written by
David Hooper

Simple Equipment = Big Sound (And Impact)

Podcaster Spotlight 3 min read

Jake Parker records, The Pendola Project, a podcast about “health, fitness, and self-improvement for people who know how to spot BS” from Reno, NV. He co-hosts this podcast with fitness trainer Matt Pendola.

One of the things I love about this podcast is the simplicity of the equipment they use to make it. A simple microphone, an interface that connects it to a computer, and a computer.

Podcasting Equipment


Shure SM58


Focusrite Scarlet 18i8


Adobe Audition

It sounds great and it's cheap! If you're a solo podcaster, you can basically get this same setup for around $200. The mic, a Shure SM58, has been around $99 for years. The single-channel version of the interface they use, a Focusrite Scarlett, is about the same.

Of course, being a great podcaster requires more than just great equipment. I asked Jake about his podcasting philosophy and what’s he’s learned about podcasting (and himself) since starting The Pendola Project. He also talks about some of the impact his podcast has had.

Podcasting Philosophy

How (and why) did you start your podcast?

My co-host approached me to help him spread the messages he’s been serving his clients (he's a fitness coach) for years. I have been podcasting for a few, and have worked with Matt in the past, and knowing that he is a genuine man in service of others, I readily agreed.

What makes a great podcaster?

Vulnerability, which leads to an empathetic host, which leads to connection.

What makes a great podcast episode?

An episode that is structural AND fun. I like the blueprint model; Matt and I show prep with notes at first, but we then edit those down into a general outline. This allows the material to be fresh in our minds without the need for a script. After recording the episode, we record a quick (or, sometimes, not so quick) intro to tee-up what the listener will actually hear.

What do you wish you'd known when you started podcasting? Why?

Your book, Big Podcast was very helpful in creating our format. I started reading it when we were roughly 20 episodes in. If I had read it before we started, I would have implemented the intro/tease format much sooner.

What do you love most about podcasting? Why?

We received an extremely open and vulnerable email from a listener. Long story short, she suffered from eating disorders because a high school coach taught her to hate herself. In one of the later emails throughout our correspondence, she confided in me that our podcast was "the shining light" that stopped her from ending her life. That's when I realized the power of this medium, regardless of audience size. If we can have that large of an impact on one person, it's all worth it.

What's the best thing that's happened to you because of your podcast?

I can genuinely say I'm becoming a better person each time Matt and I record. I'm no stranger to the self-improvement genre, but speaking about it and answering questions myself has sparked deep reflection and growth in me.

What's something you attempted to do on your podcast failed miserably?

Hahaha, we tried to do a promotion with a local small business when we had like 50 listeners...Needless to say, the audience (and business) wasn't there.

Listen to Jake:

You can subscribe to The Pendola Project via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.

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