When building a computer for podcasting, there are some special considerations that most builders don’t have to consider:
- Noise levels
- Software and driver compatibility
- Audio interface hardware
This article will outline some of the decisions and options specific to building a computer for podcasting.
Most podcasters don’t have separate control and recording rooms. The computer is often just a few feet or even inches from the microphone. In such situations, it is important for the computer to be as quiet as possible. Few people have put as much time and research into silencing computers as Mike Chin and the numerous contributors of the Silent PC Review website. Mike has built an anechoic chamber to make detailed measurements of the sound emitted by different pieces of computer hardware. The biggest noise offenders in most computers are fans and cooling devices.
SPCR has done side-by-side comparisons and can make recommendations for:
Software and Driver Compatibility
Most people considering building a computer specifically for podcasting are not just starting out. Many of you may have software that you have become familiar with and don’t feel like changing. Make sure that the hardware you are selecting to build your podcasting computer will work well with your go-to podcasting software.
Many of you also have audio interface hardware that you want to use with your new system. Make sure that your motherboard or interface cards have the appropriate drivers for use with the hardware in your new system.
When in doubt or if the information on the websites is not clear, call the manufacturers. Ask them about your specific intended hardware configuration. They will be glad to answer your questions and a few minutes on the phone is better than having to alter your configuration after you have already purchased incompatible parts.
Audio Interface Hardware
Speaking of audio interface hardware…
The hardware that transitions your podcast audio into digital files is one of the most important pieces of your podcast system. You should probably select this piece of equipment before you select your computer system hardware. The TweakHeadz Lab website has some great reviews and information about selecting your audio interface.
Check out the Tweakheadz website for some great comparison charts for selecting:
When you have chosen the audio interface, make sure that your motherboard has the proper ports or connections to use it.
When it comes to combining computer hardware at a price point, the PCPer.com leaderboard is very helpful. When you select a budget, they recommend the specific pieces of hardware to get the most performance per dollar. They currently list systems below $500, below $1000, as well as higher end systems.
The great thing about building your own system is the ability to make it exactly what you want. Take you time, read reviews, do research, and you will come out with a computer that meets or exceeds your needs.