The Podcast Tools I Use and Recommend
When I started the All The Responsibility, None Of The Authority podcast, I knew there were some non-negotiables - like excellent sound quality. I really wanted the audio to sound good! Nothing turns me off faster than bad audio in a podcast.
But I am a cheapskate when it comes to buying gadgets. They have to work very hard for me to be willing to buy. (That’s why some of what you see is even homemade!)
Like the mic I recommend (the Audio Technica ATR-2100) all the equipment in this guide lives up to that criterion, and having created dozens of videos, podcasts, and webinars, I feel confident recommending everything you see here.
(Many of the links below are affiliate links – if you click them, and buy, I might make a small commission – at no additional cost to you!)
You may know already that good audio is the most important part of your setup. It instantly differentiates a high quality podcast or video from a low quality one. And since I started my media empire (ha ha!) with a podcast, I spent my first big chunk of change on a good – but not too expensive! – mic and a pair of isolating headphones.
Audio Technica ATR-2100 Cardioid Dynamic mic
- This mic is a workhorse, used by many podcasters, and surprisingly inexpensive, given the quality. It lists for $80, but you can often get it cheaper if there's a sale. I wouldn't delay, though - the immediate upgrade in your audio quality will be worth it!
- It plugs into your USB port and also has XLR connector for use with a mixer (which I don't use at the moment).
- You can monitor yourself with its headphone jack. See my headphone recommendation below.
- Comes with USB cable, XLR cable, and a desktop mic stand - but you will want a better stand, and I have a recommendation below!
Mic stands and stuff
You can’t just hold your mic in your hand, and the little stand that comes with the ATR-2100 is not nearly as flexible as my suspension boom, which is mounted to my desk. When I need to go portable, I often take my boom stand, which will work anywhere. Of course, a shock mount and windscreen are essential.
- Suspension boom for looking cool - actually, it's really important to have a way to get your mic to your face, so it's not just about looking cool! (https://amzn.to/2B2HnqT)
- Shock mount that fits the ATR-2100. It means you can move the mic away from your face while recording without making a giant racket! (https://amzn.to/2ntZtbN)
- Boom stand for putting the mic on a desk. I find this much more useful than the tripod that came with it, although it weighs a lot (https://amzn.to/2MDNp2N)
- Foam mic windscreen - functional + also looks cool (https://amzn.to/2MfiM6R)
You need to use good isolating earphones with the ATR2100 mic, because the mic can hear the sound from your earbuds. You don't want that in your podcasts or videos!
- Sony MDR 7506’s are “the professional’s choice,” according to many reviews.
Note: I often use this combination of mic and headphones for phone calls (via Skype) as well. Much better quality than regular phone audio.
If you’re making videos, it’s easy to figure out where to host them, for most people (YouTube and/or Facebook). But podcasters have to do a little more work. As a rule you don’t want to host them on your own website, unless you have tons of storage and bandwidth allowance.
On the other hand, you probably want to have your show notes and feed on your website. Blubrry (http://blubrry.com) is a great solution for this situation.
They host your audio file (it’s reasonably priced), and they have an easy to use plugin for Wordpress called PowerPress that will even help you get your podcast listed on iTunes, Spotify, and other podcast directories.
That's all you need for podcasting
I'll continue to fill out this resource page with what I use for videos and live videos.
Questions and Comments?
Let me know if you have more questions about the equipment and how I use it. I’d be happy to make a few videos showing how I use all these tools – that is, if there’s demand.
Go to http://secretpmhandbook.com/video-tutorial if you’re interested. When enough people tell me they’re interested, I’ll put out some more info!