If you haven’t done any recording in the past, it’s a good chance that you have absolutely no clue about what you need to do recordings and how to set it up. Never fear, your podcast hero is here!
A microphone is a good place to start. If you have the budget, go buy a proper one instead of using a $10 one or your computers built-in microphone. You can get away with it rather cheap… or you spend more money than your grandmother ever had on it. It’s up to you.
You’ll soon realize that a microphone like this won’t fit into your computer. Today the market is flooded with USB and firewire interfaces with the connections you need. These are external sound cards and you can choose to set them up to have all your computers sound going through them, or for just recording use. For a microphone, the connection you’ll want to look for is called XLR (the two big black things at the top of the Alesis interface below are for XLR). You could also just go with a mic preamp, but you’ll still have to find a way to connect that to your recording medium. Finally you could use a mixer. While mixers still would need to be connected to your recorder, there are many out there that have USB or firewire ports for easy computer hook-up.
All these connections are dandy, but how to actually record the microphone? The entire time I have assumed you’ll be using a computer, and while you could be recording to tape, it makes little sense doing so these days for podcasting. You will need an application (or program for you Windows users) that can record audio and most likely you’ll also want the possibility to edit the audio. The choices are close to being too many to be healthy for humankind, and the prices ranges from free to insane. Mac users should immediately try GarageBand however, it’s a basic and easy to use program that should work fine for podcasting, though, not gifted with the best editor on the market. Audacity is a free audio editor that I haven’t used for years but keep hearing about, so I guess it’s worth a mention. There are also options from Adobe and Sony. Do a search in your favorite search engine.
These are the basics, I will try to get into detail in later posts.