I love just how “down-and-dirty” the podcasting process remains even after a few years of doing it regularly. For instance, I just did an interview with a prominent jazz musician who has played with all the titans of the art form, appeared on many popular albums, and maintains a high profile in the national music scene.
Where did I record this artist… in my studio?
Nope. That’s way too legit for me. I was hunkered in my car in the parking lot of the local community college, between two gigs in different parts of town, trying to find a semi-quiet spot to park my mobile studio (i.e. my fire-prone Saturn) in a place removed from bus and train traffic. I was on my cell phone, which was wedged in the backseat to avoid RF interference as much as possible, my windows rolled up to create a semi-soundproof (if somewhat sweltering and suffocating) recording booth. My laptop was perched on my lap, and I was looking around sheepishly at all the folks looking quizzically at me as they passed my car on their way to class.
I’ve probably recorded 50% of my podcasts in this kind of bizarre fashion–the other 50% were done in my kitchen, fighting with the cats to keep them off of the kitchen table and making a mess out of my electronic tangles. I’ve recorded in thunderstorms, on the beach, on the train, in parking garages deep beneath Chicago, and in countless parking lots before gigs. I’ve recorded at midnight in the rain inside my car, watching buses circle the parking lot in front of me, desperate to get the audio for my upcoming show done before I walked inside the door so that I could relax.
Is this the best setup for producing a show? Probably not! If I had a home studio, I’d probably use it. If I had an office, I’d probably use that. But I’ve got none of those things, just my car and an uncanny ability to scope out a quiet corner to do some audio. It’s amazing how much a person can do these days with a laptop, some assorted pieces of gear (camera, audio recorder), and some free time. Sometimes I even wonder if I would use a home studio even if I had one. I like being out and about and not cooped up at home, and I end up working on the podcast in stolen moments throughout the day. Heck, I might not even do the podcast if I wasn’t out and about. Maybe it’s the constant bouncing around that gives me ideas. Then again, maybe I’m just rationalizing having a fractured and scattered schedule. Who knows?
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