Learn the basic pieces you need in place to record your first podcast, and do it... right now.
Right now is the age of podcasting. It's a strong format for you to deliver your gym's message and build an audience in your community.
For many, the subject of "what equipment should I buy for my podcast?" can be a daunting one. In this article, I'm going to try to simplify this down for you guys.
This post is for someone who's new to podcasting and wants to get going. It is not for the experienced podcaster - as I'll be working through the simplest setup to get podcasting today.
Literally, you could have a published podcast by the end of this article.
Keep Your Gym / Studio Podcast Simple To Start
Creating your own gym or studio podcast can be a massive rabbit hole. I spent days researching equipment and trying to decide how to do this. I suggest you not.
One piece of advice I continually got when I started was keep it simple. Just record stuff. Even if you don't publish it, you just need reps.
Get a basic and cheap setup, get going and work on making it better as you go.
Let's make it an agreement on this post that your goal today is to record 10 podcast episodes without worrying about anything more than just getting them done. Get your reps in.
The Simplest Podcasting Setup For Your Fitness Studio
To start recording your podcast in your gym or studio you need a few basic piece of equipment:
- A smartphone or iPad with Anchor installed.
- A microphone (optional).
- A connector from microphone to smartphone/iPad (optional)
- A (hopefully) quiet room.
As you grow into doing more complex things, this list can rapidly get very complex (and expensive). However, to record your first ten sessions
Podcast Recording Device
Recording a podcast can get complicated in a hurry.
To keep this cheap, simple, and get you recording today, we are going to recommend using your existing smartphone and an app called Anchor.
It's so good for general podcasting needs, that I don't understand how or why it's free.
Anchor runs right off of your smartphone and is a prepackaged podcast recording powerhouse. It is limiting once you get a little more sophisticated in your needs, but I feel it has everything you need to likely run your gym podcast forever.
The best part about Anchor is it pretty much handles everything from recording to distribution for you so this will help you get your podcast out to the world from start to finish.
Using Your Built-In Microphone
The most important thing to a compelling podcast is... audio. So getting the audio recorded well is important.
Your first option for a microphone is the one attached to your device itself! It can be that easy! Many of today's smartphones come with some really good microphones - so if you are budget conscience (or not sure if you're going to commit to this), just start there.
Warning, this is where the rabbit hole can start. So I would recommend just reading and looking at the following microphones to understand where things will go if you want to get better audio recorded.
Do not let this next section confuse you or make you give up!
Everyone I see is representing a Yeti microphone. Because of that, when I wanted to have better sound quality, I rushed out and bought a Blue Yeti (USB). Then I found out that microphones have scenarios they work best in.
Condenser microphones, like most Yeti's, generally produce the most accurate representation of sound.
These are generally the microphones you see on high end podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience. They also are much more expensive than dynamic microphones and look way cooler.
For this reason, I think most rush out and look to buy this form of microphone.
I learned the hard way, if you're trying to record somewhere noisy, they are terrible. They are such great, high end mics designed to replicate sound as accurately as possible, that they will pick up every noise around.
If you have a sound studio, this can be your choice. Since you're likely just starting out, and you probably don't - stay clear of all condenser microphones to start.
I might have just saved you $100 to $200. Your welcome.
Dynamic microphones are perfect for in-studio recording. They only pick up sound patterns that are directly in front of them, missing most ambient noise.
Dynamic microphones are cheap (good ones will be around $50) and they sound great. They won't sound as amazing as a condenser mic in a solid studio - but I'm guessing you don't have the budget nor the time to build a studio.
Best of all, dynamic mics can take a BEATING. If you're recording in a gym, it might be a little risky to have fancy, fragile microphones.
Dynamic mics are the kind that are generally on stage in rock concerts. Those things get sweat on, spit on, thrown to the ground, and just keep working.
After starting with my Yeti, I since switched to a Shure SM-48 for The gymOS Podcast. The audio is much clean and clearer without the background hiss the Yeti picked up from the lighting.
Warning, with your setup, direct to an iPad you cannot use the Shure SM-48. These have inputs that only work when recording to a computer. If you are looking to go the dynamic microphone route with your iPad setup, choose a Samson 2QU which has USB output.
Connecting a Mic to Your iPad
If you decided to upgrade your microphone, you need to connect it to the iPad as an audio source.
Warning, I've never done this, so I'm only going off information I've read online. My setup is recording to a computer, which causes alot more equipment and headache (and work).
Second warning, only USB microphones can work for this. If the microphone you're looking at is XLR, it will not work. Make sure you buy the Samson 2QU.
iPhone/iPad: you need to get a lightning to usb connector.
Android: you will need to get a USB to OTG cable.
These cables will allow you to connect your microphone to the device. If you are getting a fancy condenser microphone (again, I recommend you don't), then you might have to get a different device to supply power to the USB connection. Just don't do a condenser microphone to start, it adds complexity.
A Quiet Room
To get going recording at this point, you need something to talk about and a quiet room.
If you get a dynamic mic, you actually don't even need a quiet room - but I've found that the less distractions around you, the better.
Open up your Anchor App and start getting your Podcast setup there. Hit record and recording something just to see how it all works!
Congratulations, you just started podcasting. (Now delete that episode!)
Stay Tuned For More About Gym Podcasting
There is quite a bit to cover in this series of blog posts – so stay tuned for more.
In other posts in this series, we will cover:
- Why you want to podcast.
- How to format an exciting episode.
- How to produce a show, quickly.
- How to record good audio.
- How to publish your podcast
Podcasting, done right, can help you extend your reach and your authority in your community.
It also can be an effective tool to get your members more engaged and get their stories told!