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Podcasting at Marston: Home

picture of microphone with text reading podcasting at marston lets build something together

With the popularity of shows like This American Life and Radiolab, people are more excited than ever to hear, create, and share audio stories.

Let Marston help you share your story.

So you want to podcast? Get going with this quick start guide.
Marston allows patrons to circulate podcasting kits for 7 days. See what's in the kits
Ready for a deep dive? These resources will put you on the right track for podcasting glory.

Getting Started

The task of creating your own podcast can seem daunting. These activities will help you tackle that task.

Activity 1: Ask & Listen

Follow these 4 steps to get off the ground right:
Step 1: Slow down. Don't fail before you even start.
Step 2: Pick up a recorder. Your smartphone has a microphone and a recording app.
Step 3: Hit record.
Step 4: Ask people questions. At least 5 people.
Step 5: Listen back to the recording.
Simple, right? If you have never done any podcasting, you just want to get something on tape. It is going to be bad. Trust me. But this will help you get acclimated to some podcasting basics like recording, using microphones, asking questions, and listening to tape.

Activity 2: Cut Your Sound

You have some audio now. Where to next:
Step 1: Audacity (PC) and Garage Band (Mac, iOS) are two very accessible, very powerful, and very free apps.
Step 2: Import your audio into your application. Need instructions? Here are the user manuals: Audacity and Garage Band
Step 3: Make some edits. Cut some of that dead air. Try cutting "umms," "likes," and uhhs." Isolate just the meat of the recording.
Step 4: Listen back to the recording.
You're really doing it!

Activity 3: Focus

Time to make your own podcast. But first you need to focus on what the episode or series is about. Use these methods below to help you focus.

Rob Rosenthal, lead teacher at the Transom Story Workshop, uses this focus sentence that he found in a book by Tod Maffin, former NPR producer:

the focus sentence: somebody, a character in motion, doing something, does something because blank, a motivation for doing that thing but blank, a challenge to overcome.

Abel, J., & Glass, I. (2015). Out on the wire : the storytelling secrets of the new masters of radio. New York : Broadway Books. pg. 52

Alex Blumberg, best known for his work with This American Life and Planet Money. He is the co-founder and CEO of the podcast network Gimlet Media and coined this focus sentence:

i'm doing a story about x the topic and what's interesting about it is y the story

Abel, J., & Glass, I. (2015). Out on the wire : the storytelling secrets of the new masters of radioNew York : Broadway Books. pg. 57

This was proposed by Soren Wheeler, the senior producer of Radiolab:

Yeah so maybe my sentence would be this happened blank, then this blank, then this blank, and then you wouldn't believe it but blank. And the reason that is interesting to every single person walking on the face of the earth is blank

Abel, J., & Glass, I. (2015). Out on the wire : the storytelling secrets of the new masters of radio. New York : Broadway Books. pg. 60

The Kit

Marston loans the podcasting kit for 7 days. Here's what you will get and how to use it.

Zoom H5

Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder (Manual) (Review)

Audio-Technica AT8010 Omni-Directional Instrument Condenser Microphone

Omnidirectional mics pick up sound from all around the microphone, making it susceptible to recording background noise.

Rode NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Shotgun mics are directional, meaning that it should be directed toward the audio source, reducing ambient, peripheral noise.


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