#marketing Podcast Gear & What We Use To Record Seeking Wisdom
Speaker 1: All right. What's up, everybody. Thanks for listening. You're back for another episode of Marketing Monday. Which by the way, I've heard the response has been good. I mean, usually you don't hear from... Well, sometimes you hear from people who don't like it, but I've got a bunch of tweets, a bunch of comments, people seem to like it. So, that's cool, so went back and I got a really popular request. Five or six people reached out and said how, they saw a picture I think of some mics and stuff. We had a... We did an interview, which is actually the episode prior to this. On Seeking Wisdom, we interviewed, we had Deron Mayo, seven time Patriots captain, Superbowl champ. He was on the podcast. Pretty, pretty damn cool. And I posted a picture and got a bunch of tweets and comments about people want to know what the setup that we use for Seeking Wisdom is, so I thought that'd be a great episode for Marketing Monday. So, right now I have a little white board that has eight different things on it and I'm going to run you through all of them, which is funny because somewhere DC is probably cringing listening to this episode because I am not the tech guy, the gear guy. I screw up a lot of stuff a lot, but I know I can run through everything. I can tell you everything that we're using and that'll be helpful. It doesn't... I don't have to come set it up for you, but you'll know all the different things that we're using. And actually I'm recording this right now on my iPhone. So, we got this Shure mic for iPhones, which is pretty cool and it records amazing audio just on your phone. So, that's how I'm recording this one now. So, I'll break down our whole setup for Seeking Wisdom. So, number one thing is space. So, we have space at Drift. We have... Well, when we first got, we're in a new office, we moved to this office a year ago and we had a nice studio space because we didn't need all the conference rooms at the time. And so we had this great space, we had a TV in there, we had all the mics and everything, and now I am in a closet. It's basically a closet. All of our gear is in here until we move into our new office, so I'm in the closet. But number one thing is, I think having a consistent space is important. It's helpful to have all our gear. We know where everything is. It's all in one space. So find a room. If you don't have a room, whatever, you can be super portable. I used to actually do all this stuff on the go and I would just carry around the recorder and two mics and that was also really easy. So, we do have a studio. Here for now, it's a closet, but in our new office, we're going to build out a actual full studio, which I can't wait to show you pictures of. So, that's number one. Number two is the device that we record on as the number one thing. And so I have one of them in my hand right now. You can't see it, but you can hear it. Okay. So I'm holding something just to prove it to you. And it's a Zoom. So there's two Zooms. We used to use the Zoom H4N. This is not Zoom like the web conferencing. This is actually a physical analog recorder. Is that even the right term? Is that? Did I use that right? Analog, digital, I don't know. But it's like a piece of hardware and it has a... You put an SD card in it and it records audio. You can use this without microphones. It comes with these little preset mics, which you could use, like onboard mics. I'd actually see... If you ever see on the news, you can see reporters holding them. It kind of looks like a weird, like razor. It looks like one of those electric razors almost. But a couple of years ago, I switched over to the Zoom H4N and it's been a game changer. I used to record, back in the early days of my podcast, which was Tech in Boston and some other stuff that I did, I used to just bring my laptop and the USB mic and that was fine, but then I got real gear and that made all the difference in the world. So, I would a hundred percent get this setup, which is a Zoom and then use XLR cables and use real mics. So I'll tell you about the mics and everything, but that was the biggest change for me is actually giving people handheld mics. I had a handheld mic, giving them that, that was amazing. So, we used to use the Zoom H4N, which is great. It has two XLR inputs and so you can get... This Zoom probably costs$ 200. 00 on Amazon. Look it up, Zoom H4N, use my affiliate link D- G. I don't have affiliate link. And then you... So you get to Zoom, you buy a SD card and then you get two XLR cables, which are like$ 13.00 a piece, is really cheap. And then two mics and so you need XLR mics. The mics that we use a lot are the Shure SM58. I know Tim Ferris talks about these. A bunch of other people have talked about, they're amazing. They're basically your standard mic that you've seen at any event, high school auditorium to bar mitzvahs. This the mic that most people are using, a handheld mic. And they're really good. They are$ 99. 00 each on Amazon, which is really easy. And what's cool is they are very sturdy and they're actually kind of low tech. There's no plug on them, they just plug right into the XLR cable. You plug them right into the Zoom and you're good to record. They're also super durable. They last forever is what I've heard. And I love them because they're cardioid mics, they only pick up the noise that's directly in front of it and so you can actually get away with background noise if you're holding the mic right up to your mouth. So, you really just have to make sure to hold the mic up to your mouth. So the Zoom H4N, two Shure SM58 mikes, you could have one, you could have seven. I don't know how many people are going to be on your podcast, I just said two. But about a year ago, maybe six months ago, we upgraded and we got the Zoom H6 and the Zoom H6 is a 100 times better than the Zoom H4. For a couple of different reasons. Number one, it has four XLR inputs. The Zoom H4N only has two. And so you can do, I can do a podcast with four people in person with the Zoom H6 and it has a dial for each mic so can control the volume for each person, which is amazing. But, the real reason I love it is because they've made it idiot proof. Whereas DC inaudible say" DG proof". The Zoom H4N, you have to kind of play around with a bunch of different settings in order to get the right mix and make sure it's not just coming out of one ear or one mic. The Zoom H6 is amazing because you literally just plug in mics and go. It's that easy. And so it's just a better version. It has all the mixers and settings right on the front of it, so you can change anybody's levels in real time. So, I definitely recommend going and get the H6. We also upgraded and got two better mics. So, we have the mics that we used for Seeking wisdom; our Audio Technica 8T2035 cardiod mics. They're a step up from the Shure SM58 mics I think. And they look really nice and they go on these nice stands that we have. The audio quality