A few months ago, an article by the excellent Jason Snell appeared on his Six Colors site all about how Jason was tackling Podcasting from his iPad Pro.
The article quickly did the rounds with the usual entourage, with everyone seemingly being in agreement with the setup Jason proposed. If you’re interested in the specifics, feel free to jump straight over to Six Colors and give it a read. It’s okay, I’ll wait …
The TL;DR, however, can basically be summed up by the image below, that Jason shared (and presumably created) in this article.
The thing that struck me about this setup was the seemingly over complication of the setup. I can appreciate that podcasting, to some extent, pays Jason’s bills, so quality is important to him, above convenience. To this end, the following short post isn’t a criticism of this setup, but is instead intended as a tip / bit of advice to the hobbyist Podcasting audience out there.
While my own podcast is on a very extended hiatus (if by hiatus you mean essentially dead and buried), I did have what feels like a bit of a simpler, and cheaper, setup that may be of interest.
A setup I’ve used in the past, for my solo podcast, was to simply use an iPad Pro with a Blue Yeti microphone directly connected to it. This would work with different devices, of course, but the Blue Yeti is often recommended as a good beginner mic. For Lightning iPad’s you’d need an Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adaptor to connect the Mic to your iPad, or a hub of some kind for the USB-C toting iPad Pro’s.
When it comes to recording, and editing, you’d need to look no further than an app called Ferrite. I wont go into how this is done here, just suffice to say that with simply connecting a microphone directly to your iPad, and using this app, you have an incredibly powerful podcast recording and editing tool.
The spanner in the works comes when you get to the point when you need to move beyond a simple solo podcast, and start talking with multiple people at once. This is the point when Jason, and Federico Viticci it seems, requires the use of an external recording device, reducing the iPad Pro to a glorified phone. When I’ve guested on a few podcasts in the past, my solution to this has just been to use my iPhone. The setup here essentially remains the same. I would hook up a mic to my iPad Pro to record my voice talking. I would then simply call the shows host on my iPhone with some headphones attached and have that conversation separately. When I mentioned this to Viticci being a possible solution, his reply was that he didn’t want to use another device in the process, but he already was by using the external recording device. If you’re reading this site, the chances are you own an iPhone anyway, and you’d have it with you. I know Viticci certainly does, so to me using the iPhone isn’t another device you have with you like the recorder, but what do I know?
I’m clearly not implying an iPhone is cheaper / easier to get hold of than an external recording device. If you have no phone, the option of using the iPad to make calls and recording elsewhere seems sound. Like I said, however, I’d be very surprised if that was the case.
So, with the above being said, I guess the whole point of this post was to say that if you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, you may find that it’s far easier to do than you thought, and also that you have far more of the required hardware to do it also!