I have bought a TON of equipment to make my podcast both an audio and video experience. I have bought some higher-end equipment and some lower-priced things, and now I will break down what I would do if I went back and did it all over again.
I bought a Canon EOS M6 about 7 months into my podcast experience. It certainly does a better job than my iPhone 8, but with all honesty, the phone is a great tool and will do the job. With no additional lighting, my camera does pick up better video than the phone but once I introduce the softbox lights it is kind of hard to tell the difference in quality. It is really not that noticeable until you use software to zoom into the subject.
After doing my interviews with Adi Rei and Curly Chuck at the NVASION studios and them being great hosts and letting me use their set up, I was sold on the lights they used. While editing the Curly Chuck interview, I reached out to Adi and asked the make and model of the lights.
At the time I knew I needed to get a set of lights, but there were so many options that I didn’t know where to turn. Camera stores charged an arm and a leg for all of their lights, but Amazon had a lot of affordable options. Being a novice, all I needed was a recommendation to help narrow the choices.
Adi Rei told me that he had the Neewer SoftBox kit. I went to the Amazon link that he sent and was very happy to see that the Neewer kit was very affordable and was actually one of the sets I had my eye on.
I had a bit of a struggle figuring out how to set them up and break them down at first but after a few minutes of racking my brain, I figured out how to get the base wider (to keep it from falling down) as well as getting the light to snap-in. After the first time figuring it out it was a cakewalk every time since.
I have used a wide variety of microphones and think that even though I do not use most of them very often, I think it is a good idea to have different equipment for different setups.
I first started off trying to record through only my iPhone. The video comes out great and the audio was fair, leaving a lot to be desired. Soon into my journey, I found the Shure MV88 microphone that plugged into my iPhone charging port. This mic comes with an app and a built-in condenser that make the sound come out really well. I swore by this microphone to anyone who did recordings and had an iPhone. I thought it was the greatest.
When I bought my camera, it came with a big bundle of accessories, included in it was a Rode Mic. It does a decent job, but when I did my interview with J.Gaines of the Lavish Journey podcast, my world was flipped upside down.
He recorded on his phone for his Vlog and gave me a copy of the file he recorded to include in my editing. While I was going through the footage, I had my Shure, Rode, and his lav mic all on different recordings from the same room…
The lav mic was way better than both of the mics that I had. Every word was crisp, every word sounded way more like you were in the room than both of mine. Just like I reached out to Adi, I asked J.Gaines where he got the mic, I was already sold.
To my pleasure, he sent me a link that was for a set of two lav mics, extension cables, splitters, and a carrying case all for under $25 dollars. Had I just looked at these things online, I probably would be been skeptical because they were so lowly priced.
As soon as I saw the price I ordered a pair an ordered another set a week later when I had the opportunity to interview a few people at once.
I cannot recommend the SoLID Interview set enough. The only downside is the cords, I will certainly look into getting a cordless mic later in the year.
When I first started, I would record my audio or video file and upload it to my hosting platform, Anchor.fm. I soon learned that video was the way to go and then started doing the best that I could editing video on my 10-year-old iMac Desktop. It became quite a tension point in our house. The video would take so long to input and render, I couldn’t really make anything. Early in the process of becoming a podcaster, I upgraded to a 2018 MacBook Pro. Overnight, I had the power to run all the software I needed.
I originally, and still utilize iMovie for a lot of splitting of clips and even a little audio editing. iMovie didn’t do everything I needed though, so I signed up for Adobe Creative Cloud. This gives me access to Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more.
It has been one hell of a learning curve. I still take a few hours a week to watch Youtube videos to learn new skills in those programs.
If you do not want to spend the money on Adobe Creative Cloud, I get it. You can handle a lot of images and now some video things through Canva. Canva is a tremendous resource for making graphics, look into it.
I also use later.com for my own projects as well as for my clients. Later allows you to upload media and schedule/auto-post it to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Finally, I recommend every podcast has a website. The Colin Can Help Deluxe or Ultimate hosting plans would be enough to handle your website needs and do so for less than a dollar a day.
With my cPanel hosting, I use WordPress to build my site. It allows me to have a platform that I control, not at the mercy of the big Social media companies to get my message out. It also allows me to SEO optimize my posts to get into the search results for people looking at the content and guests that I produce.
As my journey continues and my equipment evolves, I will update this article or make a new one for you to save the mistakes I have made. Please do not let your budget stop you from getting your podcast or other creative off the ground. There is so much you can do with just a phone or cheap tools.
I didn’t start off with all the stuff I mentioned. Each week I would focus on both acquiring new skills and equipment. Not every week did I have money to get a new toy, but if I didn’t have money I learned skills to maximize my current equipment. The key is to keep moving forward. If you have any other questions about podcasting, let me know!
Best of luck on your podcast!