Podcasts have risen almost to the pinnacle of the talk show medium. There are podcasts about basically everything, gaming, paranormal activity, self love, productivity, self motivation, and audio engineering. If you name a topic, we can find a podcast for it. However, not every podcast sounds professional. If you are building your own, you want to get the best sound and clarity that you can. Without it people will not want to listen. I know I personally would get annoyed and stop listening to a podcast if the host sounds like they are talking into a can. Sound is everything in a podcast (obviously since it is the only thing you interact with in). In this series I will be showing you how to build your own podcasting setup, ranging in gear from what microphone to use to record on, all the way to simple things such as the stand for your microphone.
In this first installment we will be looking at some great selections for DAWs (digital audio workstations) and amazing stands.
Table of Contents:
Best Podcasting DAWs
Choosing a DAW for podcasting is actually super simple. A podcast will not need all of the plugins and editing capabilities that a full length song or film would. A podcast has very simple and basic needs. Compression, EQ, and Noise Gates are usually all that you would likely need to create an amazing sounding podcast. The most important thing to remember is that the best DAW is the cheapest DAW when it comes to this format. Many of the cheaper, and even free, DAWs will come with all that you need and even some presets to get you started. All of the DAW’s that are listed here are free to download and use.
Garageband can be found on the app store for Macs (if it is not already installed). It is probably one of the best options considering it is so user friendly to beginners, and there are many tutorials that can be found both through Apple as well as Youtube. One other great aspect, regarding Garageband, is that it comes with over 1,000 loops and sound effects, all of which are royalty free. That means that you can use them commercially without having to pay Apple and compensating for using their original sounds. This is great for livening up your podcast and making it more interesting overall. It also comes equipped with plugins and presets that will help you step up your game from the start.
Pro Tools First
Pro Tools First logo
Another great free DAW is the younger sibling to Pro Tools from Avid. Pro Tools First was designed to give people a basic taste of Pro Tools while still maintaining a professional quality. It does not require any iLok or other accessories to work and can be found directly through Avid or you can use the link above. Pro Tools is my personal DAW of choice due to the versatility and how much can be done with it. With Pro Tools First, you get quite a few plugins that are standard across the board that I use regularly even with the full version.
Presonus Studio One 4 Prime
Studio One 4 Prime Logo
Presonus is a brand that I have enjoyed using for a few years now and would recommend to anyone looking for a great system to work with. This is similar to Garageband in that it comes with loops that can be used as well as native plugins.
Best Podcasting Mic Stands
So part of the process of capturing a great sound is the actual stand itself. Most people pass this by and do not put any thought into it, thinking anything will do. However, if your microphone is unstable you could pick up motion noise as well as the mic just falling over completely. That would be the worst thing to happen especially in the middle of a take that was going perfectly.
Price (before shipping)- $18.99
I love this one for its stability provided by that simple clamp at the base. It also comes with 2 styles of pop filters. The mobility of this arm is also a huge plus for placement and mobility. If you need to quickly move around the table, it can go with you.
Price (before shipping)- $8.58
Tripods are one of the most stable types of stands when it comes to microphone placement. This one is great due to its easy to fold up nature and size. You can take it anywhere as well as rely on it for a stable home for your mic.
Price (befores shipping)- $12.96
This stand is another great choice due to its weight in the circular base. I use this mic stand for table top mic placement, and I even rely on it for miking guitar amps and drums from the floor. Overall i think this stand is a great investment for your podcast.