Rambling

How to Build a Budget Friendly Podcasting Setup August 25, 2017 15:18



If you're new to podcasting and don't want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how you do things, then you're in luck. We've put together a complete, budget friendly podcasting package set up that breaks down cost, and scales really well when you're ready to add new bits and pieces. 

This guide won't help you with content, but it does cover just about everything else. This is based on our setup, and while you can always spend more or less money for higher end gear, or better hosting packages, I'm confident that this fits most people's needs and budget. 


EQUIPMENT

First things first. You need a mixing board. There are thousands of options here. And yes, you could simply run a a small USB Mic into your Mac, PC, iPhone or other device, but that is going to limit you. That said, if you're a one man operation, then this is likely the best option, and Blue's Raspberry USB mic is one of the best you can get.
Note: If you are going solo and are using a home office as your studio, I highly recommend a portable vocal isolation shield like this on by Pyle.

Our suggestion, if you have 2 or more hosts, is the Behringer XENYX 1204USB:

  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer.
  • 4 state-of-the-art XENYX, phantom-powered Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps.
  • 4 studio-grade compressors with super-easy "one-knob" functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound.
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound.
  • Built-in stereo USB/Audio Interface to connect directly to your computer. Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins and ultra-low latency driver downloadable at www.behringer.com.

 

Next, you'll need mics. Above I mentioned Blue, a company that makes the Yeti, one of the best USB mics available, but they can be expensive, and without the right software and dongles, you often can't use multiple USB mics at the same time. So, we're going with the less expensive, but still very good, Neewer NW-800 Condenser Mic ($21 - $26) which is available in a variety of colors:

Each of the packages above should include a shock mount, foam wind screen, and mic cable, but double check the listing just to be sure.

 
The foam windscreen that comes with these mics is serviceable, but you may want to upgrade to these dual layer pop filters: 1 pack, 2 pack, 3 pack.

Unfortunately, the cable included with this mic is not ideal for this board, so for $27 more, you can pick up this 3 pack of XLR cables. (we have a three person set up, but even if you have fewer co-hosts/guests, it's still not bad to have an extra on hand).

NOTE: If you purchase the board above you will not need a separate amp for your mics because it offers built in phantom power

Now you need a place to mount your mics. You have a couple of options here; either a traditional desktop mic stand ($12 each) or, if your space allows for it, a desk mount scissor boom ($13 each). 


 

 

The items listed above will get most new podcasters going without over complicating things, but let's go a little bit deeper with some items that will come in handy and provide an overall more flexible, easily scalable setup.

But, let's say you will be playing audio clips from another device. You'll need a few things to do this properly:

1. RCA to 1/4" adapter. ($10) This gets the audio from the device to the board. 

2. Headphones. If you already have head phones, just make sure you've got the right adapters, like a 1/4" to 3.5mm (. If not, I suggest these very inexpensive Behringer over the ear studio headphones. They aren't going to blow anyone away, but they are very solid headphone and at less than $15 apiece, you can't go wrong. 

3. This $15, 4 channel headphone amp by Pyle is solid. With this, you can have up to 4 sets of headphones, each with their own level. 

4. 1/4" to 1/4" stereo cable. ($7) This runs from the headphone out on your board to your headphone amp. 
The first thing you'll want to do, once your equipment has arrived is set it up and identify any missing adapters, cables or possibly faulty items. You don't want to get everyone together to record and realize you don't have what you need, or something doesn't work. 



RECORDING SOFTWARE

Because I can sometimes be a stubborn caveman I use an ancient version of Adobe Audition, which is basically Adobe's re-branded Cool Edit Pro before Adobe went with their "good luck finding what you're looking for" approach to the UI. It's something I've used for nearly 15 years and it works VERY well.  

If you have no personal preference, then take a look at the options below. 

Basic:

  • Audacity (Free). Audacity has been around forever, and it is the go to for many budget conscious home recording set ups. It's free, easy to use and packs a lot of recording, editing, and processing options. If you want to be an audacity power-user, you should check out Carlo Schroder's fantastic user guide, The Book of Audacity. It, unfortunately, is not free, but it is worth every penny. 

Mid Range:

  • Sony's Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 ($39.99) Sound Forge Audio Studio software is one of the easiest ways to record, edit, master, and share audio with a home studio set up. Give your audio tracks realism and sparkle with built-in effects including EQ, reverb, delay, and chorus. One of the best non-recording features is their interactive Show Me How tutorials which provide detailed videos with step-by-step instructions for CD creation, audio mastering, vinyl restoration, and, most importantly, podcast creation.

