Updated: Jul 20
One of my creative heroes is the comedian and podcaster, Adam Buxton. He's prolific, experimental, smart, humble, and most importantly, very funny - all of which comes together on his excellent podcast.
On a particular episode, he told listeners asking what equipment he uses to record his interviews. It struck me as a revealing thing to do - like a magician giving away their secrets - but then again, more people are producing podcasts on weird and wonderful niche subjects because the technology to make them is widely available.
As well as being accessible, my colleague Robin recently argued persuasively that producing a podcast is actually easier to create than video blogs or even written posts. He was drawing from his experience of working on his podcast The Evidence-Based Investor, which we launched a couple of months ago. As he demonstrates, podcasting is a great opportunity for marketers and comms professionals to engage audiences with interesting discussions in an open, personable way that other forms of content can't replicate.
So, with that in mind, and in the spirit of openness like Adam Buxton, here's the equipment we use to produce The Evidence-Based Investor podcast. If you're thinking of starting a podcast or taking your current podcasting to the next level, I hope you find it useful.
The hardware equipment to record your podcast
An easy-to-use recording interface. Nice promo video too.
sE 2200a II
We use this microphone for recording voiceover parts in the studio, so introductions, conclusions, etc. If you are using a similar microphone, make sure to use a pop shield too.
Sennheiser EW 112-P G3 wireless kit
When we're recording in the field, we use a set of these plugged into a Zoom H1.
Software for editing your podcast and recording remotely
A powerful tool for editing and making your podcast sound polished and professional. Once you have your filters and presets saved, it can also make producing your podcast very quick and efficient. A free alternative is Audacity.
Many of the interviewees we've featured so far have either been in the States or around the UK. The sound needs mastering but combined with Soundflower (see below), Audition, and a reliable internet connection, it's a great tool for recording interviews, wherever your interviewee is in the world.
We use Soundflower to record interviews over Skype. Audacity is another alternative that people may prefer, but we have the most experience using Soundflower so for the moment, it's our software of choice.
So that's the gear. Finally, here are some tips from Alex, our Technical Lead, about how to get the best recording for your podcast:
Make sure that you loudest speech levels off at around, and no higher, than -6db.
Don't rely on your headphones to judge the loudness of the audio. The decibel meter should always be your reference.
Place the microphone as close as possible to the speaker to limit the reverb.
Find somewhere quiet and on your own so that you're not distracted and others won't get picked up on the recording.
Find a location with plenty of soft furnishings, curtains, and carpet. These will absorb the sound as it bounces around the room and reduce the echo.
Remove as much external noise as possible i.e: air conditioners, TV, traffic, etc.