Luke and I get numerous emails and phone calls asking how to launch a podcast and what equipment we use. Most podcasters love to go all "inside Baseball" and discuss the nitty-gritty, but that generally makes for lame content. So here is a list of what we are using.
Microphone: Shure Beta 78A. This supercardioid microphone is amazing at canceling out environmental noise. You want this if your A/C unit is close at hand. For about $250 it isn't cheap, but it certainly isn't the $400 Heil PR40 that many podcasters long for. Here is where I got the idea for it: Marco.org.
Focusrite Scarlet 2i2. This is purely a USB box that takes the microphone cable and turns it into 1's and 0's for the computer to understand. My headphones plug in here and that gives us direct monitoring. This also supplies phantom power, which is required for the Shure Beta.
dbx 286s microphone pre-amp. This pre-amp up's our game by helping cancel out additional room noise with dedicated hardware nobs. We both have one and it really helps the audio before it ever enters the computer. The microphone goes directly into this, and then from this into the USB box.
Apple iMac computer. I use this for audio capture and editing. This gives me access to a world of Apple third-party software.
Boom arm from Røde. A boom arm adjusts your microphone so its always in the right place. Highly recommended, but with the Shure Beta microphone, you can hold it in your hand (unlike the Heil PR40).
Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitor Headphones. These things produce a great neutral sound for about $80 and are "closed back," which means the sound stays in your ears and doesn't pour into your microphone. That's called leakage and that's bad. When people are talking to you, you want their voice in their mic, not your mic.
Skype. Everything starts with Skype, which is free. Entire million-dollar networks are built on this stupid thing. Alternatives exist, but simply do not have ease-of-use combine with robust audio quality.
ECAMM Call Recorder. This third-party software integrates completely with Skype. We have it set to only record the audio in high-quality AAC files. This is back up, because whatever noises Skype makes, Call Recorder picks up. If Skype gets wonky and makes those weird digital noises, Call Recorder picks it up. However, it's easy to use and records two tracks- one for me, one for everyone else. If we have multiple guests, they are all on the second track with Luke, which can be a huge problem if someone is coughing or something while someone else is talking. Sometimes Luke will send me his Call Recorder file and I'll spend a lot of time editing out the conflicting audio.
QuickTime Player. When you hear Luke counting down, it's because we are about to hit record on QuickTime. This little guy is a heavy lifter and produces some huge audio files for us. Almost every show is recorded with QuickTime on each of our ends and I mash up the files in post-production. This is called a "double-ender" and it's awesome.
Piezo, by Rogue Amoeba. This is a super-dedicated little guy. Its whole task is to record audio from an application. This is how I capture those YouTube clips. This is also a back up (or replacement) for ECAMM's Call Recorder because you can get it on the Mac Apple Store and it's shared with up to 5 devices, so it is on my iMac and my MacBook Air when traveling.
Logic Pro X. From day one we never used GarageBand. Plenty of people do because it is powerful and free on every Mac. I went pro and have never looked back. I use it for Strip-Silence, Shift+F, and easy volume and gain tweaks.
Pixelmator. To make album and chapter artwork, I use Pixelmator. It's fairly simple to use and very easy to intuit. There are a lot of powerful features, but I still to the easy stuff for now.
Future Software from Rogue Amoeba
Rogue Amoeba is an amazing audio-focused software company. They build some incredible stuff. I own a bunch of it but have not invested the time to make it awesome.
Audio HiJack 3 is incredible and kind of a miracle. It's super clear and clean interface lets you drag-and-drop entire audio pathways and channels. I've seen other podcasters use it like a beast (Jason Snell), and I am covetous. I own it, but haven't mastered it to the point where I think I can use it well.
LoopBack lets you turn your computer into a high end mixing board. It can take audio from any application and spit it out in any other direction. So, you can bring music in from iTunes and pipe it to your guests.
Nicecast creates an Internet Radio Station for your podcast. This is what I will get when it's time to go live with Catching Foxes.
Farrago was just released this week. It lets you quickly play sound bites or other audio clips on your show. So if you recorded a short interview, you can play it and then discuss. Or you can have some funny sound effects at the ready, if you like that short of thing.