Professional:

  • Mixcraft Pro ($164.95) At just under $165, this might be a deal breaker, but keep in mind you're getting more than a basic home studio software suite. With Mixcraft Pro, you're getting 8900 royalty-free music loops, audio effects, and virtual instruments, extensive online user resources including video tutorials and quality customer support, in a very easy to use, intuitive package. 

There are hundreds of audio editing options with a wide variety of feature sets that can cost anywhere between $0 and a lot of $'s. If you use any Android or iDevices, you'll have even more options in the app store.


HOSTING

Once you've recorded your podcast, it's time to figure out hosting. Again, you have a lot of options and various price points. 

We use a service called Podbean. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and stats for only $9 a month. Since this is the only service we've used, it's hard to say how much better the various features are, but I can say set up was very straight forward and we're available on virtually every podcasting platform. 

If you want to go even further by building a high quality, easy to update website, use Shopify. Shopify is first and foremost an ecommerce-centric website builder platform, and while you could use a platform like Squarespace to manage your content, if you think about your podcast as both a brand and a product, Shopify makes a lot more sense. We use Shopify because, quite frankly, it's a great platform with a lot of applications and tools that make marketing and monetizing your content easier than ever.

Paid ads and premium content aren't the only ways to monetize your podcast. Merchandise is a great way to generate a little extra revenue for a podcast with even a modest following. You have a couple options when you're looking at t-shirts and other merch. You could invest up front, this will allow you to make a lot more per sale, but comes with liability - you could be stuck with a shirt that nobody wants, and unless you're willing to make a big investment in merch, you're going to be limited when it comes to designs and product types (men's, women's, hoodies, tank tops, etc...) The best thing you can do, with no upfront cost, other than time, is a print on demand service like The Printful. We use The Printful for all of our merch. Their customer service is great, the setup and integration with Shopify is quick and simple. Between options, service, and quality, you can't go wrong with The Printful

All you have to do is upload your design, pick the products and options, and publish it. You can sign up this afternoon and start selling merch by tonight -- it's that simple. 

Sure, you're not going to make as much per-shirt, but having no upfront costs and the ability to test every imaginable design and product combination, more than makes up for it. And, if you hit on a design that people really like and sells really well, you can switch to a more cost effective option. 

Podcasting should be fun, so don't let getting started stress you out. 

Just remember: You don't have to spend a fortune to get professional results. 

I hope you've found our suggestions helpful. I'll continue to expand on this post as I upgrade equipment and check back soon for my quick and dirty live stream set up. 

If you have any questions about fine tuning your set up, we would be glad to help you out.

Twitter: @rushing_attack

Facebook: Facebook.com/rushingattack

Or just leave a comment below. 


Father John Misty - "Total Entertainment Forever" [Official Music Video] April 26, 2017 10:01

Here's the video for "Total Entertainment Forever" (from the album Pure Comedy)  starring George Washington, Kurt Cobain, Jon Arbuckle and Father John Misty. It was directed by Adam Green and was shot on location at a McDonald's in Florence.

 

 


OMG THERE IS A NEW TRAILER FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI April 14, 2017 12:44

It's here, y'all. IT'S HERE. 

 

 

Just look at all that glorious pew pewing in space. Like some sort of space battle or something.


John Daly is a National Treasure April 13, 2017 11:56

Behold! A barefooted John Daly uses a beer can as a tee and proceeds to chug the beer:
[via: Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday]

Workday Distraction April 12, 2017 09:43

Every good TV show is back, and it feels like every show coming back is good. Hell, Better Call Saul is one of the best shows on TV, and it's like the 3rd best show that returns(ed) this week. 

Subscribe to the Rushing Attack Podcast:
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You know what they say: "You don't even have to have a job to get distracted."


Workday Distraction April 03, 2017 12:49

Spring Football, WrestleMania, College Basketball, new movie trailers, crazy people yelling!?!? It's time for the Workday Distraction.

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Nothing to do and no where to go-o-oh I want to be distracted:

  • First. Lets just appreciate this very upset person saying increasingly crazy things:

Let's All Remember When Kansas Beat Texas in OT March 31, 2017 11:04

Hopefully these highlights from the Kansas Jayhawks' overtime win over the Texas Longhorns will help you get through the off-season.


