There are many elements that go into making a great podcast. Besides the content, one of the most important elements of a great podcast is the recording gear. Once you obtain the best gear for the job, it’s important to protect it by properly organizing and maintaining it. To aid you in your quest to continually pump out great content, here are a few tips for keeping your equipment in tip-top shape.
Labels Are Key
Even with a simple podcast setup, there are still multiple pieces of gear required to achieve a final product. This gear can become confusing and hard to set up if it’s not properly labeled. Your mixer should be labeled with settings and channels, mic cables should be color-coded so that you can easily identify both ends, and storage containers should be labeled so that you know exactly what goes where. By labeling everything, you ensure that you’re able to begin production quickly and accurately.
While storage containers may work well if you need to take your gear on the road, it’s typically not the best way to organize your gear when you’re at home. After all, when placed in a storage container, gear tends to “magically” get mixed up, making it difficult to find anything. Wire shelving units, though, allow you to keep everything neat and orderly, giving you easy access to everything you need at all times. Plus, the openings in the wire shelves allow for easy access to connect different components without moving them.
Check Built-In Windscreens
Underneath the grille on most microphones is a thin piece of foam that acts as a built-in windscreen and shield for the more sensitive microphone elements. As this foam is exposed to saliva, it can begin to break down over time. It’s important to unscrew the grille and check this foam piece from time-to-time to ensure it’s still in good condition. If you notice that it’s deteriorating, you’ll want to replace the foam piece or the entire grille.
Dust Your Mixer
If you have an analog instead of a digital mixing platform, it’s important to keep your mixer free from dust as much as possible. Dust can easily work its way beneath the knobs and into the faders, which can lead to diminished performance over time. In between uses, you’ll want to use a cover to prevent dust from settling on your mixer. If you do notice any dust in hard-to-reach places, you can use a small paintbrush to remove the dust.
Know What You Have
As you expand the reach of your podcast, it can be easy to obtain more equipment to further your mission. As time goes by, though, you may start to lose track of what you have. This can make it even more difficult to organize and maintain your gear. Therefore, another important part of organizing and maintaining your podcast gear is simply knowing what you have. Take a full inventory of what you’ve acquired and then keep it listed in a spreadsheet so that you don’t lose track of anything.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan