When we decided to start our podcast, we read a lot of advice that said not to get too hung up on the details – you could spend weeks reading about the best host, the best mic, the best accessories. What really matters is your content. Of course that’s true! It’s also true that we want to sound good, we want editing software that’s easy to learn, and we want a podcast people will want to listen to. So, after 100+ podcast episodes, and over a year of podcast under our belt, here are the podcasting equipment and tools we use, love and recommend.
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Podcasting Equipment we Love
Our favorite podcasting microphone
We read so many microphone reviews that our eyes started to cross. Fortunately, we were in the right place at the right time when we got a recommendation for the Samson Q2u. This microphone is affordable, coming in at under $100, and has both USB and XLR connections. We each have one of these mics, and we’ve been very happy with them. We have had the opportunity to use them both with the USB and XLR connections. While we find the XLR connection to give us a slightly crisper sound quality, we are very happy with the USB connection especially when we record remotely. (More on that later.)
We also recommend a pop screen to attach to your microphone to help eliminate plosives from your speech. Here’s the pop screen we use!
If you are recording with two microphones in the same location you’ll need an audio mixer. This was our biggest investment in the podcast, but it’s worth it for the sound quality we get. Not to mention we vastly prefer the dynamic of recording in the same room whenever we can. We like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools and we used this video to learn how to use it with Audacity.
Podcast Host – Blubrry
There are a lot of great podcast hosting platforms out there, and everyone will likely tell you that theirs is the best. We have been very happy with Blubrry. If you are an existing WordPress user, you’ll love their PowerPress plugin that makes setting up your podcast on your website a snap.
Headphones for Podcasting
If you host a podcast with guests, remote recording, or if you just want to be able to check your sound levels, you’ll need headphones. We don’t find that you need anything fancy. Wendy uses her Beats, I use my airPods. Use whatever you have on hand!
Podcast Editing Tools
Podcast Editing can seem daunting, but YouTube is your friend! We like Audacity for editing. It’s free, has a ton of functions, even though we are only using it for the bare minimum of what it can do. We also record our podcast in Audacity when we are recording in the same room.
Descript – The best Podcast Editing Companion
In addition to Audacity, I am absolutely head over heels for Descript, a podcast editing and transcription tool. While Descript has a huge list of capabilities, I love that it creates a transcript for each episode and then you can EDIT WITHIN THE TRANSCRIPT! For someone who is a visual learner like myself, this has made editing 1000 times easier. Of course you can add your intro, outro and other transitions in Descript as well.
Levelator – For multiple host or guest podcasts
If you aren’t running a solo operation, there may come a time when you find that the volume of the speakers of your podcast isn’t lined up. Yes, there’s a lot you can do in recording to solve this problem, but if you’re not an audio engineer, then Levelator is your best, free, friend. Just run your audio through this program and 60 second later you have a podcast with balance audio.
Remote Recording Your Podcast
We are a two-host podcast, but even if you’re not, there may come a time when you’ll want to add a guest to your podcast. Fortunately, it’s the 21st century and there are lots of ways to record when you can’t be in the same room.
We love Cleanfeed. The free version allows us to record a stereo track, which I can split in Audacity for separate editing. They have a paid upgrade we use when we want to add a guest so that we get separate tracks for everyone. We prefer the audio quality of Cleanfeed over what we’ve gotten from Zoom, although lots of people love Zoom for having a video feed. Cleanfeed is audio only.
Listen to Long Story Short!
Are you looking for a podcast hosted by relatable, likable women who are funny and real? Come listen to ours! We’re Megan and Wendy and we host Long Story Short: The Podcast. We are real-life friends, moms of tweens/teens, re-discovering things that make us happy as we move into a very different phase of life. Subscribe today for new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.