Diary of a Podcaster Part 1
I recently wrote in a blog post that I would be producing a new podcast this year and that Burton & Scrooge Uncut would be taking a break for the immediate future. Well in fact I’ve decided to record two new shows. In the meantime, Brian has already embarked upon his solo project and seems to have found his niche already. I however am currently bogged down in the pre-production process and because the format of the new podcast is different from those I’ve done before, it is proving to be a little more challenging than I initially thought. Since I find writing to be a practical way of ordering my thoughts, I thought I’d keep a podcast diary. I can therefore work through some of the issues that arise as well as produce a blog post, now that I’m back to writing daily.
Despite a busy schedule I managed to find some time today to record some material for one of the new podcasts I’m working on. This project is a solo show and it’s taken me a while to adjust to the format. I’ve spent the last six years recording with a co-host(s) and have become use to riffing off others. The dynamics of a good group conversation move a podcast forward and have an inherent rhythm. Although editing such a discussion can be more complex, there is a very natural quality to the finished product. Recording a podcast exclusively on your own can result in a somewhat stilted delivery. Or at least that’s what I’m finding. I found that a third of the material that I recorded today simply sounded like I was reading from an autocue. I therefore won’t use it and will replace later.
I usually advocate a warm up discussion on group recordings, as it really does seem to iron out a lot of the verbal ticks etc. It’s something we learned quickly on previous shows, especially when we had guest who were unfamiliar with the recording process. I may have to try and think of a similar technique for the solo podcaster. I have a theory that if I place an object or picture in front of me and focus upon that, as if I were addressing it, it may help with the delivery. I don’t want this particular podcast to sound like a lecture or a formal public address. I want there to be a degree of depth but would prefer a more conversational tone. I suspect that next time I record I will be speaking to Walter (see picture above for details).
Every podcaster approaches their final cut with their own unique set of rules. Some folk edit very little, where I fret and fuss about every pregnant pause or piece of over lapping dialogue. I hate it when I mangle my words or fluff my lines. I also worry that the respective segments are too long. It's very hard to define a common standard as so many people have different views. It's also a temptation to listen to other people’s podcasts and make comparisons to your own, even though often you’re doing completely different things. These issues are compounded with my current project as it is a solo affair and broadly meant to be an audio form of long-form criticism. Length and detail are essential to the format but there is still a need frame it all within an acceptable structure.
I suspect that I shall have to do a degree of experimenting over the next week to find both a tone and an editorial style that I like. Of course, I may be over thinking things. I’m sure many of my fellow podcasters would not fret or fuss over the things that concern me and would have forged ahead with their own recordings under similar circumstances. However, we are all slaves to our own nature and I have standards that I want to adhere to. So, I shall persevere and see what progress I make next time I record. The first episode of the new show has been mapped out and has specific topics and bullet points. I just need to find a suitable tone. As for the length and editing issues, I shall address them once I have all the recording done.