voice recording microphone

How to record my voice for a podcast?

You need to record sound if you want to create a podcast. But how do you go about doing that? And what type of equipment do you need for it?

What do I need to record a podcast?

In short: you'll need a microphone and an audio interface in order to record a podcast. A microphone produces an analog sound signal. That may be recorded by producing grooves and scratches on a piece of vinyl, which is then turned into an LP. You may also connect it magnetically to a piece of plastic to make a tape.

These are the traditional, analog approaches. Nowadays, we record sound digitally rather than analog. Even if you wish to record the sound signals digitally, the microphone is still analog. Then you'll need a converter to turn that analog signal into a digital signal.

What is an audio interface?

An AD converter, from analog to digital, is required while recording a podcast. In the production world we call it an audio interface.

Every laptop or PC has a built in sound card as a part of the motherboard, but the quality of that sound card is not very good. So buying a microphone and plugging it directly into your laptop is not a very good idea. Also, avoid using the built-in microphone. An external microphone and a separate audio interface are required for optimum sound quality.

Basic podcast recording setup

The audio interface is a box that uses a USB cable to connect to your computer. Your computer will gain an additional sound source. Your audio interface is also present if you wish to choose a sound source on your computer to record with. Typically, such an audio interface is also a DA converter: it can convert the digital sound from your computer to analog sound, or vice versa. So both 'in' and 'out'.

Then, you can connect an analog microphone to your audio interface, using an XLR audio cable.

Microphone → XLR Cable → Interface → USB Cable → Computer

And then you choose your interface as the source in your computer. This is how the sound from your external microphone gets recorded. This is the most basic configuration.

An audio interface for a talk show podcast

In the traditional talk show structure, multiple speakers sit at a table in a sort of talk show scenario. Then you'll need an interface that can simultaneously transfer sound data from several microphones to the computer. When you attach such an interface to your computer, it produces multiple sound sources. If your audio interface includes four microphone inputs, your computer will have four sound sources. Depending on your audio interface, it can have even more inputs.

Each microphone is connected to the audio interface through a separate XLR cable. A single USB cable connects the audio interface to the Computer system. The individual microphones appear as separate channels on the Computer.

If you need help with professionally recording and mastering your podcast, please don't hesitate to contact us as we have a podcast recording studio at Headline in Brussels.