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Blog Posts

Recording your show - hardware

James VanOsdol

Before you start planning a show, you’ll need to have a way to record it. The options are dizzying, and vary in both quality and cost. While we couldn’t possibly come up with a “definitive list” of equipment resources, we wanted to offer up a handful of starter ideas, based on experience level: rookie and amateur (if you’re a pro, you probably feel pretty secure in the equipment choices you’ve made).

Rookie


Don’t panic if you’ve never recorded audio before; you’ve got this. And all you need is a smart phone.

iPhone users have a built-in voice recording app ready-to-go: Voice Memos. Voice Memos allows you to simply record audio straight into your phone with the push of a big red button. Once a recording’s saved, it can be shared via email and synced to Dropbox.

Voice Memos offers basic editing functionality; if you’re looking for a more expansive set of features, we’ve had good luck with Twisted Wave.

Twisted Wave is a paid app (a pricey $9.99), but its features are pretty much all you could ever need. Besides offering an intuitive suite of editing tools, you can easily share files with iTunes, SoundCloud, Dropbox , Box, and over FTP and email.

If you’re an Android user, you’ll need to download a voice recorder app from Google play. There are plenty of free options, including the commonly-used Smart Voice Recorder and Easy Voice Recorder.

Amateur


If you’ve graduated beyond smartphone recording and want to create more of a “studio” sound for your show, USB microphones (microphones that plug right into a computer) make it easy to do so.

Rivet started in a tiny office space with only a handful of PCs and USB microphones. We got the job done using Blue Micropohones’ “Yeti” mics, but USB mics are also made by a handful of other well-known brands, like Shure and Audio-Technica.

I’ve personally used Blue Microphones’ “Snowball” mic for some of my older podcasts. Snowball mics cost less than half of Yeti’s sticker price (roughly $55 vs. $130 on Amazon), and the Snowball’s sound quality is good enough for amateur-to-midlevel podcasts.

It couldn’t hurt to shop around. Sites like Amazon, Sweetwater and Guitar Center all offer a nice range of products.