Albans City Limits

Co-produced radio piece for KCRW's 24-Hour Radio Race 2019, about a homeless tent city outside a small West Virginia town, the pastor trying to support them, and the towns' residents that are against him.

How to Use Compression for a Better Podcast Sound

A lot of the work of finishing your podcast once you’ve recorded it is making it sound better without the audience ever realizing you’ve changed anything. Natural-sounding podcast audio from outlets like NPR and Gimlet Media is anything but natural. To get a great podcast sound, you need to use processing tools like compressors. Today we’re explaining what compression is, why it’s important for creators to use it in every podcast episode, and how to apply it to your podcast.

How to Make Your Podcast Sound Better with Simple EQ Techniques

With podcasts and any kind of audio, the raw sound you record is rarely going to be the end product that people hear. There are a number of post production effects, also known as FX, that can help you craft a more pleasing sound for your podcast. Today we’re explaining one of the most basic types of processing: equalization, or EQ. We’ll cover the EQ steps that every podcast creator should be taking with their vocal tracks in order to achieve a better and more professional sound.

How to Normalize Your Podcast Audio, and Why You Need To Do It

New podcast creators often find that making a podcast involves a lot of steps. Some are expected, like using an audio editor to cut your podcast together. Some are less obvious, like normalizing your podcast’s audio. What does normalizing a podcast's levels, also called Loudness normalization, actually mean? Why should creators care about this process, and how exactly do they do it? Today, we’ll give a short explanation of what Loudness is, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to normalize your podcast.

Running Out of Podcast Ideas? Here's How to Find More

It happens to every podcast creator eventually. You have an off week. The ideas aren’t flowing like they usually do. You’re thinking about what to make your next podcast episode about, and you’re drawing a blank. You’re out of podcast ideas! So what should you do? Today we’re going to recommend a strategy that may seem unorthodox: steal ideas from other places. In the latest in our “Thoughts from Third Coast” series, we’re talking about how you can generate new ideas for your podcast through the art of (ethical) stealing. In talking about how stealing ideas can improve your development of new podcast ideas, we’ll be drawing upon a Third Coast session by This American Life producer Chana Joffe-Walt.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Making a Podcast

There are a lot of resources on the Internet for making a podcast (we even have our own list of podcast production tools you can use). But how do you actually put all these tools together to get a finished podcast episode? When it comes to the nitty-gritty of making podcast episodes, production studios start to get vague about their process. Today, Backyard Media is going to show you how to make a podcast, using our own in-house production process as an example. We’ll walk through how we make our local politics podcast, Backyard Cambridge, and demonstrate how we’re using the tools we mentioned in our “ultimate tools” guide.

The Ultimate List of Tools for Podcast Production

Anyone who gets into podcasting knows that audio takes a long time to edit and make. Creating a podcast is an involved process that takes a lot of organization, as we talked about in our last guide. To make your podcast production easier, we’ve gathered lots of different tools that creators can use to improve their production cycle. Below is our running list of some of the best resources - free and paid - that will make podcast production less of a hassle and hopefully more enjoyable.

How Solid Organization Can Make The Difference In Your Podcast Production

Any creator who’s started a podcast knows that they have many moving parts to them. Making a podcast means brainstorming topics, conducting research, contacting guests and interviewees, setting up recording equipment, and then editing and mixing the audio until it’s perfect. It can be a lot to keep track of, and the reality is that the way you organize your podcast’s production cycle can have an impact on your finished product.

Why Don’t We Talk More About Mental Health? With Mike Shinoda, Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Ahmad Hariri

[Engineered 3-person interview with Baratunde Thurston, Mike Shinoda, and Dr. Gail Saltz] /// Join us for a real, raw and powerful conversation that calls on all of us to do our part in removing the shame and stigma surrounding mental illness. In the latest episode of Spit, host Baratunde Thurston discusses mental health with a trio of folks who are working every day to combat the stigma, using their expertise, their research and their platform to make a difference. In part one of this episode...

5 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started My Podcast

Backyard Media is always trying to think of new ways to help independent podcast creators. As a writer for Backyard Media and a podcaster myself, I’m always trying to improve my craft and learn from others in this space. To that end, I recently attended the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago. Third Coast is the premiere gathering of audio professionals in the US. A three-day event full of technical sessions, social events, and networking opportunities, Third Coast is a great place for like-minded radio professionals and independent podcast creators to meet and exchange ideas about their craft.

S3 Episode 3: Direct Democracy vs Bureaucracy

Are ballot questions really a form of pure direct democracy? Or are they a more complicated process? Today, we’re unpacking some arguments you don’t hear very much - arguments against the ballot question process itself. In what ways can this process be opaque, too influenced by money, or vulnerable to intervention by state legislators? We’ll also look at a possible solution right here in Massachusetts that could improve the ballot question process for everyone.
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