From Full-Stack Podcaster to PINO

Blue Encore 200

I started writing this in the comment section of an episode of Podcast Pontifications (“Why PINOs - Podcasters In Name Only - Own The Future”) and for some reason I decided to turn it into a blog post. You can subscribe to Podcast Pontifications in newsletter or podcast format. It’s also available on YouTube, if that’s your thing.

Original Gangster

OG Podcaster here, and I’m working on a concept for a new show.

And, guess what?

I’m only returning to podcasting because I no longer have to be what Evo Terra refers to as a “full-stack podcaster”.

A full-stack podcaster is someone who, back in the day, had to be well-versed in audio recording, editing and mixdown along with things like generating a properly formatted RSS feed so that your podcast could make its way into whatever podcast app your audience chooses.

I’ve produced and hosted two of my own shows since 2005. The first was a panel-style show that required herding the proverbial cats into my home studio every Thursday night (Remember, this was 2005 and things like Skype recording were still a PITA), edit the show, post it and do my best to promote it. I had so many issues with certain Wordpress plugins that I ultimately started creating my feeds by hand, using Feeder, then hosting it on Amazon S3 and their Cloudfront CDN.

The second show was a little easier, since it was an interview-style format and I produced it in support of my company. I could do it during “normal” working hours, but it was still a full-stack production.

It was the first show, the extracurricular activity, that pushed me toward my current mindset and the key thought is this: I will not produce another show unless I can have the simplest workflow possible.

That’s it. That’s the most important part.

The concept of the show is designed both around the content and creativity that make it work and the workflow. I had other creative concepts for the show but realized they would take up too much time and effort, and my day job already demands too much of my time. I want my next show to be a creative outlet and not something that feels like a second job.

If nothing else, it has made me rethink my workflows and equipment.

Let’s start there: equipment.

Gear

I am selling all of my outboard gear (vocal strips, noise gate, mixers, USB audio interface, portable recorders, etc.) and buying an all-in-one setup with onboard signal processing, simple mix-minus, etc.

Right now, the Rodecaster Pro is at the top of my list but I’m waiting for reviews of the Podtrak P8 from working podcasters and not just B&H or Sweetwater, who both sell the device. (I like A.B., and think that he does thorough reviews, but I want a diversity of opinions.)

I’ll keep my beloved Sony MDR-7506 headphones, MXL 990, Blue Encore 100 and Kel Audio HM-1, but everything else will be posted on eBay or Craigslist.

When dry, the Blue Encore 100 sounds very similar to the Shure SM58 (which itself sounds very similar to the Shure SM7B) so that will likely be my go-to mic.

Editing and Post-Production

I am completely sold on Descript and its ability to quickly transcribe and edit the audio using text. (And have you seen the Overdub feature?! Could there be anything more “PINO” than that?) The product is amazing and appears to be well worth the $24/month for the Pro plan. (Though paying for a year upfront is a little painful.)

If I decide that I want to get into more detailed editing, Descript will export the timeline to Reaper, my preferred DAW on Linux.

Hosting

Most recently, I self-hosted a Wordpress instance for the web site and a discrete Wordpress instance for the RSS feed. I uploaded the audio files to Soundcloud or Amazon S3.

This time around, I’m going the SaaS route to help cut down my total production time.

At the top of my list right now is Captivate. It looks like the best mix of features and price and if the show becomes popular, it can grow with me.

Monetization

This isn’t even on my mind, right now. You can’t monetize without an audience, so I’m totally focused on creativity and growing a base of listeners. If the show becomes popular, I’ll worry about it then - but if I reach that point, I’m still going to let someone else sell the ad positions. I don’t have time for that.

Does all of this make me a PINO?

If you like what you hear, who cares?

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