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You do not need anything a smartphone to start podcasting. Some people have good luck with just a smartphone and if done right, they can record a good show with just that.
Microphones. I suggest NOT getting a USB Condenser mic Go for a dynamic mic. ATR2100 is a good starter mic if you have to use USB. You can go with a more expensive microphone and use a USB interface.
Mixer – You don’t *have* to have a mixer, but it can help. It allows more than one mic to be plugged in. It has mic Preamps. The little more expensive ones will allow a Mix-Minus. (a whole nother episode)
Software Audacity is free, Garageband is free with a Mac (so not free). Audition is $15 a month. Hindenburg journalist is expensive.
You really don’t need much else.
The whole idea is to get something that will give you a clean audio recording. No need for the fancy stuff.
If you want to get fancy
Compressor limiter gate
External recorder deck / Portable recorder
Boom arm for the mic
Broadcast headset (with or without mic)
What equipment you get is totally dependant on Budget and what type of podcast you are going to do.
If you are going to have a remote co-host or if you are going to interview people, I suggest a real mixer (not the cheapest one). You really don’t want to depend totally on software to record skype.
Auphonic is a great way to level your sound out after you have edited.