We are close to being ready to launch the podcast. It's taken a bit of time to get it all ready. I thought I would share some of our progress.
Recording equipment. We had to learn about recording equipment. I've had help with this from both my law students and Ron Gard, my partner in everything. We went with the Zoom5, a small recording device that allows us to record each voice on a different channel. We found this was super important, b/c I have a tendency to speak softly, and if we don't have each part on a different channel, it is much harder to get the levels right when we are putting together later. The Zoom5 allows for recording on four different channels. You set the levels before the interview begins (making sure the sound registers in the middle). Then, you can hear each side of the interview at the same level. The Zoom5 is about $250 at Amazon. There are cheaper ones, and there is also a new model. What we were looking for was at least two channels for two different mics for interviewing. A smaller and cheaper version only has one channel. On some of our early recordings, I didn't set the levels properly, and so we are struggling now to get the voices to sound even. So, that's something to think about.
We also had to purchase mics. My husband (Ron Gard) really loves audio equipment for some reason. So, he's been helpful. We got a number of different mics. Lapel mics. A Rode Reporter mic. Some others. I'll try to get him to explain the different mics and how they are different. My favorite is the rode reporter mic. It seems to have the best sound, whether it was at Quilt Market or in our living room. You hold it. So, that might not appeal to some. We also have some stand up mics (yeah, that's how the pros talk about them...just kidding). Again, I'll try to get some better info.
So, that was the sound part. We recorded the on the road interviews and in person interviews with the Zoom5. We have yet to use it with the long-distance interviews. Someone told me recently you can do that. That would be great because right now when we record on the computer -- either through a call coming in through, or through an invite to Zoom (a different product from the Zoom5), the recording comes in on one track, which is again problematic. So we are still working that part out.
Recording long distance/remote interviews. So, we are still working this out. We have two options at the moment. First, the interviewee calls into my iPhone, which is picked up on the iMac. Depending on the sound quality on their end, it seems to work. We had a couple of times where the sound kept getting garbled. So, it is not perfect. When the call comes in, we record it on Garage Band, a built in program in Apple. Then its ready to go to add the intro, etc. The other way we have recorded interviews is Zoom, which allows for both audio and video recordings. In fact, it automatically does both. We're using this b/c Tulane already has an account, but I think there are free accounts. (Free is good). There are others out there as well. What I like about Zoom is that you can schedule meetings, you can save it to the cloud, and you get a personal meeting room, so that you can give someone your meeting room ID without having to schedule a specific time. I have also created the setting that anyone coming to my personal meeting room stays in the "waiting room" until I arrive. So, it's like they have to knock to get in. I've been using Zoom for about a year now for distance learning teaching at Tulane, and it's been really great.
Garageband. We've been using this to mix the raw interview with music, etc. It's pretty easy to use, although some features are not intuitive. We couldn't figure out how to change the levels at first. But googling what we couldn't figure out made it alot easier. We created a template for the intro/out. We are starting to process the interviews faster.
Music. I'll talk about music in a longer post this month. But we ended up going with PremiumBeat and paying $49 for a package of options for one song. I really like the song we're using. As a copyright law prof (and this being a copyright project), it was important that our music was legal. For $49 that was great. There are even cheaper options out there. We just really liked the song, and I really like PremiumBeat. We ordered a couple of other songs from there, and it was very easy and professional.
Platform. To have a podcast, you have to put the podcasts somewhere. We choose Spreaker. We haven't started to use it yet. We choose it b/c we could have a number of different shows on the same account, and we plan to have a number of them coming out of the Copyright Research Lab.
Calendly. This is also free. It allows us to schedule interviews without a lot of back and forth. It connects to my Outlook Cal. So, if I am busy, Calendly removes that slot as an option. You can ask questions as part of the sign up, and there is a dashboard that lists upcoming appointments. We looked around quite a bit. We really liked this version. Again, it is free.
Hubspot. We choose Hubspot to keep us organized. Again, it is free. So that helps. It's really made for sales. But we love it. We can put in the contacts that we have, track email (we even know when they have opened an email, which is freaky), and track our progress on getting an interview, conducting, and posting the interview. We liked it b/c it also integrates with Outlook so that email I write in Outlook are recorded in Hubspot. It is a little tricky to do that -- there are a few steps. But it is really cool. Hubspot even lets you know when someone clicks on a link in the email. It's super cool. A little creepy. But super cool.
Website: Wix. I like Wix. We've used it before.
Domain name: www.justwannaquilt.com. We used Godaddy to purchase the domain name.
I think that's it. Costs so far:
Zoom5 $250 at Amazon
Rode Interview Mic $129 at Amazon
Spreaker Platform $199 for 500 hours (but there are smaller and free versions. We just have a lot of podcast projects at the Copyright Research Lab in the works)
GarageBand (part of the computer) (and there are PC versions that are free like Audacity)
Wix website (free, but we paid to remove the wix logo and connect our domain name)
Domain name (I can't remember, but like $10)
We also bought some other equipment. But even the Zoom5 isn't super required to do the podcast. We just have some play money from the university. (We bought a GoPro6. I'll post about that experience shortly).
So, that's what we've done so far. I'll also blog later about the other equipment that we got that is helping --some speakers and lighting for video interviews. Again, it helps to have a university fund. We wouldn't have bought this stuff without it.
So, Day 2. Blog Complete.