What Kind of a Computer Do You Need For Podcast Production?

Apple Mac Pro computer on a desk for podcast recording
N with sound waves and audio cord, Nootka Sound logo

Written by Nemanja Koljaja

“A podcast is all about consistency. If you aren’t doing it consistently every week, you aren’t going to get as many views, that’s kind of how it is. It’s just like everything else in social media, if you’re not doing it consistently, no one’s going to listen to you.” This is a quote from our interview with Brett Deister, who is the host and producer for the show Digital Coffee.

It was difficult for Brett starting his podcasting journey and like every new podcast host he had started small. Brett started with a phone app called Roar which recorded the interviews on his phone. He reminisced how he had tried out the Blue Yeti microphone, but had discovered it picks up a lot of background noise. He also realized he needed a mixer. Now he’s using a Rodecaster PRO with an Audio Technica AT2020 microphone.

People would generally shy away from using an XLR mic because of the apparent complexity of using a mixer or an audio interface, even though actually it’s not as complicated as it sounds. For example, what Rodecaster PRO does is simplify the process a lot for people. If you end up needing help with setting up your microphone and your audio interface, make sure to check our episodes that cover those topics. Specifically, Podcasting Basics: Episode 1 – The Microphone and Podcasting Basics: Episode 2 – The Audio Interface.

What audio editing software to use?

The first thing that comes to mind is Audacity, because it’s free and available for both Windows and Mac IOS. Even though you may have a big budget, starting out small is usually the best route to take, especially if you’re looking to outsource the post-production work. Audacity is great for recording and it’s really simple to use, but when it comes to some serious editing and mixing work – it can be a bit clunky.

If you’re in this for the long haul and you already have some proficiency when it comes to audio post-production, you can choose to purchase a commercially available DAW – Digital Audio Workstation.

Budget wise, Reaper should be a really good option, the only problem is that it has a steep learning curve. It can be quite difficult to get into, especially when starting out. If you want to look at something easier, then Hindenburg would be a great second-choice. Hindenburg is made specifically with podcast production in mind.

If we look at the price range, Hindenburg Journalist Pro is set at 375$, which is a one time cost. On the other hand, if you have experience working with Adobe software, you can pick up Adobe Audition for $21 a month.

For example, here at Nootka Sound, we’re using Avid’s ProTools. ProTools is probably still the best DAW out there in terms of audio quality, but it’s primarily intended for music recording and post-production and specifically any type of music aside from the electronic music. There are DAWs that are way more MIDI “friendly” out there (Ableton, for example) if you’re interested in producing electronic music. Furthermore, ProTools is probably one of the most complicated software out there, but once you get into it and learn the way it works, it’s really smooth and easy to use.

In reality, it doesn’t matter which software you go for as long as you know your way around it and you’re able to use it to achieve what you’ve imagined quickly and without hassle.

Resources for getting into Audio Production

If you’re a newbie when it comes to audio editing and post production, Brett recommends checking these out:

Mike Russell on YouTube.

The Audacity To Podcast

– Reddit’s /r podcasting

Quickest way to monetize your podcast if you don’t have a following

If you’re looking to monetize your show quickly but don’t have the subscriber count to support that, Patreon’s the best route probably. Also, Apple just rolled out their subscription program for podcasts that you might want to check out by clicking here.

 

What kind of computer specifications do you need for podcast production?

If you’re going to do audio, you do want a CPU that’s quad-core or above, just because of the plugins, which can actually be very big resource hogs, especially when you use multiple plugins at once. Also, it takes a bit longer to export (bounce) the files. When it comes to RAM, 32 is probably ideal, but you can get away with 16 GB of RAM as well. One more important thing is to use a Solid-State Drive (SSD) as your hard-drive. If you can’t afford to make all of your hard drives SSD, at least have one where your Operating System will be. If you’re not doing video editing, then the graphics card is not really that important, so you can use something low-tier, like a Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti. If you are in fact, looking to do video editing as well, you will probably need something like a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. However, before you purchase a graphics card, make sure it’s compatible with your motherboard. If you have never built a PC by yourself, getting some help from an expert is highly advisable or you can always find something that’s already pre-built. Using a lap top is not really ideal, but if you’re looking to get something mobile then we would recommend going for something like an Apple Mac Pro with the specifications we mentioned earlier.

Do you need to be tech-savvy to set up a podcast?

No, not at all. You do not need to know everything about the computers to start a podcast. There are some things that you will probably need help with and those resources we mentioned earlier are definitely something to look into.

If you end up needing any help, feel free to check out our own podcast or continue reading our blog posts. If you have any questions about the work we do here at Nootka Sound or you just want to say hi, be sure to reach out to info@nootkasound.online.

 

You can also check out our YouTube channel where we cover all things podcasting and make sure to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

 

 

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