The Tech You Need to Start Your Own Podcast

In the past couple of years, podcasts have become increasingly popular. Whether you drive or use transit they’re great companions on commutes to work and can be both informative and entertaining. The great thing about podcasts is that they span such a wide variety of topics that you can always find one that appeals to your individual interests. But what if you have something to say? What if you have a great idea for an interesting podcast that you think others might enjoy? Well, the great news is that starting your own podcast is relatively simple, especially with the right technology. Basically, if you’re a beginner with limited technical and audio experience, I recommend one of two ways to get started.

Option 1: Bumpers

Bumpers is an app I discovered recently that makes creating and editing your own podcast a breeze. Bumpers is an iPhone app that allows you to record and edit your podcast episodes right on your iPhone—no muss, no fuss. To record, Bumpers uses your iPhone’s built-in microphone. Once you’ve recorded the audio, the app automatically stabilizes your audio and breaks it up into tiny phrases. These tiny phrases can be moved around, removed, or rerecorded easily. You can even add sound effects. This makes the editing an engaging podcast a breeze.

Once you have your podcast, Bumpers makes it easy to share it on social media or embed it on your website. You can also upload it on for others to discover.

Option 2: Basic Computer Set-Up

If you don’t have an iOS device or simply prefer to have a more robust set-up, you might want to go with a basic computer set-up. To do this, all you need is a computer and a good quality microphone. While many laptops have mics built-in, I recommend picking up a USB microphone instead. The quality you’ll get with an external mic will be far superior, simplifying the task of editing your podcast. Generally, the more you spend on a mic, the better the audio you’ll get. That being said, for beginners I recommend going with something like the Blue Yeti. This mic is very highly rated and won’t break the bank.

When it comes to editing, there are a lot of options for editing software out there but I recommend Audacity. It’s not only beginner-friendly but it’s open source and free. Since many podcasters use it, there are also a lot of resources out there to help you learn how to use it—just hop on over to YouTube and search for tutorials. If you’re a Mac user, another free option is Garage Band, which is pre-installed on all Macs. Personally, I prefer Audacity but if you’re not keen on downloading new software, give Garage Band a go.

Now that you have everything you need to record and edit your podcast, you’ll want to learn about the process of actually starting your podcast: things like finding a topic, planning episodes, and publishing. There are a number of resources online to help you with this process but I find that this overview is a great place to start.

By Mike Agerbo

November 01, 2016