Audio podcasting is a versatile and popular medium for delivering engaging content to a diverse audience. It allows creators to focus on storytelling, interviews, discussions, and various forms of audio expression without the need for visual elements, making it accessible and convenient for on-the-go listeners. With the rising popularity of mobile devices and audio streaming platforms, audio podcasts continue to thrive (be sure and check out our Thrive bundle) as an effective and intimate way to connect with audiences worldwide. If you choose an audio format for your podcast, you’ll want to know about some of the basic tools you can use to record and edit audio. The following are a few examples.
- Audacity: A free, open-source audio editing software that allows users to record, edit, and enhance podcast audio files with various effects and plugins.
- Adobe Audition: A professional-grade audio editing software offering advanced features for recording, editing, and mixing podcast episodes with precision and high-quality results.
- Hindenburg Journalist: Designed specifically for podcasters and journalists, this software provides intuitive tools for recording, editing, and producing podcast episodes efficiently.
- GarageBand: An entry-level digital audio workstation (DAW) available for macOS users, suitable for beginners and offering basic recording and editing capabilities.
- Reaper: A flexible and cost-effective DAW that caters to both beginners and advanced users, providing extensive features for audio recording and editing in podcast production.
- Zencastr: A remote recording platform that ensures high-quality audio recordings for interviews and discussions conducted online with multiple guests.
- SquadCast: Similar to Zencastr, this software facilitates remote recording, ensuring excellent audio quality for remote podcast interviews and collaborations.
- Anchor: A free podcast hosting and creation platform that simplifies the podcasting process, providing tools to record, edit, and distribute episodes with ease.
- Headliner: A tool to create audiograms and promotional videos, allowing podcasters to share snippets of their episodes on social media to increase engagement and visibility.
- Auphonic: An automatic audio post-production service that optimizes audio quality and loudness, saving time in manual audio processing tasks.
Note: The availability of software and platforms may change over time, so it’s always good to verify the latest options when considering tools for podcasting.
Audio podcasting gear and kits
- Microphone: A high-quality microphone is essential for capturing clear and professional audio. Options include dynamic microphones like the Shure SM7B or condenser microphones like the Audio-Technica AT2020.
- Pop Filter: Placing a pop filter in front of the microphone helps reduce plosive sounds (e.g., “p” and “b” sounds) and ensures a cleaner recording.
- Microphone Stand or Boom Arm: A sturdy stand or adjustable boom arm holds the microphone in place and allows for comfortable positioning during recording sessions.
- Shock Mount: A shock mount isolates the microphone from vibrations and handling noise, resulting in cleaner audio recordings.
- Headphones: Quality headphones, such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, are essential for monitoring audio during recording and editing to ensure accurate sound quality.
- Audio Interface: An audio interface connects the microphone to the computer, converting analog audio signals into digital format. Popular options include Focusrite Scarlett or PreSonus AudioBox.
- XLR Cables: XLR cables are used to connect the microphone to the audio interface and ensure a reliable signal transfer.
- Portable Recorder: For on-the-go recording, a portable recorder like the Zoom H5 or Tascam DR-40X allows podcasters to capture interviews and ambient sounds outside of the studio.
- Pop-Up Sound Shield or Acoustic Treatment: To reduce room echo and background noise, a pop-up sound shield or acoustic treatment panels can improve the audio quality of recordings in untreated spaces.
- Editing Software: Audio editing software such as Audacity, Adobe Audition, or Hindenburg Journalist enables podcasters to edit, enhance, and finalize their recordings before publishing.
- Headphone Amp (Optional): For multiple hosts or guests, a headphone amp ensures everyone can monitor the audio effectively during recording sessions.
- External Hard Drive: A large external hard drive provides ample storage space for archiving raw audio files and completed podcast episodes.
Podcasters can tailor their gear setup based on their budget, recording environment, and specific audio quality requirements. Always research and test different options to find the best combination that suits your podcasting needs.
Audio podcasts are almost always encoded in MP3 format. MP3 format plays on all audio players and offers the best balance between compression (meaning smaller file sizes) and quality.
Other audio formats can tempt podcasters since some formats have better audio quality and/or smaller file sizes. Keep in mind that most formats are software and/or device-specific, which will limit who can consume your content. For this reason, we recommend publishing your content in the MP3 format.
Recording and editing tips
Beginners should exercise lots of patience when recording and editing media for the first time. Plan several dry runs. Make the episodes short. And make the goal to become comfortable with the recording process and familiar with the tools you are using. You may not like the finished product the first time around. That’s OK. Take it as a learning experience and commit yourself to do better next time.
Before publishing your recordings in MP3 format, it is important to edit the MP3’s information such as the artist, song title, album title, and cover art image. Detailed information on how to edit this information can be found here.