I have gone through ALOT of online tools & services, as well as various pieces of podcasting equipment since I started podcasting in 2020. All with a view to offer the most value for as little cost as possible. Below is a list of tools I use now to create & grow this show, OR, tools I’ve used in the past that I’d still recommend. (Most links are affiliate ones)
What I use to record interviews
I used Riverside.fm to record every guest interview in Inside the Podcast Studio & I couldn’t recommend it highly enough! It record audio & video on each guests device, and then uploads it in the background so you end up with audio and video quality that is EXACTLY the same as it sounded and looked in real life. Compare that with something like Zoom or Skype where the audio & video you hear and see is exactly what is recorded and you can instantly tell the difference. It also means if you or your guest have a bad internet connection, you still get awesome audio and video recorded, regardless of whether or not it look/sounds terrible at the time.
Price wise it’s currently $7.50 a month for 2 hours of recording, $15 for 5 hours and $24 a month for 15 hours of recording a month. (I use the middle tier – $15) Right now you get a 1 hour free trial to see how you like it so if you’re thinking of upgrading your recording setup for guest interviews – I’d highly recommend you give it a try!
I used to use Squadcast.fm before I switched to Riverside & I was using it for just under a year with zero issues. It offers the same features as Riverside.fm, it worked flawlessly all but one time for me & I probably recorded about 30+ episodes with it for my other podcast Coffee & Coding.
However… I can hear you asking me why did I switch and the answer is simple. Cost. Riverside is MUCH cheaper than Squadcast, right now Squadcast’s lowest tier is $20 for 5 hours a month if you just want audio, if you want video to be recorded also – the lowest tier is a whopping $40 a month for 5 hours!!! That’s $25 more than Riverside.fm for the same thing.. so if you have the cash & you like the Squadcast interface better than I still highly recommend it. But if you’re strictly looking to keep your podcasting budget down – Riverside.fm all the way 👌🏽
Audio Editing Software
I used Audacity for years to edit audio before I discovered Reaper, and I switched immediately. Why? Because Reaper.fm is a NON DESTRUCTIVE audio editor. What does that mean? It means if you cut a piece of audio, or you EQ it, or you apply a noise gate, or a compressor, etc etc.. None of those changes are permanent. So if like me you accidentally cut audio sometimes, you can easily put it back, or if, also like me, you apply eq or a noise gate and later on find it massively distorted one portion of the audio – you can reverse that too.
The one drawback I find with Reaper.fm is that the waveform doesn’t update with the effects you apply (compressor, eq etc) so when you go to export the final mp3 file – you’re not entirely sure what your audio levels will be like and therefore the actual final master takes a little bit of trial and error vs audacity (at least for me – if I’m doing something wrong, please tell me!)
Calendar Booking Tool
When you approach a guest to be on the show, you want to barrier to entry to them saying yes to be as low as possible. The way I achieve this is with TidyCal. I know a lot (if not most) people who use a calendar tool use Calendly however here is why I went with TidyCal.
Calendly has a free tier which gives you lets you have 1 active calendar link at a time, so if you have multiple podcasts or you want one calendar for guests and one calendar for people to book 1 on 1 sessions with you etc.. Basically if you want more than 1 calendar invite link – you have to pay. The cheapest tier which offers unlimited calendars if $8 a month. TidyCal is $20 forever (at the time of this writing). That’s why I chose TidyCal.
Bonus tip: when you send a calendar link to guests so they can book a time slot to be on your show, you can add questions to the link which the guest is required to fill out – I use this to try and get some information on interesting topics of discussion or stories that might be fun for listeners.
Samson Q2U (Microphone)
If you’re familiar with podcasting equipment or you’ve been looking for a cheap but good microphone – you should have heard of this one. It’s the first podcast microphone I ever bought and I could not recommend it highly enough! It’s both USB & XLR, I used it for over a year via USB and it produced AWESOME audio for me for under $100. The ONLY reason I switched from this microphone is because I’m a bit of tech geek and I wanted something a little “fancier”. I actually tried both a Shure MV7 and a Rode Procaster & the only major difference I personally noticed between those and the Samson Q2U is they pick up noticeably less background noise, however if you’re on a budget I HIGHLY recommend the Samson Q2U – there is nothing better for the price in my opinion.
As I mentioned, this is the microphone I upgraded to from the Samson Q2U. Do you need to upgrade if you have a Samson Q2U? In my opinion, nope – the difference in sound quality is noticeable but not enough to make someone listening to your show go “wow! it sounds so much better!”. The main difference, aside from the sound quality, for me is that when you pair this microphone (which is XLR only) with a Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interface with a Fethead (to boost the gain cleanly) you can get a great level of audio with very little white noise (that base level ssssshhhhh sound you get when it’s dead quiet). Oh and it looks awesome without a wind shield.
Social Media Tools
This is the ONLY tool I’ve paid for to use to promote the show & it’s pretty damn cool. The way I use it is, while I’m editing the episode audio, I mark down timestamps of any interesting or clip worthy things the guests said, I then pull up the video from Riverside.fm and clip those parts of the video out. Next I upload them to Clipscribe which then transcribes them & let’s me create video clips for Instagram Stories or IGTV etc with subtitles that I can then just drop into my social media to promote the episode. It’s that simple.
So those are the tools I use to make this show – what tools are you using? What’s your microphone of choice? What’s one app or service that’s been a game changer for you with your podcast? DM over on Instagram and let me know – I’d love to hear from you!