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People always ask me about equipment recommendations so here we go.
I recently used an ATR2100-USB Microphone. It is the most versatile. It is USB which is good for solo podcasters (providing plug and play), it is dynamic (so it isn't super sensitive), and it is XLR which means you can use it with a mixer. Best of all as of June 2014 its $59 You can also check the price on a Samson Q2U, and the ATR2005 as these two (and the ATR2100) are basically the same microphone.
If you are podcasting solo you don’t need a mixer, however you could use one to boost the tone of your voice. Mixers run from $50+ (depending on how many mics you can plugin). Behringer makes affordable mixers. I’ve heard that Mackie mixers are better (but they are also more expensive). I’ve used a behringer mixer for 7 years.
You will need cables for everyone. The shorter the better. This helps keep the “Studio” clean, and lengthy cables can pick up noise. To plug your mixer into your computer I use a Dual RCA Cable to 1/8” cable and plug it from the Tape Out of the mixer to the Line In of the computer. You don't need this if you are using USB.
10 Foot Microphone cable: $10
You NEED pop filters for each person. You can spend thousands on your equipment, and still sound like an amateur if you don’t have a pop filter.
Pop Filter $15
These Audio Technica Headphones will do the trick for a little over 30 bucks. If you have the budget, these Sony MDR7506 Headphones ($99) will do the trick (I've seen them used in Professional Radio studios).
Headphone Amplifier For Non-solo Podcasters
If you have more than one person in the room with you, you will need to use a mixer, and a headphone amp if you want everyone to hear themselves.
You will need a stand to hold the microphone. These range from desktop, to boom arms (Which swivel around). I use a boom/radio arm as I never “tear down” my studio. I leave everything plugged in.
Shock mounts are handy as it isolates the microphone from vibrations. I once heard a hum in my podcast. The vibrations from the computer went through the desk, and I had the mic sitting on a desktop stand (which then picked up the vibrations). It was subtle, but it bugged me. I shock mount (more or less) suspends the microphone in mid-air.
Typical shock mount is around $25
Portable recorder are handy if you are traveling. They are also the most reliable way to record your podcast. I did record directly to a computer for years. Using a USB Microphone dictates that you record direct to the computer. In doing this, I’ve had my computer crash and I’ve lost a few episodes. I now record to a portable recorder. I use a Zoom H5 in my studio. You can plug your microphone into without any adapters.
There are a few titles when it comes to recording. On the mac there is Garageband which comes with the computer. Audacity is free and it also works on a Mac or PC (and is used by many). If you use this software, turn off all the other software that is running when you record, and save your files often.
Sony Music Studio is affordable and runs on a PC. Hindenburg Journalist has a great product for less than $100 and it's great if you are doing interviews. The top editor is Adobe Audition which goes for around $300. The current version has received a lot of negative feedback.
For Media hosting I use Libsyn.com (Get a free month using the Libsyn coupon code sopfree) and I also recommend blubrry.com (get a free month using coupon sopfree). My podcast about podcasting is hosted on Libsyn.com In case you're wondering, yes you should always use a media host.
For website hosting, I recommend Site Ground as they have a great price, great service, and they don’t require you to order a year in advance. I also have Coolerwebsites.com which is my Godaddy reseller program (their service is amazing)
Places You Can Buy Podcasting Gear
Same Day Music> does not charge tax unless you live in NJ. They also let you pay for items in two payments.
Amazon has some of the best prices.
BSW is a company that carries EVERYTHING audio.
B & H Have tons of gear, and great support.
WordPress (not wordpress.com, wordpress on your own self hosted website – which gives you more control).
Digital Access Pass – This is the membership script I use on the School of Podcasting. It is super flexible. Great support.
If you don't want to use WordPress for your membership site, I use Thinkific for the members area
PowerPress is THE podcasting plugin. Great support, and it does everything.
Akismet – Spam detection tool
Pretty Link – For creating reasy to remember link
Easy AZON – This $47 plguin makes adding items from Amazon a breeze.
Google XML Sitemaps – Helps make Google food.
Poll Daddy – Great plugin for adding polls and surveys to your site.