I travel a lot and I'm often recording my episodes while on the road. In order to pack as light as possible I need to reduce my gear to only essential items. The most portable podcast recording studio in a hotel room could consist of only three things:
- Recording Software
You could replace the laptop with an iPhone running BossJock, a $9.99 app that does it all. However, there is nothing like sitting down to a desk with a real keyboard and mic on a stand.
Fix the room
The real challenge to recording in a hotel room has nothing to do with your gear, it has to do with the room itself. With a little preparation and patience you can overcome some of the annoying nuances:
- Unplug everything: The mini fridge, microwave, and any lighting that could create a buzz in your line
- Pre-condition the room: Kick the A/C on really high to cool the room down before recording. Unplug the unit, turn it off, or at least adjust the settings down so it won't kick in during your recording.
- Block external noise: There is nothing worse than noisy neighbors. However, you can place pillows around your makeshift recording studio to help keep the noise out.
Pillows and blankets also help keep echo and reverberation down to a minimum. Place them behind your microphone and off to the sides for the best room dampening solution without having to pack extra.
The pillows are free too!
Don't trap yourself into a podcasting corner. You don't need a bunch of sophisticated equipment to start recording a podcast in a hotel room, just great content.