Best Portable Podcast Setup for Taking Your Show on the Road
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You’ve been thinking about starting your own podcast. Great! But you’re not sure on where to begin. What equipment do you need? Where would you create a studio? With so much to think about, it may seem overwhelming. But don’t let that put you off. It doesn’t take much to create the best podcast setup.
To create a great podcast, you are probably thinking that you must have a dedicated space at home. But having a dedicated space means you can only work on your podcasts from that space. Is that really practical? People travel around the world doing their work on a laptop. So, you, too, can travel the world while still working on your podcast. All you need is the right equipment to create your own portable podcast setup.
When starting out, it’s easy to think that it’s better to play it safe and not spend a lot in equipment. But that is a big mistake. You want the best podcast setup right away. Quality content is so important, especially if you want to grow your business or gain subscribers from the beginning. If your recording has uneven volume or lots of background noise for example, listeners will be put off. So, it is imperative that you make the investment in yourself and/or your business and purchase quality equipment from the word go. Podcast equipment that will present you as a professional.
But how do you choose the right podcast gear? With so many options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is why this article was created. For those of you just starting out, here is the equipment needed for podcasting. All are essential items. And, all are easy to travel with allowing you to record anywhere. The world is your studio. So, what are you waiting for? Read on so you can build the best podcast setup for you to start creating amazing content for your podcast.
Best Equipment for a Portable Podcast Setup
At the top of the list of equipment needed for a podcast is a computer. Or, in this case, as you are creating a portable podcast setup, a laptop. A laptop is essential as this is where you record, upload, and edit your .mp3 files. It’s the foundation of your podcast recording equipment so which one you choose is so important.
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)
The MacBook Air is the ideal laptop for starting off your podcast equipment. It’s compact and light design making it easy to travel with. It’s also a rare laptop featuring two universal ports, so you can connect multiple accessories at one time. And with a battery life of 13 hours, you don’t have to worry about running out of battery when working on editing your recordings.
Even better, the MacBook Air is made from recycled aluminum. Perful equipment for your podcast that helps the environment, how can you beat that?
No podcast can exist without something to record the dialogue. And that’s why a proper microphone is an essential on your podcast equipment list. But wait? My laptop comes with a microphone, so why can’t I use that one? Not only is the audio quality poor on the laptop microphone, it’s near impossible to adjust the settings to reduce interference and background noise. Using a laptop microphone is a trap a lot of podcasting newbies fall into. Don’t make that mistake.
If you want to have the best podcast setup, you need an external microphone. These are specifically designed for audio recordings so you know you are going to get the best sound. And that is what you are after.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
The Audio-Technica Microphone is one of the best microphones for podcasting on the market. Its durable design means it can take a beating when traveling, and yet still deliver an amazing performance every time.
This microphone features USB digital output so you can record directly into your laptop (both Windows and Mac). And, it has a headphone jack so you can easily monitor in real time the sound quality of your recording. It also automatically reduces unwanted noise for better quality recording. And, you can use it either as a hand help microphone or you can utilize the tripod stand that comes with the Audio-Technica.
You just finished an incredible interview and now you are going to listen to the recording. While listening, you realize it is no good. There’s background noise and the volume is all over the place. It’s completely unusable. Now, if you were using a good set of headphones during the interview, you would have heard these issues and been able to fix them on the spot.
That is why headphones are quintessential to any best podcast setup. This piece of equipment will save you so much headache when working on your podcast. Headphones will save you from the biggest newbie failure in podcasting.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
One of the best headphones for podcasting comes from Audio-Technica. The ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones do an amazing job of cancelling out background noise so you are able to hear with pristine clarity your podcast as you’re recording. This means you can fix whatever glitches are happening during the interview so you never have to toss out a podcast recording.
And the Audio-Technica are a great addition to your portable podcast gear as they are lightweight (under 8 ounces) and they are collapsible affording you more space.
Panasonic RPHJE120 in-Ear Headphone, (2 Pack, Black)
Or, if you really want some podcasting headphones that barely take up any space and are as light as a feather, get a pair of Panasonic in-Ear Headphones. These headphones provide high quality while being super comfortable to wear. So, it doesn’t matter how long you’re doing your interview for, these headphones got you covered.
Creating a portable podcast setup cannot be complete unless you have a recorder. Having a recorder in your podcast gear allows you tons of freedom and flexibility for recording a podcast. Traveling with one lets you be spontaneous. Who knows who you will meet? What stories they will have to tell? What event you may find yourself in? Why limit your creativity by not having anything reliable to record with? Having a recorder with you will open so many possibilities for content for your podcast.
Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder
An essential for creating the best portable podcast setup is the Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder. This extremely lightweight (seriously, less than 10 ounces!) recorder is extremely versatile meaning that it will work for whatever your podcast specializes in, whether it’s interviews, music, etc. It can record up to 6 channels at one time and features four mic/line inputs.
If you are planning on doing live interviews while on the road, this Zoom Portable Recorder is an absolute must.
Olympus Linear PCM Recorder Black (LS-P4)
Another option for a portable podcast recorder is the Olympus Linear PCM Recorder. In terms of traveling, it will be hard to find a recorder that’s smaller and lighter (under 3 ounces!) that provides superior performance. This dynamite recorder comes programmed with seven different recording scenes to give you the clearest recording possible. For portable podcasts, the noisy situation template is ideal as it records voice only in noisy backgrounds.
Better than that, it can plug directly into your laptop via USB. And its metal exterior means it can take a beating and keep on going, which is perfect when traveling.
The one thing you don’t want to have happen when you are traveling is have a cable issue. From leaving one behind to one getting damaged, this could be a stop production dilemma. And, depending on where you find yourself in the world, getting a replacement may not be easy. Why take the risk with your podcast? Rather, pack a few extra microphone cables. So even if disaster strikes, you can continue production without skipping a beat.
Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable – 6′ (1.8 m)
The Kopul Studio Elite cables are ideal for podcasts. This cable is designed to reduce microphone and electrostatic noise giving you crystal clear sound. And weighing less than 6 ounces, you won’t even know you are carrying them. So, it is more than worth it to have a few extra included in your portable podcast gear.
So, you now have all the equipment you need to successfully record your podcast. But no recording is perfect. You need to shorten it, add something to it post interview, etc. For this, you need to install editing software on your laptop so you can create the perfect end product.
Even if you’re not on a budget, who doesn’t love free? And Audacity Software is a free, open-source editing platform that works on both Windows and MAC. Even better than free, it’s super easy to use.
Audacity software allows you to record your podcast, import and export recordings, and edit with even undo and redo functions. All you need to do is download the software and off you go.
If you’re a MAC user, then Garageband Editing Software is perfect for you. This software is free (who doesn’t love that?), and is easy to use. One of the key features is a ruler that allows you to precisely time your edits. And, this software comes with a set of musical loops making it easy for you to add background music to your podcast.
Garageband easily allows you to combine multiple recordings into one track. And, the software is highly dependable with a low crash rate. So, risk of losing a day’s work is extremely slim.
So, now that you have all this amazing podcast gear, how are you going to travel with it? Like any investment, you want it protected. So, don’t think that your commuter backpack offers the type of protection needed for your sensitive gear. What you need is a sturdy piece of luggage that won’t weigh you down yet still protect your podcast equipment.
Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II. Pro Photographer Carry-On Camera Backpack
This is where this Lowepro Camera Backpack comes in. First, the Lowepro features a dynamic divider system that snuggly holds and protects your sensitive gear. And you won’t believe everything it can hold. It even comes with separate compartments to hold a 13” laptop and 10” tablet.
But more importantly, the Lowepro was designed to travel. Featuring back and shoulder strap padding, the bag is compliant with airline carry-on policies. There’s even an outside pocket for your travel documents. And, it comes with a protective cover to keep your valuable equipment dry in wet conditions.
Zoom PCF-8n Protective Case for F8n, F8 and F4
An alternative protective case for your podcast gear is the Zoom PCF-8n Protective Case. Designed specifically to protect a portable recorder, this bag has room for the recorder and accessories.
Best of all, it comes with a removeable rain cover with a clear window. So, no matter what outdoor elements you find yourself in, you can easily use your equipment without fear of damaging it. And, the bag comes with an adjustable strap giving you options for comfortably carrying it.
Using Your Portable Podcast Setup
Once you have all of your podcast equipment assembled, have fun and play with it. It is vital that you not only know how to use the equipment but are comfortable using it. You need to know what settings work best for different recording environments. And have friends over for doing mock interviews with them. This will also help you with creating questions and finding your voice for your podcast.
And once you know how to use the equipment, pack it up and take it on the road. No one says that a podcast must be location dependent. Quite the opposite! Podcasting, with the right equipment, allows you to be location independent. The world is your oyster, so seize it.
While traveling, you never know who you will meet or what inspiration will strike you at any moment. Plus, how feasible is it to limit yourself to one location making interviewees either travel to see you or do the interview online? It’s easier to create a rapport and develop a good tempo in person. That is why traveling is important.
And, now that you know what gear you need for creating the best podcast setup, there is nothing to stop you. Pack your bags and let the podcasting begin!
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