is definitely better. So, if you want to go up another level, I think these were like$ 150.00 a piece. So, that's the gear. Now, a lot of people say in person, remote... Look, we've done the remote thing and if you want to record podcasts guests and you want them to be remote, you can do it. It's very easy. There's two ways you can do it. So, if you want to record remote guests, you can use Skype, but Skype doesn't have a built in a way to record calls, which is kind of ridiculous they don't have it, but so for$ 30.00, you can buy this thing called Ecamm Call Recorder. Go to the website, www. ecammcallrecorder. com and you can buy a plugin for Skype. I think it's$ 30.00 for the year or forever basically. And it makes it so whenever you do a Skype, whenever you dial up a Skype call, a little recording box pops up and you can choose to either record just the audio or the video and you can, it record both sides of the conversation. So, if one person's connection isn't great, it'll pick up the other one. And you can deal with that. The only beef I have with this is, is that Skype has been terrible. I know that some of the big podcasts like Tim Ferris, I know he used Skype for a while, other people use Skype. Most of the podcasts I listen to, you hear them on Skype, but the quality... We haven't had good luck with it. Maybe it's the internet. Maybe it's where we are. I have no idea. Skype is just not reliable. It drops in and out too much and it kind of gives you this weird, like underwater sound to it. So, we've moved off of Skype. And instead of using Skype, we would use Zencaster. So, Zencaster is something, I think it costs$ 20.00 a month. And it's pretty cool because it records in your browser and you get a unique URL for each show. So, one thing that kind of sucks about Skype also is that you have to get your guests on Skype and most people haven't logged into Skype since like 2009 and so they don't know their login. So, with Zencaster you literally just give them a URL. It creates a page for every show and I say," Hey, you're going to come on my podcast. Here's a link." And then it opens up a page in their browser and then we are both basically in that browser session and I can hit record right from there. And the other thing Zencaster does, is it records everyone's audio locally. And so even if one person cops out or drops out, we'll get the audio from the other person and it all records in the browser. So, that was a little bit better. We still had some issues with the sound quality on Zencaster and honestly, after just really thinking about it and listening to a bunch of other podcasters and some of the best interview hosts, and I've found this over like three or four years now, the best interviews happen in person. Unless it's somebody that you know. If I have a really good relationship with somebody and we know each other well and we can just strike up a good conversation anywhere, remote would be fine. But for most people, it's kind of the first time that we're talking to them, is having them come on the podcast. And in person, I can't even explain. In- person interviews are just 100 times better. That's the one thing that I would take away from this is gear. Okay, you can get whatever gear, but I would really try to do, and actually I talked to DC about this. We're going to try not to do any remote interviews because it's just... Unless you know that person really well, it's probably not going to be good because you need that connection. You sit next to somebody, across from them, see their eye contact, loosen up, have a conversation, make jokes. You can't build that same rapport over Skype, even with video on. So, I would really push for in- person. Not only is the audio quality better, but the rapport and the relationship and the conversation has seemed to be much, much better. And, you know, I've been listening to a lot of James Altucher Lately, he does a great job. All this stuff is in person and it's very conversational. And so, I would just push to do in- person interviews. So, that's it. I got you eight different things. I wrote them all out on this little clipboard, but that's how we do Seeking Wisdom. Oh, a couple of other things I actually forgot to mention, sorry. I got more stuff for you. So, for a while I edited the audio myself using Adobe Audition. I use Garage Band back in the day, then I used Adobe Audition. And I talked to a audio engineer that I used to work with at a other company and he kind of gave me some basic rules to follow, but I just became too busy and I'm not that great at it, and so I would get a bunch of tweets like," Hey, it's really quiet in the car, but loud when I listened on my headphones", I said," You know what, screw it. I'm just going to get somebody who knows what they're doing." And so, I actually just reached out to... I just went on LinkedIn and found a bunch of people that work at public radio. I just emailed them all and I said," Hey, you're looking for a side gig. We need somebody to, we're looking for somebody to edit our podcasts". And we don't pay them a ton of money. I think, I don't know, maybe it's like$ 500. 00 to$750. 00 bucks a month, which is, it's pretty good. It's really easy because Seeking Wisdom is not like a narrative show. So, it's just like slap on intro outro, but the audio has been so much better. So, if you're serious about the podcasting thing, unless you're an audio engineer, I would 100% recommend outsourcing the audio. And we have a really good system now, which is... I just literally record an episode on the SD card, pop the SD card into my laptop after I take it out of the Zoom. Drag the file into Dropbox and then I just share that link with Mary, who's the person who edits our show. And then she sends me an email like two days later and is like," Hey, the final version is in the Dropbox folder." And then from there I upload it to iTunes. Which by the way, then if you didn't know this, you've never done a podcast. You don't upload directly to iTunes, you need a host and the host that we use is SoundCloud. I'll probably move the show off of SoundCloud over to Libsyn soon, but SoundCloud and Libsyn are the two hosts. And basically it works like a blog, where you upload the audio file, it gives you an RSS feed and the RSS feed is what you submit to iTunes to eventually get your show into iTunes or Apple Podcasts or whatever they call it now. And then what's cool is, now that SoundCloud and iTunes are connected via that RSS feed, every time I upload a new episode to SoundCloud or make a change, then it automatically gets uploaded in iTunes. So, that's the deal. That's how we do it. You can also go out and get yourself some music. You've got to pay more if you want the rights used on a podcast, but that's the deal. I got to go. It's Friday, which means it's show and tell, four o'clock here at Drift. We got to go talk about what we did this week. So, that's how we record Seeking Wisdom. I hope it was helpful. Talk to you soon.