The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It is a rare medium that is almost as easy to consume as it is. And as in, no two people do it in exactly the same way. There are open hardware and software solutions for potential podcasters, so the setup runs the gamut from NPR Studio to USB Skype Rigs (currently a default of sorts during the epidemic).
We’ve asked our favorite podcast hosts and manufacturers to highlight their workflows – the tools and software they use to do the work. The list so far includes:
Articles by Avery Truffelman of interest
First Draft and Track Changes Sara Sarni
RiYL Remote Podcasting Edition
Sam Dingman of Family Ghosts
I am listening to Anita Floors
Justin Richmond of Broken Record
Lauren Spore of Criminal / This Is Love
Jeffrey Cranmer of Welcome to Night Well
Jessie Thorne of Bullseye
Ben Lindbergh of Wild in effect
My own podcast, RiYL
Launching today from Spotify and Pineapple Street Studios (in collaboration with Gimlet) “Welcome to your imagination” Explores the true story behind the Chippendales incident of the 1980s. Historian and “past / present” Natalia Petrzella, Nicole Hemmer and Neil J. Young hosts, who will uncover the story over the course of an eight-episode series. Impressed by Spotify’s considerable resources, the show took 18 months to make. Pineapple Street Senior Producer Eleanor Kagan (Another Round, Something Something Thing and Thrust Aid Kit) walks us through the gear the team used to create series both in-person and remotely once the epidemic was caused. I used to do
For in-person interviews not recorded at Pineapple’s Brooklyn studio, my basic reporting kit includes a Zoom H5, which has two XLR channels, and a road NTG-2 shotgun to give me interviews with host Natalia and the other Mike is allowed to give. (On the mike stand, of course – Mike is prone to dealing with the noise himself.) When I say, knock on the door in the neighborhood of the former Chippendales Club in LA, hold a road pistol for those who are looking The party scene at Liya Hai Club was causing a war between the owners, neighbors and the police. (Luckily, we found 94-year-old Naomi, who had been there since 1972 and had stories for days. She’s in the podcast.) Christine showed me how brilliantly she is using the cross-body camera strap attached to her recorder. Uses so that it can hang comfortably. around him. For the gear bag I swear by the LowePro Passport Sling, but now that I’ve grown up (lol), the one-strapping area isn’t comfortable for a long day, so I use a regular backpack. My kit includes Sony MDR-7506 headphones, three and six foot XLR cables (always backup), a deadket, additional SD card, Electro Voice RE50 / B mic, pen, snacks, release form and battery. . So many batteries.
Then the epidemic hit. We all went on lockdown. We did most of our interviews, but still had some essentials, as well as tracking all the hosts for the series. So we sent Natalia a kit: a Zoom H6, a Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Announcer microphone, a Cloudlighter CL-1 microphone activator, a broadcast arm, XLR cable and a windscreen. Natalia opens the shop in her closet, surrounded by clothes, a blanket on the floor and as many cushions as she can to pull out her couch and chairs. (The sound bounces off hard surfaces. Soft materials absorb it, so the recording won’t hear an echo or “room”). We sent our amazingly engineered Hyannis Brown Mike tests to diagnose the set-up from afar and tweak. Can suggest. And Natalia, her blessing, was incredibly game to be herself recording engineer on top of hosting an entire show. We quickly got accustomed to zooming in and out of everything, as we all did everywhere.
When it comes to a remote interview, we will join Zoom, and both Natalia and our interviewer will record themselves. (We always recorded the zoom as a backup.) It was up to us to talk to our interviewers via self-syncing. Experience and teamwork were highly valued here. The interviewers only had so much time, and explaining how to set up the recording on a smartphone (or iPod !, yes, really) and quickly transfer a test recording, and then troubleshoot any audio issues in their place. Doing what was important to achieve a high- quality interview without taxing someone’s patience. There are many useful guides and graphics that run through the set-up. Something is lost, of course, when we don’t get to walk into people’s homes for interviews, or even when the former Chippendale dancer can’t produce her original costume in the middle of the interview Are – as one man did. But everyone was incredibly kind and patient and willing to do it for us, for which we are very, very grateful.
In the end, we interviewed about 70 people for this series. We wrote 26 drafts of our first episode. We reviewed 100+ hours of archival footage. And I believe there are still a few more stories to be told about Chippendales.
Thankfully, no matter if there is anyone in the world, we have the tools to do it.