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How to Build a Home Podcast Studio

It’s easy to set up a recording studio in your living room. Published: June 17, 2019

Want to start your own podcast, but have no idea where to begin? Look no further. In the video above, podcast pro Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan breaks down the equipment you need to start recording today. Spoiler: you don’t need a fancy production studio.

Kappy is the Host and Executive Producer of Beyond the Plate, a podcast featuring the careers and social impact of world-renowned chefs like Massimo Bottura, Guy Fieri, and Rachael Ray. He started podcasting from ground zero, with no equipment and no experience. “I learned through a decent amount of trial and error,” he recalls. “There are no real rules in the podcast world—it’s the wild, wild west.”

You can spend hours researching on the “wild, wild west” that is Google, or you can watch this five minute tutorial and learn everything you need to build your own successful podcast. There’s not a whole lot to it: “All you really need is six or seven pieces of equipment to get started at home,” says Kappy. “Producing a podcast does not have to be a huge ordeal.” Watch the video to see him unpack his kit in real time, and keep on reading for detailed information on each product.


AUDIO RECORDING ESSENTIALS:

Recorder

His Pick: Zoom H6 Handy Recorder - $399.99
Why: “The zoom H6 is an extremely affordable, high quality piece of equipment that major bands have recorded music on. It allows you to record anywhere from one to six people.”

Memory Card

His Pick: SanDisk 64GB Ultra UHS-I SDXC Memory Card - $13.49
Why: “I have a 64 gig, which allows me to record for something like a hundred hours. It’s a ton, probably way more than I need. Quite frankly, right after you record, you should be backing up your audio right away to your computer or an external hard drive. But [a large memory card] gives some peace of mind.”

App for Recording Phone Interviews

His Pick: ecamm Call Recorder for Skype - $39.95
Why: “After researching what some of the leading podcasters use, and trying a few applications on my own, I found this app gives the best audio quality when doing a phone interview. It's easy to use and reasonably priced. Best of all, it allows you to record on separate tracks/audio files rather than one file, which is hugely helpful when editing. While I use this app, I simultaneously speak into my microphone using the zoom to make sure my audio is crisp and clear. It's kind of insurance for my end of the audio.”

Microphone Cable

His Pick: Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable - 6' - $16.99
Why: “This plugs your microphone into the recorder. I have a 6’ cord. I'm usually sitting around a table, so technically a 3’ cord would work for me, but I like to have the slack should I need to spread out or come closer to my interviewee.”

Microphone

His Pick: Shure SM58-LC Vocal Microphone - $99.00
Why: “This is a dynamic cardioid microphone, which captures what you speak directly into the mic, instead of picking up all the noise around you. For these interviewing purposes, you just want to capture the voices, so the cardioid mic is what you're after. If I were recording in a kitchen and I wanted to record turning a steak in a pan and capture the sizzle, I’d go with a microphone that picks up all 360° noise.”

Desktop Mic Stand

His Pick: Hamilton Stands KB810M Nu-Era Tabletop Mic Stand with Bag and Mic Clip - $8.99
Why: “Sometimes the interview subject may not have proper form when holding the microphone; they might wave it back and forth and not talk into it... This is a great fix. It encourages them to stay put in front of the microphone, and it’s easy to adjust up and down depending on how tall they are.”

Headphones

His Pick: Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Monitor Headphones - $69.00
Why: “Technically you don't need headphones, but any audio engineer would say you should use them. It would be like shooting TV without looking through the camera—how do you know what you're looking at? These are noise isolating, not noise canceling. You don't want noise canceling because you want to know if there is noise that's leading into your microphone, if there's an air conditioner humming or a fire truck going by.”

Anti-Fidgeting Toy

His Pick: PILPOC Fidget Cube - $12.99
Why: “Even though the microphone is really high quality, it's still going to pick up external noise. So if you're sitting there picking your fingernails or tapping the desk or clicking a pen, it is going to pick that up. I bought this to give to interviewees to play with in their lap. It keeps their hand away from the microphone or the cord.”

POST-PRODUCTION TOOLS:

Editing Software

“There are tons of different options for editing tools. There are free ones such as Audacity, which do the job if you're just starting out, and then there are ones that are a little more professional such as Adobe Audition, which is what I use. Audition is a comprehensive toolset that includes multi-track, waveform, and spectral display for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content. The software is designed to accelerate audio finishing. Audition and other paid tools have better workflows, but free ones like Audacity can work in a pinch.”

Distribution Platform

Libsyn is one of the leading podcast distributors out there. It’s an all-in-one distribution platform that shoots out [your final product] to Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever network you're looking to distribute. There are tons of different [payment] levels, starting at $5.00 a month and going up to $75.00 a month. I pay $20.00, which allows me the storage I need and also allows me a look into certain metrics, like what city or country people are downloading from and what platform they're using.”



This episode of part of Kits, our set of curated shopping lists for real life situations. Furnishing your first apartment? Outfitting your kitchen? Hosting a dinner party? We chart guidelines for success.

Curated By

Host and Executive Producer of Beyond the Plate, a podcast exploring the careers and social impact of the world's best chefs and culinary industry heavyweights.

Andrew Kaplan

Host and Executive Producer
Frances Thomas profile picture

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor
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