The New Silicon Valley Season 4 Trailer Looks Rad March 29, 2017 15:02

Look at what the internet just gave us:

 

April 23rd cant get here soon enough.


OMG OMG: The New Spider-Man Homecoming Trailer! March 28, 2017 10:24

It looks like they might be getting it right this time.

Workday Distraction March 27, 2017 10:30

It's a nice time of year. We've got the Final Four, college baseball is in conference play, and we have spring football games coming up! It's wonderful!

Subscribe to the Rushing Attack Podcast:
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Lets get started:

  • Nerf John Wick? Nerf John Wick:
     
  • We've added two new sections to our website! Outdoor Gear & Everyday Carry
    • We've spent hours and hours digging into Amazon in an effort to find the best gear at the best price. These are products we use from brands we trust at prices we like. It's that simple. When you find something you like, just lick "Buy Now" and you'll be taken to Amazon where you can securely process your order. We get a teeny tiny cut of each sale. 
    • Sometimes you get K'edTFO so hard you fight the ref because now you have brain damage:
    • Did you know that during the fall and short winter days the testicles of Siberian hamsters change dramatically in size. You did? That's weird.

     

    Lastly, SUPA HOT FIRE vs YOU the Rap Battle: 

     


      Workday Distraction March 20, 2017 09:47

      The first weekend of Spring Turkey is over. I didn't get a turkey. 

      Subscribe to the Rushing Attack Podcast:


      Lets get this party started:

      • Want to get in shape, but don't have the time? Let Chop & Steel help!
         
      • We've added two new sections to our website! Outdoor Gear & Everyday Carry
        • We've spent hours and hours digging into Amazon in an effort to find the best gear at the best price. These are products we use from brands we trust at prices we like. It's that simple. When you find something you like, just lick "Buy Now" and you'll be taken to Amazon where you can securely process your order. We get a teeny tiny cut of each sale. 

      • Top 5 Reasons to Live in a Van Down by the River

      • Since you'll be sleeping by a river, you'll want one of the best selling, highest rated waterproof Bluetooth speakers available. Good news. It's on sale and you can get it in 2 days w/ Amazon prime.
        • Literal Rock Music: 

           

          • "In that first week, the search engaged about 15 dogs and 200 people on foot, horseback, and ATV. An infrared-equipped airplane from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control flew over the area. Collin’s brother Tanner set up a GoFundMe site that paid for a helicopter to search for five hours, and a volunteer flew his fixed-wing aircraft in the canyon multiple times. A guy with a drone buzzed the steep embankments along Highway 17, the closest paved road, and the rock formation Faith, which has a cross on top. A $10,000 reward was posted for information. How far could a shirtless kid in running shoes get"? 

          • Wait. Was this intentional

          • The Homesick Texas cookbook is filled with flavorful comfort food. There's no cream-of-fill-in-the-blank soup in here. It's all from scratch. Some of the recipes are easy-peasy, and some are much more involved. It's our go-to cookbook when we're entertaining, or just trying to do something different. If you love the food in Texas, you wont be disappointed.
            • Lane Kiffin is almost certainly lying to Colin Cowherd about that weird recruiting video:

               

               


              LOOK AT ALL OF THESE ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GETTING MURDERED BY A WEIRD ALIEN:


              Workday Distraction March 13, 2017 12:57

              Face it. Your bracket is already busted and the first game hasn't been played. It is my understanding that busted brackets are bad news. So, stop dwelling on things you have no control over and enjoy our collection of interesting news stories. 

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              Here is a bunch of stuff we like from last week:

              •  We've added two new sections to our website! Outdoor Gear & Everyday Carry
                • We've spent hours and hours digging into Amazon in an effort to find the best gear at the best price. These are products we use from brands we trust at prices we like. It's that simple. When you find something you like, just lick "Buy Now" and you'll be taken to Amazon where you can securely process your order. We get a teeny tiny cut of each sale. 
                •  Super Deluxe just wants to help unlock all these magical mysteries, like, who is Alex Jones?

                 

                • Ever since the election of Donald Trump, we have been treated to periodic semi-serious think pieces by liberals saying that blue states should form their own country. Hey—shut the fuck up!!

                 

                 

                • Is are you vulnerable to the CIA's hacking tools? Maddox is here to help:

                 

                This is that song all the kids are into these days: