A lot of people who like the Freedom Feens ask me what gear they should buy for starting a podcast. We use a lot of advanced gear we’ve built up over the years. But if you don’t have five grand to spend, I’ll tell you what I would use if I were starting out now.
I’ve recommended various things over the years, but lately, the winner for those on a budget is the Blue Yeti microphone. This is a one-stop solution for starting to record decent sounding audio without the need for pre-amps, mixers, mic stands, etc.
Coming in at about 100 dollars retail (get it HERE on Amazon), the Blue Yeti looks cool, has a built-in pre-amp, built-in mic stand, and has control knobs for both input and output. You plug your headphones directly into it.
Stephanie Murphy and Derrick J are using one and they sound great.
I’d recommend you put a folded-up t-shirt under the stand, so you’ll not pick up the vibrations from touching the table.
These mics aren’t only good for podcasting, they’d also be great conference Skype calls or for people who do a lot of radio interviews. This mic over Skype will sound WAY better than a phone on radio. (Will someone please tell Ron Paul that before his next interview????)
The Yeti has several settings, you’ll want to use Cardioid mode for podcasting. You can monitor latency-free with the onboard pre-amp, signal processing and headphone jack.
I’d recommend using closed-headphones (i.e. not old “Walkman-style” headphones or iBuds that will leak echo into the unit). If you’re on a budget, get these $14 Sony headphones. But if you can spend $99 on headphones, these Sony ones are amazing, and I use them. I’ve owned two pair since 2006 and they’re great. They’re in almost every radio studio and recording studio I’ve ever visited.
Get some cheap foam windscreens. A foam windscreen will prevent “plovisves” (popping on B, D and P sounds) and sibilance (SSSSSSSS sounds on S and C sounds). Standard ones are too small, but these cheap ones (ten dollars for five windscreens) will stretch over top of the Yeti.
You’ll get better audio if you sound condition the room you record in. That can be done for free (Michael’s article “Quick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning” is HERE) or cheap (Michael’s article “Permanent Sound Conditioning in Three Hours for $250″ is HERE).
For recording and editing software, I’d recommend Audacity, which is free, and available for PC, Mac and Linux. Get it here.
For hosting, I use HostGator. I’ve tried a lot of web hosts over the years, and love HostGator.
Below are examples of the Yeti. The part recorded with the Yeti starts at 34 seconds in to the video;