If you’re starting up an internal communications podcast for your business, you know that entering the world of podcasting is quite the learning curve. There are several new terms to remember as well as new technologies to master.
With so many options for gear and gadgets and newer models coming out every year, it can be hard to determine whether you need everything or just the basics. A common question from newer podcasters is whether or not they need an audio interface for podcasting.
In this blog post, we’ll address what an audio interface is, how it works, and some things to look out for when buying one so you can decide if your business needs an interface for its podcast network.
Do you need an audio interface for podcasting? Read below to find out.
What is an audio interface?
Before you can determine whether or not you need an audio interface for podcasting, it would be helpful to know what it is and how it works.
An audio interface is a device that connects a recording device, for example, a microphone, to the recording software on your computer or phone. Essentially, the interface helps combine two separate technologies so you can record your voice and play it back later.
Audio interfaces aren’t just for podcasting but are often used to record music as well. If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite bands record their music – now you know!
How does an audio interface work?
Without getting too technical, an audio interface takes the signals it receives from one device (audio or digital) and sends a readable signal to the recording software on your computer.
Basically, an audio interface functions like a translator of sorts.
Some devices like smartphones and audio recorders already have an audio interface built in. However, equipment without the technology built in, like analog microphones and instruments, need an external audio interface to convert signals into something you can listen to later.
Do I need an audio interface for podcasting?
Now that you have an idea of what an audio interface is and how it works, you may still be wondering if you need one to record your internal communications podcast. Do you need an audio interface for podcasting? While it is not absolutely necessary for you to have one, it is recommended that you do.
If you intend to use a professional microphone, you will need an audio interface. As mentioned before, unless it is a smartphone or USB mic, most professional microphones cannot record sound on their own and will therefore need an interface to translate the signal.
Depending on your setup and desired quality, you may still be able to record without purchasing an audio interface.
A USB microphone is one of the top ways to record podcasts without the use of an interface. A USB microphone can plug directly into your computer or into your phone with an adapter. After plugging it in, you can select it as an input source on your recording software and begin recording.
If you’re still wondering, “do I need an audio interface for podcasting?” consider the quality of audio you’re hoping to achieve. An audio interface can help improve the overall quality of your podcast, as it gives you more control over the input and output volume while recording. If your company has the budget for it, invest in one for the long run.
If you need help with setting up your podcast recording equipment, click here.
What to look for when choosing an audio interface for podcasting
When shopping for an audio interface, there are a few key things to consider. These include:
The average cost of a good audio interface is about $200. That said, the price can vary depending on the features and the brand. The top audio interface brands with more features tend to be better quality, but slightly more expensive.
Some reputable brands include Focusrite Scarlett, Presonus, and Universal Apollo Twin. It is also possible to purchase starter packs in a bundle if you don’t want to purchase everything separately. These help you save money while ensuring you have everything you need.
The number of mic inputs and outputs
Consider your setup. Are you the only host? How many guests do you plan on inviting? If you need multiple microphones to record, you will need to make sure you have enough input channels. Of course, adapters can help you maneuver multiple microphones, but make sure there are at least two inputs.
Also, depending on how advanced your setup is, you may need a certain number of outputs. However, if you are connecting directly to your laptop or smartphone via a USB cable, this may not be as important.
Types of connections
Most modern audio interfaces will have a USB or a USB-c connector. Determine which device you will be connecting it to. Depending on what inputs your laptop or smartphone has, you may need an adapter.
While sounds like a super high-tech term, don’t worry – it’s just a small button with a 48v symbol beside it. Often, microphones and other recording equipment need a small boost to capture the audio, so it’s nice to have one just in case. If it’s needed, just click the button, and you should be able to get a signal. If not, you can ignore it.
What if I don’t want to use an audio interface?
If you don’t want to use an audio interface for podcasting, don’t worry, you don’t have to.
The podcasting learning curve can be steep enough without having to add extra technology. If your enterprise isn’t providing much of a budget for your internal communications podcast venture or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
No microphone? No problem. PodBean’s hosting platform, allows you to bypass the audio interface step and record directly into your smartphone on the PodBean app. Then, you can easily edit the audio and add music or sound effects all within the app.
If you eventually want to learn how to set up an audio interface for podcasting, PodBean has resources for that too.
So, do you need an audio interface for podcasting? While there are several benefits to having one, including better quality audio and more control of your recording, no, you don’t. You can determine your need for one based on your budget and time.
So, whether you have a super high-tech internal communications podcast setup, or you’re recording with a set of headphones, PodBean can help you to create the best quality podcast for your internal communications needs.
Start reshaping the internal communications in your enterprise today. Click here to start your free trial.