thinglets: How Do I Do This Shit I Do?

A question by Cheryl following the Why Do I Do This Shit I Do? podcast inspired the following post on methodology and gear.

"I am astounded at the number of podcasts you put together in a week -- how long does each one take? Do you script any of them? What about production, is it just record and go? What software/hardware are you using?"

My long-winded answer... because I don't do anything short-winded.

Nothing is scripted anymore. If you were to hear some of the lovehate podcasts from a year and a half ago, you'd find they were all readings of the blog posts - which used to be LONG. I used to keep the "scripted" and impromptu podcasts numbered separately, but as my time for writing became scarce I went completely extempore and merged the two streams at Podcast #42 of each and call the next podcast Episode 85. Most of the time, other than a basic premise to kick off the festivities, I have no idea where the LHT podcasts will end up.

The current lovehatethings podcasts are generally recorded in real time (10m) and then I drop some mildly meaningful music in the background, save it to mp3 and post it - total time about 25m.

For my other podcasts, DyscultureD and TV, Eh are just riffing off of whatever links we've collected. Best Episode Ever is riffing off of the show's Wikipedia page and personal recollections.

LHT is recorded directly into Cool Edit Pro 2.1 which is an old program that is absolutely brilliant and uses a ridiculously small footprint of the processor. The program is also used to edit all of the other podcasts. DYS and TV, Eh are recorded over Skype using a program called Call Graph.

The time investment for Best Episode Ever is very similar to lovehatethings unless I'm recording an episode with someone else over Skype.

TV, Eh editing is generally not too demanding unless I have to post-process an interview. I generally just add opening theme and closing theme and mixdown to mp3.

DyscultureD takes the longest just because we do segments and break between them. The breaks necessitate some editing and insertion of stingers. Since the new theme song, I've also taken a couple of minutes to record the intro as well. A no-nonsense quick edit of the podcast is usually 30m, but the process takes quite a bit longer as my upload speeds often add 20 minutes to everything.

As for hardware, I've got a REALLY fast Dell PC box with 9GB of RAM that helps speed the process. My newest toy is the Australian Rode Procaster microphone with shockmount and boom that I've had for about half a year now. (see top of post)

I also use a Behringer Eurorack UB802 mixer as I really prefer the sound of a mic going directly into the analog port instead of USB. (Maybe it's just the old musician in me, though I do still have a USB Blue Snowball and a USB headset mic for trips with my laptop. The Eurorack also facilitates anything else I want to plug in if I'm going to record music and add a keyboard or other instrument.

Posterous has really made everything else easy. I'd rather spend time on content creation instead of webpage coding, so I'm relieved that the advent of Posterous and my relaunch into blogging and subsequently podcasting had a serendipitous synchronicity. 

Probably more than anyone wanted to know. While it may sound a complex, I have also recorded about ten podcasts from Las Vegas casinos with my iPhone and nothing else. Engaging content and style will trump gear any day of the week.