Why Podcasting Doesn’t Have to Sound Like Radio
With podcasting, 99% of the money people spend on equipment isn’t necessary, let me explain why.
When you walk in to a radio station you will see some serious money put into equipment, you have mics that are hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, tons of additional racks of audio processing equipment, not to mention the hardware needed to play songs off the radio. It is clear radio puts a ton of money into its product, but with podcasting your product isn’t entirely about quality of audio, it is about content, something radio isn’t worried about because they have all the songs they need to fill 24 hours of programming every single day.
For $50 you can have a decent mic plugged in your computer and be ready to go. Now, if you need two mics, get a cheap USB mixer and use that for your $14 mics and you are set.
Bottom line: spend a few bucks on a setup that fits your podcast, and as long as it sounds better than the microphone built in your computer you are better than 50% of the podcasters out there. Once you have a setup that doesn’t sound like you are broadcasting this in a school hallway or in an airplane hitting the top of the stratosphere you are all set.
Stop worrying about how you don’t sound as good as the NPR hosts or Gimlet Media or Joe Rogan, they either started off with mics similar to where you should be starting off at, which isn’t much but it gets the job done, or they got a ton of money thrown into the studio from other people.
Audio quality, for me, is a big reason some people don’t start, they want to save hundreds of dollars up so they can buy a Heil PR40 or a Shure SM7B. For less than $100 you can have a nice mic, and you can have a boom stand, your first month of hosting paid for, and enough left over to buy yourself a pizza once you post your first episode.
Stop worrying about the frequency range on mics and start worrying about what really matters: content.
There are so many podcasts that have crappy audio quality but month to month they get thousands of listeners, want to know why? Content. People care about what they have to say, and they bring value to their listeners enough for them to forgive the audio quality being subpar. This is one of the main reasons why I tell people who want to spend buckets of money on equipment for their podcasting equipment that they are better off spending that money elsewhere, it is because no one cares if your mic is 25% better than the mic of someone else’s. What they care about is the content and what the audience receives having listened to the show.
Podcasting is an amazing medium, but it is my opinion that you don’t need to spend $200, $300, $400 on a microphone set up until it is worth it. Buy a cheap mic (I really like the new Knox Cardioid Microphone) and start worrying about what matters: content.
Now go make your podcast into a reality and build your show based on content, not what you are speaking into to make the content.