This studio is centered around a Digidesign Pro Tools LE system featuring an Mbox 2 Pro interface ($799). I chose Pro Tools because it has a great audio-editing interface as well as a good basic plug-in collection. It has two mic preamps and two additional line inputs, which should be enough for nearly any Podcast project.
Because you''ll need a good 2-track editor for making the final tweaks to your Podcast, I opted for BIAS Peak Pro XT 5 ($1,199), which offers a full suite of mastering plug-ins. Windows users can substitute Sony Sound Forge 9 ($299.96 downloaded).
For mics, I picked the classic Electro-Voice RE-20 ($750), a dynamic mic ubiquitous in broadcast situations. For a secondary mic, I chose the Røde NT-1A ($349), an excellent-sounding large-diaphragm condenser.
Recording telephone interviews is one of the biggest challenges of Podcast production. To ensure good-quality phone recording, I bit the bullet and selected the JK Audio Broadcast Host ($495), a telephone interface box that works with standard telephones and gives you separate feeds for the caller''s voice and your voice, which can be patched into your multitrack.
Monitors in this studio are Yamaha HS50Ms ($249), which offer great sound at a reasonable price. They''ll come in particularly handy when you have to add music to your Podcast.
Mac versions of the studio feature Reinvented Software''s Feeder application ($29.95), which allows you to edit and publish RSS feeds. Windows users can substitute NotePage''s FeedForAll ($39.95) for the same purpose.