Hardware: What I suggest.

Zzounds is hands-down the best place for audio.

They allow you to make payments. No credit checks and they will send it to you immediately.
I have given them over $15,000 and I continue to upgrade and tweak my setups with gear from there.

Required All you really need is:
Zoom H5: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–ZOMH5

OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
2 to 4 of these: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–SHUSM57LC?siid=52577
2 to 4 of these: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–SAMSAMD2
4 to 6 of these: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–MUPMY250
4 of these: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–HOSHSX?siid=110485
2 to 4 of these: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–HOSHSX?siid=177821

PURELY OPTIONAL Extras for better performance:
Accessories Pack: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–ZOMZH5AP
It makes recording easier.

Dual XLR Capsule: https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–ZOMEXH6
This lets you add 2 more microphones for 3 or 4 people tracks if you want.

You will also need a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). There are many to choose from and they range from free to thousands of dollars.

I recommend Audacity. It’s free. I use this over my several thousand dollar protools. Crazy but it’s great for podcasting. The rest of the DAWs are for music production. You don’t need that much.
https://www.audacityteam.org/

WHY I chose this instead of a $200 podcasting kit from Presonus (https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–PRSABOXSTUDIO96) or the $130 Behringer Voice Studio Bundle (https://www.zzounds.com/a–3960358/item–BEHVOICESTUDIO) is because The Zoom is a super professional quality sound studio in your hands. You don’t need to plug it into a great laptop to make it work right. You have everything that you need in one device.

You can buy cheaper stuff but in audio, you really get what you pay for. That is NOT a cliche here.. Thats why many famous Youtubers even use thousand dollars Rhode or Shure microphones. Its mid-range.

Start with the recording device. The Zoom H5 is awesome. You can get a lower quality H4 or an H6 but the H5 has the size of the H4 and the technology of the H6. It’s great!

That is all you really need. It comes with a microphone attached to it and you can do a round table with it one track or you can buy the capsule and some mics and cords from the list above and have a full studio set up so everyone is on each track. (That is what I do because it is WAY easier to edit.)

Software is truly a matter if personal taste. I started out on free technology like Audacity and Reaper (https://www.reaper.fm/). Reaper is a lot more advanced than Audacity but you have to ask yourself what are doing with it? A podcast really only needs to be able to sound good, edit out the crap you don’t want, and add in things you do want. Audacity can do that and its easy and free. Reaper is for multitracking, syncing, sidechaining and all the stuff you want in a musical production, audio drama, or very advanced podcasting.

I use audacity mainly.

This is what I recommend in this age of technology. Gone are so many of the old mixers and everything is digital now.

Let me know what you think of if you have any more questions about the hardware or the software.

Once you decide how you want to record then that is where you will have to take some time to learn the ins and outs of editing. Hiring an editor can run $2.50 – $5.00 a minute or more for post-editing. The average editor charges between 140 and 250 for 1 hour of “Full Service” editing, and less sometimes depending on what service it is you want.  I charge less for things like noise reduction or reverb reduction than I do “Full Service” editing.

Its always best to learn it yourself. It is a trade skill level education overall. If you are quick learner you can get most of your knowledge for most everything you need from YouTube.

If you have any other questions please let me know, I am happy to help out.

-Chris