This series is all about Libsyn’s 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 Jay and Squidge from The Waffling Taylors
When did you start podcasting?
We launched The Waffling Taylors podcast in November of 2017.
Why did you start podcasting?
One January 8th of 2017, we launched The Waffling Taylors blog. It was a place for my brother and I to talk all about the video games that we had played during our youth, the games that we were playing at the time, and the games that we were looking forward to.
We started to find that blog posts weren’t enough to contain all of our incessant rambling tangents that we tend to go on when talking about our passion, so we started The Waffling Taylors podcast. Episode 0 went live on November 10th of 2017 – although it was recorded many months before then.
You can usually set your watch by the amount of time it takes us to talk about video games, whenever we meet up. So we decided that it would be a good idea to capture our ridiculous thoughts and nonsense talk about our main hobby.
(it’s also so much easier to edit together than a 1000–2000 word article. Even if it does take longer to do so)
What’s the name of your show about and what is it about?
So the Waffling Taylors podcast is all about the rambling nonsense, and collective knowledge and experience that we (Squidgy and myself) have built up from a life time of playing video games. It’s been described in one review (over on Podchaser as:
Wonderful, light listening on gaming topics, that occasionally goes into a depth that is delightful.
We usually have guests on the show, and talk all about their experiences with video gaming, too. Our recurring segments include:
- Desert Island games
Which is similar to the BBC Radio 4 show of a similar title. It asks a simple question:
if you were lost on a desert island and could only play one or two games until you were rescued, what would they be and why?
Guests can choose an Internet connected game, as long as they don’t use the Internet or the game to request help. We usually rename this segment to be in keeping with the episode theme; for instance we renamed it to “Thunder Plains Games” when we interviewed our resident Final Fantasty expert Lulu, and “Save Room Games” when we interviewed some of the folks from the Arcade Attack podcast about the Resident Evil series of games.
- Unpopular Gaming Opinions
This was sparked by friend of the show Emma, who asked us the following over twitter:
What is your unpopular gaming opinion?
We ask each guest what their current unpopular gaming opinion is. In the past, this has sparked discussions about things like how Hideo Kojima (director of the Metal Gear series of games) is overrated, and how video game rating systems are important and shouldn’t be ignored.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
We currently use my 2014 Macbook Air (due to it’s light weight), a Blue Yeti microphone, and a pair of Bluedio UFO plus headphones, as the recording hardware.
There are plenty of shows which have a much more professional set up (and a mic for each host and guest), but we’re still only at the beginning of our podcasting journey. When we “go pro” we’ll look to investing in more hardware.
Our first few episodes were recorded in Garage Band, which made it really quick to get started. But the first few had some weird effect added (mainly because I’d pushed the wrong button somewhere), which gave the show an ever present echo – like we’d recorded in a cave.
Since then we used Audacity to record shows, but it has failed us one too many times (personal opinion: I don’t think it is very stable on MacOS, but that’s my opinion).
For remote recording (when we’re interviewing someone who is remote to us) we’ve used ZenCastr which has worked fantastically well, and have used Skype once or twice.
Editing is something that I do as a solitary activity in either Audacity or Reaper. I haven’t been using Reaper for very long, so I’m still learning how it all works
(there are so many buttons and functions – I must try them all)
Once the episode is edited together (I usually take out or bleep any swears), and I’ve added intro, outro, spoiler and incidental music, and a stinger (usually a short skit or joke, after the outro music) it’s time to use Auphonic Audio Leveler. This tool allows me to apply audio leveling and audio industry standard stuff with the push of a button. If I’m honest, most of the things it does are magic to me, so I just let it do it’s thing.
I then open the GiMP and start designing a custom album art image. If I can’t think of anything specific about the episode, then I’ll fall back to our default logo image.
Once the episode has passed our internal QA check (i.e. we both listen to the episode and pass notes and ideas back and forth about it), I type up show notes in MarkDown and import them into our WordPress site.
How have you promoted your podcast?
We’re more active on Twitter, as the video gaming, retro gaming, and podcasting communities there seem to be more active and open to our brand of nonsense and ridiculousness. That allows us to participate in the UK based retro gaming twitter-verse, which includes some amazing people.
I also created a number of short promo trailers, usually they are created with sections which are cut from the podcast episode that I’m editing together or random stupidity that we come up with while doing a sound check, and upload them to SoundCloud. That way we can send through short clips to fellow podcasters that we would like to collaborate with.
It helps that some of my friends in the development community dig the podcast, too – we’ve been mentioned on the Coding Blocks podcast once or twice, for instance. I was also interviewed for the Productivity in Tech podcast about my blogging and podcasting process.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Just how easy it is. Seriously, all you need is a microphone, a computer, some free audio recording software, a Libsyn subscription of course, and you are good to go.
I spent way too much time wondering how it was done, and read a lot of articles which turned out to be personal opinions on how to make your show sound as professional as possible (which is something we’re still inching towards). But just getting started is the hardest part.
Since starting the Waffling Taylors show, we’ve received so much positive feedback and have planned a few collaboration episodes. The doors that can open for you are astounding, but you just have to start, and it’s so easy to get started.
In fact, my experience of starting and running the Waffling Taylors lead me to co-hosting another show called Dev Otaku with my friends Jay and Keheira. AND it has lead me to starting my own solo podcasting project called The .NET Core Show (which is a Libsyn powered podcast too, of course :P)
If you are at all thinking about starting a podcast, then just start. You might not like the way the first few episodes sound, but power through and figure out your style. Once you’ve done that, get it uploaded to Libsyn and start promoting it.
That’s all there is to it, really. Just iterate slowly and figure it out as you go. That’s what we did, and it seems to be working for us.
Are you obsessed about something with one of your buddies that you cannot stop talking about? How about starting a podcast? We would love to help you get started. We have a monthly free podcasting Quickstart every first Wednesday of the month. If you are ready to go, then here super reasonable hosting plans!