record a podcast at home

How to record a podcast at home

Want to start your own podcast, but don’t know where to begin? Recording a podcast became a whole lot easier during the past few years. Here’s a simple guide explaining how to record a podcast at home. 


Find a suitable room

Hard surfaces such as bare walls, floors, and windows echo, which is really not what you want for good quality audio. The ideal recording room is a small one with carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings, which all absorb sound. I record in my linen cupboard. Carpeted bedrooms or facing an open wardrobe are also good options (clothes do a good job of absorbing sound and limiting echo). 

If your only option is a large room without carpets, there are a number of things you can do to limit echo. Drape blankets or towels over any bare surfaces (floor, walls, windows), put cushions on the table/desk in front of you, cover the floor with a blanket and close curtains or blinds.


Choose your microphone

You need a USB (not XLR) mic that plugs directly into your laptop. You’ll also need a desktop stand. This is the only bit of kit you might want to spend money on, but you can upgrade once you’ve got going. Here are three options:


Select your headphones 

You want over-ear headphones (they prevent sound escaping) that you plug into your computer. Ideally, you want a separate mic and headphones. Avoid Bluetooth as the mics usually aren’t great and the battery can cut out mid-recording. These don’t need to be expensive. Here are three options:


Subscribe to a remote recording app

Remote recording apps have made podcasting a whole lot easier in the past couple of years. They also record video so you can upload your podcast to YouTube. I use Riverside which starts at $15/month, but there’s also Zencastr which has a free starter option and Squadcast which starts at $10/month.

You create a virtual studio (like a folder on your computer) and then send a link to your guests. Once you’ve connected to your guest, check they sound ok, then hit record and you’re good to go. 

Once you have the audio, you’ll need to put it together (more on that at a later date). But there are many easy-to-use tools coming on the market that allow you to record, edit and upload in a few steps. 

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All prices are correct as of May 2022. 

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