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

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

The great thing about podcasting is that anybody can do it. It’s a uncommon medium that’s almost as straightforward to make as it’s to eat. And as such, no two folks do it precisely the identical manner. 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 into a type of default through 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 achieved. The record thus far contains:

Articles of Interest’s Avery Trufelman
First Draft and Track Changes’ Sarah Enni
RiYL distant podcasting version
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 personal podcast, RiYL

Eleanor Kagan, Senior Producer, “Welcome to Your Fantasy,” Pineapple Street Studios. Image Credits: Eleanor Kagan

Launching as we speak from Spotify and Pineapple Street Studios (in affiliation with Gimlet), “Welcome to Your Fantasy” explores the true crime story behind the Chippendales phenomenon of the 1980s. Historians and “Past/Present” hosts Natalia Petrzela, Nicole Hemmer and Neil J. Young will unravel the story over the course of an eight-episode collection. The present took 18 months to create, bolstered by appreciable assets from Spotify. Pineapple Street Senior Producer Eleanor Kagan (Another Round, See Something Say Something and Thirst Aid Kit) runs us via the gear the workforce used to create the collection each in-person and remotely, as soon as the pandemic hit. 

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How I Podcast Welcome to Your Fantasys Eleanor Kagan

Dancer Scott Layne walks host Natalia via considered one of his routines throughout an interview. Image Credits: Eleanor Kagan

For in-person interviews not recorded in Pineapple’s Brooklyn studio, my primary reporting equipment features a Zoom H5, which has two XLR channels and permits me to offer 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 liable 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 get together scene on the membership was supposedly inflicting wars between the house owners, neighbors and the police. (Luckily, 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 cling 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 snug for an extended day within the area, so I take advantage of a daily backpack. My equipment additionally contains Sony MDR-7506 headphones, an assortment of three- and six-foot XLR cables (all the time have backups), a deadcat, further SD playing cards, an Electro Voice RE50/B mic, pens, snacks, launch types and batteries. So many batteries.

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

Then the pandemic hit. We all went on lockdown. We had achieved most of our interviews however there have been a number of we nonetheless wanted, plus all of the host monitoring for the collection. So we shipped Natalia a equipment: 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 keen to tug off her couches and chairs. (Sound bounces off of onerous surfaces. The mushy supplies take in 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 into her personal recording engineer ON TOP OF internet hosting a whole present. We shortly bought accustomed to doing all the pieces remotely and over Zoom, as all of us in all places did.

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Natalia’s closet studio. Image Credits: Eleanor Kagan

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When it got here to distant interviewing, we might join over Zoom, and each Natalia and our interviewee would report themselves. (We all the time recorded the Zoom as a backup too.) It was as much as us producers to speak our interviewees via self-syncing. Experience and teamwork was of the utmost significance right here. Interviewees solely had a lot time, and explaining methods to arrange a recording on a smartphone (or iPod!, sure, actually) and switch a take a look at recording shortly, after which troubleshooting any audio issues of their location was essential 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 via the set-up. There’s one thing slightly 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 unique costume in the midst of the interview — as one man did. But everybody was extremely form and affected person and keen to do that for us, for which we’re very, very grateful.

In the tip, we interviewed about 70 folks for this collection. 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.

Thankfully, regardless of the place on the earth anybody is, we now have the instruments to do it.


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