OK. You’ve decided that you want to start a podcast, or an internet radio station. How much is it going to cost to get set up? As always, the answer to this question really depends on exactly what you want to achieve.

Look at your ambitions realistically. Is this a serious commercial venture, or more of a curious interest or hobby?

How many “live” voices will be on your program at once? Is it just you speaking, or will you have a co-host in the same room? Will you be taking telephone callers?

If it’s just you speaking, you might start small with a portable digital recorder for around $100 (Tascam DR-05, for example). This is a good low-cost way to try out this hobby, and it’s a good first piece that you will continue to use if your ambitions eventually grow more serious. With a portable recorder, you can record your talk for the day, and you can use it to record a live interview with a guest. Then transfer the recording to your computer, and edit it for use on your broadcast.

If that’s as far as you plan to go, then you are all set, and haven’t spent a lot of money. However, you can always grow from this humble beginning…

If you will be performing your program live, you will need a mixer. An audio mixer is the heart of the studio setup. Everything connects to the mixer. Everything is controlled by the mixer. You will add microphones, headphones, speakers, and other audio sources that will be used to create the show. The mixer can connect by USB cable to your computer for recording. Mixers suitable for start-up studios begin around $150, and can go up as far as your requirements demand.

We have assembled a number of basic podcasting packages in various configurations. One of these may be a perfect fit for you. Several of the packages include the Podcast Solutions book, an excellent “training manual” that will teach you the techniques to make a professional-sounding presentation.

To capture a live telephone conversation requires a digital hybrid, which starts around $400. Don’t try to cut corners here. To do telephone audio successfully, you need a digital hybrid. An analog hybrid or a “coupler” just won’t do. See a more detailed discussion of this in an earlier posting here.

Your ambitions may take your equipment to remote broadcasting locations with high-quality IP codec connections, or to more elaborate performance studio setups. Every studio is unique and different.

Decide what you want to do with your program now, and what you plan to do with it in the future. Write it down. Then contact us with your list of goals. We’ll direct you to the gear that’s appropriate for your level of commitment (hobby or pro), and your budget.


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