In this episode I’m going to pull out some of the ideas that I’m putting into a new free course I’m developing. It’s an overview to podcasting for beginners that will be the most in-depth overview currently available.

It will likely be between 10 and 20 videos covering many different areas of podcasting.

Starting a podcast can be confusing

Now, when you get started podcasting you can easily get overwhelmed with all of the options. In my 40 part step-by-step course on podcasting show people exactly what I think is the best, most optimal, way to get started podcasting if you want a high quality podcast on a medium budget. What’s nice about this is that it strips though the confusion that exists for new podcasters when they look at all of the options available to them in hardware, software, and services, for podcasting. What’s not-so-great about it is that those who are unable to go with one of the few options I present may be left out. Let’s face it, not every course can cover every possible method for podcasting.

Principles as the framwork for podcasting

So, what I’m doing in my new free course is laying the framework for making wise decisions when approaching podcasting, so that even if you can’t utilize my methods exactly, you will have some principle to help you make the best decision for your situation. It’s been said that the one who grasps the principles of something can more easily select the right methods.

So today I’m going to talk about the principles I take into account when deciding which hardware to purchase for podcasting. Now, just so you know, this isn’t where I’ll be starting in the free course, but for the purposes of this podcast this is where I’ll start.

The principles are: Quality, Simplicity, Efficiency, Flexibility, Mobility, Budget

So, let’s apply these principles to deciding which microphone to purchase.

Podcasting principles applied to microphones

The first thing to note is that when it comes to microphones mobility isn’t an issue. All mics are fairly mobile.

And flexibility isn’t an issue either, as under no conditions should you be worried about buying one of those condenser microphones with multiple polar-pattern options. Those aren’t for podcasting. Period.

So, let’s start with cost savings. If you’re on a budget of $100, or less, you have few options. Here’s what you should do. Purchase one of the following USB/XLR microphones. They will allow you to plug the mic directly into your computer via your USB port, but they also give you the option of using the XLR output with a preamp/interface in the future should you decide to raise the quality of your podast. USB, and XLR are two different plug types. XLR mics are plugged into devices called preamps, or interfaces, and they will give you a higher quality than USB mics plugged directly into your computer. However, USB mics are less expensive. They’re also simple, and efficient. If you’re on a $100 budget, you can’t afford a preamp, and a mic. You’ll have to just buy a USB mic. Those are the breaks. But if you know what you’re doing, you can make a cheap USB mic sound pretty good! Unfortunately, I don’t have time to get into all of that right now. Buy an Audio-Technica AT2005USB, or a Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB. Those are USB/XLR DYNAMIC microphones. DO NOT BUY a condenser microphone like a Blue Snowball, or something like that. Condenser microphones are not good mics for podcasting. Period. And don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Trust me! They’re simply too sensitive and pick up far too much ambient noise. Professional radio hosts, and podcasters use dynamic mics for a reason! 

You can see how I’m applying the budgetary principle in this example. One the other hand one could prioritize the quality principle, and choose to buy a more expensive, higher quality, microphone. 

Again, microphones are pretty simple as you only have to take a couple of the guiding principles of podcasting into account. 

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about the device you plug your microphone into as I apply the principles of podasting to preamps.