How to Record a Podcast: Start Your Podcast in 10 Easy Steps

September 29, 2021 7 min read

Starting a podcast might sound tough, but with the right steps, it's pretty straightforward. We've helped many people get ready to share their podcasts, offering tips from choosing a topic to finding the best way to record. This guide will focus on recording, showing you how to get clear sound, choose the right microphone, and edit your podcast to make it sound great.

1. Plan a Podcast and Find a Great Podcast Idea

Discovering a unique podcast idea that resonates with your passion is the first step to starting a successful podcast. It’s crucial to explore topics that you’re genuinely interested in and can commit to discussing in-depth. Assessing the competitive landscape can help refine your concept to stand out in the crowded podcast market.

Ask yourself: what is something that you could talk about for hours, and more importantly that you want to talk about for hours? Podcasts take a lot of work and you want to pick a subject that will keep you excited. 

If you have a concept for a show, consider the podcast market to figure out how you could refine your idea to make your podcast concept stand out. Is anyone else covering this topic, or using this format? If so, how could your show stand out? 

2. Choose And Customize Your Recording Studio or Environment

Creating the ideal recording space for your podcast is key to achieving clear, professional audio. To improve your recording environment, seek out a quiet room where external noises are minimized. Also, you want to avoid spaces with a lot of echoes, or reverb, because this will come through on your recordings. You want your voice to sound close and intimate to your listeners, not as though they are talking to you from the other end of a basketball gym. 

Hard surfaces like tile floors and windows reflect sound and create reverberation, but some of this can be solved by the addition of carpeting, especially high pile carpets, and curtains. Moving blankets are excellent forbeginner DIY sound-treating, and if you’re setting up a more permanent podcasting studio, you can install some soundproofing material to upgrade your sound.

Investing time in customizing your recording studio or environment pays off in the enhanced quality of your podcast.

3. Equipment You Can Use to Record a Podcast

USB Microphone

AUSB microphone serves as a versatile and accessible tool for podcasters across all experience levels. Its primary advantage lies in its simplicity and convenience. By connecting directly to your computer via USB, it eliminates the need for additional hardware like mixers or audio interfaces. This simplicity makes USB microphones an attractive option for beginners or those looking for a hassle-free setup.

Recommended USB Microphone:

TheMC1000 stands out as a highly recommended USB microphone due to its affordability and quality. It impressively captures sound within a 20-foot radius, covering 180°, ensuring everyone in the room is heard. With a convenient headphone monitoring jack and USB plug-and-play setup, it's compatible with both PC and Mac, making it an excellent choice for seamless communication.

USB Audio Interface

While USB microphones provide convenience, podcasters aiming for higher audio quality and greater control over their recordings may opt for aUSB audio interface. This device serves as a bridge between professional XLR microphones and your computer, offering improved sound fidelity and enhanced features.

Recommended USB Audio Interface:

For podcasters seeking improved audio quality and flexibility, investing in a great interface such as theMDX-1 USB Audio Interface, will ensure the highestclarity and precision, the MDX-1 records at 192khz which delivers studio-grade sound for all your recordings.

Recording on a Smartphone

In addition to traditional recording setups, modern smartphones offer a convenient alternative for podcasters, especially those on the go or with budget constraints. With advancements in smartphone technology, the built-in microphones can produce surprisingly high-quality recordings suitable for podcasting.

Recommended Smartphone Recording Setup:

TheWireless-MINI-DI paired with an iPhone presents an excellent option for solo recordings or two-person interviews. This Lavalier microphone setup offers convenience and mobility, making it ideal for podcasters looking for a compact yet effective recording solution.

4. Learn to Control the Microphone Settings

First of all, it’s important to understand how to use the “gain” control on your microphone or recording device when learning about how to record audio for a podcast. Many people often confuse “gain” and volume, which is understandable. They are related, but not the same thing.

“Volume” refers to the loudness of a sound. “Gain” usually refers to how sensitive a microphone or another piece of audio equipment is in how it reacts to a sound. Turning up the gain on your device will make your voice appear louder because you’re increasing the sensitivity of the microphone.

