Got an idea for a podcast or a radio show but you are not sure where to begin? Here's a quick guide on everything you need to know to start your show, all from the comfort of your own home! Podcasts are quickly becoming the best way to share your stories with the world. According to Edison Research, 144 million people listen to their favourite podcasts every year. With Harrogate Community Radio, you can easily start a podcast and we will stream it to the town, all from the comfort of your home!

Whether you want to start a podcast as a hobby at home or professionally for your business, you can use just about any microphone to record your audio. Although cheaper equipment doesn't get you the best results, they're a good place to start for newcomers.

Microphone For Radio

If you are on a budget then a Condenser Microphone like the TASCAM TM 80 is considered an excellent piece of starter kit that offers professional high-end results without breaking the bank. Our friends over at Allan Smyth Audio Visual will help you out with the necessary technology and secure you a good deal on equipment (mention you are with the Station). The TASCAM TM 80 Condenser Microphone is a good recommendation if you're on a budget. A good mic is a ‘must-have' for any studio situation. We are working on a deal – this will mean you be able to get the best value equipment for your show.

If you use a microphone, you will need a device to connect your microphone to your computer.

So …

External Sound Cards For Radio

Sky is the limit on this – you can pay £60ish for a bad External Soundcard or thousands for one that would not look out of place on a space station. The purpose of an External Sound Card is to connect the Microphone to your computer – something you will need if you go for the TM 80.

Creao Studio have Focusrite Clarett in the sound room. This is a slightly more serious piece of equipment. I would recommend you have a word with Allan at Allan Smyth Audio Visual to see how he can help you. He can get you one for your shows – just email Allan at and mention you are working on a project for the radio – he will help you out.

Recording Software For Radio

Get in contact, I will show you how to record your show using Reaper. I recommend Reaper as the piece of software necessary to record a great show. I have heard it, third hand, that the BBC Outdoor Broadcast Unit uses Reaper – it is cheap, we have the required licenses to give you and it is rock-solid. You can get Reaper HERE.

I really recommend that you get a set of free plugins for Reaper called the SWS Plugin Extension. This will help you normalise the output to -2.9DB, which is what broadcasts well. For more on that, please CLICK HERE.

Summing Up

So, this is the first in a series of “How To” posts written by Andy Backhouse for Harrogate Community Radio. Podcasting and Radio can be such a great hobby. There are opportunities to monetise the hobby, but just not here. You will make great friends doing radio and you digital legacy will long out last you. Let's see how it goes … You can keep up to date with these posts at this link.

Thanks for reading, Andy.

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