Easy Podcast Setup Ideas For Beginners On A Budget

Are you thinking of starting a podcast on a budget? Here is everything you need to know.
Are you thinking of starting a podcast on a budget? Here is everything you need to know.

Podcasts are becoming popular, with podcast downloads increasing significantly every year. Thus, investing in a podcast is one of the wisest decisions you can make now. You could be skeptical about the idea, worrying about the equipment cost or how people will receive it. You need to understand that starting a podcast does not require expensive equipment or software.

Once you identify a topic that your podcast will cover, don’t hesitate. Get the required equipment for your podcast room setup and start. We will explore some of the instruments you need.

What You Need

You don’t need a lot of sophisticated equipment for your podcast setup. The essential tools are a computer, microphone, recording and editing software, and the podcast host. Take a look:

Microphone

The audio quality of your content depends on the microphone you use. It has a significant role in deciding whether your podcast will be a success or not. Therefore, a high-quality microphone should be a must-have. 

The good thing is that microphones are not costly, and you can get one for as low as $70. When selecting the microphone, check if it has the USB port and the XLR connection because you may need to upgrade your equipment without buying a new microphone. 

You will also need a microphone that captures less to no background noise. For instance, condenser mics are a great pick in an isolated environment, but dynamic mics are better when recording more people in the studio.

Recording and Editing Software

A computer is another must-have piece of equipment. You need it to run the recording software that will capture and store the recorded file as an audio file. You need a computer capable of handling your digital audio working-station (DAW).

Assuming you already have a computer, you must install reliable software for recording and editing your podcast. Although you can purchase some software, the internet has many options available for free, and you can utilize them. You will save the file in MP3 format for your audio podcast and then upload it to your listeners.

Mixer

A mixer can help improve the audio output you deliver to your listeners. Although the mixer is not a must-have piece of equipment for your podcast, it is practical when working with a co-host or guests on the show. However, if using an XLR microphone, then you must connect it to a mixer. Ensure to buy a multichannel mixer with an AUX-out or FX Send feature.  

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Headphones

You need a comfortable pair of headphones, preferably over-ear ones with enough cushioning. The cushioning will play a significant role, especially when recording for longer hours. Your headphones should be able to reduce noise bleeding. When working on a budget, you can get decent headphones for as low as $40.

Other essential accessories you can equip your podcast with include:

  • Pop filters
  • Shock mounts
  • Stand

Easy Podcast Studio Setup Ideas

It is practical to know what kind of podcast your podcast will be. The three most common podcast setup ideas are: one-person show, host-guest podcast, or multi-host talk show.

  1. The One-Man Show

You can set up a podcast for a one-person or solo show. You can think of it as a storytelling podcast, so you will need it well-scripted. Therefore, you must practice your storytelling skills and produce the best audio quality possible.

A one-person show can either leave a sour aftertaste for the audience, or reel them in deep and leave them craving for more. This type of podcast is easy and cheap to set up.

  1. Host-Guest Podcast

This podcast doesn’t require much scripting like a solo show. Here, you only need to find a good guest conversant with the theme of your podcast. The recording is also different since you have to record your guest, too. Hence, the setup for this kind of podcast can be complex.

  1. Multi-host Talk Show

A multi-host talk show involves more than one host running the show in every episode. You can discuss diverse topics with your co-host in this podcast setup. You can also invite guests once in a while. Just like the host-guest setup, you need multiple sets of microphones and headphones for every participant for excellent audio quality.

If you have a co-host or a guest, create a podcast set up for two people. You can use headset splitters to allow multiple people to have their headsets connected simultaneously while using the same recording device. It will enable them to hear each other speak and make editing easier.

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Things to Consider in Your Setup

To give your podcasting journey a professional feel, you should know the space you are working with to help with your podcast studio setup. A typical podcast studio should not take up too much space.

How will you place the mixer or mount the microphone? How are the ventilation and lighting? Ensure that the lighting and ventilation meet your priorities and that of your guests or co-host, if any.

You might need a boom arm for the podcast microphone setup. Its role is to eliminate the chances of your microphone picking up noise from handling or vibrating tables. It lifts the microphone and suspends it, keeping it away from such noises.

Other things to consider include:

Video Recording

If you are recording videos of the podcast, then you also need to set up your cameras strategically. An effective video shows different camera angles. Here are some shots to consider achieving with your video podcast studio setup:

  • Main Shot

You want a clear shot for you and your co-host or guest. The image output for each speaker should be similar, i.e., not zoomed in on one speaker and then zoomed out on the next. Consistency is vital in this case.

  • Wide Shot

The wide shot camera captures the entire studio setup. You would want your viewers to have a look at the studio’s surroundings.

  • Overhead Shot

If you have a loyal following, they will want to know how to shoot the videos. The view from above can help when you want to release some behind-the-scenes videos showing what you do on the mixer or computer.

A simple tripod or mount will help you achieve these shots and produce high-quality videos. In addition, an adjustable stand can help to create overhead shots. Ensure that you have mounted your cameras well, and if you cannot buy HD cameras, you can use mobile phones to capture the videos.

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Lighting for Video Podcast

Sufficient lighting is a vital aspect of your video podcast. After you have set up your cameras, check to establish areas that need more lighting and those that need the lighting reduced. To reduce the light in the room, you can cover the windows. On the other hand, small lamps can help you add some lighting to the room. You can also invest in a studio light kit.

Office Furniture

Podcasts won’t take space, but you will need a budget for essential furniture for the setup. The computer and audio equipment will be on the desk, and you’ll need seating for yourself and the guests you invite. 

Your furniture needs will be unique to your show. If you’re just running a one-person show, then a simple office desk and chair are all you require. You might also make some wall fittings to meet your needs. 

Choose a Hosting Service

The hosting platform is where your podcast media files will be stored and delivered. Choosing a reliable hosting site is critical and beneficial to your podcast. It will make it easier to manage the podcast while you seek to expand your audience. 

With countless companies providing podcast hosting services, you need intensive research before settling on one. Some popular podcast hosting sites include Captivate, Anchor, SoundCloud, Spotify, Castos, etc.

Zooming Out

A podcast setup is simple and inexpensive. You can do it on a budget and get to share your ideas with the public. The most important thing is to be consistent once you start. Create a schedule for uploading the episodes, e.g., weekly. Inconsistency can get your listeners bored, and you might lose them.

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