5. Don’t Get Too Close to Your Microphone

How close you are to the microphone will also impact how your voice sounds on the recording. Too far away, you won’t get a clear signal. While you can also turn audio up while you are editing, remember that in doing so, you’re turning everything up. 

The microphone doesn’t just capture your voice, it captures everything around you, including unwanted background noise which can become a major nuisance if you have to increase the overall volume of your podcast audio. 

Getting too close to the microphone can cause the microphone to overreact vocal “plosives.” Plosives are the “P”s and “T”s in our speech. Vocal sounds like these are like little explosions from our mouths that can cause pops and distortions in your recordings.

6. Use a Pop Filter

If you're going to be recording vocals with a sensitive condenser microphone, like many USB mics, it's smart to get a pop filter. A pop filter is like a barrier, usually made of fine mesh fabric or metal, that goes between your mouth and the microphone. It lets your voice through but blocks some of the air bursts that can mess up your recording. OurMovo PF-6 pop filter is a fantastic, budget-friendly choice to make your podcast recordings sound better.

7. Test Before Recording

While 6 inches from the front of your microphone might be a good place to start when dialing in your recording settings, there’s no formula for how close you should be to your microphone, or what your gain levels should be. Trial and error is the best way to find the sweet spot for recording your voice. 

Testing your microphone with headphones on will give you a clearer sense of how you sound. Movo’sUM series microphone - UM700 features a headphone-out jack so that you can listen to yourself in real-time, also known as “monitoring.”

Don’t try to test your microphone while plugged into speakers, or playing your signal out loud. This can cause feedback, which happens when the signal passes continuously from the speaker to the microphone and back again, creating a feedback loop. 

You might remember this annoying high-pitched squeal from every movie where a character acts awkwardly in front of a microphone. Feedback can be very unpleasant at best and damaging to your hearing at worst, so you should try to avoid it when improving the audio quality of a recording.

8. Find the Best Podcast Software

Once you've mastered basic microphone techniques, the next step is finding the right podcast software to capture your audio. Fortunately, there's an array of excellent free programs to kickstart your journey.

For Mac users, GarageBand offers a user-friendly interface, while Audacity stands out as another robust free option. Meanwhile, Anchor provides not only editing capabilities but also facilitates direct uploads to streaming platforms, making it a popular choice among podcasters.
Quicktime is great for easy and quick recording but doesn’t have editing flexibility like other programs.

Once you’ve picked a program, check out the limitless resources online, especially on YouTube, where producers share instructions and insights on how to get started recording. 

9. Edit Your Recordings

Deciding whether to edit your recordings is a personal choice. While leaving them raw may not provide the best listening experience, excessive editing could make podcasting difficult to sustain. Striking a balance is key.

Some platforms, such as Audacity and Audition, offer editing and production features alongside recording capabilities. However, they lack call recording functionalities.

Alternatively, Alitu offers a comprehensive solution, including recording, editing, production, music, transcriptions, and hosting. Its intuitive editing tools, including text-based editing with automatic transcripts, save time and effort.

10. Upload and Distribute Your Podcast

Once you’ve finalized your podcast, it's time to put it out in the world. To get your podcast up and streaming on popular platforms like Apple and Spotify, you’ll need to use a distribution platform. 

There are different platforms forpodcast distribution, including Podbean, Buzzsprout, and Spreaker. They offer similar services, but each has its own free vs. paid tier options, so the best thing to do is to do a little research on different platforms and see which one will best suit your budget and needs as a podcast producer.

There’s no question that taking a podcast from an idea to a finished recording that is live on streaming platforms is a lot of work, particularly for a beginner podcaster. The good news is that there are so many resources out there, including us here at Movo, to help you learn and make creating your podcast an achievable goal.


We hope this has provided some insight into how to record a podcast. It may be a long road, especially at the beginning, but trust us, once your friends start sending you screenshots while listening to your brand-new pod, it will all be worth it. 

If you want to continue your deep dive into podcasting for beginners, check out our entireHow-to series on podcasting. Happy podcasting!