How to Record a Podcast

Starting a podcast means quality and professionalism

Getting the perfect sound for your podcast is as easy as investing in the right podcast equipment, learning best recording techniques, and being prepared.

If you’re on a budget, good podcast equipment can be obtained at an inexpensive price, and it doesn’t cost any money to practice your podcasting skills before starting a podcast.

Choose Podcast Equipment That’s Right for You

There’s a lot to consider when you’re learning how to make a podcast. First, you have to decide what type of podcast equipment you’ll need.

The equipment needed for a podcast is at a minimum, a microphone, podcast recording software, and a file storage device. You could also record a podcast with your smartphone or digital recorder, but if you want quality sound and more flexibility on a budget, buy the best microphone you can afford, use free recording software, and store the audio files on your computer.

Professional quality microphones, like the ones used in recording studios, are very sensitive and pick up every sound. Choose a cardioid microphone that only records the sounds directly in front of it.

Script Your Podcast Before Your Begin

"Uhms," "Ahhs," and other hesitant sounds are likely to turn your audience away from your podcast. While it's possible to remove these distractions from your audio files, it may be more practical to outline what you want to say in your podcast.

When you prepare and practice before pressing the record button, you’ll feel more confident. When you feel more confident, it carries through in your voice. A podcast script helps you breeze past those awkward moments when you’re not sure what to say. And you’ll save time editing the audio file.

Podcast Software

There are hundreds of podcast recording software applications and the one you choose is up to you, but we’ll show you how to use Audacity to record a podcast. Audacity is free to download and works on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux.

Before you record your first podcast, practice with your microphone and podcast recording software. You’ll get a quality sound by improving your recording location and your speaking techniques.

A screenshot showing a recorded podcast
  1. Select your microphone. The podcast recording software may use your computer’s microphone by default. Make sure the microphone you'll be using to record the podcast is selected.

  2. Start recording. Select the Record button and begin speaking into the microphone. If you need to take a break, select Pause to stop recording. When you’re ready to pick up where you left off, select Record again.

  3. Stop recording. When you’re finished recording your podcast, select Stop.

  4. Save the recording. Don’t lose your work. Save the podcast recording as an MP3 file.

  5. Review the recording. Before you upload your podcast to your podcast host, listen to it. There may be sounds in the recording you don’t want listeners to hear.

  6. Improve your podcast audio quality. You can either edit the audio file to remove unwanted sounds, or you can change how and where you record your podcasts.

Produce a Quality Sound with Your Microphone

When it comes to professional sounding podcasts, it’s all about the microphone and how you use it. Your podcast will have the best sound if you know how to use your microphone correctly. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep the microphone stable. Avoid placing the microphone on uneven or vibrating surfaces.
  • Place the microphone so it's level with your mouth and a few inches away. If you get too close your recording will sound mumbled.
  • Use a pop filter to eliminate the popping and hissing sounds your mouth makes when speaking.
  • Use a windscreen when you’re recording in a windy outdoor location.

Record Your Podcast in a Quiet Room

If you’re still getting unwanted background sounds, find a quiet place to record your podcast. Ideally, you’ll want a room that's soundproof and contains elements that absorb sounds.

If you don’t have access to a recording studio, here are some tips to make any location as noise-free as possible:

  • Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans. Air movement causes echo and other feedback.
  • Close the windows. This will reduce background noise from passing cars, kids playing in the street, etc.
  • Fill your recording area with soft objects. Something as simple as hanging blankets on the walls can absorb sounds.