A little while ago a colleague, Ray Bohmer, suggested that I listen to this guy named Matt Beckwith who has a podcast called PodcastStockton. I listened to the show and was curious about what goes into a podcast production. A week previously Matt had read one of my blog posts about iPhone Apps on MrWes.net and left a comment for me. Since this is the year of stepping out of my comfort zone, I decided to ask for an informational interview with Matt.
Matt agreed to meet with me and suggested we eat dinner at Panera Bread near Eight Mile Road & Trinity Parkway. Panera Bread is a wonderful little deli-style restaurant that makes delicious sandwiches. I plan to take my wife there for dinner some time soon. The following are notes from the interview I did with Matt on February 5th, 2010.
MrWes: Why do you podcast?
Matt: I love audio production.
MrWes: What do you do for a living?
Matt: I’m a call center manager, I love helping people.
MrWes: Tell me about PodcastStockton.com
Matt: Podcast Stockton promotes Stockton. Its mission is to share the good stories of Stockton.
MrWes: Why is PodcastStockton.com totally focused on Stockton.
Matt: PodcastStockton started as a response to a Forbes article that said Stockton was one of the most miserable cities. Sure there’s crime and other bad things that exist anywhere you go. But I wanted to report on the positive things that are happening in Stockton.
MrWes: How often do you podcast?
Matt: We have committed to a weekly show.
MrWes: Where do you do your recording and editing?
Matt: The majority of the show is recorded in my home studio. But I will record wherever the show guest likes.
MrWes: How did you get started podcasting?
Matt: With a family podcast called Pizza Go Here
MrWes: Do you follow or recommend any podcasts?
MrWes: Do you plan on expanding to video (vlogging) in the future?
Matt: Yes, within a year. Rod [Matt’s co-host] and I have started experimenting with video production.
MrWes: Besides “Pizza Go Here”, do you have plans to produce or collaborate on another podcast?
Advice for newcomers to podcasting
MrWes: How much does it cost to get started?
Matt: Nothing if you have the means to record the audio and import it into your computer for editing. There is a lot of audio editing software available for free. I advise you to avoid spending a lot of money until you’re sure that you can come up with content and be comfortable behind a microphone.
I have several suggestions for recording audio:
- With a web cam you can record the show and then separate the audio from the video.
- Many laptops now also have built-in mics.
- Most computers have a microphone input, you can record your audio to your computer using that
- If you have an iPhone, you can use the built-in recorder for recording audio
MrWes: Which hardware do you use?
- 2 Macs
- recording on 24″ iMac
- web editing on MacBook
- 2 XLR microphones with Wind Guards
- Rode NTI
- MXL 9000
- 1 digital Firewire Mixer MOTU (Mark Of The Unicorn)
MrWes: Which software do you use?
- Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
- Garage band (iLife contains Garage Band)
MrWes: If you could go back a year and give yourself advice, what would you say?
Matt: Two things. First put a show out every week, don’t let yourself “podfade”. And second you will be fine, people will like your idea.
Definition: Podfade is a term used by podcasters to describe what happens when you start missing your regularly scheduled podcasts.
Final 4 questions
MrWes: How long have you been in Stockton?
Matt: A total of 28 years.
MrWes: What do you like about Stockton?
Matt: The people – there are the most unique people and it’s full of diversity
MrWes: What is your favorite Stockton memory?
Matt: My childhood at Naughty Nicks and the skating rink on Hammer Lane
MrWes: What do you like to do for fun in Stockton?
Matt: Visit downtown, especially eating at Yasu Yani and watching the Stockton Thunder.
We talked about a lot of other things that weren’t on topic. Of course, since I’m not a podcaster yet, I don’t know which things I should or shouldn’t leave in there. I hope to get advice on that soon. I really enjoyed our candid conversation about tech stuff. Thanks Matt for an interesting and informative evening. I look forward to seeing you again, maybe at your studio.