What to Expect at our Podcasting Workshop

What to Expect at our Podcasting Workshop

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Many people consider the process of audio production to be daunting: monitoring levels and splicing together a recording in Adobe Audition is a foreign experience to most. Ben Manilla, long-time radio personality and podcasting instructor, understands those challenges and quickly puts students’ minds at ease. That’s one reason why Podcasting: Telling Stories in Sound is one of our most popular workshops at Berkeley Advanced Media Institute.

When participants arrive on the first day, most of them have little to no experience with sound recording and audio editing. Ben breaks the ice by asking what podcasts they’re listening to – “Serial,” “This American Life,” and “99% Invisible” are common favorites.

After learning to use Tascam audio recorders, participants go into the restrooms for a recording exercise. They turn on the faucet and capture the sound of water running, and they experiment with how the recorder handles echoes and other ambient sounds in the small space. Throughout the rest of the day, they learn about interview techniques, script-writing, attention-grabbing opening lines, and more fundamentals of audio production. They’re then ready to record their own original projects the next morning.

Christine Sarkis, a senior editor at Smarter Travel, attended the podcasting workshop in March 2016, where she and a few other students met to interview Becky Mackelprang, a Ph.D. Candidate within the UC Berkeley Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. The team worked together to formulate questions to ask Becky about her studies and her work with the grain millet, in particular.

“To be out in the field and going through the precise combination of nerves, new equipment, and trying to put an interview subject at ease was both eye-opening and confidence-building,” Christine said. “I enjoyed coming back from the interview and piecing together my favorite parts into a compelling story.”

Despite being a class about sound, it’s a quiet afternoon on the second day of the workshop, as everyone is hard at work with headphones on, putting together the final details for their podcasts. For those who want to share, Ben plays their finished pieces for the class and provides feedback on each one. After some closing thoughts, participants are free to go continue their audio production efforts in their own work.

Want to learn how to make your own story in sound? Our next podcasting workshop will take place on June 8-9, 2016. Learn more and register now!

You can hear Christine’s finished podcast below:

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