Updated: Feb. 5th, 2021

Shortcut

This is the fastest path to a great podcast. If you prefer the scenic route and are curious to learn the why behind our recommendations, keep scrolling to discover how we got here.

1: Best Overall Option

Computer

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage)

$1350

The Shure SM7 is our top choice for the best podcasting microphone for most voices. It is one of the most durable microphones you can own and will sound great for years to come.

Microphone

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

$399

The Shure SM7 is our top choice for the best podcasting microphone for most voices. It is one of the most durable microphones you can own and will sound great for years to come.

Preamp

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

$230

SSL has a great legacy in pro audio and this desktop microphone preamp and monitor controller will grow with you. It sounds great and fits well on any desktop.

XLR Cable  (Buy 2)

Hosa HMIC-010 Pro Microphone Cable, REAN XLR3F to XLR3M Connectors, 10 feet Cable Length

$15 Each

You will need an XLR cable to connect the Shure SM7B to the SSL2+ and if you take our recommendation and buy the Cloudlifter then you will need 2.

Broadcast Boom Arm

Blue Compass Premium Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm

$99

This will hold the SM7B and do two things for you, allow you to move the mic out of the way when it's not in use, and give you the feeling that you are the pro you know you are.

Cloud Lifter

Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator

$149

This is one of those oddball pieces of the puzzle that you will be happy you bought - Long story short - the SM7B has a low output and if you turn up the microphone preamp gain too high you get more noise. This will give you a clean nice sounding recording from the start.

Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Closed-Back Monitor Headphones

$149

Headphones can be such a personal choice but in the world of informal polls these rise to the top of the list more than any of the others. And I personally use them.

Audio Production Software - Record / Edit / Mix

Descript

$24/mo

This is my new favorite new audio software. Period. It moves the production of audio forward in such a great way. Collaborative from the ground up. Edit audio (and video) like text. Mind expanding.

Audio Production Software - Clean up distractions, pops, clicks, etc.

RX 8 Standard

$399

This is the standard for cleaning up audio and taking out all of the unwanted noise, clicks, pops, and more. This will take your production to the next level.

Podcast Hosting

Transistor.fm

$19/mo

Lots of great choices out there but after lots of research I went with the team at Transistor.fm to host all of the Podcasts for Kind and Curious, starting with The Daily Kind.

2: Best Low Cost Option

Coming soon....

3. Resources

NPR

This is labeled as a student guide but in this list are some amazing resources.

Starting Your Podcast: A Guide For Students

And this is in the above list but I wanted to call it out on its own if you just need to level up your audio quality.

The producer’s handbook to mixing audio stories
Whether you’re making a podcast or audio documentary, this in-depth guide will help you improve the quality of your mixes.

And here are two other guides that I think are very well done:

  1. Transistor.fm: How To Start A Podcast
  2. Buzzsprout: How To Make A Podcast

The Compass: How We Got Here

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. " –Edward Abbey
Photo by Soundtrap / Unsplash

The Human Voice

The human voice is a wonder. Before we are able to see the world, we hear it. I spoke to my kids all the time in the womb. With a few words we are able to understand when someone is full of joy or experiencing deep despair. Pitch and timbre and time allow us to pass information from one generation to the next through stories told in a magical dance of really nothing more that the movement of air. So if you are looking to build trust or community there is really no better medium than a podcast. It's the reason  I choose to start Kind and Curious with The Daily Kind, a short podcast delivered each weekday to help keep people inspired to raise humans ready for anything.

Why should you listen to me?

As someone who has spent my entire career in the field of audio, I am a huge fan of podcasts and advocate for them all the time. But to get started there are some technical hurdles to get over, and with an overwhelming amount of information about how to begin, I often get asked how to cut through the noise.

One of the goals I made when I decided to start Kind and Curious was to share the journey of starting a business from nothing, the ups and downs, what tools I am using and anything else that someone might be able to learn from. This turned into a YouTube series called Building Kind and Curious where I talk openly about what is working and what is not.

In this post I will share what I am personally using at the moment, and some ideas on what else might work for you.

Why do you want to start a podcast in the first place?

This is the first question you will want to ask yourself and then do your best to answer it honestly. Something I have learned the hard way is that it can be hard to sustain a content pipeline, even in a field that you may know well. As an audio professional I have started or helped out with multiple shows and I can say from experience that putting out a show on a consistent basis is a commitment that you do not want to undertake lightly.

That said, if you have a message that you are passionate about, or a community of people that you are serving who can benefit from hearing your voice and perspective, then get going and don't look back. Even with all of the challenges that will present themselves, podcasting is a fun, engaging way to connect with people that does not require all of the additional complexity of video.

Ready to learn more? Let's take the scenic route.

The Scenic Route

A deep dive into the choices here with some audio samples, before and after and more.

Coming soon....

Photo by Soundtrap / Unsplash/un
Photo by Soundtrap / Unsplash