You’d have to be living under a rock not to realise that podcasts are becoming hugely popular nowadays, and thus many people are searching the web for the best podcast equipment, or perhaps the cheapest equipment to get started.
You can read loads of articles on various different blogs explaining and comparing the different equipment available to the podcast newbie. Sadly, when we began podcasting in 2016, these articles didn’t exist so I was left to the good old fashion method of trial and error. This meant that I was ordering things, trying them out and then returning them to amazon once I realised it wasn’t right (and that’s if they would accept the return!). We’ve been through three audio processors, countless cables and a few different mic holders.
As I mentioned already, that no longer has to be the case as many writers across the podcast world have been generous enough to write about the pro’s and cons of different equipment. This article, then, is not a comparison of different pieces of tech but a simple list of the equipment we use and where you can get them.
The microphone is literally the most important thing you buy for a podcast. I get asked all the time which microphone we use and it’s the Rode procaster. There’s so many benefits to it but it’s basically (in my opinion) the second best podcast mic you can get. I would rather save up to get this microphone than to settle for a cheaper one and compromise on audio quality. Feel free to compromise on video quality, set design or even your mic stands … but with a podcast, treat yourself to a decent mic.
The reason I mentioned it’s the second best is because I originally would have preferred the Shure SM7B (it’s the one used by Joe Rogan etc) but I chose to go with the procaster purely based on price. I know that kind of contradicts my original statement of saving up for a better mic, but the procaster is awesome and the price jump tp the SM7B is a big one.
Ok so we’ve been through a lot of processors and long story short … this is the one you need. The Zoom H6 can take four podcast microphones and requires NO PLUGS. You could literally record a podcast anywhere you are. That means you can now travel with this little gadget and create awesome quality podcasts without stressing over plugs, adaptors or even electricity!
Ok so if you have the above (H6), then you won’t need this. They both do the same thing and in my experience have the same audio quality too. But the Tascam 4×4 is about half the price of the H6 and its what we used for the first 2 years of podcasting. We only recently switched to the H6 when we could afford to upgrade the equipment.
The only key difference is that it needs to be plugged into a mains socket, and also must be plugged into a computer when recording. That can be a huge headache if you have to setup and pack away your equipment often and it’s a real hassle to travel with (trust me, we did episodes in Dubai and Gambia with this setup).
But if your spending budget is tight for now, go ahead and get the tascam. It’s cheaper and nobody will ever see it or hear the difference. Just requires a bit more work from you, and hard work is to be embraced right?
Not much to say about the boom arm. This one is one of the best on the market and while you can find a lot cheaper, I love it and it hasn’t let me down yet!
You’ll need a shock mount to hold the microphone and I like to keep things consistent so we use the Rode shock mounts.
We also use desk stands for when we’re travelling and don’t want to lug around the huge boom arms, they’re quite cheap and a good purchase for when you manage to get some time to film an episode while away.
We also film our podcasts for YouTube and believe it or not we mainly just use the above vlog camera as our main cam. We also have another camera that is used for close ups and that real HD filmic look but there are some times when our producer isn’t available, we have a surprise unscheduled episode, or I’m away by myself … in those cases, the G7X is used for the entire episode. Here’s an example of an episode where we solely used the G7X: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kqh2JNM_Ww
Visual quality really is not that important for podcasts, I mean just look at one of the most popular podcasts in the world, the Joe Rogan Experience, it definitely doesn’t look like a movie. Or perhaps look at another insanely popular podcast, Tim Ferriss Show which literally doesn’t even film it’s episodes! So I’d recommend not stressing too much about this but tha A7ii is the camera we tend to use for the close up, HD shots at Freshly Grounded.
Price: £889 (without lenses)