Podcasting Equipment – What I Recommend

redroomI get a lot of emails from people asking about podcasting. The questions are usually something similar to:

“How do I get started podcasting?”


“What equipment do you use to record RED Podcast?”

Below are two different hardware options — one for beginners and one listing what I use to record RED Podcast. Below the hardware lists are links to the software we use, which will work with either setup.

Don’t have a clue about how to use this stuff? Check out School of Podcasting for a low-cost training option.

The Basic Hardware Setup – Use This If You’re Just Getting Started

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone

If you have a computer, this is the only piece of hardware you need to get started podcasting. It’s a solid and flexible mic that will grow with you. It has both USB and XLR connection options which allow you to plug it straight into your computer or use a standard mixer or digital audio interface. There is also a built-in headphone jack, which makes recording interviews with Skype a breeze.

The “RED” Hardware Setup

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone

As mentioned above, this mic has both USB and XLR connections. To record RED, we use the XLR going into a Mackie 1202VLZ4 mixer.

atr2100Why do I use a “cheap” mic?

When I decided to upgrade our podcasting setup, the original plan was to use Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphones, which is what I’ve used in broadcast radio. But RED is a podcast, not a radio show. And the Audio-Technica ATR2100 sounds amazing, especially for the price. Because of this, we decided to see how far we could take things using these inexpensive mics.

The great thing about the Audio-Technica ATR2100 is that it is both USB and XLR. I think this makes is a great “utility mic” as you can always use it for mobile, direct-to-computer recording should you decided to upgrade your studio mics at a later time.

If you have a computer already, this is the only piece of hardware you need to start a podcast.

CISNO Studio Condenser Mic Microphone Shock Mount With Metal Wind Screen Pop Filter Mask Shield For Recording

popfilterThis thing is cheap. It’s made in China and comes to you in a package marked with broken English. Still, it’s a solid piece of equipment for the price and works well as both a shock mount and pop filter.

Will it last for years? Probably not. If your setup is stationary though and you’re not moving everything around a lot, you’ll get good use out of these.

This is a great match for the Audio-Technica ATR2100 but should work for any similarly sized mic. It won’t work with an Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone or Blue Yeti.

Shure A58WS-RED Red Foam Windscreen for All Shure Ball Type Microphones

windscreenThis is optional, if you use the CISNO Studio Condenser Mic Microphone Shock Mount With Metal Wind Screen Pop Filter Mask Shield For Recording, but for $5 or so, why not?

It fits the Audio-Technica ATR2100 perfectly and will help you to reduce pops and clicks, as well as protect your microphone from damage.

rodeboomRODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm

If you want a good sound from your mic, it needs to be just a couple of inches from your mouth. The best way to help this happen is with a great mic stand.

The RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm  is a solid stand that has two attachment options — you can drill a hole in your desk or table (this is what we did) or use an included clamp.

Do you have to have this? No. The Audio-Technica ATR2100 comes with a tiny tripod stand that works just fine, but do know if you go that route you’re going to have to lean over a lot if you mount it on your desk.

Don’t want to spend $100 for a mic stand? Don’t want to mount something on your desk? On Stage Stands MS7701B Tripod Boom Microphone Stand is a $25 alternative that might be a good option for you.

mackiemixerMackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer

Don’t be intimidated by the number of knobs and buttons — you only need to use about five of them. There is also a great video on YouTube which shows you how to set it up for podcasting.

At most, RED Podcast only has two people in the studio, so this mixer could be seen as overkill. However, it’s the baseline mixer for another advanced feature I need to take the signal to a compressor/gate (see below).

This is a solid piece of equipment that will last for years and, like a lot of cheaper mixers, won’t need to be replaced due to limited features.

Behringer Multicom PRO-XL MDX4600

This is an processing unit that will give your voice a “radio” sound.

behingercompressorThis piece of equipment basically does two things for you…

1. It boosts quiet moments in your podcast so it’s easier for listeners to hear you in common listening situations such as while driving a car or listening via headphones while exercising.

2. The “noise gate” effect cuts down on breathing and background noises. Because these unwanted elements never hit your recording, you’ll save time editing.

Lexicon Alpha Desktop Recording Studio

The downside of the Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer or any other non-USB mixer is that you can’t directly connect it to your computer.  The Lexicon Alpha Desktop Recording Studio solves this problem. lexiconalpha

Note that if you have a USB mixer, you don’t need this piece of hardware.

tascamdr05TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder

It’s nice to have a backup recording in the event something happens to your primary recorder. If you’re recording directly into a computer, something like TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder works great. You simply run an extra cable from your Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer and you’re good to go.

The TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder is also an excellent portable recorder. If you’re planning on doing a lot of interviews with people who can’t come to your studio or aren’t available via Skype, this is a good piece of equipment to have.

Cables And Accessories

TASCAM PS-P515U AC Adapter for Select Portable Digital Recorders

The TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder works on batteries, but it’s nice to be able to plug it in a wall outlet. The whole point of this thing is to make sure you don’t lose a great recording and you’re going to feel like an idiot if your backup recorder dies from lack of battery power.

Hosa Cable STP201 TRS To Dual 1/4 Inch Insert Cable – 3 Feet 3 Inches

This is the cable to connect TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder with the Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer

Mediabridge 3.5mm Male to 2-Male RCA Adapter (6 Feet) – Step Down Design

This is another cable option to connect the TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder with the  Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer

Hosa Cable CPP201 Dual 1/4 Inch To Dual 1/4 Inch Cable – 3.25 Foot

hosacable14dualThese are the cables you’ll need to connect your Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer with Behringer Multicom PRO-XL MDX4600.

You’ll need to order one set of these for every person you have in your studio. In order words, if you have a co-hosted podcast, like RED Podcast, you’ll need two. If you have three people, you’ll need three, etc. The Behringer Multicom PRO-XL MDX4600 can handle up to four people.

onstagerackOnStage RS7030 Rack Stand

This is a basic stand for rack-mounted equipment such as the Behringer Multicom PRO-XL MDX4600. You don’t need this stand, but it’s nice to have if you have limited space. The  Mackie 1202VLZ4 12-Channel Compact Mixer fits nicely at the base, so you can have everything in once place and not take up a ton of room.

Podcasting Software


This recording software is free and it’s amazing. I like it so much that I continue to use it for podcasting even though I have “better” options like ProTools.

Audacity is simple enough that you can learn the basics within an hour or two, but complex and powerful enough that you can take it as far as you want to go.


This is post-processing software that will clean up your audio files and make you sound great. It you have more than one host or are doing an interview, it make sure your levels are balanced. If you have background noise, it will reduce it.


The best way to interview people remotely. If both sides have a good mic, such as Audio-Technica ATR2100, your recording will sound great.

Call Recorder (Mac) or Pamela (PC)

Skype doesn’t have a built-in recording option, so use one of these options to get everything on tape.