Setting up your podcast studio might sound like a big, scary project, but in reality, it’s one of the simplest things you’ll do when starting a podcast.
Setting up Your Podcast Studio
It probably doesn’t seem simple to you right now because, well, you’re over-complicating it.
Your podcast studio equipment
I’ve been podcasting since August 2014, and since August 2014 my podcast studio has never had more 3 pieces of equipment that help me record my podcast:
- MacBook Pro laptop
- A USB mic (ATR2100) plugged into my laptop
- Apple Earbuds
I’ve recorded over 250 episodes with what I consider to be very high audio quality, and while that’s not just thanks to my 3-piece equipment setup, it does prove that you don’t have to have the most expensive microphone or even a mixer to do it right.
Your recording environment
So if it’s not just thanks to my equipment, what else is involved in setting up your podcast studio?
Well, your recording environment (where your podcast studio is physically set up) has A LOT to do with it, too.
But when I say it has a lot to do with it, I don’t mean that you have to have a fancy recording studio with padding on the walls and noise-cancelling windows.
My podcast studio is set up in an extra bedroom in our house (my office) – not in a recording studio or a room that cost me thousands of dollars to build. While this is super convenient and I love it, it sometimes means I have to get creative when I record.
For example, what if my neighbor decides to do yard work when I’m recording?
Most podcast studio complications have to do with your environment, and they come into play when:
- You’re not prepared
- Something unexpected happens
Logically, what can you do to avoid these complications?
- Make sure you’re prepared
- Have a backup plan for the unexpected
Being prepared to record
Let’s cover being prepared first.
Being prepared to record a podcast episode has everything to do with having the right equipment setup, which we’ve already proven is super simple, and being in a conducive recording environment.
A conducive recording environment is one where you can control:
- The noise level,
- The echo, and
- Your surroundings (to a realistic extent).
So if your living room happens to be a place where your kids hang out, play, and watch TV – because there is no other place in the house for them to do those things, or for whatever reason – then guess what? That’s not a conducive recording environment.
If your kitchen table is next to the front door, and every time someone walks down your street your dog starts barking uncontrollably, then guess what? That’s not a conducive recording environment.
If your sitting area is a larger space with just one chair, a love seat, no carpeting and concrete walls, then the echo is likely going to be pretty intense. And guess what?…
So where is a space in your home or office where you have control over the noise level, the echo, and your surroundings?
If you’re able to find a space where you have control over the noise level and your surroundings, but the echo is giving you trouble, then there are loads of quick fixes that can help.
Some examples include:
- Putting down an area rug
- Hanging sound-absorbing artwork on the walls or using sound panels
- Closing your curtains so the sound doesn’t bounce off windows
- Creating a barrier around your equipment with a portable booth
Making sure your podcast studio is prepared for recoding isn’t hard to do, and this preparation will save you from having to deal with recurring recording issues moving forward.
Having a backup plan
Aside from making sure your podcast studio is setup in a controlled environment, it’s also important to have a backup plan, you know, for those times when things happen that aren’t in your control.
Maybe your 4-year old wasn’t able to go to daycare today because she’s sick, and so your day has suddenly shifted.
Maybe your neighbor decided to do yard work on a different day than usual, and so you’re competing with lawnmowers and voices outside your window.
Whatever the unforeseen circumstances may be, you should always have a backup plan.
For example, if your 4-year old is home instead of in daycare, then shift your recording schedule for after your significant other gets home and can watch them.
If you don’t have anyone like that, then schedule your recording for when your 4-year old is better and can go back to daycare.
This is a perfect example of why we recommend always being one month ahead of your recording schedule: you’ll never be a situation where your 4-year old getting sick causes you to miss publishing an episode on time.
If your neighbor is doing yard work on an off day, then think about another place in your house where you can record – perhaps your bedroom closet so you can shut the door and be in a tight, quiet space.
Sound super strange?
It’s really not; the closet is actually a very popular place to record episodes because it’s a very controlled environment (by default – they’re typically not that big), plus, you’ve got all your clothes in there to absorb the sound!
I know people who literally choose to record every single episode in their closet – that is their recording studio.
Luckily, with a 3-piece equipment setup, you’re able to pickup and move around the house when necessary.
Your podcast studio setup
Your podcast studio setup consists of two things:
- Your equipment
- Your environment
Keep it simple, and be prepared. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that!
Want to check out all of our equipment recommendations, including boom arms, pop filters, and mic flags? We share everything we use and recommend for your podcast equipment here!