In This Episode
I share the tools I used to get started with podcasting.
- Top 5 Budget Mics Under $50 (video)
- Podcast Consumer 2017 Report
- Blue Snowball Microphone
- AKG P420 | Dual Capsule Microphone
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface
This episode is hosted, edited, and scored by Mark.
Welcome to ApexThis.Podcast. A chronicle of my journey to start a publishing side business. This will be a behind the scenes look at what I’m doing to make that happen. I’ll share tips and best practices that I learn along the way. Tips that you can use to start your very own podcast and share your voice with the world.
In the last episode in which I shared my news headlines, I listed the Podcast Consumer report by Edison Research. This report was from 2016.
During recording, I thought it seemed odd to have a 2016 report in 2017 but I justified it that it could have been a study conducted over a long period of time and they just compiled all the results.
I was wrong.
Just last week, the 2017 report was released and I realized the error in my way.
This 2017 report shows that there has been a 5% increase in the awareness of the term “Podcasting” to 60% when compared against the 2016 report.
The report shows that podcasts are most listened to at home. This holds at 51%, followed by in a car at 22% and at work with 14%.
Podcast listeners are also very astute social media users. They are more likely to use social media and follow brands with the top brand usage being between Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You can read all this and more at the link in the show notes.
Coming up next…Tools
I debated whether or not I should do an episode regarding tools, or the equipment I use for podcasting. For starters, it’s not advanced or interesting.
But what I can do is share what I have used for those that are just now getting started and give you a possible path that you can follow.
We will split this into two parts, first we will talk about hardware, and then software. First up, hardware.
When it comes to podcasting you have to ask yourself, what is your level of commitment. Or at least, that is what I had to ask myself when first getting started.
I knew I WANTED to get into podcasting but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get started. I mean, who wants to spend a few hundred dollars on something that they may not like?
With that in mind, I looked around and made my first investment. I bought a Blue Snowball microphone for $50. It is a USB microphone and had good reviews. My thought was that, if I didn’t like podcasting, then I was only out the $50.
Interestingly enough, the first projects I used the microphone on were two youtube videos for Google Play Music reviews.
This was great as it got me behind the mic, even if it wasn’t for the podcast.
The mic had three settings to choose for audio input. Each directing where to receive input for the microphone such as the omnidirectional setting where I would use to gather input from in front of and behind the mic.
The quality was decent and I found that I had to be pretty close to the mic for it to pic up a decent sound.
Suffice to say, I enjoyed podcasting. As I continued I wanted a better sound that editing couldn’t give me. And so, I upgraded.
I went from a single USB mic to an AKG dynamic microphone with a Focusrite Scarlet audio interface.
The sound quality between the previous mic and the new setup was a big jump.
Not only did I jump to a better sounding microphone, but adding the audio interface for dedicated audio processing boosted the sound quality.
This was a decent upgrade without going all in on a more expensive higher quality microphone and or mixing board.
In writing, you have to remember that at times it is better to show, not tell. And I’m from the Show Me state. So, here is a clip using the USB Snowball mic:
<PLAY CLIP OF UNEDITED SNOWBALL MIC RECORDING>
And, here is a clip of that edited
<PLAY CLIP OF EDITED SNOWBALL MIC RECORDING>
What do you think? How does that compare to my voice now?
If you want some good comparisons of multiple microphones, I would recommend to check out a YouTube video comparison by Ed from Techsource. Links to his comparison video will be included in the show notes on ApexThis.com.
The last hardware equipment I purchased was my H1 zoom. I haven’t used this much, but the original intent was to record on the spot thoughts and moments as a raw behind the scenes podcast.
I’ve since changed direction and have thus far used it for Toastmasters and maybe future “in field” recordings.
And, maybe you’ve noticed? My most recent business monthly update was recorded on my Zoom.
With only $50 invested for hardware, I was already set for recording software. Garageband came installed on my Mac and I could immediately use it to record audio, edit, and export it out as an MP3 file.
The basics of Garageband was easy to learn and there were a ton of video examples of how to edit, or fade tracks. What I did not do at the time was mix. My process only entailed removing my weird breathing and my many “umms”. I lowered the overall track volume and then exported to MP3.
With the upgrade of my recording equipment, I wanted to do a bit more in my post production. Having spent a decent amount on the microphones and audio interface, I still only wanted to use free software. Outside of Garageband, there was Audacity.
Switching tools took a bit of time to get familiar with the menus and shortcuts. But it was an improvement for me. After experimenting and watching YouTube videos, I was layering audio tracks, slicing and dicing my recordings, and adding in other external audio snippets. I learned to cut out a particular noise profile from the recordings, input silence, change bass, cleanup other errors, label audio, and mix everything together.
You can say that my audio production and workflow increased vastly over what I was doing before with a ton more room to grow, but this all came slowly. One episode at a time.
Now I look at other advanced audio tools such as Adobe Audition or Logic Pro to see what will fit my needs going forward.
What about you? Need a microphone and don’t know what to get? Definitely checkout the Blue Snowball microphone I started with OR check the show notes for a link to YouTube video comparison.
What about software? If you are on a Mac, you have Garageband right there at your finger tips. You can record, edit, and export all for free. What if you’re on a Windows? Audacity may be what you need. Audacity works on Macs and Windows computers and best of of all, it is free to use. You can record, edit, and export your audio without spending a single dollar…for now.
That’s it for this episode. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it and if you are new, definitely be sure to check out episodes 7 and 8 as we discuss your idea for podcasting, and jump into defining your format.
Also be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, or through your favorite podcast app. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ ApexThis.
Lastly, check out ApexThis.com for this episodes show notes for links to anything I’ve mentioned.
I will see you in two weeks As we dive into Music, for your podcast.
Until next time.