All this extra time at home has given you tons more opportunities (and maybe fewer excuses) to channel your inner NPR and let people know all about This Quarantine Life.
That’s right, you’re finally ready to start your podcast.
We’ll save you the endless Google searches and a bunch of cash by showing you the best tools for starting your own podcast from the ground up.
So clear your throat, grab some water, and for goodness’ sake, don’t touch your face. It’s time to get your podcast on.
The Ultimate Podcast Starter Kit
Podcast Starter Kit Software for Beginners and Beyond
BounceCast is what you need to put the “studio” in “studio apartment.”
This desktop app (mobile version coming soon!) will take you through the recording process, from a Smart Soundcheck all the way to Smart Audio Enhancement and exporting your file in the format of your choice. Connect your mic and record right in the app, or upload other audio files and let BounceCast polish them to perfection.
Plus, with a lifetime deal of 49 bucks on the AppSumo store, you won’t find better sound processing for cheaper.
Soundwise is a platform for distributing your podcast, and it includes the option to sell audio content to put some dollars in your pocket.
You’ll be able to host your podcast right on Soundwise, plus other files like audiobooks, right from your Soundwise catalog. Set up subscriptions, schedule releases, and even coordinate trial periods for maximum flexibility. Listeners can access all your Soundwise content from the mobile app, and rest assured your premium content is protected. Skip the annoying commercials and let your listeners support your content directly.
Snag it for 99 bucks on our store, and it’s yours for life.
Audacity is an excellent audio processing tool that works across any platform.
It’s got an appealing price tag of exactly zero dollars, and there are tons of features to help with recording and post-production. One of the problems people – especially those unfamiliar with audio production (i.e. almost everyone) – run into is that it’s a little confusing to use. You’ll spend some time getting over the learning curve, but after that, it’s reliable and well-documented to help with questions.
SquadCast makes sure that even if your cohost is in another country, you can still record your podcast with very little hassle.
Essentially, SquadCast sets up a virtual studio, then your cohosts or guests will join you via a quick link to a video chat. In the studio, everyone has their own audio recorded separately, so you’ll be able to easily tweak it in post-production. There’s also a handy scheduling tool to keep everyone on the same page.
You can start with their 7-day free trial. After that, you’ll pay anywhere from $9 to $142 a month, depending on which plan is right for you.
5. Notetracks Pro
Notetracks Pro is an audio collaboration platform that lets you and your team pin real-time feedback directly to audio (and video) tracks.
Notetracks Pro helps you reduce revisions and meet your audio project deadlines faster. Insert text comments or visual notes directly onto the track without interrupting playback, add collaborators to your project, and even work with video! You’ll get instant feedback on your podcast before you publish and create a perfect episode every time. It’s essentially the Google Docs of audio, making podcasts with remote co-hosts easier than ever.
With a lifetime deal on AppSumo for just $39, you’ll be on the right track every time.
Best Podcast Hardware for Beginners and Beyond
1. Blue Yeti
This mic sounds great and is super easy to set up with a plug-and-play USB connection. It’s got alternate recording patterns to match your situation, including options perfect for multiple hosts situated around the mic. It’s a versatile mic that will have you sounding great, and it’s an affordable option sure to serve you well.
2. Audio-Technica ATR2005
The AT2005USB is a great option for a more portable mic solution.
It won’t take up a bunch of desk space, is very affordable for the level of quality, and it sounds way better than your AirPods or computer speakers (trust us). Accessories are also easy to find, and it’ll fit with most boom arms or stands. As the name implies, it’s a USB mic, too, so plug and play away. If you want to test the podcast waters but don’t want to drop a bunch of money on setup, this is the mic for you.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
Monitoring your own voice during your podcast is an important step in getting your sound right. The ATH-M30x headphones are an excellent way to get high-quality audio straight from your mic to your ears. The snug fit is comfortable for those long recording sessions, and they collapse down if you need to take them on the road.
The ATH-M20x are a little cheaper and not much of a drop in quality, so pick these up if you’re on more of a budget.
2. Sony MDR-7506
This pair of Sony headphones is another great option for those entering the podcast pool. They’re known for their durability, so they’ll stick around as your podcast career progresses or you’re ready to upgrade. Sound quality hits way above its price tag, and they’re comfortable around the ears, too. Like the Audio-Technicas, these also fold down for easy storage.
Pop filters are fairly simple and definitely necessary for podcasting. They’ll muffle your plosives (the airy sounds accompanying consonants like p and t) to make your sound silky smooth. This one is great because it’s dual-layered and highly adjustable. Plus, you can grab it for 10 bucks.
The real key with pop filters is not to break the bank on them. Make sure it’ll fit your mic setup, attach it to your stand, and you’re ready to go.
Power to the Podcaster
The good news about being stuck at home is that it’s never been easier to start your podcast. You can grab all of the tools, accessories, and software you need for high-level production well under 300 bucks.
Plus, all the items listed here will last you at least a couple of years, so it’s an investment that will definitely pay dividends while you build your listeners and grow your base.
For those who want to try the bare minimum to go easy on their budget, we recommend getting at least a mic, pop filter, and BounceCast to start you off right. From there, grabbing a pair of headphones and Soundwise will make sure you’re playing with the big boys, as well as set you up for easy monetization.
Now that you’ve got the tools, your podcast is ready to go live in 3, 2, 1 –