One of the coolest things about creating and editing a podcast is that there’s very little required in the way of equipment to create a professional piece of content.
Most people find that their laptop is more than enough for getting the job done, but there are a few must-haves you need to ensure.
What specs do I need for podcasting and editing? All podcasters require something different for creating and editing their show, but at the most basic, a good laptop with enough memory and processing power is essential.
This will likely be determined by the audio software you use to record your podcast and the additional software you rely on for editing and postproduction.
Podcasting only requires a few key pieces of equipment, but you want to get them right. To create and edit your content without interruption, we’ve created this guide to help you choose gear with the right specs for podcast creation and postproduction.
What’s Needed to Create a Podcast?
A podcast can be created with surprisingly little gear, but the pieces you do choose need to be of good quality. Here are a few of the basics of what’s required for recording and editing a podcast.
- Laptop/computer: A desktop computer could work for recording a podcast, but a laptop is better because of its portability. Most modern laptops are surprisingly efficient with good specs that can rival a desktop, so don’t discount what they’re capable of. You’ll also need software like a digital audio workstation (DAW) that provides audio recording, playback, and editing, with varied features depending on your specific requirements.
- Microphone: Although most laptops come with microphones built-in, they’re not at a professional level, so the quality of your audio will suffer. Spend some time researching the best microphones for podcasting and ensure their requirements are suitable for your laptop or PC.
- Camera: A camera isn’t always required, but if you plan on adding video content to your podcast channel eventually, you might want one. The installed webcam on most laptops is at a basic standard so it would be best to purchase an external one if required.
- Recording space: You’ll want something quiet, comfortable, and with good acoustics, so you can record your podcast comfortably. Be prepared to spend some time setting up the area to get the sound just right. Make sure there’s good WiFi connectivity and that you have an adequate power supply to keep your gear running.
The Most Important Specs
When you’re first starting, it can be easy to get carried out in thinking that your laptop has to be the latest and greatest model with all of the bells and whistles.
A laptop doesn’t need to be that fancy to create professional-grade audio, as long as it meets these requirements:
- RAM: The RAM or random access memory is how much space your laptop has, so you want it to have as much as possible so that it can store the information and processes you’re going to use. Aim for at least 8GB of RAM when choosing a laptop, with the 16GB RAM mark being even better.
- Internal Storage: Laptops are known for having less storage space than their desktop counterparts, and this is found in either a hard disk drive or a solid-state drive. For podcasting purposes, SSDs are the preferred option because of speed and noise, but they can be more expensive and offer less storage.
- CPU: The CPU is the brainpower of the computer and you need it to be high speed so that it can do everything you ask of it as fast as possible. The best options would be either a high-speed processor or a multi-core processor as these are capable of doing multiple tasks quickly. During a podcast recording or editing, you will likely be running a few different tasks at once, and you don’t want your laptop failing you in the moment.
- Digital audio workstation: A DAW (see also our article on Reaper DAW) is going to be the central place that you record and edit your podcast, so you need to ensure you have enough processing power in your RAM and CPU to run the chosen one. Some laptops come with DAWs built-in but it’s best to buy the software yourself so you can choose one without limitations.
- Price and performance: Your budget will have the biggest impact on what type of laptop and accessories you can afford, but the cost for these computers is more affordable than ever. You should also consider personal preferences like what operating system you prefer, the size, and how many hours of battery life you can achieve from a single charge.
Can You Do Too Much?
Any time you’re buying new computer gear, whether it’s for gaming or podcasting, it’s easy to go overboard.
The less is more approach works for podcasting as you only need a simple laptop to work effectively, with the most important focus being on the digital audio workstation and microphone that you choose.
Another area where people get carried away is during post-production, especially when editing out background noise (see also ‘How To Reduce Background Noise On Mic‘) or trying to balance the audio.
With a good setup during recording and mindfulness about soundproofing and acoustics, you should have to spend less time in post-production making everything perfect.
Getting the Right Gear
A laptop isn’t essential for creating a podcast, but we do recommend it, and one with the right specs is a must. Spend a little time getting the gear right and you’ll find that creating and editing your podcast to professional perfection is a whole lot easier.