Home TECHNOLOGY How I Podcast: Welcome to Your Fantasy’s Eleanor Kagan

How I Podcast: Welcome to Your Fantasy’s Eleanor Kagan

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The great thing about podcasting is that anybody can do it. It’s a uncommon medium that’s almost as simple to make as it’s to eat. And as such, no two folks do it precisely the identical means. There are a wealth of {hardware} and software program options open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut from NPR studios to USB Skype rigs (the latter of which has turn out to be a type of default throughout the present pandemic).

We’ve requested a few of our favourite podcast hosts and producers to spotlight their workflows — the gear and software program they use to get the job accomplished. The checklist thus far consists of:

Articles of Interest’s Avery Trufelman
First Draft and Track Changes’ Sarah Enni
RiYL remote podcasting edition
Family Ghosts’ Sam Dingman
I’m Listening’s Anita Flores
Broken Record’s Justin Richmond
Criminal/This Is Love’s Lauren Spohrer
Jeffrey Cranor of Welcome to Night Vale
Jesse Thorn of Bullseye
Ben Lindbergh of Effectively Wild
My own podcast, RiYL

Eleanor Kagan, Senior Producer, “Welcome to Your Fantasy,” Pineapple Avenue Studios. Picture Credit: Eleanor Kagan

Launching in the present day from Spotify and Pineapple Avenue Studios (in affiliation with Gimlet), “Welcome to Your Fantasy” explores the true crime story behind the Chippendales phenomenon of the Eighties. Historians and “Previous/Current” hosts Natalia Petrzela, Nicole Hemmer and Neil J. Younger will unravel the story over the course of an eight-episode sequence. The present took 18 months to create, bolstered by appreciable sources from Spotify. Pineapple Avenue Senior Producer Eleanor Kagan (One other Spherical, See One thing Say One thing and Thirst Assist Package) runs us by means of the gear the staff used to create the sequence each in-person and remotely, as soon as the pandemic hit. 

Dancer Scott Layne walks host Natalia by means of one among his routines throughout an interview. Picture Credit: Eleanor Kagan

For in-person interviews not recorded in Pineapple’s Brooklyn studio, my fundamental reporting package features a Zoom H5, which has two XLR channels and permits me to provide one Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic to the host Natalia and the opposite to the interviewee. (On mic stands, in fact — the mic itself is susceptible to dealing with noise.) I’ve bought a Rode pistol grip for once we, say, knock on doorways within the neighborhood of the previous Chippendales membership in LA, searching for individuals who had been round when the celebration scene on the membership was supposedly inflicting wars between the house owners, neighbors and the police. (Fortunately, we discovered Naomi, 94, who had been there since 1972 and had tales for days. She’s within the podcast.) Christine confirmed me how she brilliantly makes use of a cross-body digicam strap hooked up to her recorder so she will be able to hold it comfortably round her. For gear baggage I used to swear by the Lowepro Passport Sling, however now that I’m older (lol), one-strapping isn’t comfy for a protracted day within the subject, so I exploit a daily backpack. My package additionally consists of Sony MDR-7506 headphones, an assortment of three- and six-foot XLR cables (at all times have backups), a deadcat, additional SD playing cards, an Electro Voice RE50/B mic, pens, snacks, launch types and batteries. So many batteries.

Producer Christine data historian Neil describing the LA neighborhood the place the unique Chippendales membership opened. Picture Credit: Eleanor Kagan

Then the pandemic hit. All of us went on lockdown. We had accomplished most of our interviews however there have been a number of we nonetheless wanted, plus all of the host monitoring for the sequence. So we shipped Natalia a package: a Zoom H6, a Shure SM7B cardioid dynamic announcer microphone, a CloudLifter CL-1 Microphone Activator, a broadcast arm, XLR cables and a windscreen. Natalia arrange store in her closet, surrounded by garments, a fleece blanket on the ground, and as many cushions as she was prepared to drag off her couches and chairs. (Sound bounces off of arduous surfaces. The mushy supplies take up it so the recordings received’t sound echoey or “roomy.”) We despatched our wonderful engineer Hannis Brown mic checks so he might diagnose the set-up from afar and counsel tweaks. And Natalia, bless her, was extremely sport to primarily turn out to be her personal recording engineer ON TOP OF internet hosting a whole present. We rapidly bought accustomed to doing all the things remotely and over Zoom, as all of us in all places did.

Natalia’s closet studio. Picture Credit: Eleanor Kagan

When it got here to distant interviewing, we’d join over Zoom, and each Natalia and our interviewee would report themselves. (We at all times recorded the Zoom as a backup too.) It was as much as us producers to speak our interviewees by means of self-syncing. Expertise and teamwork was of the utmost significance right here. Interviewees solely had a lot time, and explaining tips on how to arrange a recording on a smartphone (or iPod!, sure, actually) and switch a take a look at recording rapidly, after which troubleshooting any audio issues of their location was necessary to getting a high-quality interview with out taxing anybody’s persistence. There are a number of helpful guides and graphics on the market that stroll by means of the set-up. There’s one thing a bit of bit misplaced, in fact, once we don’t get to stroll into folks’s properties for interviews, and even when former Chippendales dancers can’t produce their authentic costume in the midst of the interview — as one man did. However everybody was extremely form and affected person and prepared to do that for us, for which we’re very, very grateful.

In the long run, we interviewed about 70 folks for this sequence. We wrote 26 drafts of our first episode. We reviewed 100+ hours of archival footage. And I imagine there are nonetheless extra tales to be advised in relation to Chippendales.

Fortunately, irrespective of the place on this planet anybody is, now we have the instruments to do it.

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