Reliving the Future Musical musings from aging hipsters

How the “Rumblings” sausage gets made

If you listen to the “97X Rumblings from the Big Bush” podcast (available on Spotify, Apple podcasts and Podbean), you are in rare company. You’re part of the elite. Not just the 1%, but the top 1% of the 1%. You’re special.

So does Chrissie Hynde

And if you’ve ever found yourself wondering “How do Dave and Damian pack so much genius into an episode that’s never* longer than the playing time of two spins of Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’?” then this post is just for you.

*OK, sometimes we go over a tad.

Scheduling

Dave and I try to get together once every couple of months to record a new batch of 4-6 interviews, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Once we agree upon a date, we start emailing potential guests and locking down 30-minute slots for each guest. In the Before Times, Dave would drive to my house. He’d often bring his magical machine that can transfer cassette tape recordings into digital files. Now, in the coronavirus End Times, we “meet” via Google Hangouts.

Recording

We use a strange combination of equipment and programs to make the magic happen. Yeti mic on my end (when Dave came over we’d use a headphone jack splitter so both of us could put on headphones just like the old radio days).

When Dave joined me in my basement (“The Party Dungeon”) we’d use Google Voice to call our guests. Now, ideally they join via Google Meet. We use a program called VoiceMeeter (a virtual audio mixer) to balance the volume of the caller with our volume, and Audacity (freeware) to record the interview. [Zoom is a new wild card – when you record a meeting, it creates an audio-only file – we plan to test this soon as an alternative to the Google Voice/VoiceMeeter/Audacity trifecta. If you’re a gearhead and have other suggestions, we’re all ears.]

Editing

Editing is really a two-step process. First comes the content editing, then the actual audio edits.

After Dave drives back to Mars (I’m assuming that’s where he lives), I’ll listen to the interviews and take notes (scribbles really) about the content. Then I listen again, marking up “keeper” sections and figuring out what we can cut to get the episode down to our desired “2 Belas” length (this is the toughest part… “kill your darlings”).

My edit notes for our chat with Howard Cohen of The Cereal Killers. Dot = keeper, brackets = cut.

Once I have a good feel for overall flow, I’ll save a copy of the raw recording in Audacity and start slicing and dicing. Dave’s “flashback” intro usually mentions a song, so I’ll track down that video on YouTube, record the ending via SnagIt, and convert it to an mp3 audio file via VLC Media Player (freeware). I also can throw in “liners” from the old days (liners = short station promos, usually with Bake’s voice, that identify the station… “97X, the future of rock and roll”) to break up the interview between topics, and to wrap up the episode. Dave had a bunch of liners on cassette, and Bill Douglas also sent us several. (Thanks Billy D!)

Audacity: It slices, it dices, it even makes julienne fries!

Publishing

Podbean is the site we use to host our podcast. We’re on the Unlimited Audio Annual Plan for $108 a year. I try to post on Podbean and 97Xbam.com nearly simultaneously, and add “bonus content” (photos, links, more text) on 97Xbam. I’ve set up links/connections/RSS feeds to our podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts as well, so when a new episode goes live on Podbean, it will also appear on those sites. (It’s really only a matter of time until Spotify starts throwing “Joe Rogan money” at us for an exclusive deal.)

Dave and I will settle for a 50/50 (million) split

Ideally we’d publish a new episode every two weeks, but I can only do editing over the weekends, and it’s rather time-consuming.

Listening

As 97X station owner Doug Balogh liked to say, “without the listener, we’re like one hand clapping.” We’re not setting the podcasting world on fire, but I’d like to think we’ve made a small yet enthusiastic group of dedicated, discerning listeners pretty happy. Hmm, much like 97X as a radio station.

We are NOT big in Japan, but it looks like 3/4ths of the band ABBA enjoys our show. (Thanks Agnetha, Bjorn and Anni-Frid… and screw you, Benny!)

If you like the podcast, please tell a friend about it. If you don’t like it, tell an enemy.

A labor of love

So there you have it, 97XRFTBB from soup to nuts. Actually, considering the co-hosts, it’s more like from nuts to nuts.

It’s been a real treat to reconnect with the 97X/woxy.com community through our podcast. Thanks so much for listening!

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