The first episode of the podcast was special. It wasn’t the first or second thing we recorded, but we figured it out how to record and edit a podcast with four people in three different locations on a weekly basis. We used a few different programs and some fancy footwork to get it done and here’s how we did it:
A Great Working Relationship
We’ve been creating together for a decade. We started with theatre projects in high school, moved onto video projects, and then helped each other out here and there with music videos, sketch comedy, documentaries, and whatever else caught our attention. More than anything, our creative inspiration has always been to have fun. When we were first learning our way around a camera, all we wanted to do was capture some of our ridiculous antics on video. We wanted to learn how to edit, capture quality audio, and have good lighting just so people could see our dumb ideas that made us laugh between Guitar Hero sessions at Frank’s house. Years later, we took a 4500-mile road trip and decided to make a documentary about the whole experience. On top of planning a road trip, we had production meetings, talked about storylines, and made sure we had someone recording nearly at all times. Not only have we made a lot of projects together, but we have always been eager to learn with each other. Naturally, a podcast excited us with a new medium for us to learn as well as being a perfect way for us to capture our friendship.
All of us have made a commitment to quality with our projects. The last thing anyone of us wanted was to sound like we phoned this in or simply recorded a video chat session. The Yeti Blue and Yeti Snoball mics are enough to make us sound like we know what we are doing. PLUS, my microphone came with the latest Assassin’s Creed game. No, there are no voice commands in the game. You can’t use the mic at all in the game in any capacity but I love me a good deal. The mics are a great start but making sure we have a quiet environment and evened-out levels are equally as important. The Yeti Blue also has a headphone jack for live monitoring. You can hear your own voice as you record so you can make on the fly adjustments.
While we record, we listen to each other on a Google Hangouts call (RIP hangouts). We record our audio separately on our own devices, but it would all be guess work if we were not able to listen to each other. Also, we talk about a few personal things on the podcast, but not everything. Before we start recording, we get everything out that we don’t want to leak out into the public internet. When your creating with friends, its easy to forget when something is going to a larger audience. A great plus about this is that I also have a built-in time to catch up with everyone on a weekly basis. Getting older typically makes staying up to date with your friends harder, but it’s great to have projects like this that bake this time right in to my life.
A New Medium
As I mentioned earlier, we were all drawn to figuring out how to create art in a new medium. Audio has always been a part of our projects, but to focus on this one dimension really opens up what feels like a whole new world. Early on, I proposed the idea of not monitizing the podcast and creating our own commercials about good decisions to make that could help anyone. These PSAs would be focused on things like drinking water, reaching out to your friends and family, or reading books. Sounds pretty boring on paper, but exploring the audio cues behind those themes and what sounds bring people into a space to be receptive to these messages are all very new to all of us. At first, I thought these PSAs would just be us talking and evangelizing the good behind the actions. Now that we have made a few, I cannot understand the importance of background music, sound effects, tone, accents, and a tagline/slogan. Creating for an audio only medium has been much more fun than I imagined it would be.