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Behind-the-scenes: How we recorded 27 podcasts each week during lockdown.

In the middle of June, my job got a little weird.

I’ve asked people to put socks on microphones.

Putting socks on microphonesPutting socks on microphones reduce 'pop' sounds. Image: supplied. 

 Deconstruct their living rooms and build forts.

Leigh Campbell in her couch fort.Leigh Campbell in her couch fort. Image: supplied. 

 Sit in their wardrobes.

Podcast hosts recording from their wardrobes.Podcast hosts recording from their wardrobes. Image: supplied. 

Or their cupboards.

Kee Reece in her cupboard..Kee Reece in her cupboard. Image: supplied. 

Or put a doona over their head.

Claire Murphy recording from home.Claire Murphy recording from home. Image: supplied. 


Why, I hear you asking? 

So that we can still release our 27 podcast episodes every week while we’re in lockdown in Sydney. 

Yep, we’re doing everything from home. And it’s been a little tricky.

We have had a few fans ask exactly how we make podcasts in lockdown and a few questions about why you’re suddenly seeing socks all over our hosts’ social media accounts. Here’s the answer to some of the main questions I’ve received:

How do you all stay in contact?

Like you probably do in lockdown, it’s a lot of Zooms/Hangout meetings (like… lots).  We discuss what’s coming up, what equipment we have at home, how to get guests to record from home when they don’t have the equipment we need. Here’s a picture of the team in one of those meetings. I’m not sure why we all look so glum - I think it’s probably because I didn’t tell them I was taking a photo and we were explaining how we were going to tell our hosts how to use the tech we’d just bought them. Super fun times.

Google Hangout meeting with the podcast producers.Google Hangout meeting with the podcast producers. Image: supplied. 


Do you record over Zoom?

No, each host is given a microphone and has to download Adobe Audition, the platform we record all of our shows into. And THEY have to press the recording button. Which is a little stressful for us producers, which is why we also use a platform called Zencastr (like Zoom) which acts as a backup recording in case something goes wrong.

Last year in lockdown, Mia unplugged a cord and an entire episode of Mamamia Out Loud was lost, so we want to prevent that from happening again.

We’ve seen lots of home DIY recording studios on socials - what does the blanket do?

Blankets are pretty good at reducing room noise. In a studio, we have fancy soundproofing, but at home, we use blankets instead. The smaller the space you record into, the better your podcast will sound. 

….and the socks on microphones? 

It’s not for shits and gigs, let me tell you that much. Socks are super handy for a DIY pop filter, so that you don’t hear people over pronouncing their ‘ps’ in your ears. 

How do you have enough mics for all of the hosts to take home? Are they high quality like the ones in the pod studio?

Usually, we share two pod suits to make all our pods come to life but when we are all sent home we had to play a pretty nifty game of equipment Tetris to make sure no one was missing anything otherwise it would be game over. 

Everyone has their own mic. 

Does Mia have a proper podcast studio at her house?

Does her walk-in wardrobe with all her sequins count?

How do you avoid talking over each other when you’re not in the same room to read body language, etc?

Oh this is tricky. Thankfully Facetime helps A LOT and because everyone is recording separately in their own homes. Technically, it’s okay if people talk over each other because we won’t pick it up on the record and can cut it out. 

What happens if they live in a noisy house? Or if someone is doing construction nearby?

This was the case for today’s episode of The Undone. Lucy had construction right outside her window, so we had to do an after-hours record so that it wouldn’t pick up on any of the drilling. The things we do for the pods, I tell ya!

Listen: Lucy and Emily host The Undone. Post continues below.

Do you listen to every podcast end to end before it goes out? Is that harder at home?

Yes, myself and our Managing Producer Maddie make sure we hear every piece of audio we produce before you do. So we know we’re giving you guys the best possible quality that we can produce. 

Thanks for reading all that, friends. It feels therapeutic to get it all out of my head. Same time next week?

If you are in lockdown why not listen to the last three seasons of Extraordinary Stories? Or email us here to suggest a segment for the Out Loud daily drop.

Feature image: supplied.

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