The Gear You'll Need for Starting a Podcast

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Hi everyone, this is a simple no bells-no whistles post on all the gear I used for the 25 episodes of Menswear Style. In total the show enjoyed 77,000 downloads and we had esteemed guests from all walks of life, from ex-World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman to Irish fashionista and TV presenter Darren Kennedy.

So you want to start a podcast?

First you think about the end game. What are you hoping to achieve?

Money? Good luck. Only 2% of podcasters that average 1000 listens per episode generate any money, and even those big players are dependent on other revenue streams to plug their business, their live show, their book etc. These podcasts help build that audience.

Popularity? If you think just by setting up your own channel that all your mates are going to start listening to you then think again. Your mates are busy, your mates don't listen to podcasts, your mates are useless. I can tell you out of the 77k downloads I had over the course of two years, only two of my mates congratulated me on doing a good job. And that doesn't necessarily mean they listened.

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There's two right answers to this question.

Sounding off. If you just want to sound off, run your mouth, vent, then this is an awesome platform. I actually host another podcast where I talk about giving up the booze. I have a total of 6 followers now. But it's cathartic for me, I learn as I go and I love it.

To create awareness for your brand. Your brand might be YOU! Or it might be your vegan diet program you're trying to get off the ground. Imagine you’re Batman, maybe not Kilmer or Affleck Batman, and Robin is your Podcast. It will never have its standalone movie, it will never stand on its own two feet. If you make any money, I'll be shocked. If you do, good luck to you.

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Okay the Gear. This is what I use.

Hardware

Below is all the gear you'll need, I'd also recommend some noise reduction earphones, but for now you can get away with whatever you have to hand. The Soundcard will cater for two microphones, but I'd recommend just getting the one. You might have some ambitious thoughts on building a studio and getting people to join you. In truth, it's hard to get people to join you physically on a podcast. If you decide to fold the podcast after 7 episodes (which is statistically the number of episodes most people reach before giving up) then you'll be left with two surplus microphones that you'll have to bung back on eBay for half the price.

·      MacBook Pro
·      Focusrite external Sound Card
·      Rode NT1-A Vocal Recording pack (includes pop shield) shop here
·      Microphone Boom Scissor Arm shop here

But I want to interview people!! 

Cool we'll come to that part on the software section.

Software

As mentioned if you're recording on a Mac then just use Garageband. It's very straight forward and you don't need to attend night school to figure out how to record a couple of vocals. However, if you're struggling then you'll always find tutorials on YouTube

When it comes to interviews you'll need to convince people to do it over Skype. If you have a good broadband connection it will guarantee a better reception than over the phone. Plus, it's free, particularly useful if you want to interview people abroad. 

The ace in the hole

This is the best tool I've been using for a couple of years. It's called Ecamm Call recorder and enables you to record audio and video over Skype. If I were you I'd buy the package for £45-ish that enables you to record over Facetime also. (You won't believe the amount of people that don't have Skype, and if one goes down then you have a backup). 

With this you can export both tracks (your audio and your guests’ audio) in MP3 format and drag them right into Garageband. This enables you to edit efficiently, maybe your levels are too hot, or there's background noise you want to cut out from the other end etc. 

You can also export the file as an Mp4 and upload the interview to YouTube, although it's common courtesy to ask your guest if he/she is happy for you to do that. They may be unaware they're being filmed. 

If you're serious about podcasting you might want to do a little more research before you launch and there's tonnes of great advice from experts online

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