, a scaled down version of the Mac that allows previous PC owners to make the switch but still keep their monitor, keyboard and mouse - all for just $499. The following hardware minimums are:

  • Mac - Intel-based processor
  • Mac OS X
  • iTunes for Mac
  • 1 GB of available disk space • 512 MB of RAM
  • Audio Line In and Audio Line Out

Amplify your voice

Whether you are using a Mac or PC, you will need a microphone to record your voice into your computer. One option is to purchase a microphone (or you may already have one) with a 1/ 8th inch jack. This is the size of the jack or audio line-in port on your personal computer. The other option is to purchase a USB microphone, as these devices have made significant advancements in quality over the past few years.

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