Blog > Life

Starting a good podcast on a budget

So you want to start a podcast?

What microphone do you get? Where do you host your podcast? How much does it cost? What can you use to edit?

These are probably some of the questions that you have. It isn't too difficult to get started. It may seem overwhelming but don't worry. It sounds harder than it is. At it's core, you don't really need much. There are people who record their podcasts on their phones. So the fact that you are reading this article, means you are already ahead.

Microphones

There are different levels of microphones. The most common and popular one is the Blue Yeti (you can get it in several colors). This is a USB microphone. Meaning, you guessed it, that it can plug straight into the USB port in your computer. This has its pros and cons.

USB Microphone

Blue Yeti Microphone - Amazon

The pros are that it is very easy to use and it is a decent microphone. You don't need much more additional equipment.

The cons are that the sound quality isn't as good compared to other microphones in the same price range. The other issue is that it is a condenser microphone. What does this mean? It means it will pick up a lot of background noise. This can suck depending on your location.

I highly recommend a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones don't pick up as much background noise. This allows for more flexibility when it comes to recording. You can have the AC running in the background without much issue (provided you adjust your mic settings properly).

XLR Microphones

An XLR microphone is the traditional microphone that you have probably seen. This microphone can't plug directly into your computer, so you need an audio interface that you can plug the microphones into. This would then connect to your computer.

The best selling one is the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2. You can plug in 2 XLR microphones. I would recommend any serious podcaster to get an XLR microphone and an interface.There are interfaces that allow for more microphones.

NoDegree currently uses the Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. It is hooked up to a Scarlett 2i2 for The NoDegree Podcast . This is a great microphone that will produce great sound.

If you are on a budget, the Shure SM48 is a great microphone. It is less than half of the price of the Shure SM58 while still being better than the majority of budget microphones (and even some pricier ones on the market).

Now of course you also need some XLR cables. The ones below are fairly priced and get the job done.

Cable Matters 2-Pack Premium XLR to XLR Microphone Cable 6 Feet

If you want to add some bells and whistles to your podcast (so that it sounds better), you should grab a pop filter. There are certain sounds that have a pop effect. This will reduce the effect of these sounds. A foam cover is something that is cheap and will reduce noise from the "wind". This is a good stand that comes with the pop filter and mic stand.

Aokeo Thickened Foam Microphone Windshield Filter used for Handheld microphones, Blue Yeti, Yeti Pro Condenser microphones and Other Medium and Large Microphones (Black, 6 Pack)

Another good practice is to transcribe your podcasts. This is good to add to the transcription portion of the website where you podcast is located. I recommend Descript. Please note that it will have errors (especially with names) but it is pretty good.

https://www.descript.com/

Now in order for people to listen to your podcast, it needs to be hosted somewhere. NoDegree uses Simplecast. They have several plans and the basic plan starts at $15 per month. You also have the ability to create a website off of it at no additional charge. It has a simple clean layout. Simplecast makes it easy to upload your podcast on several platforms. Users also have the option of listening directly on the site.

 https://simplecast.com/

There are several platforms you can use to record your website. You can use Skype, Zoom, Zencastr etc. NoDegree uses Squadcast. It has a simple and clean interface. It has very good audio quality compared to the other platforms. Basic plans start at $10-$20 a month. Please note that even though there is video, the video is not recorded. You can use a screen recording software like Loom to record it. Zoom will record both the video and audio but the audio quality will not be as good (the average listener will probably not be able to tell a difference).

You must use the Chrome browser in order for the software to work properly. It will work in the browser so your guests will not need to download additional software. Please note that you must go to app.squadcast.fm when you are recording or you will have some issues recording (I am not sure why but this has been my experience).

https://squadcast.fm

And that's it! Good luck getting started on your podcast. To make things simple here is a summary.

Microphone - Shure SM48 or Shure SM58

Interface - Focusrite 2i2

Any stand, pop filter, microphone foam cover, and XLR cables with decent reviews will do.

Hosting - Simplecast

Recording Software - Squadcast