RECOMMENDED PODCASTING KIT

We work closely with our clients to help them source the equipment that's right your their needs.  Every podcaster's requirements are different.  Here's a selection of kit that we've used and love, along with details of the situation/environment where it will be suitable, covering a few price points.

MICROPHONE : Here's a selection to suit different environments and budgets

Samson 2QU

MARANTZ Pod pack 1

PRICE RANGE: Under £50
CONNECTION: USB
SOUND QUALITY: 7.0/10 

PROS/CONS: This is a condenser mic, and quite sensitive.  The sound quality is superb for the price, and as of 2022 it's supplied as a kit - with the mic, a suspension arm (with desk clamp), and foam pop filter.  You can only plug one USB mic into a computer at a time, so this would be a restrictive setup should you wish to add extra mics for additional hosts/guests.  It's ideal however for budget conscious podcasters recording online interviews and solo episodes


Samson 2QU

SAMSON Q2U Dynamic mic

PRICE RANGE: Under £100
CONNECTION: Both USB and XLR
SOUND QUALITY: 7.5/10 

PROS/CONS: This is a dynamic mic, so not as sensitive as equivalent condenser mics.  Because it's less sensitive, it won't pick up as many unwanted background sounds, which makes it ideal for recording spaces which can't be controlled, or have potential echo (caused by hard, reflective surfaces).  Sometimes these mics are packaged with a foam pop filter - If yours isn't, you'll benefit by getting one.

Because the Samson Q2U supports both USB and XLR connectors it could be a future proof purchase; you could start podcasting with one microphone connected to a computer via USB, and expand into an XLR setup in the future.


AudioTechnica AT2020 USB+

AudioTechnica AT2020USB+

PRICE RANGE: Under £150
CONNECTION: USB
SOUND QUALITY: 8.0/10 

PROS/CONS: This is an excellent USB condenser mic.  Because it's quite sensitive it could potentially pick up unwanted background noises.  In quiet and controlled environments it will capture your voice really well, with plenty of dynamic range, and the potential to EQ quite heavily in post-production.

This mic has a built in sound card, so you can plug your headphones into the unit, and hear your guest (and other computer output).

You can only plug one USB mic into a computer at a time, so this would be a restrictive setup should you wish to add extra mics for additional hosts/guests.  You'll want an additional pop filter and possibly a boom arm.


AudioTechnica AT2020 XLR

AudioTechnica AT2020 XLR Mic

PRICE RANGE: Under £100
CONNECTION: XLR cable
SOUND QUALITY: 8.2/10 

PROS/CONS: This is an excellent condenser microphone. Because it's quite sensitive it could potentially pick up unwanted background noises. In quiet and controlled environments it will capture your voice really well, with plenty of dynamic range, and the potential to EQ quite heavily in post-production.

Unlike the USB version of this mic, with this XLR version, you'll be able to plug several mics into one PC/Mac - XLR mics are therefore ideal for podcasts with multiple hosts/guests.  We use these mics for our workplace recording sessions.  

Because this is a condenser microphone, it requires "phantom power" - All of the interfaces and mixing desks we suggest on this page can provide phantom power.

Rode NT1-A

Rode NT1-A

PRICE RANGE: Under £200
CONNECTION: XLR cable
SOUND QUALITY: 9.5/10 

PROS/CONS: This is a superb condenser mic, and ideal for podcasts and recording high definition vocals.  Because it's sensitive it could potentially pick up unwanted background noises. In quiet and controlled environments it will capture your voice brilliantly, with plenty of dynamic range, and the potential to EQ quite heavily in post-production if required.

Because this is another  XLR mic, you'll be able to plug several mics into one PC/Mac - XLR mics are therefore ideal for podcasts with multiple hosts/guests. 

Because this is a condenser microphone, it requires "phantom power" - All of the interfaces and mixing desks we suggest on this page can provide phantom power.

USB INTERFACE : Allows you to connect XLR mics to your recording device (Not required for USB microphones)

UMC202HD

Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD

PRICE RANGE: Under £60
CONNECTION: XLR from mic, USB into computer
SOUND QUALITY: 10/10 
FEATURES: You can plug 2 microphones directly into this unit (or other sources, such as a mixing desks). The UMC202 supports the phantom power that's needed to power the condenser mics on this list.  You have live microphone monitoring, so you'll be able to hear yourself and your guest in attached headphones.  Speaker outputs are round the back. 

This is compatible with PC's and Macs.

