Hey there everyone, and welcome to an irregular version of the Eleven Dubcast!
Hopefully you're all appropriately full of holiday cheer right now, and if you're anything like me, you're probably also appropriately full of snow and buckeye candy and ham and jelly beans and a bunch of other nice things.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying that we didn't do a Dubcast this week. More on this in a second, but seeing as how we record on Tuesday evenings, it just wasn't going to happen this week. Still, in the spirit of giving, I have torn myself away from the cornucopic orgy that is holiday food and sleep to bring you a little behind the scenes peek at what Sarah and I do every week with the Dubcast to get it published on the site.
It's not exactly All The President's Men, but I thought it would be interesting to take you guys through the general process, and to solicit listener ideas for things you want to hear, get feedback on things you like, and take some constructive criticism on things you don't. So let's get started!
Hardware-wise, things are fairly simple at Dubcast HQ. I've got a three year old Lenovo laptop that still putters along on Windows Vista (I know, I know). Initially when we started the Dubcast in 2010, I used the embedded mic in the laptop, but the sound quality from that was predictably horrible, so soon afterward we splurged on a Snowball mic, which does the trick nicely.
All Dubcasts are recorded through Skype; I call up Sarah and we use a program called Pamela to record the call itself. Usually podcasts are broken up into individual segments, but that doesn't necessarily require that they be separate calls. When we bring on guests to interview, I just add them to our call, and Pamela takes care of the rest.
Editing can be a little tricky. I use Audacity for that, but to tell the truth I'm no expert with it. Most of the problems that I've had is finding the right balance between when to fade in and out for the audio transitions. I also tend to spend a lot of time editing out weird pauses in the conversation or any stray dumb things that come out of my mouth. It's odd how much a simple editing job can change the context of an entire conversation, and to tell the truth that makes me feel somewhat nervous from time to time even thinking about how much power an editor can wield.
I publish the Dubcast using Podomatic, which started out as a minimal investment, but because of the popularity (and sheer numbers) of the Dubcast, we now require a lot more space and bandwidth than we started out with. Overall, from start to finish, it takes about 3-4 hours to record, edit, and publish each episode.
I was going through some old Dubcasts recently, and I was surprised at how much different it is since I took over as the "lead" from Luke. He has a distinct style that I pretty much will never be able to replicate, but I think what's more important is that the show develop a unique tone and voice under my general direction. Sarah of course plays a huge role in that as well; I really enjoy the dynamic that we have, and our styles, so to speak, complement each other fairly well.
Interviews are always tricky. We've made an effort to get bigger name guests as of late (national reporters and the like), but the larger problem there that I've found is that they can rarely be scheduled more than a day or two in advance due to their schedules. Also, I would love to get any suggestions from our listeners about who you guys would like for us to try and bring on; oftentimes the best suggestions come from 11W itself.
Ask Us Anything has always been fun as hell, and it's even more fun the weirder the questions are. I've been trying to brainstorm other ideas for segments, and that's where you guys can come in, too. Anything that you'd like to see Sarah and I do, be it reviews, announcements, yo momma jokes, etc., be sure to let us know by either commenting here or dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unlike Luke, I am no great follower of podcasts. I might grab one here or there, but there aren't any that I latch on to and listen to religiously, so as a result, I kind of just go along with a conversational style that works best for Sarah and myself. Our goal in general has to been to make a show that's more like two people hanging out and talking about sports that seems natural without being forced. Not exactly an original concept, but it's harder than it looks. I've got all the respect in the world for guys like Spencer Hall who can do it without breaking a sweat.
Ultimately one of the things that we are trying to do with the Eleven Dubcast is show that sports can be fun and sensational without being sensationalized. Not every game has to be a battle or a war, not every bad thing that happens is the end of the world, and not every good thing that happens is sliced bread. Sports are fun, and discussions of them shouldn't devolve into stupid hyperbole week after week.
Sarah and I hope that we can bring you a fun, weird discussion of a fun, weird pastime on a weekly basis; if we've done that, we're doing okay. Thanks for listening, and please leave any suggestions or comments below!