The $500 Professional Podcast Studio (for remote & local recordings)

Podcasting is huge, but the budget for a professional setup doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to build a fully-functional podcast studio with less than $500 that you can use for your own show or even rent out to clients to recoup your investment!

Microphones

First things first, you’re going to need something to talk into and a way to hold it up.

For that I recommend the Audio Technica ATR2100-USB USB/XLR Microphone with Knox Studio Stand and Pop Filter on Amazon

It’s $89 and you get the ATR2100, USB cable, XLR cable, Pop Filter, and Scissor Stand all for less than $100.

There’s many mic/stand bundles floating around the internet and a lot of misinformation around what kinds of microphones are actually good for podcasting (Blue Yetis suck!) so I’ll do a full product review on the ATR2100 in the future but for now here’s the short story of why it’s the best value per dollar microphone in podcasting:

XLR/USB Combo

This is incredible because not only does that mean it can easily record remote interviews over Skype/Zoom/Zencastr/SquadCast by simply plugging the mic into your computer via USB like many beginner podcasters do, but it will also be there for you when it comes time to record yourself & your guests locally in the same room with XLR!

Dynamic Microphone

As if the last point didn’t already confirm the ATR2100 is a dynamic microphone, it is literally classified as a Dynamic microphone because of the way it’s made. I’ll go into more detail in a future article on the differences between Dynamic & Condenser microphones and why you should always use Dynamics for broadcast but for now just trust me, you don’t want Condensers in your podcast studio - they require too much acoustic treatment to sound good on a budget.

Small & Lightweight

At under 2lbs and shorter than a Subway Footlong the ATR2100 can easily grow legs and go wherever you go. If you plan on traveling a lot while still recording your podcast this mic will sound great in almost any environment and is small enough to slip in a purse.

Audio Recorder

Next you need a way to capture sound. Most podcasts are recorded between 2 people, a host and a guest, so if you’re in the same room together you need a way to record 2 microphones - that’s where this bad boy comes in:

The Zoom H4N

Basically all you need to know here is that the H4N has 2 XLR inputs (which allows you to connect & record 2 mics simultaneously) and is an external recording device so you don’t have to worry about your computer crashing mid-recording.

You simply connect the mics, set the gain, and hit record! Then after the session, transferring files is as simple as dumping an SD card just like a camera.

If you need more than 2 microphones you might consider the H4N’s big brother, the Zoom H6 which has 4 XLR inputs.

And honestly, that’s about it.

Headphones are always a nice-to-have and will help a lot with monitoring mic technique, but there’s no need to buy anything expensive. Use whatever you already have or buy a matching pair for your same-room, locally recorded guests.

Acoustic treatment is largely unnecessary with the right microphones, most cases a nice rug on a hardwood floor is enough.

If you’d like to get a checklist overview of the entire podcast production process from preparing guest questions to exporting your final MP3 and everything in between, make sure to grab your FREE copy of the Podcast Production Blueprint here.

Until next time, Happy Podcasting!

~ @bradleydenham

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