The nice thing about podcasting is that everyone can do it. It is a rare medium that is almost as easy to manufacture as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do the same. There is an abundance of hardware and software solutions that are open to potential podcasters. Therefore, setups range from NPR studios to USB Skype rigs (the latter has become a kind of standard during the current pandemic).
We asked some of our favorite podcast hosts and producers to highlight their workflow – the devices and software they use to do their job. So far, the list contains:
RiYL Remote Podcasting Edition
Sam Dingman from Family Ghosts
I am listening to Anita Flores
Justin Richmond from Broken Record
Criminal / This is Lauren Spohrer from Love
Jeffrey Cranor from Welcome to Night Vale
Jesse Thorn from Bullseye
Ben Lindbergh from Effectively Wild
My own podcast, RiYL
Sarah Enni comes to us this week to discuss her transition to remote interviews. Like many podcasters (myself included), the COVID 19 crisis has forced them to temporarily review a longstanding personal approach to something that is more socially acceptable. Enni is a YA writer best known in the podcasting world for her First Draft show. This month she is launching a spin-off miniseries titled "Track Changes: Anything You Don't Know You Don't Know About Publishing."
I was a legal reporter and aspiring writer in Washington, DC in 2014, whose aspirations to be like Nina Totenberg resulted in a Podcast: First draft with Sarah Enni. During my time as a journalist, II had put many pocket-sized recorders in the face of senators and their lawyers I went looking for a microphone and a recorder in one that had better sound quality but was still portable. I landed on the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder, the I used while set on a tripod for the first two years of interviews with published authors. It had great audio for the price and I I loved that the zoom was compact, which allowed me to go out into the field to do my face to face interviews. First Draft includes extensive interviews with writers and other storytellers, and personal connection is critical to the show's honest and talkative tone.
I Backed everything up to an external hard drive and edited it in GarageBand while wearing Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Then it was uploaded and published via LibSyn.
About three years ago I decided mine Podcasting Game. I hired a producer – Hayley Hershman, who works as an on-demand producer at MarketPlace for American Public Media – to help me get new equipment. I Upgrade to the Zoom H6n Handy Recorder and combination with Shure BETA 87A supercardioid condenser microphones. And I bought a Timbuk2 Dopp Kit that I misused to serve as a portable studio. I Wear this in the GoRuck GR1 backpack (every other backpack tortured my shoulders and killed my back) along with my laptop and notebook. Never appear for an interview without prepared questions, preferably handwritten. It is important for the guest. A lot of.
I Collect interviews on the Zoom H6n (code name: Beemo) and upload the audio files to AirTable, which my team uses to optimize the workflow. Of all devices I have ever procured in my five years PodcastingNothing was a game changer anymore than AirTable. once I Audio files, including VO, and editing notes uploaded to AirTable I alert my producer who is working on the show in Hindenburg. When the last episode is ready, she uploads it to LibSyn as a draft I can publish it there and on our SquareSpace website. I Then upload the audio to Temi, which uses AI to create a rough first draft of an episode transcript.
Up to COVID-19, I conducted every single interview (245 of them) personally. But not even a pandemic could get me to record audio using Zoom or Skype. When booking a guest I continue coaching them How to record the call at the end with their USB microphones or the voice memo app on their phone. Then my producer synchronizes the tracks for a polished end product, where the listeners can hopefully engage in the blissful fantasy that the guest and I recorded the episode together in a studio somewhere in Hawaii.
II am currently in the process of producing a new mini-series on the book publishing industry in the United States called "Track Changes", and the features and workflow are essentially the same. I conducted almost all interviews personally (pre-coronavirus), I I used AirTable to communicate and share assets with my producer, and all the hardware stayed the same. But now we have a lot more phone calls and we share a lot more Google Docs trying to script and edit. After five years PodcastingDealing with the narrative nonfiction is an incredible challenge II am grateful that I have now dealt with my time and my mind.