This series is all about libsyn’s newest podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Brian Thompson from Consequence
When did you start podcasting?
Consequence is a production of the James Randi Educational Foundation, which first began podcasting in January 2010 with the show For Good Reason, hosted by the JREF’s president D.J. Grothe.
Independent of the JREF, I began podcasting in 2007 by co-hosting and producing a comedy show called The Amateur Scientist Podcast, which eventually spun off into a small network of comedy podcasts I produce through AmateurScientist.org, including our current flagship show Quit It.
Why did you start podcasting?
As a kid I used to run around with a Fisher-Price tape recorder and make little comedy shows with my friends.
I’ve always enjoyed the intimacy of audio entertainment.
We watch TV or movies on a screen from a distance, but a radio show or a podcast is a voice right in our ears.
When we listen, we often create private spaces for ourselves between a pair of headphones or in the cocoons of our cars. I love making audio, and podcasting has nearly eliminated the barrier to entry for getting that kind of work to an audience.
People have to seek out podcasts, but that act of seeking builds a unique relationship between producers and consumers.
What’s your show about?
The tagline of Consequence is “true stories about false things.” Thousands and thousands of people all over the world have been harmed financially, emotionally, or even physically by believing in superstition, pseudoscience, or paranormal phenomena that turned out not to be true.
On Consequence, the James Randi Educational Foundation provides a forum for those people to share their stories.
What’s your podcasting setup?
Let’s go from the voice to the download, if you will.
I record with a Heil PR-40 microphone. In-studio guests use a Shure SM-58 with a hefty pop filter.
Both of these mics are sent through an M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB interface, which does a good job of providing enough power without breaking the bank.
It’s also very portable, which is important for field interviews. I also record guests over Skype using either Pamela (on PC) or Call Recorder (on Mac).
In-studio, I record and master in Sony Soundforge on a PC and do multi-track editing in Adobe Audition. Field recordings are done much the same way, though I use GarageBand on a MacBook Pro for the initial recording before sending the file over to Soundforge.
The finished .mp3 is sent through a freeware ID3 editing program to add all the track info and artwork, and then it’s uploaded to Libsyn. For Consequence, we use Libsyn’s standard RSS feed.
How have you promoted your podcast?
The JREF has a huge social networking and web presence, so promotion is thankfully simple. Consequence has a permanent page on our website, Randi.org, and is also recapped in blog posts there.
A link and a summary for each new episode are also posted to our Facebook and Twitter pages, which regularly reach tens of thousands of people.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I had known where best to spend my resources.
When making a podcast, there are a lot of choices to make about where to skimp or splurge, especially if you’re an independent producer whose budget is the contents of your own wallet.
If I could give my former self advice, I’d say to buy the best microphone you can afford, and just do what you can with the rest. You can make a great-sounding show with free editing software, but if the recording itself is sub-par, no amount of post-production can fix it.
Even if you don’t buy a very expensive mic, learn about recording technique. Use what you have as well as you can, and you can make something great. If you’re not at least trying to make something great, don’t bother.
You wanna get to know the truth about false things? You know where to go, subscribe. If you have any feedback for Brian, you can send along your feedback to consequence(at)randi(dot)org
Get your truth out onto the world and start podcasting