►Tell us about you and your podcast
We're Fishstick, Lulu, The Brofessor, and Mulch, the hosts of your low-grade, unpaid, risque, pit-stain of a Monday morning radio show! Half of us have actual radio experience, and the other half of us just got suckered into this mess. We won't say who's who, but you can probably figure it out.
We're the hosts at a (fictional, if you must know) radio station, 109.1 WIDK; iDunnoRadio! It's a fully-produced morning show, replete with fake advertisers, sponsorships, segments, and a 'deep-voice' voiceover guy. Our production value is as high as our collective IQ is low.
Our listeners are folks who find morning radio too boring nowadays, and are looking for a more high-energy, funny show to start their day. If you ask our producers though, they'll say our listeners are people who hate their own ears. If you're talking demographic, we're probably pitching to 18 - 30 year old men and women who enjoy quirky, self-deprecating, sometimes-gross, sometimes wholesome, no-holds-barred, humor. Two of us are big McElroy Brothers fans, I think that plays a part.
►Why & how did you start this podcast?
Originally the idea for iDunnoRadio came two years ago as a scripted audio drama. Yeah, for real. It's gone so far off course that it's entirely unrecognizable except for the host names. Fishstick might still have the manuscript somewhere... Anyways, we came to our current form after being introduced to podcasts like "My Brother, My Brother, and me" etc. The two of us who have experience in actual radio made the technical aspects of doing a podcast easy peasy.
Initially the goal was really to just make something light and entertaining to parody the 'morning zoo' radio format. We didn't exactly have 'stars in our eyes' or anything. All four of us have a really great friendship and we like to think our chemistry comes through on the show. Even if no-one listened, we'd still continue because we have so much fun doing it. That said, we really DO want people to listen and contribute to the various segments, because there's nothing more fulfilling than building a community around some silly creative project. We love all of our listeners. Yes, we're talking to both of you. We want to do a show where we feel free to joke about anything, but always with a positive and inclusive intention.
Even though the idea came two years ago, we only started releasing last month. It took a lot of prep, honestly. Forming the segment ideas, setting up a phone line where people can call in, deciding on a structure, making choices about the 'universe' we want these hosts to be a part of, etc.
Our first episode was pretty rough. Even with all of that prep, it was our first time getting down and dirty with the microphones and it wasn't exactly the direction we wanted to take the show in. For that reason, we didn't release anything until episode 3 when we made some final decisions about the show. We did, however, release the first two trainwrecks for posterity's sake, and also because some backstory elements and running jokes began there.
►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?
We release an episode every Monday. Or, try to. We had one hiccup, but so far so good. Because all four of us are ridiculously busy people, we actually record a whole month in advance. We try and meet once a month and crank through four hour-long episodes. Then our producer takes the raw files and edits them about a week in advance of each release. In theory, this gives our copywriters time to create the commercials and our producers time to dig up material for each segment, but in reality those things still wait until the last freakin' minute. Because of course.
Recording a month in advance is really the key to doing a podcast while having a day job. Especially with four people. It takes almost the whole month to just nail down one day where we can all get together. It's the best day of the month, though. We know that doesn't work for every podcast, but it sure works for us.
Fishstick has a ton of equipment at his disposal. We don't know where he got it, but we don't ask. His studio is kitted out already with microphones, processors, mixers, the whole nine yards. So that side is free as long as we don't make him mad. Our producer edits in his spare time, but with a month's notice, again it's good leeway. The social media/marketing part is something we're pretty bad at, but the four of us try our best. We haven't made a single cent from this show, it's a labor of love. Our hosting site is very fairly priced so it doesn't break the bank really.
►What do you gain from podcasting?
We WOULD sell out in a heartbeat. Then again, our advertisers would probably pull out in a heartbeat too. We don't know what that's like, it hasn't happened for us yet. All of our ads are fake right now.
I don't know! Where are they hiding? It seems that every podcast we listen to there's a sponsor for them, but they seem to be avoiding us.
We benefit from our show just knowing that we've made a product that people want to listen to. Even if it's just a few people. For us hosts, it's a great excuse to get together, crack jokes, and have fun. It's good experience doing comedy writing and improv. Keeps your mind in shape.
►How does your podcasting process look like?
Hooo boy, okay. For hardware we use EV RE20 microphones, a Steinberg UR44 USB interface, and sometimes we record through Valley Audio 401 Mic Processors depending on location. Software, we do most of our editing in Adobe Audition unless we've created our own custom music in which case we use Sonar X3. Nobody paid for me to recommend these, but if they want to I'm open to it.
We reach out to friends who are into community theater or radio to record commercials for us, or to guest-host with us.
We have a paper clock we follow. The show is an hour long, and the clock is broken down into segments, so we attempt to stick to the length and order dictated by the clock. It's actually how most live radio shows do their scheduling too. E.G. 5 minutes for intro, 2 minutes of commericals, 15 minutes for Fishstick's Top Pick Topics, 5 minutes for the first song, and on and on. We also pre-record advertisements for each episode and plan the order we want to use them. We take our voicemails and listener submissions, put them in a master sheet, and then select them ahead of each recording session so everyone knows what's coming up. You would have NO idea listening to us that we prepare at all, but we actually prepare a whole lot. Without it, you have a formless show that we think would be less compelling.
So far we always record in person, except for our phoned-in questions for the Brofessor's Life De-Stresser. Those are actual voicemails left on our listener voicemail line at (304)566-WIDK.
►How do you market your show?
We FINALLY got on iTunes. Our first submission was botched. We post our show on our Facebook page, and link to iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and our host website. It seems that most of our listens come from directly in-browser, closely followed by iTunes, but I suspect those two will flip once we've been on iTunes longer.
Reddit has been wonderful actually. The r/Podcasts community in particular has been helpful for ideas and marketing. Second to that is Facebook, and a few groups on there for like-minded podcasters.
►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?
AUDIO QUALITY IS KING. We didn't realize how many podcasts starting out have audio quality trouble, but man, nothing makes you tune away faster than listening to someone who sounds like they recorded with a microwave instead of a microphone. Also, be prepared to have nobody care about your podcast. Really. It's not something that blows up overnight, you have to really love it and want to do it regardless of subscriber count. If you care about your project that much, it'll shine through and other people will come to love it as well.
Reddit.com/r/podcasts is great. I can't overstate that. The people there are mostly positive and helpful, it's a mix of creators and listeners, and there is SO much great info on that subreddit. Also, play around with audio if you haven't before. Record yourself reading Dr. Seuss or something, and edit it. Make it sound robotic, then make it sound echoey. Invert the phase, compress it, and then pitch it way down. Just mess around and get familiar with editing audio in all sorts of ways before you dive into editing a podcast. That way you know exactly what each of your tools do before you use them to make yourself sound good.
►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?
We're on Facebook at Facebook.com/iDunnoRadio.
You can email us directly (and we'll actually answer) at [email protected].
We'll always chat if you want to, and we're also always looking for funny ideas or musicians who want us to feature their music etc! We're a friendly bunch.
Our producer is on reddit as u/WIDK-Producer
We're marginally on twitter, @iDunnoRadio
And our podcast website is iDunnoRadio.Pinecast.co