Imagine hearing reviews for a great new podcast. The content is engaging and relevant, the speakers are authentic and creative. But when you tune in for the first episode, it sounds like it’s all been recorded on a 2003 iPhone. I bet you don’t stick around for that amazing content, do you? Having the right tools for creating the perfect podcast is a must. And, if you are also planning to record videos or take a lot of photos, having the right equipment will make you feel like a pro in no time. Here is my list of tools to help you achieve professional, quality podcasts that will drive more and more listeners to your podcast.
The most important investment for your podcast is quality sound equipment. Just listen to some of the top-ranked shows on iTunes and notice what they all have in common. You’ll be able to tell that they’ve been recorded with consistent, quality audio. The dialogue is clear and without distractions that distract from the content of the show. Quality recording equipment ensures your listeners will be able to enjoy listening, learning, or being entertained.
Don’t scrimp here. The absolute most important piece of equipment for recording great podcasts is a microphone. You definitely won’t make it to the “new and noteworthy” list with podcast content that sounds sharp and tinny. If you hurt your listeners’ ears, they won’t stick around even if you have amazing content. To do things right, invest in an excellent recording microphone.
This high performance mic has all the bells and whistles to give you crystal clear sound without interference from background or handling noise. If you want clear, professional recordings, the Heil PR 40 is the perfect microphone to give you impeccable results.
If you aren’t quite ready to splurge on the Heil, my second choice is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. This super easy to use and durable mic plugs into your computer’s USB port and features controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute and microphone gain. While it may not give you all the frills of some other microphones, this is a great mic for the price.
You’ll also want a quality boom to support your state-of-the-art microphone. The Rode PSA1 Studio Boom Arm is a two-section, spring-loaded broadcast microphone arm designed for quiet and flexible positioning. It conveniently rotates 360° and has an impressive reach of up to 32″.
A pop filter is a great investment to improve sound and protect your expensive microphone. It prevents the popping sound when you laugh or articulate using a microphone. (Think of that awful “puh” sound when pronouncing words that begin with the letter P.) Plus, it prolongs the life of your mic by protecting it from saliva when speaking closely into it. The Spider Shockmount with Integrated Pop Filter eliminates vibrations for even better quality sound. It features 8 elastic suspension points as well as an integrated pop filter that can be rotated down or removed. Additionally, it can be attached to standard microphone stands for versatility.
To prevent even more annoying interference, add a shock mount to your list of tools for creating the perfect podcast. It elastically connects a microphone to your mic stand or boom. The elastic connection provides secure mounting and the freedom to move the microphone independently of the mic stand. This reduces the amount of mechanically transmitted noise (shock) from the microphone. I use the PRSM Shockmount from Heil Sound.
Second only to your microphone, headphones are the next important piece of your podcast arsenal. Because in order to be able to monitor while recording audio, you need a decent pair of headphones to accurately translate your recordings. The ATH-M50xBT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones provide quality sound with mobile convenience. They provide both clear audio and rich, deep bass with Bluetooth transmission.
Camera and lens
For superb image quality, you need a great camera. My top pick is the Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera. It’s easy to use for pictures or video and produces professional-quality images. It’s easy to focus with image stabilization, slo-mo, quick-mo, a timer, built in WiFi, and much more.
Make sure to get a good lens to complete the package. Check out the Sony Vario-Tessar 16-70 mm lens. The best feature of this lens is the Zeiss’ anti-reflective coating that eliminates ghosting and flare for the perfect shots. With a wide angle and ultra fast aperture, as well as image stabilization, this lens will make you feel like a pro in no time.
Lighting can make or break your photographs and videos. Invest in quality lighting to ensure crisp, natural images. I use the 560AS Bi-Color LED 2-Panel Kit from GVM. It comes with two dimmable panels with color. Each panel has a diffuser to soften the bright LEDs, as well as a light stand and carry case.
So do you wanna see if all this equipment really matters? Then head on over to the Lindsey Elmore Show and give it a listen.
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