This series is all about libsyn’s newest podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Travis from Tiny Odd Conversations
When did you start podcasting?
We released our first episode of Tiny Odd Conversations on June 12, 2011. We’d talked about doing a podcast for several months before that and recorded some test shows in May of that year – most of which got thrown out.
My opinion / advice: DO NOT JUST AUTOMATICALLY RELEASE THE FIRST THING YOU RECORD. The odds of you hitting it out of the park on your first try are stacked against you.
You could make an awesome show right out of the gate, but that’s pretty rare. It takes a while to figure out the flow and format. Heck, I’m married to and live with my co-host and we were still awkward together the first few times we recorded.
It’s best to work out as many kinks as you can ahead of time before you unleash your inaugural episode into the world.
Fun fact about my show: Episode 004 is really the first test show of ours that I didn’t hate. No one had really heard it so eventually I put it out. So technically that’s our “pilot episode.”
Why did you start podcasting?
I was recovering from a gnarly back surgery when I decided to do a podcast. I was literally in a brace, popping pain pills and unable to do much. Basically I couldn’t go out and perform any more as a comic or an actor but I still wanted an outlet. So I decided to build a show based on the assets I had around me.
I had a bunch of sound equipment left over from several failed bands. Gear: check.
Thanks to a life long curmudgeonly attitude I had strong opinions on pretty much everything I encountered. POV: check.
My wife is one of the most entertaining and naturally / unintentionally funny people I’ve ever met. Co-host: check.
The basics were covered so we put it all together and eventually Tiny Odd Conversations was born.
Another fun show fact: I was still on heavy pain medication for the first 4 months of the show so I will often listen back to the early episodes to try and remember what was happening back then.
What’s your show about?
This is always a tough question for me. I usually give a smart-ass answer like, “Our show is about an hour… give or take a few minutes.” Some people laugh, others will ask, “No seriously, what’s it about?” I’ve tried to come up a quick summation. Sometimes I say, “Imagine if Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington were a married couple.” I’ve heard others say we’re like a filthy George Burns and Gracie Allen for the 21st century.
That’s very high praise in my book.
Basically the show is a snap shot of those weird, funny, personal and of course odd conversations that you’ve had with friends or your significant other.
We try and tackle three different topics or conversations per episode. They can range from the seemingly mundane like bug problems at our new home to the surprisingly candid where I come to the realization that I might actually want to be a father.
In fact, those two subjects were part of one segment on a recent show. The topics we start off with are never where we end up and that’s part of the fun. That’s why our main tagline for the show is “Bridging The Gap From Inane To Insane.”
Although a new one I came up with recently is pretty accurate too… “It’s like eavesdropping on your crazy neighbors without having to get dangerously close to them.”
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
We use Heil PR-40 mics into a Mackie 1402 VLZ-Pro board into an Apogee Duet into an iMac. We record into GarageBand but we do each segment individually.
Then I mix each segment down into MP3’s and put them on an episode timeline that I created a template for. It took me a few episodes before I realize I could save a lot of time by creating the template.
That way all our tracks are always laid out the same for each episode. I try to do weekly recording sessions with our announcer (AKA Eric The Announcer) to record taglines that correspond with each segment. That doesn’t always happen so sometimes I reuse old ones that are just funny but not topic specific.
As far as other equipment goes we also use a Samson C Que 8 for a headphone amp. That way we (and our occasional guests) can all hear each other. I try to make our podcast sound as professional as possible, but if you saw the actual set up it’s just a bunch of stuff piled up on a kitchen table.
We look like audio equipment hoarders.
How have you promoted your podcast?
I have emailed, tweeted and Facebooked just about anyone I have ever met to repeatedly tell them about my show.
Granted this has resulted in at least 90% of my friends and family blocking me on social media, but such is life.
I’ve also found ways to seamlessly mention the fact that I have a podcast into any conversation. “Oh I’m sorry your uncle has kidney stones. You know what’s a great way to relax while he’s passing them? Listening to my podcast!”
One of the best ways I’ve found to increase your “circle of influence” and get your show heard by different people is getting involved with other podcasters.
Towards the end of last year I joined an awesome Facebook group called the IPA (Independent Podcast Alliance) and it really has been a great resource.
It’s a very supportive group where other members will answer podcast related questions and we all do our best to help promote one another. And people who help me promote myself are my favorite kind of people.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew not to get so stat obsessed. For over a year I would literally check the stats at least every half hour.
No joke. I’d take it personally if the show wasn’t being downloaded. I’d pout and drive myself crazy trying to figure out why some shows got a lot of listens and some didn’t.
But I’m much better now. Now I only check the stats every hour.
That’s progress, right?
With a killer interview like that why are you NOT wanting to go SUBSCRIBE to their show? You really should. If you want to engage in conversation with Travis…at your own risk, please reach out to tocpod(at)gmail(dot)com.
Any of you confined to your home in some way and are wanting to step into the podcasting world? You really should get your podcast going with us!