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Which Tools Should You Choose for Podcasting Success?

Podcasting has garnered a lot of attention lately and for good reason. With smartphones, particularly the iPhone, it is easy to download and consume episodes, and awareness of the audio content medium has doubled since 2006.

Brands should leverage podcasting in their content marketing strategies, especially if they want to engage a loyal audience. Once they’ve prepared a strategy, picked a host and pitched to potential guests, it’s time to shop. Recording podcasts is a lot simpler than it seems, especially when you have the right tools.

Here are four types of equipment you should look into purchasing for your podcast:

1. Microphones

While hosts can now record podcasts through their smartphones with apps like Spreaker, a majority of podcasting experts recommend sticking with microphones for high quality audio.

Most recommend the Heil PR-40, but there are alternatives like the Audio-Technica ATR2100, if price is an issue.

Condenser microphones work great in recording studios, but unless you record in a tiny room with soundproof walls, go for a dynamic microphone so you don’t pick up every single background sound.

2. Headphones

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Sound matters in podcasts, and the only way you can assure you’re heard loud and clear is to have a set of noise-cancelling headphones. Your ears should be covered whether recording or editing your podcast.

When choosing headphones, look at ones meant for monitoring, not listening to, music. You’ll want to choose headphones that provide an almost identical reproduction of the sound you produce, like the Sony MDR7506 or Audio-Technica ATH-M30.

Beware of ear buds or over-ear headphones that let in other sounds.

3. Mixers

If you plan on interviewing guests, you’ll want standard XLR connection microphones that can be plugged into a mixer.

What will a mixer do for your podcast? Well, besides adding the ability to record more than one person at a time, they allow you to incorporate other sounds into your recording, like music or Skype calls, and simplify and provide better control over the post-production process.

If you plan on recording directly into your computer, go with a mixer that has a USB interface. Podcasting influencers highly recommend the Mackie brand.

4. Software

Choosing your software can depend on price, computer type and what capabilities you’re looking for, whether capturing audio, editing podcasts or publishing new episodes.

If you’re working on a Mac, you’ll already have access to GarageBand. Another great free audio software option is Audacity.

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone recommended Camtasia in her recent webinar, while others boast of Adobe Audition’s features. Whether you’re a beginner or established podcasting host, there are plenty of options to choose from and try out.

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Images: Nicolas Solop, Nicolas Solop (Creative Commons)

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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