The UMC202 supports 2 microphones - If you require more, please see the UMC404 below.


UMC404HD

Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD

PRICE RANGE: Under £150
CONNECTION: XLR from mic, USB into computer
SOUND QUALITY: 10/10 
FEATURES: You can plug 4 microphones directly into this unit (or other sources, such as a mixing desks). The UMC404 supports the phantom power that's needed to power the condenser mics on this list.  You have live microphone monitoring, so you'll be able to hear yourself and your guest in attached headphones.  Speaker outputs are round the back. 

This is compatible with PC's and Macs.

The UMC404 supports 4 microphones - If you require more there are numerous options - Feel free to contact us for FREE advice.

ESSENTIALS

Audacity

Recording software: Audacity for Windows & Mac

PRICE RANGE: FREE - Download from https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

USE: For recording and editing your material, and is ideal for recording you and your in-person guests. 

Other superior paid for software is available - we use Adobe Audition for audio editing - If you're a geek, head to the GeekZone and see our editing processes.

Audacity

Online guest recording in HD : Riverside.FM

PRICE RANGE: Under £20/month from https://riverside.fm/

USE: For recording guests in high quality online

WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL: If your podcast format involves online guests, Riverside will give you the highest recording quality available.  Each participant's audio is recorded locally on their device, and uploaded to their cloud storage.  This is superior to Zoom, Teams, Meet etc as these conferencing solutions don't support quality local recordings, and will be affected by internet bandwidth.

This system records webcams too, so you can use videos in your social media podcast promos.  To see how we utilise client's video material, [CLICK HERE]

Pop filter

Foam pop filter / Windshield

PRICE RANGE: Under £10
USE: Fits on the end of your microphone to reduce plosive pops.

WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL: Broadcast quality sound (and a professional sounding podcast) is achieved through good equipment used well.  All of the microphones suggested here will sound best if the host gets nice and close to them (3-5 inches away). When working closely to a mic and saying certain sounding words, air is expelled from your mouth and into the microphone.  These "plosives" can result in a popping sound.  A pop filter does a great job of eliminating these pops.  This foam type and the round type (below) do the same job.

Some mics have pop filters or windscreens when you buy them.  If yours doesn't make sure you find the fit size pop filters for your microphones.

Pop filter

Pop filter / Windshield

PRICE RANGE: Under £15
USE: Attaches to microphone boom arm to reduce plosives.

WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL: Broadcast quality sound (and a professional sounding podcast) is achieved through good equipment used well.  All of the microphones suggested here will sound best if the host gets nice and close to them (3-5 inches away). When working closely to a mic and saying certain sounding words, air is expelled from your mouth and into the microphone.  These "plosives" can result in a popping sound.  A pop filter does a great job of eliminating these pops.  The type of filter, and the foam type (above) do the same job.

Some mics have pop filters or windscreens when you buy them.  If yours doesn't make sure you find the fit size pop filters for your microphones.

Mic boom arm

Microphone boom arm

PRICE RANGE: £10-£100
USE: Allows mic to be suspended in a comfortable position.

WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL: As well as allowing you to move the microphone around for comfort, boom arms are superior to desk mounts because desk mounts hold the microphone too close to the hard reflective surface of the desk, creating echo.  Many podcast guests have a tendency to tap the desk or move paper around, all creating displeasing sounds on the mic, resulting in unprofessional sounding audio

You can spend anything from £10 to £400 on mic arms... they all do the same job.  The higher end models look nicer on camera, but don't make the sound recordings any better!

Mixing desk (Not required if using one USB microphone or a USB interface)

Rodecaster

RodeCaster Pro

PRICE RANGE: Around £500

PROS/CONS: You can connect 4 XLR microphones to this "fully featured podcasting solution".   which includes the ability also to connect extra sources, including bluetooth.  The RodeCaster includes a "soundboard" (those cool coloured buttons), so you can play music/SFX etc as you speak.  Up to 4 pairs of headphones are supported, and there is individual digital EQ and gating on each mic channel.  The desk plugs into a PC/Mac via USB, and multichannel output is recorded.  There is also an integrated SD card, for standalone recording within the unit.

The only real "con" is the cost - Whilst this is a great looking and fully featured bit of kit, other desks, such as the Soundcraft EPM6 or Behringer XENYX X1204USB), along with a soundboard app on a tablet or phone offer more flexibility and the same level of functionality, for less than half the price!

  Mic EQ'ing on the Rodecaster can be fiddly and slow, compared to more traditional mixing desks. 

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