complete newb questions on multihost (same room) audio equip

So me and some friends would like to try making a podcast (pretty much just for fun more than anything else). We also want to do it relatively cheap since we dont know if this is something we will like to do more or less.
My questions is more about equipment since this is all new to me id like to understand what i need to get to make it work. So far all we have is a laptop to record it on and some typical chat headsets (things like turtle beaches we use for gaming). My guess is those wont be any help here.

So from what i have gathered to do a podcast with 4-6 people (not sure on who is definitely in yet, but 4 being the min.) you need:

a computer to record it with (we have windows laptop/pc)

4-6 mics

and a mixer

Now i need to figure out what we could use on the cheap. Most mixers seem to have a bunch of 1/4" inputs and 1 or so XLR inputs. I know XLR is suppose to be better but to get one with 4 or more inputs would be expensive.
Can we buy mics that have 1/4" inputs and plug them into the mixer? I noticed there is usually an “L” and “R” on them (guessing left and right) does that mean it needs 2 inputs or is that just the side that audio would go to on a headset?

Anyone that can link me some cheap mics and mixer (mics under 30$ and mixer around 60$ or less) i would appreciate the help. Its a bit confusing and like i said we are gonna try it for fun so nothing has to be fancy.

Let’s step away from the shipping list for a second [said in a calm, reassuring voice] and work on the show.

Describe the show. In detail. Music at the opening, announcer/presenter and then the for or five guests talking. Then taking questions on the Skype connection and maybe more music. Then the close of the show and closing theme and announcer outro. Did I miss anything? Hit too much?

Describe what’s in your head and don’t automatically dig in the shopping list. We’ll do that later. What’s the show about? Gaming? Will you need game sound?


That is a very good (and often overlooked) point.

People often think that they need to spend a load of money on their “studio”, then it is just a matter of going into their “studio”, do the show, and put it on line.
They then spend $$$'s on equipment, make 2 or three bad shows, then give up.

There are many other things involved in making a good Podcast, including lots and lots of preparation, and lots and lots of post-show editing.

I’d suggest that to start with, you have a go with the equipment that you (collectively with your colleagues/friends) already own.
If you’ve all got laptops and headsets, you can get together in a room with your laptops and headsets, and each of you record yourself. Then transfer all of the recordings to one computer and edit it down into a 5 minute show. The show will probably be crap :wink: but you will learn a fantastic amount from doing it and it will give you an idea of whether this is something that you want to do, and will indicate what equipment you need.

Alternatively, get round one microphone lying on a towel on a sturdy table, and make the first test podcast like that. Sure it will probably sound rubbish, but what was the content of the podcast like?