Friday, April 27, 2012

Podcast: Heady Productions, EDM, and partying on the Hudson

Yesterday, we launched our third episode of the Midday Ramble podcast!

In this episode, Andrew Beam sat down with Brian Alverado, Joshua Cross, and Shane Morris of Heady Productions, a local media conglomerate that brings together the arts, media, and entertainment to capture the beauty and process of creativity and express it in unique and engaging live events throuhgout the Capital District.  

They talk about how the group went from running college parties in basements to booking a 300-person, multi-floor show on the Captain JP Morgan II Cruise-liner for the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic back on April 14, 2012, as well as what the guys hope to work on in the future.

For more information, check out their website at

DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE here and please subscribe at!

Podcasting with an iPhone

Just a tip for anyone who wants to do this - 

We held an community arts forum on Tuesday discussing the future of the local arts scene with the heads of some major theater and performing arts organizations. We had around 80 people turnout for the event, which was great for our first off-site Community Media Lab event.

Going into the forum, I knew I wanted to try and record the audio from the forum for a podcast, but, after talking to the folks who operate the theater at the local college where the meeting was held, I realized there was no "Live Sound" setup and getting one there would be difficult.

After visiting the space and seeing how it was setup - more for an intimate, small audience rather than a packed house of thousands - I hoped that the acoustics of the room would help the sound of the recording.

Of course, without a sound setup, I wasn't able to record the way that we've been doing our podcasts so far (with two microphones and a USB preamp). Instead, I decided to use my iPhone and a $1 app called Audio Memos. In doing previous research, I had read that this app had some better features than Apple's built in audio recording app, so I grabbed it and set my phone on the table next our moderator for the duration of the forum.

An hour and a half later, I grabbed the phone, popped in my headphones and gave the recording a quick listen. The results weren't half bad considering none of the speakers actually had a microphone in front of their mouths. The app even picked up for audience questions fairly well.

The next day, I dragged the audio file out of iTunes (via the Apps menu on my iPhone), threw it into Levelator, and was able to import it into Audacity and work with the file like any other podcast we've done. 

I just wanted to share the fact that this method does work well, since this could be especially useful for anyone looking to do mobile podcasts or interviews in the field without lugging the higher-end audio equipment around.

I'm hoping to launch the podcast of the forum sometime tonight or this weekend as a "Bonus" episode, since we're releasing new episodes once every two weeks and it would throw our schedule off to try and jam it in later on.

Here are some videos of the full forum for anyone who'd like to watch - 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Here's how to get a podcast onto iTunes

Here’s what happened over the last week which took me from starting to plan an entertainment podcast to having one up on iTunes within 7 days:

- During the week of March 19th-23rd, I discussed the idea of doing a podcast with one of our reporters, Andrew Beam, who is a big music fan and was very interested in getting something like this up and running.

- I gathered two Sennheiser microphones that we had around the office for our Sony HD camera and an M-Audio USB audio interface that I had ( and hooked the setup into my laptop to see if it worked.

- After only testing to make sure that Audacity recognized the input from the mics, I gave the equipment to Andrew with the plan that he would try it out for a few days and we would work up a plan while he started reaching out to some local bands and entertainment outlets to see if they’d want to sit down for an interview.

- Things ended up moving much faster than we had originally had anticipated when Andrew found a local musician who was excited to do the podcast but was heading out of the area after the weekend. We ended up forgoing much of our initial planning and scheduling the interview for that Sunday, which Andrew did a great job with, even though he didn’t have any mic stands at the time -

- After the interview, I went through the recorded audio and realized that, besides the fact we had a guest that moved away from the microphone a little too often, the audio didn’t sound as clear as I had hoped.

- While browsing the web trying to learn about podcasting, I found a program called “Levelator” - - which I used to save me a lot of time that would have been spent even out audio levels throughout the hour-long podcast.

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